[Serusers] request for comments
jev at ecad.org
Wed Jun 30 20:06:49 CEST 2004
Zeus Ng wrote:
> I may share some of my experience on a similar concept. Notice that it's not
> a solution but more an idea sharing.
Solutions are nice, but I really want to hear ideas :) Provides food for
> From the experiment, I found that there
> is a fundamental weakness in ser (plus UDP plus NAT) to support a
> distributed SIP environment. I'm not saying it can't be done. However, to
> make ser more distributed, I think there is a need to redesign the way ser
> handle user location.
> The lab environment I have is 4 ser proxies and 2 ser location servers. The
> 4 ser proxies were used as front end for proxying SIP requests. They have a
> SRV record in the DNS server for UAs which understand this record. For UA
> that doesn't understand SRV, the DNS also reply the proxies IP in a round
> robin fashion.
> When a UA lookup the IP of the proxy, it get one from either the SRV record
> or round robin A record.
> All REGISTER requests are forwarded from the proxies to the primary location
> server. This is than replicated to the secondary location server by
> t_replicate. So, the proxies has no knowledge of UA location. Only the
> location servers know where to reach the UA.
> For other SIP requests, I have tried two different methods to handle them.
> 1. Forward all requests to location server and use record_route to keep the
> proxy in the path:
> This works great to maintain dialogue as INVITE, reINVITE, BYE, CANCEL will
> all proxy back to the location server which has the transaction state. OTOH,
> it is poor in NAT handling since the location server was never directly
> contacted by the NAT device. The nat ping will not keep a hole in the NAT
> device. Also, it has no performance improvement over one single
> "proxy+location" server as all requests end up in location server.
So you had the backend location server contacting the UAC directly? I'm
attempting to route the invite back through the originating front end
proxy that has the nat session already established with the natted UAC.
At the moment this only works because I am rewriting the (hardcoded)
hostname in my config, but I'm looking at doing this dynamically so that
any requests to the user location server will have their hostname
rewritten to the previous hop.
> 2. Proxy querying UA location via SQL
> In this method, I've written a small SQL script to be run by the proxy via
> exec_dst to check the UA location from the location server DB backend. (I
> know that DB is not the best place to check location but it is easier than
> writing C program to query the memory USRLOC on the location server.) This
> works best for performance as the proxies are sharing the requests as well
> as RTP proxying. However, it is relatively poor in NAT and transaction as
> the INVITE, BYE and CANCEL can be handled by different proxy due DNS
I really want to keep my operations within SIP messaging only, and not
having to rely on external mechanisms such as sql queries. This
maintains our flexibility to use any SIP compliant device. It's a great
idea thogh! :)
> One way I see ser going distributed is to follow the idea of squid plus some
> enhancement. The group of proxies are put into partnership. When the proxy
> receive a REGISTER request, it check whether one of its partner has a record
> of that UA or not. If yes, it forward the request to the other proxy and
> forget it. Otherwise, it save the location in its memory, do NAT stuff and
> becomes the authoritive proxy for that UA until the REGISTER expires. When
> other request comes in, the proxy do the same check with its partner again
> and forward the request to the authoritive proxy. This way, the authoritive
> proxy maintains the nat ping, shares the RTP proxying and keep trace of
> When a new proxy comes in, we just need to tell ser that there is a new
> member in the partnership. (Though, we need to find a way to tell ser about
> this without restarting so that it maintains the USRLOC in memory)
> Instantly, this proxy can serve new UA that was never seen before or its
> REGISTER has expires somewhere.
This sounds like a cool idea, I'm not familiar with squids proxiy
partnership model, but what you explain seems sound to me. Perhaps the
ser proxies could use SRV records to learn about new 'partner' ser
proxies? Or would this be a miss-aplication of the SRV feature?
> The only thing I haven't figured out a solution would be how to pick up UA
> location when one of the proxy fails. I don't like the way t_replicate works
> as it requires hard coding other proxies in the script and needs restarting
> ser for failover.
If a proxy that is maintaing a NAT session with a UAC goes away, I see
no way of passing off this session/location to another server except
just waiting for the UAC to re-register.
>>From: serusers-bounces at lists.iptel.org
>>[mailto:serusers-bounces at lists.iptel.org] On Behalf Of Jev
>>Sent: Wednesday, 30 June 2004 8:53 AM
>>To: Andrei Pelinescu-Onciul
>>Cc: serusers at lists.iptel.org
>>Subject: Re: [Serusers] request for comments
>>Andrei Pelinescu-Onciul wrote:
>>>So all the packets comming from the same ip will be sent to
>>>fron end SER? (hashing after src ip)?
>>Yes, using ciscos "Sticky IP" which I admit, I do not know about, but
>>I'm told it will do this job properly.
>>>Anyway there are some problems related to the nat traversal:
>>>1. nat ping - nat ping needs to access usrloc, so that it
>>>which users to ping. However on your setup the front-end
>>>no ideea about this, so they wouldn't be able to nat ping.
>>>server (User accounts) knows who to ping but its ping won't
>>>symmetric nat (the nat will have an open binding only with the
>>>outbound proxy, which would be one of the load balanced front-ends).
>>I do realize this now, so I'm considering running a non-persistent
>>usr_loc (no mysql back end) on all the front end servers, and using
>>t_replicate between all of them. I admit I have not verified
>>if this is
>>possible, so please forgive me if I'm talking non-sense here at this
>>stage. My concern here, as I mentioned in my reply to Klaus's
>>that if I use t_replicate will all my front end ser servers,
>>all spit udp at a single natted client when the client has
>>only one udp
>>session with one front end server?
>>>2. consider user A calling user B, where at least B is
>>behind a nat.
>>>The invite would reach the "main" server which will look up
>>B and will
>>>try to send the message to B's address. Unfortunately B's nat will
>>>drop the packet, because it has an open binding only
>>between B and the
>>>load balanced ip. (this will work only if B has a full cone
>>>is very very unlikely)
>>I'm not sure on the solution here. I will need to make the
>>call go via
>>the front end ser server that has the active udp session with the
>>client. I'm going to sleep on this!
>>>3. assuming the above stuff will work somehow, you still have to be
>>>very carefull to open only one rtp proxy session (since
>>each front end
>>>has its own rtp proxy you should make sure you use
>>>only one of them, for the same call)
>>I agree, and I realize that I'm making some challenging issues for
>>Thank you Andrei for your comments!
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