Some encounters are interesting, fun, inspiring and enlightening on top. The recent meeting I had with Dragos Vingarzan, Alberto Diez and Bogdan Harjoc of Fraunhofer FOKUS NGNI can certainly be counted among them. For those of you who have not come accross FOKUS before, they are a German research institute under the roof of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and their group is working on IMS related topics. Here's a short roundup of what I've seen and what we discussed, which might be interesting to those of you working on any kind of IMS topic:
Over the years they have put together an impressive IMS setup. Not only have they developed an extensible IMS client, an IMS core network for testing purposes comprising all elements from the various CSCF's, an HSS, presence server, etc., etc., but they have built lots of tools around it from application server toolkits to stress test utilities. Also, they've put their setup to good use and developed a number of stunning IMS application prototypes. On top, their lab and software is open for any company wishing to test their components, devices or IMS backend software in an end to end system. HP, Ericsson, Nokia, Tektronix and many others are making frequent use of it.
Want to play around with an IMS core at home and have a look at the code? No problem, they offer their open source IMS core as a Vmware package that is ready to run with a Vmware player right from your PC.
Not only did I see my first real IMS VoIP call including policy interactions between the IMS network and a core network router, for which I was kindly provided with the pcap trace for some follow up investigations, but I was also shown a stunning combined IMS VoIP/Instant Messaging/Sharing/Collaboration application and a utility called SIPNuke that can easily simulate 10.000 SIP messages a second on an off the shelf notebook to make that IMS core or application server sweat.
If you want to see it for yourself you can do so on the 6th to the 7th November during the 4th International FOKUS IMS Workshop in Berlin. Here's the link for further information and registration.
Thanks Dragos, Alberto and Bogdan, it has been an exciting visit! I'll put some more detailed thoughs on the demos I've seen in one of the next blog entries.