(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010
are needed to provide interworking withterminals using other signalling protocols, such as PSTNterminals, ISDN terminals, SIP terminals, etc.
Multipoint Controllers, Multipoint Processors and Multipoint Control Units
provide support for multipointconferences.A central aspect of H.323 is the
. It is defined asthe point-to-point multimedia communication between twoH.323 endpoints. If the H.323 endpoint communicates with anendpoint which uses a different signalling protocol, then theH.323 call is defined as the call segment between the H.323entity and the gateway that provides interworking with theforeign network.The H.323 protocol is a tightly coupled family of subprotocols which must all interoperate in order to completesuccessfully a multimedia call session. The sub protocols aredescribed in ITU recommendations. The main ones are:
Sub protocol for messages exchanged betweenH.323 endpoints for setting up and tearing down a call as wellas for messages between an H.323 endpoint and its controllingH.323 entity, such as a gatekeeper.
Sub protocol for messages exchanged betweenendpoints in order to control the call session, exchangeresource capabilities and establish media channels.
Sub protocol for security and encryption for H.323terminals.
Sub protocols for supplementary services, such asCall Transfer, Call Park, Call Waiting etc .
SIP Protocol Overview
SIP, which stands for Session Initiation Protocol, is anIETF application layer control protocol, defined in RFC 2543, for the establishment, modification and termination of multimedia sessions with one or more participants. SIP makesminimal assumptions about the underlying transport andnetwork layer protocol, which can provide either a packet orbyte stream service with either reliable or unreliable service.A SIP system is based on a client/server model and iscomprised of the following logical entities:
User Agent (UA)
is an application that acts on behalf of the user, both as a client (User Agent Client) and as a server(User Agent Server). As a client it initiates SIP requests and asa server it accepts calls and responds to SIP requests made byother entities. The user agent is usually part of a multimediaterminal whose media capabilities it controls without havingany media capabilities of its own.
is a SIP server that accepts onlyregistration requests issued by user agents. A registrar servernever forwards requests.
is a server which provides informationto a proxy/redirect server about the possible current locationsof a user. Usually, this entity is part of the proxy/redirectservers.
is a SIP server that provides addressmapping services. It responds to a SIP request destined to an
address with a list of new addresses. A redirect server doesn’taccept calls, doesn’t forward requests nor does it initiate any of
is a SIP server that acts both as a server touser agents by forwarding SIP requests and as a client to otherSIP servers by submitting the forwarded requests to them onbehalf of user agents or proxy servers.With the exception of the user agent, which is usually partof a multimedia terminal, the rest of the logical entities(registrar, redirect and proxy servers)a may be combined in asingle application. Therefore, a single entity can act either as aproxy or as a redirect server, according to the SIP request, andat the same time accept registration requests. A SIP call isdefined as the multimedia conference consisting of allparticipants invited by a common source.Although not partitioned formally, the SIP system can beviewed as divided into domains each serviced by oneredirect/proxy server and one registrar. A user agent hasusually a home domain, which is specified by its address, but itcan roam and use services in other domains as well, in which
case it is considered to be ’visiting’. Otherwise it is considered
be ”at home” 
Related Work- Comparison of two Protocols
The authors of Nortel Networks  conclude byrecommending SIP as their preference for a control protocol.They point out that even though H.323, unlike SIP, hascurrently more enterprise oriented and campus scale productsdeployed, SIP provides long term benefits which are related toand affect time to market, extensibility, multi-party serviceflexibility, ease of interoperability and complexity of development.The Dalgic and Fang  concluded that In terms of functionality and services that can be supported, H.323v3 andSIP are very similar. However, supplementary services inH.323 are more rigorously defined and therefore fewerinteroperability issues are expected to arise. Furthermore,H.323 has better compatibility among its different versions andbetter interoperability with the PSTN. The two protocls arecomparable in their QoS support (similar call setup delays, nosupport for resource reservation or class of service (QoS)setting), but H.323v3 will allow signaling of the requested
QoS. On the other hand, according to the paper, SIP’s primary
advantages are its flexibility to add new features and its relativeease of implementation and debugging. Finally, the authorsnote that H.323 and SIP are improving themselves by learningfrom each other, and the differences between them arediminishing with each new version.The Schulzrinne and Rosenberg  wrote that SIPprovides a similar set of services to H.323, but provides farlower complexity, rich extensibility, and better scalability.They point out that future work is due to more fully evaluatethe protocols, and examine quantitative performance metrics tocharacterize these differences. They also imply that a study