The Next-Generation Media ServerDigital-media telephony systems implement applications such as media gateways, media servers, pre-paid calling, and unified-messaging systems by directing media-processing and stream-switching resources to perform various functions on call streams. In addition to the application, these systems are comprised of computing platforms, system software, media-switching and call- control resources, and media-stream processing resources. Media streams are made available to the system through network-termination devices. Calls are set up using call-control protocols associated with the network termination. These systems are quite complex and expensive when compared with off-the-shelf open-architecture computers. But within the past 10 months, technologies have been brought to market that, if effectively synthesized, have the potential of creating a beneficial discontinuity in the price, size, scalability, manageability, and power consumption of such systems.
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