I am currently planning a voice network and test different ways. Currently a classic IP network with various Cisco Routers is used to bound different media (fiber, copper, MPLS) and route to a classic SBC. The SBC routes the calls to the Asterisk machine, with load balancing and failover.

Because I'm looking for a pragmatic solution which is redundant. Therefore, I have considered the SBC's from CISCO, I read that Cisco calls the system CUBE and Cisco say it is a carrier-grade SBC. I would prefer an ASR 1009x with two routing processing units (with two ESP Module) and the licenses for the CUBE.

Does anyone have experience with the CUBE as SBC in the ISP Environment? We expect traffic per location of approx 3,000 concurrent calls and about 25 SIP trunks. Does anyone have experience with the daily Tasks a SBC brings in? What are the difference to a classic SBC?

Here is a sketch of the current infrastructure.

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To explain what I want to do I will show a few tasks that our SBC now brings in:

  • create new Endpoints (registered and static)
  • SIP and H.323 Support
  • Easy Support Codecs like G.711 G.721 or some exotic Codecs (easy to reload)
  • can I do a header manipulation of SIP packets
  • is it possible to do a normalization (NPI,TON of CDPN or CGPN)
  • How I can trace the Calls? PCAP for each call or any other Concept?
  • User management to delegate tasks to other user with access rules
  • CDR export for billing Issues
  • Loadshare or loadbalancing algorithms like (hunt high, hunt low, percentage ...)
  • Backup and Restore process
  • SQL integration of CDR and configuration
  • SNMP functionality to insert SBC into monitoring environment
  • Is the amount of simultanous Calls limited to 16.000 Calls (this is onyl approx 1,5 GBit/s and we have a 40GBit ESP in the ASR Router)
  • CUBE supports RLT and SIP Call transfer, anyone use it to connect two Calls together, for routing Issues to reduce number of needed licenses?
  • It is possible to capture Calls directly on the Router for quality monitoring

Does anyone know what function is implemented and what function not implemented in a Cisco CUBE?

  • The answers to this question would seem to be primarily opinion-based, which is off-topic.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 14:19
  • Hey Ron, I want to know if the CUBE System from Cisco is useable as SBC in a carrier grade environment. I ask it because I hear from other engineers that Cisco (VoiP support) is not suitable in Carriergrade environments and now I want to hear a statement about the Cisco CUBE system as SBC. How can I change my Question above?
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 14:25
  • I removed the question leading to opinions, and I added some more links to my answer, one of which shows that it meets your list.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 8:03
  • Thx Ron, it goes in the right direction. In your linked documents I can find a lot of marketing material but not concrete answer to my Question and no Experience. Does anyone knows a success story with a CUBE as a SBC?
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 9:19
  • All I can tell you about that is that we have over 250,000 employees, and we have been steadily moving them all to a unified Cisco VoIP solution.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 15:03

2 Answers 2


According to this Cisco document, Cisco Unified Border Element (SP Edition) on Cisco ASR 1000 Series, CUBE on the ASR 1000 series is designed for carrier-grade use:

The Cisco® Unified Border Element (SP Edition) is a high-scale, carrier-grade Session Border Controller (SBC), which is integrated into Cisco routing platforms and can use a huge number of router functions to provide a very feature-rich and intelligent SBC application.

The document includes some drawings and explanation.

Cisco has many documents which explain all of the features. For instance, Cisco Unified Border Element Version 10.0.2 Data Sheet has a table which answers most of your list.

CUBE also has a programming interface.

For more information, start with Cisco Unified Border Element.

Cisco is more than happy to give you specifics to any question you may have.

  • Hey Ron, thx for your answer. I know this Document, but searching for experience from other customer. Any network engineer is out there who has experience with this CUBE as a SBC
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:27
  • @kockiren, that is really not a proper question. You can check help center for the types of questions and how to ask a question. There is no correct answer. You need to phrase the question so that the answer is not too broad or opinion-based.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:50
  • I think it is a proper question and not opinion based Answers are needed. I ask for experience in a carrier grade environment and want to know if a Cisco CUBE is a complete SBC Solution.
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 6:55
  • I change my question to show I do not want opinions. I want to know if Cisco CUBE is a SBC or something like that.
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 7:01
  • I really think this sort of thing belongs in the Network Engineering Chat rather than a question here. Your question, "Is the Cisco CUBE system suitable as SBC in a carrier grade Environment?" is certainly a question that can only have opinion-based answers since you don't like the direct answer I gave to that question. Questions like that are why we have the chat room.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 7:05

Cisco have announced End of Life for Cisco Unified Border Element (Service Provider Edition) and seem to have pulled out of the carrier-grade SBC market!

"With this end-of-sale and end-of-life announcement, Cisco will exit the service provider session border controller (SP SBC) product segment at the provider edge. Customers are encouraged to migrate to alternative SP SBC products available in the industry."

We are currently in the process of migrating our Customers away from Cisco and onto a Sonus SBC.


  • But What is the Different between Cube SP and Cube
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 17:50
  • What is the reason to not using CUBE (without SP Edition) for your Customer. It is only a diffrence in the license? The hardware is the Same?
    – kockiren
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 19:02

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