GDS Dialing Journey

What is GDS?
Last year about this time, we started working on getting on the Global Dialing Scheme. GDS is basically a gatekeeper neighboring structure that allows endpoints to register to their local gatekeeper. Their local gatekeeper is then connected into a hierarchical global structure. This way, in theory, you can neighbor with just one gatekeeper, and then connect with anyone who is also connected to GDS by dialing their GDS e.164 number.

The concept is very slick, and in some ways provides a solution to the interesting dialing schemes and VC islands that cause problems for our projects.

Why GDS?
Since we keep increasing our  connections with the UK, I’ve wanted to get on GDS so that we could connect directly without having to go through the Janet/JVCS MCU.

After experimenting with GDS unsuccessfully in January and February 2007, I left it alone for several months. This fall, I finally opened a ticket with Tandberg to get it up and running. With a few settings here, and an upgrade there, here a little, there a little, now it works!!

GDS in Real Life
In the process of experimenting with GDS connecting to the UK, I discovered that many of their gatekeepers are still configured only to allow calls to and from Janet/JVCS and not from those outside the country. This explains why I’ve had trouble with GDS and the UK. However this morning we tested a call for an Eco-Conversations project coming up, and this particular area in the UK allows incoming and outgoing GDS calls.

So, the upshot is, the new Collaborations Around the Planet & Read Around the Planet database collects GDS numbers as well as IP addresses. While there are still many schools that don’t use GDS, it’s yet another way to make a call work. Because of that, I think it’s worth the trouble to get it set up.

The next question is, how do I get on? First check with the Internet2 contacts in your state/area. If that doesn’t get you anywhere, try the Internet2 Commons. And if any of you reading my blog have additional tips on how to get on GDS, please add in the comments section!

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