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Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE)

Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE)


What is Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE)?

The Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) is a session border controller, which provides session control, security, interworking, and demarcation. CUBE is a software product available for licensing on the Cisco IOS® and Cisco IOS XE Software which runs on Cisco…

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Recent Reviews

CUBE: Quick n' Easy

10 out of 10
October 22, 2019
Cisco Unified Border Element is being used as a primary PSTN circuit across the whole organization. We have HA (High Availability) with …
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Product Details

What is Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE)?

Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings


Attribute Ratings


(1-5 of 5)
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Samuel Vitales | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We migrated several TDM trunks to SIP trunks with Cisco CUBE, and now we have a better view and resource optimization thanks to Cisco CUBE where we centralized SBC, firewall, demarcation, transcoding, and Trans rating. Now we're using a couple of Cisco 44XX ISR CUBES with Box-to-Box redundancy and our communication improves due to CUBE's capabilities.
  • SBC functions.
  • Firewall demarcation.
  • Universal transcoding.
  • Dialplan administration.
  • TDM and SIP trunk support.
  • Web interface.
  • Log or debugs view.
  • HSRP redundancy depreciated.
Cisco CUBE is well suited in large enterprises with VOIP infrastructure, ISP with Tandem support, integration to MS Direct calls, contact center services with more than 100 agents, and businesses with several branch offices with TEHO needed to route calls between countries using the wan link. Cisco CUBE is less appropriate in small businesses with less than 10 users with legacy PBX systems.
  • Session border controller.
  • Transcoding.
  • Firewall.
  • Demarcation.
  • Positive impact, saving on monthly phone bills due to sip trunk migration.
  • Positive, using a couple of CUBEs to concentrate several SIP trunk.
  • Positive, using a couple of CUBEs to route several branch outbound and inbound calls.
Cisco Jabber, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager), Cisco Webex DX80
We replaced an Avaya IP Office central with TDM Trunks, we have some issues with E1 trunks and routing calls from branch offices or mobile agents. Now we're using CUBE for the last 3 years with SIP trunks and all Voice services from and to PSTN are way better than before with E1 trunks.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
Cisco products help us a lot using it to accomplish several areas like TDM migration, demarcation, Tandem organization, firewall and VPN support, also supporting our routing protocol (BGP and OSPF) to communicate with our HQ in another country. Cisco support provided by TAC 24X7 was our main concern fulfilled by cisco against other brands.
I would like to compare in real-life scenario Cisco CUBE with other SBC, and check process handle, ease of configuration and deployment, documentation available online, community support to consult doubts, features or minors issues with the products, prices and guarantee is an important item as well. Cisco CUBE HW is guaranteed for life.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
CUBE is used as SBC in our organization and for our customers to secure SIP connections of PSTN providers. It also works as a SIP protocol adapter between IP PBX and PSTN SBC to resolve any compatibility issue.
  • B2B UA
  • SIP profile
  • Multiple tenants
  • The way to configure is not so intuitive.
  • It cannot show SIP ladder diagram directly.
  • The learning curve is a bit steep.
If IP PBX is Cisco CUCM, CUBE is its best partner to connect PSTN SIP trunks. The multiple trunks can be from different PSTN providers. It also supports SIP forking for network recording.
  • Very secure
  • Very flexible
  • License is a bit expensive
  • Ribbon Session Border Controller (SBC)
CUBE can use SIP profile to manipulate almost all SIP parameters: URI, headers, and SDP.
It is very powerful and secure. However, for most people, it is a bit difficult to learn how to configure and debug.
The flexibility is great for leveraging SIP profiles and dial peers.
October 22, 2019

CUBE: Quick n' Easy

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Cisco Unified Border Element is being used as a primary PSTN circuit across the whole organization. We have HA (High Availability) with redundant ITSP providers distributed across 2 locations for 100% availability.
  • Call accounting (Integration with 3rd party applications for ease of use and comprehensive CDR's)
  • Address hiding (Keeping your internal network secure with PSTN calls)
  • Internetworking between multiple protocols
  • SIP profiles (message/header customization)
  • Billing, cost counting
  • Syntax input should be easier to read and write. For I.E: voice, translations are similar to SED (Stream Editor). Sometimes regular expression is hard to understand for new users.
  • Virtual Cube software stability
  • Cube redundancy setup (defining control interfaces, tracks, setting thresholds and reloads). Redundancy setup should be an automated process, where a user can initiate a setup wizard and then just input key information such as the IP address of Cubes and the exclusive IP address, etc.
  • Call Cost (SIP Trunks are cheaper and more efficient way to make PSTN calls)
  • Transcoding and internetworking feature
  • Support of different codes
  • Support for multiple call control agents
  • Call accounting
  • High availability
  • Multiple vendor support
  • Multiple ITSP support
  • N/A
  • Widely supported
  • Cisco TAC assistance
  • Proven solution
I've been using Cube for years and I like the way Cube handles a call. Minimum administration required once everything is set up correctly.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
CUBE is currently deployed as an SBC for our enterprise SIP platform to bring the service into our CUCM environment as we transition off of a plethora of PRI circuits scattered across our locations. The reliability and ease of integration (through documentation and support) into our network has really allowed us to expedite our move away from legacy telco circuits.
  • As with any Cisco appliance, the support from the TAC is one of the top benefits.
  • Familiar CLI if you're already working within a Cisco environment.
  • Basic configuration between CUCM and CUBE is fairly straight forward to set up.
  • The expense of the device to run CUBE may have you looking outside Cisco for options.
  • Requires additional DSPs for transcoding operations.
  • There's a bit of a learning curve in getting this set up to work with your specific provider when using this as a SIP gateway.
If you are in an environment that is primarily Cisco and switching from PRI circuits or other non-SIP circuits and are generally considered to be on an enterprise-grade platform, CUBE is likely a solid choice for you. From my experience, I cannot speak to the video handling that CUBE offers as we do not employ that, so hopefully other reviews will provide insight on that.
  • With the deployment we were able to provide a consistent, easier to support, and central SIP solution. This is not specific to CUBE, but specific to the reason it was deployed.
  • We were able to disconnect legacy PRI circuits and reduce those costs.
  • We were able to go to usage based trunks to put our trunking costs more in-line with our actual usage.
To be fair to CUBE and AudioCodes, my experience with AudioCodes was over 4 years ago, so their interfaces and CLI may have seen some revisions/updates. CUBE provides a unified CLI experience with the rest of your existing enterprise Cisco environment, whereas AudioCodes blend of a UI and CLI feel a little "90's" in comparison. It certainly can be a tad more friendly to someone just getting a feel for network devices, but the actual feature set felt harder to use as a result.

I didn't have any reliability issues or stability issues with either device, though and the AudioCodes solution is less costly, generally speaking, if it will work for your environment.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have a few CUBEs in production. We land our ITSP connections on them and interconnect our sites. This prevents from buying expensive carrier PRI circuits. We believe this brings in savings over time and make the product more valuable.
  • Interconnects VoIP networks, H.323 and SIP
  • Security (encryption, toll fraud prevention)
  • Ability to hide network topology
  • Price. These things are expensive if you get into using multiple appliances.
  • Advanced setup. If you are unfamiliar with Cisco collaboration products it may be extremely difficult for you to provision.
  • License management.
Great for interconnecting sites with data connections (ITSP). Potential to save money on massive PRI expenses. Cube is more for medium to large enterprises. Cisco makes an appliance for all needs but I personally don't think you need one if you are under the 10+ call per second mark. With call volume that low you should find a different solution that is more designed for small business.
  • Saving money on PRI cost by switching to ITSP connections. Massive savings.
  • TAC support is great. Having maintenance with Cisco gear is game changing for small IT shops.
  • Streamline security. Great place for a Demarc.
We previously used other SBC's but weren't satisfied with the performance. The support wasn't there and constant RMA's for defective hardware. Although the CUBE is expensive, it saves time and resources on support. Robust features and no downtime in 3 years. I don't believe many vendors offer products to compete in this space. You will regret to decision to go with cheaper SBC's.
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