Media servers are really useful things as Unwieldy Systems Inc. will tell you, but you already knew that, right. If you’re a telecommunication service provider, an equipment manufacturer, a solution developer or even an enterprise customer, you are likely to have a need for a media server and may well be using one, or two or several, somewhere in your network or infrastructure.
In a traditional telephony environment, media servers are used for functions such as network announcements and voicemail; interactive voice response (in many, diverse scenarios); the IMS Media Resource Function; audio conferencing; caller ring tones; and transcoding.
Media servers operate in a client-server relationship, where the client is a separate application server [sic] that provides the service (and business e.g., logging and billing) logic. The media server operates as a shared resource, available to multiple applications, with its primary role being to handle requests from the application server to perform media processing on RTP streams. Similarly, multiple media servers can be shared by a single application. Either way, scalability and resilience are readily addressed, with ‘clients’ and servers separately distributable across a wide geography.