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charge@once mediate 
Product Description
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Contents 
Contents ....................................................................................................
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Open architecture ......................................................................................... 24 
Off ...
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Summary of changes 
This is the forth edition.
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Introduction 
This document describes the interfaces, functionality and architecture of Nokia Siemens Networks 
char...
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charge@once mediate is compliant with the RFC3588, Diameter Base Protocol standard with the 
limitation that Stream ...
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Billing 
Fraud 
Management 
Traffic 
Analysis 
Online 
charging 
charge@once mediate 
Batch 
mediation 
Active 
medi...
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With charge@once mediate this integration is made even easier as charge@once mediate is a true 
convergent mediation...
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Nokia Siemens Networks charge@once mediate overview 
charge@once mediate is a convergent mediation system that suppo...
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distribution or outbound side the data is typically sent to a billing system or another post-processing 
system. Th...
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Key Concepts 
charge@once mediate is an operational support system designed to adapt to each target 
environment an...
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Basic Mediation features 
Process Modeling, Configuration and charge@once mediate GUI 
charge@once mediate is based...
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• Meta Information Model (MIM) 
Upon configuration, a workflow provides a user-defined set of attributes - MIMs, wh...
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Graphical user interface (GUI) 
The drag-and-drop graphical management user interface covers all aspects of workflo...
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• Integer types (int, bigint, byte, short, long) 
• Float types (float, double) 
• Raw data – bytearray 
• BCD enco...
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Utilities 
charge@once mediate provides valuable utilities as described in the following chapters. 
Event Notificat...
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Operations and Management 
charge@once mediate includes a rich set of applications and functionalities to address o...
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Log files 
charge@once mediate has a logging mechanism that allows observing the system’s behaviour and 
recording ...
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Figure 3 The Workflow Manager 
Alarms 
charge@once mediate supports a set of predefined alarms. These alarms can be...
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Besides from the default functionality of charge@once mediate related to the alarms, through 
customization project...
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Backups 
charge@once mediate supports two different types of backups as described below. 
Disaster recovery backup ...
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Runtime environment 
charge@once mediate is built on the most modern software technologies available today. It has ...
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• Centralized - Data security and ease of maintenance 
• Distributed - Processing scalability and partitioning of f...
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Security 
charge@once mediate solution can be configured to use secure and authenticated communication 
between the...
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Off the shelf interfaces and formats 
charge@once mediate is provided with a set of off the shelf collection interf...
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Distribution Interfaces 
The off the shelf distribution interfaces provided in charge@once mediate are pre-integrat...
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Off the shelf collection and distribution agents 
charge@once mediate is provided with a set of off the shelf colle...
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Supported off the shelf workflows 
charge@once mediate includes also the CGF functionality as the Nokia Charging Ga...
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Additional predefined workflows (rel 2.2) 
Additional predefined workflows will be implemented in rel 2.2. These in...
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Hardware Platforms 
Nokia Siemens Networks charge@once mediate has been designed to conform to common 
scalability ...
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solution. However a clustered high-available rx2660 hardware solution is recommended for 
mediation cases. The rx26...
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uses the resilience concept on the server level. The HP rx configuration (with the rx2660 and 
rx2620 models) consi...
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Glossary 
3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project 
API Application Programming Interface 
APL Analysis Programming ...
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NE3S Nokia enhanced SNMP solution suite 
O&M Operation and Maintenance 
OPEX Operating Expenditure 
PoC Push to tal...
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charge@once mediate, Product Description

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charge@once mediate, Product Description

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charge@once mediate, Product Description

  1. 1. 1/32 charge@once mediate Product Description
  2. 2. 2/32 Contents Contents ......................................................................................................... 2 Introduction..................................................................................................... 5 charge@once mediate as a convergent mediation solution..............................................................6 charge@once mediate as a CGF node ............................................................................................7 charge@once mediate – The convergent solution............................................................................7 Nokia Siemens Networks charge@once mediate overview ............................ 9 Key Concepts ............................................................................................... 11 Basic Mediation features............................................................................... 12 Process Modeling, Configuration and charge@once mediate GUI .................................................12 Workflows ......................................................................................................................................12 Agents............................................................................................................................................13 Graphical user interface (GUI)........................................................................................................14 Flexible Data Format Management ................................................................................................14 ASCII and Binary based Formats ...................................................................................................14 ASN.1/BER Formats ......................................................................................................................15 XML Formats..................................................................................................................................15 Business Rule Configuration ..........................................................................................................15 Error Correction..............................................................................................................................15 Utilities .......................................................................................................... 16 Event Notification Editor .................................................................................................................16 UDR File Editor ..............................................................................................................................16 System Export and Import ..............................................................................................................16 Operations and Management........................................................................ 17 System Statistics and Utilization Measures ....................................................................................17 Auditing..........................................................................................................................................17 Log files..........................................................................................................................................18 User Access Control.......................................................................................................................18 Task Management..........................................................................................................................18 Workflow Management...................................................................................................................18 Alarms............................................................................................................................................19 Key performance indicators............................................................................................................20 Capacity licensing ..........................................................................................................................20 Backups .........................................................................................................................................21 Runtime environment.................................................................................... 22 Execution Architecture ...................................................................................................................22 Security ..........................................................................................................................................24
  3. 3. 3/32 Open architecture ......................................................................................... 24 Off the shelf interfaces and formats .............................................................. 25 Collection Interfaces.......................................................................................................................25 Distribution Interfaces.....................................................................................................................26 Off the shelf collection and distribution agents .............................................. 27 Collection agents............................................................................................................................27 Distribution agents..........................................................................................................................27 Supported off the shelf workflows ................................................................. 28 Predefined workflow for ex-Nokia Packet core and ICD (differentiated charging) CDR processing.28 Predefined workflow for ex-Nokia PoC CDR processing.................................................................28 Predefined workflow for ex-Nokia MSC CDR processing................................................................28 Additional predefined workflows (rel 2.2) ........................................................................................29 Hardware Platforms ...................................................................................... 30 HP Itanium RX class configurations ...............................................................................................30 HP rx models supported.................................................................................................................30 Data Storage..................................................................................................................................31 High Availability and Resilience......................................................................................................31 HW High Availability configuration..................................................................................................31 HW Resiliency configuration...........................................................................................................31
  4. 4. 4/32 Summary of changes This is the forth edition.
  5. 5. 5/32 Introduction This document describes the interfaces, functionality and architecture of Nokia Siemens Networks charge@once mediate. charge@once mediate is a comprehensive convergent mediation solution, which includes batch, real-time and active mediation types, but it can also be used just as a CGF implementation, as in the earlier Nokia Charging Gateway (CG). All customers, existing and new, can decide how to use charge@once mediate, but the true mediation capability achievable with charge@once mediate is a natural evolution of the Nokia Charging Gateway product, so also existing customers have an advantage in migrating to charge@once mediate. charge@once mediate acts as a single point of contact between the inbound elements and outbound elements in a specific environment. The sending network elements (inbound elements) create data that is usable for charging and billing. The same data can also be used for other purposes, like for example as an input for fraud management systems and such. The data is created in a specific format known to the sending elements. Those elements then send the data using a specific protocol. The data formats and protocols might be different from the ones understood by the systems that need to receive the data. The mediation layer makes the translation of the data and allows it to be passed from the sending elements to the receiving ones. Additionally it performs other operations on that data to make it more valuable to the receiving systems. For example, it can validate it so that no corrupted data is passed forward. It also can for example aggregate the data so that partial records are summarized and less amount of data is transferred to the receiving system. The charge@once mediate product complies to the following 3GPP standards: TS 32.240 (Charging Architecture and Principles) TS 32.250 (CS domain Charging) TS 32.251 (PS domain Charging) TS 32.260 (IM Subsystem Charging) TS 32.295 (Charging Data Record (CDR) Transfer) TS 32.297 (Charging Data Record (CDR) file format and transfer) TS 32.298 (Charging Data Record (CDR) parameter description) TS 32.299 (Diameter Charging Application)
  6. 6. 6/32 charge@once mediate is compliant with the RFC3588, Diameter Base Protocol standard with the limitation that Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) is not supported. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) layer is currently supported. The commands Abort-Session-Request and Abort-Session-Answer of Diameter Base aren't implemented in the Diameter stack (as proposed by the standard), but they can be added by configuring Diameter Application Profile in GUI. Having it in the GUI allows us to correct any inconsistencies via configuration that could come up if the vendor Diameter Stack is not fully compliant with the message format (AVPs in the command). charge@once mediate as a convergent mediation solution Convergent mediation is nowadays crucial. Operators and service providers need to keep up with the changes in the communications environment and to respond to customer requirements in a competitive way. With charge@once mediate it is possible to address the existing requirements and at the same time enable mediation management in an efficient way in terms of cost and time savings. As a true convergent mediation solution, charge@once mediate acts as a mediator component that provides the necessary data conversions and protocol-level integration between network elements or other systems. It allows the convergence of voice and data services, supporting a wide range of network elements and communication protocols for different types of networks, for voice and data communications, as well as for both prepaid and postpaid customer types. The major mediation functions include communication control, protocol conversion and data handling, communication of primitive functions, processes involving decision making and data storage. Mediation uses standard interfaces and can be shared among several network elements, or several operating systems, or between network elements and operating systems. charge@once mediate handles and mediates data between different systems in real-time (Active mediation and Real-Time mediation) or in batch mode (Batch mediation).
  7. 7. 7/32 Billing Fraud Management Traffic Analysis Online charging charge@once mediate Batch mediation Active mediation Real time mediation Network elements (2G, 3G, IMS, including Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, Siemens and any 3rd party elements) Figure 1. Charge@once mediate positioning in the network environment charge@once mediate as a CGF node The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has specified Charging Gateway Functionality (CGF), which provides a mechanism for transferring charging information from the Serving GPRS Support Nodes (SGSNs) and Gateway GPRS Support Nodes (GGSNs) to the network operator’s CDR post-processing system. In Nokia’s environment, the CGF was implemented as a standalone element. Before charge@once mediate, Nokia Charging Gateway (CG) was that element that handled the CGF functionality. Nokia Charging Gateway consolidated raw event records into CDRs that were the input for CDR post-processing systems. Nokia Charging Gateway forwarded the CDRs to one or more CDR post-processing systems in a suitable format. In this line, charge@once mediate is also used as a product evolution of CG, being the CGF node for example in the Nokia Siemens Networks GPRS, 3G, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks as well as in PoC and Intelligent Content Delivery (ICD) solutions and Circuit Switch networks. As described before, charge@once mediate can be used only as the CGF functionality but also as a full convergent mediation solution that includes also the CGF part. charge@once mediate – The convergent solution The focus in Nokia Charging Gateway (CG) release 4.x was mainly on Nokia elements, even though extended support was available there by use of the CG toolkits to create new interfaces and protocols for connecting CG to 3rd party network elements.
  8. 8. 8/32 With charge@once mediate this integration is made even easier as charge@once mediate is a true convergent mediation solution with all the needed facilities for quick integrations with practically any 3rd party network elements and systems. With charge@once mediate it is possible not only to have mediation for postpaid (and hotbilling) customers but also for prepaid customers. Additionally, with charge@once mediate it is possible to have true high availability, which was not available in Nokia Charging Gateway. These and other differences make charge@once mediate the natural next step for customers of Nokia Charging Gateway, providing them not only the same functionality than before but also a set of interesting new features. The charge@once mediate features and functionality are explained in detail in the next chapters.
  9. 9. 9/32 Nokia Siemens Networks charge@once mediate overview charge@once mediate is a convergent mediation system that supports any data exchange between any systems, in real-time (real-time mediation and active mediation) or batch mode (batch mediation). It is designed with the objective to provide maximum flexibility and to enable service providers quickly adapt to the requirements of the communication industry. As one of the most modern convergent mediation systems on the market, it is designed using modern state-of-the art software technologies and conforms to the latest industry standards. charge@once mediate is based on a modular architecture, where functionality and processing capacity can seamlessly be added to over time. As such, the product provides a future-proof mediation infrastructure that promotes deployment of right-sized mediation solutions that scale dynamically with business requirements and volume. Redefining the mediation space, charge@once mediate bridges the network services delivery infrastructure from the business support systems, seamlessly insulating the way services are delivered from the way they are charged or analyzed. As the communication industry evolves, charge@once mediate protects current investments, reduces operational and capital expenditure, and ensures accurate and timely delivery of service resource utilization. From a technical perspective, charge@once mediate provides a generic data processing platform, which supports: • Any Communication In a single platform charge@once mediate enables batch-mode as well as real-time communication. The real-time communication includes also the active mediation. With the mediation types available in charge@once mediate, the product enables charging of prepaid and postpaid, for any combination of data and voice services. charge@once mediate is a comprehensive convergent mediation platform. Active Mediation Active mediation is related to any service that needs real-time interaction, like for example a prepaid system. It allows the connection between the network elements, service enablers and applications to an external rating engine or a balance management repository or a charging system, to provide the end to end online charging capability. The latter systems are all external to charge@once mediate and this product is the bridge that enables the communication and the further on-line processing of the data. charge@once mediate does not have embedded rating or account management or advice of charge functions. Active mediation integrates the service delivery infrastructure with the charging systems for real-time exchange of control and charging information. At the same time, it shields the charging systems and processing logic from how the network infrastructure delivers the services. Real-Time Mediation Real-Time mediation, as Active Mediation, is done in Real-Time in the collection side. But Real-time mediation is typically for offline charging and rating (and possibly for hot-billing) and so in the
  10. 10. 10/32 distribution or outbound side the data is typically sent to a billing system or another post-processing system. The mediation collection is done in real-time as charge@once mediate collects and processes the data whenever it is created and sent by the network elements, so charge@once mediate is always active and ready to process that data. The data is sent for example through GTP’. This is the data mediation type done already previously in CG. Batch Mediation Batch mediation is the 3rd mediation type supported and it is the one not done in real time, i.e., the data is not sent by the network elements to charge@once mediate immediately when it is created. The data is created by the sending element and stored in files. Those data files are sent periodically to charge@once mediate for processing. • Any Usage Data charge@once mediate supports the processing of any kind of information. Usage data of any logical structure, field layout and semantics can be managed. Data is translated between any physical ‘on-the-wire’ formats. • Any Processing charge@once mediate provides comprehensive functionality to analyze and manipulate information in numerous ways. For example, session correlation, aggregation, and consolidation can be performed and this can be done both in real-time and in batch-mode. • Any Transaction charge@once mediate can work with any transaction granularity – from large data files to single transaction request. Furthermore, charge@once mediate is designed from the outset for flexible deployment options, high-performance throughput, seamless scalability, and ease of maintenance.
  11. 11. 11/32 Key Concepts charge@once mediate is an operational support system designed to adapt to each target environment and operator’s specific requirements. As a fully convergent system, it provides a component based architecture built around the following concepts: • Process Modelling and Configuration charge@once mediate provides flexibility through configuration. Its high-level graphical design and operating environment delivers a complete set of configurable tools to meet the challenging requirements of an operator or service provider. For more details check the chapter in this document dedicated to this subject. • Runtime Environment charge@once mediate configuration and control logic is centrally managed while execution can be distributed to any number of nodes in the system. Its distributed design ensures scalability with any combination of high-end servers and commodity hardware. The system is tested and optimized in pre-defined hardware configurations that are supported by Nokia Siemens Networks. (For more information please refer to the HW chapter in this document). • Management Applications charge@once mediate includes a comprehensive set of supporting applications, like for example the error correction application, to ensure effective management and operation of the system and usage data. (For more information on the available applications, please refer to the Management Applications chapter in this document). • Open Architecture charge@once mediate is developed using the latest software technologies and provides a future proof platform, where open APIs enable compliance with the latest development in protocols and industry requirements. For more details check the chapter in this document dedicated to this subject.
  12. 12. 12/32 Basic Mediation features Process Modeling, Configuration and charge@once mediate GUI charge@once mediate is based on a flexible workflow concept by which mediation processes and business rules can be modeled, configured, and deployed. The design of the workflow model enables the development of small, specialized agents, that when combined with other agents in a workflow provide the required mediation functionality. This is done with the charge@once mediate graphical user interface (GUI). Workflows Workflows are based on software agents that are linked to mediation tasks of virtually any complexity. A workflow is defined as a combination of Agents each providing specific mediation functionality. Workflows may also be inter-linked into mediation tasks, where the output of one workflow is the input of another. Workflow hierarchies can thus be defined, from technology-specific collection flows to convergent service-specific flows for billing. charge@once mediate includes a set of standard pre-defined workflows designed to address customer needs related to the collection and processing of data coming from several network elements, as it was in Nokia Charging Gateway. charge@once mediate provides the means and tools for any customization, so that the customer needs are covered, according to their specific mediation requirements. New workflows and data processing logic can be designed with the help of customization projects. Workflow functions include, among other things: • Scheduling A workflow can be scheduled for execution periodically, on specific occasions or as a result of an event. • Distributed Execution A workflow can be directed to execute on a particular node, or it can automatically be distributed to a node with the lowest load or lowest number of active workflows. • Version Handling All versions of workflows are saved during configuration, and it is possible to view and rollback to any previous version. • Workflow Templates Several workflows sharing the same configuration for a set of agents can have a mutual Workflow Template. A configuration change to the template will affect the configuration of all workflows based on it.
  13. 13. 13/32 • Meta Information Model (MIM) Upon configuration, a workflow provides a user-defined set of attributes - MIMs, which are shared among a set of agents. MIMs can be both static and dynamic. Agents Agents are the building blocks of workflows, providing the actual mediation functionality. There are two types of agents: Interface and Processing agents. Interface agents are used to integrate charge@once mediate with external systems, such as network elements, billing systems, etc. They implement the protocols used for exchange of data and control information. Processing agents complement the interface agents by providing comprehensive data analysis and manipulation capabilities. Using these agents all core mediation processing functions can be performed - both in real-time as in batch mode - like analyzing, filtering, aggregating, etc. charge@once mediate comes with a set of pre-defined Interface Agents configured and designed to collect and distribute the charging data (to enable the communication with inbound elements and outbound systems). More information on these can be found further on in this document in the chapter dedicated to the off the shelf interfaces and formats. Also, all information about the existing Agents in charge@once mediate is in the products customer documentation. charge@once mediate comes also with a set of pre-defined Processing Agents, designed to handle some important basic mediation tasks. Examples of charge@once mediate Agents are: • FTP Agent • SFTP Agent • GTP’ Agent • UDR Splitter Agent • Analysis Agent • Aggregation Agent • Database Agent • Real-Time Disk Forwarding Agent • Archiving Agent • Radius Agent • Diameter Agent • Log File Agent Additionally, other agents – both of Interface and Processing types - can be created or configured, through customization projects, according to customer needs.
  14. 14. 14/32 Graphical user interface (GUI) The drag-and-drop graphical management user interface covers all aspects of workflow life-cycle management. This includes modelling, configuration and execution of the workflows. Additionally, when workflows are created and configured, different versions can be stored. All versions are available for viewing, providing the user the whole history of the workflow. If so needed it is also possible to rollback to a previous version of a workflow. An example of a simple workflow is shown in the Figure 2 below. Note that this is just an example of a simple workflow but not necessarily an existing one in charge@once mediate. Figure 2 charge@once mediate Workflow example Flexible Data Format Management charge@once mediate provides the possibility to describe any Usage Data Record (UDR) structure using built-in format specification languages, enabling format management through configuration as opposed to coding. charge@once mediate uses the Ultra Format Definition Language (UFDL) to encode and decode the data. UFDL is a proprietary specification language, used to translate almost any type format (fixed, tagged, or with variable length). It includes support for standard format specification languages such as XML Schema and ASN.1/BER. It also supports proprietary formats. ASCII and Binary based Formats Any ASCII or binary based format is supported. The fields comprising the structure can be of the following types:
  15. 15. 15/32 • Integer types (int, bigint, byte, short, long) • Float types (float, double) • Raw data – bytearray • BCD encoded (bcd; read from left or right) • ASCII or EBCDIC ASN.1/BER Formats charge@once mediate includes direct support for ASN.1 format specifications. These can be directly imported into the system and a corresponding BER decoder/encoder is automatically generated. It can support for example GSM, TAP/RAP, GPRS, etc. XML Formats charge@once mediate includes direct support for XML Schema definitions. Any XML Schema definition can be imported into the system and a corresponding XML decoder/encoder is automatically generated. Business Rule Configuration Business rule configuration for customer specific data processing can be achieved using a compiled scripting language called Analysis Programming Language (APL). The APL language complements the off-the-shelf functionality provided by the agents, and provides a flexible mechanism to specify business rules to be applied on data. The language syntax resembles the Java and C programming languages. The APL can be customized and also extended (with custom plug-in functions) through customization projects. In this case, customers should contact Nokia Siemens Networks customization and integration consults. Error Correction charge@once mediate comes with an Error Correction System (ECS). The ECS is a repository for Usage Data Records (UDR) and batches that are found to be erroneous based on a predefined set of rules. The system has full support for automatic grouping of data, purging, and reprocessing. ECS provides capabilities for example to: • Group data associated with the same error classification • Examine the contents of UDRs and information related to the error encountered • View and edit data of individual UDRs as well as batches • Mark and initiate the re-processing • Delete data
  16. 16. 16/32 Utilities charge@once mediate provides valuable utilities as described in the following chapters. Event Notification Editor The Event Notification Editor acts as a receiver/distributor of all messages generated within the charge@once mediate system. It acts as a filter when collecting and streaming events to any of the following target systems: • Log file • Database • NetAct • Charge@once mediate System Log • E-Mail Additionally, through customization projects it is possible to integrate external systems with the event notification editor, according to customer requests and needs. UDR File Editor The UDR File Editor allows the manipulation of UDRs. As it uses the formatting subsystem, it is capable of decoding and encoding the information. It is used for examining, filtering and updating data files. It can be used to edit UDRs or create new ones, which is useful for instance to create test data. System Export and Import The system export and import functionality that comes with charge@once mediate is used for migrating configuration data between different systems, e.g. from development to test system or from test to production system. Exported information is stored in XML based files that can be optionally zipped and password encrypted. A graphical tool is available to manage this functionality.
  17. 17. 17/32 Operations and Management charge@once mediate includes a rich set of applications and functionalities to address operations and management needs. They are presented shortly in the following subchapters. System Statistics and Utilization Measures charge@once mediate can record system statistics at regular intervals. This information can be used to monitor the performance of workflows or the utilization of hardware. The statistical information can be viewed graphically over any period and it can also be printed. With this statistical information accessible whenever needed, in a user friendly way, it is possible to monitor the mediation system, see how it is performing, detect any utilization growth (also if abnormal situations occur) and plan for HW expansions if and when necessary. It is also possible to detect any differences in workflow performance if for example there are changes in the network, changes in the functionality of the system, etc. With these tools and measures, operators and service providers can easily have an understanding of the performance of their mediation system, an understanding of their current network utilization (for example in terms of amounts of generated charging data) and additionally plan for future needs. Auditing charge@once mediate provides auditing and statistical information related to workflows. Auditing means review and examination of system records to test the adequacy and effectiveness of data security and data integrity procedures. The purpose of auditing is to ensure compliance with established security policy and operational Procedures. The audit information can be recorded on a workflow basis or on a consolidated basis. The audit covers normal workflow execution as well as re-processing of data. The audit information can include any data available for the workflow execution, like for example the workflow name, the source filename, the route name, etc. Auditing information is useful to track changes and their history and have that information available at any time. With this it is possible to know for example which workflow was changed and what change was done and when. If there are any issues related to changes then they can easily be traced by checking the audit information. Auditing, or the information on “which did what and when”, can also be very useful when checking system statistics because it provides additional information to those measures.
  18. 18. 18/32 Log files charge@once mediate has a logging mechanism that allows observing the system’s behaviour and recording it. Information related to system functions and operability, performance, unsuccessful operations and detected anomalies is written into log files. The log files contain messages (logs) that come from different parts of the system. These can be related to system events but also related to the communication with external systems. For example, it is possible to have logs related to workflow execution, status of nodes, errors, etc., as well as messages related to the incoming or outgoing traffic. The messages can be merely informative or they might be related to errors that require some actions. There can be several log levels and these can be defined and customized. Logging can also be utilized for debugging. User Access Control The access to different charge@once mediate applications is managed on a group level through the Access Controller application. Every application contains a set of base permissions, but a new set of permissions can be created for a specific user group. Every user is a member of at least one user group and there is at least one group with granted access to each charge@once mediate application. All actions performed by users are logged into an available logging system. Task Management The charge@once mediate come with a Task Manager application that executes user defined programs or SQL statements on a periodic basis. It includes a set of standard tasks responsible for cleaning out outdated runtime data (for instance old system log entries and reprocessed UDR from ECS). Additionally, through customization projects, it is possible to create any custom task, according to customers’ requests and needs. Workflow Management The Workflow Manager controls and monitors all workflows. Once they are configured, the Workflows can be scheduled, executed, activated and deactivated. The Workflow Manager provides dynamic views of all workflows in the system. Views are configured by the user, and can include items like: • Execution Context * • Current file processing information • Next schedule time * Note: more details on this can be found from chapter 7
  19. 19. 19/32 Figure 3 The Workflow Manager Alarms charge@once mediate supports a set of predefined alarms. These alarms can be related to an error in the system’s functionality (i.e. in the application SW) or they can be related to malfunctions in the HW side. The alarms don’t always have to be related to malfunctions but they can also be related to, for example, the usage of the resources. By default, all alarms are sent to NetAct, using NetAct’s own proprietary interface (NE3S). The alarm functionality of charge@once mediate includes: • Pre-integrated with Nokia Siemens Networks NetAct (through the NE3S interface) • Application level alarms • Platform alarms* • Resource utilization alarms * Note: This requires a customer specific customization Below are some examples of alarms that are implemented in charge@once mediate. A complete list of existing alarms is included in the product’s customer documentation set: • Disk Writing Failure and Disk Reading Failure alarms • Collecting Queue Full alarm • High CPU Load and High Memory Usage alarms, with different levels, depending on the amount or percentage defined in thresholds for CPU load or RAM usage • Low Amount of Free Disk Space alarms, with different levels depending on the percentage of disk space used
  20. 20. 20/32 Besides from the default functionality of charge@once mediate related to the alarms, through customization projects it is also possible to extend this functionality. For example, it is possible to create new customer specific alarms, it is possible to use SNMP traps for alarm sending and it is also possible to send alarms to other systems other than NetAct. All the customer needs related to these will have to be analyzed. Key performance indicators Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure the performance of charge@once mediate, in terms of availability, volumes and quality of the service. This concerns, for example, the number of UDRs that are processed during a certain time period. The charge@once mediate is pre-integrated with NetAct, using the product’s proprietary interface: NE3S. The charge@once mediate Performance Monitoring functionality uses this interface to connect to NetAct. The interface allows sending request to charge@once mediate and gets the requested KPIs. Below are listed some examples of KPIs available in charge@once mediate: • Number of valid data units received (in terms of GTP’ packets or kilobytes of data or number of messages) • Number of Potential Duplicate Packets received (for GTP’) • Number of discarded GTP’ packets received • Number of received UDRs per supported CDR type • Number of aggregated UDRs for each supported UDR type • Number of rejected UDRs for all UDR types A complete list of existing KPIs is included in the product’s customer documentation set. Additionally, if new KPIs are required by the customer, these can be analysed and possibly created through customization. Also through a customization project it is possible to configure KPI sending to other systems other than to the default which is NetAct. Capacity licensing The UDR processing capacity licensing is monitored and controlled by a licensing mechanism. The mechanism counts the UDRs processed per day and reports that in a charge@once mediate log file. There is also a KPI for capacity licensing that is collected by NetAct. The licensing mechanism is synchronized with the licensed capacity that the operator has purchased. Each time the capacity is expanded a new license file is delivered for and installed in charge@once mediate. The capacity licensing helps to monitor the usage of the charge@once mediate installation and to plan the hardware capacity evolution. The licensing mechanism helps to report usage trends and to proactively adjust the licensed capacity level for holidays, sports event and other expected major service usage peaks. Both long term and short term licenses are available.
  21. 21. 21/32 Backups charge@once mediate supports two different types of backups as described below. Disaster recovery backup This type of backup is related to the system configuration and it is important for recovering all system configuration data in case of a system crash or other disaster situation. charge@once mediate comes with a productized solution for customers to do a backup of this type. The solution is described in the product documentation. UDRs backup In charge@once mediate it is possible to backup data (incoming and processed) by using customized solutions that are based on existing enterprise solutions. charge@once mediate does not come with a productized solution for the UDR backup as the customers can use any commercial solution available in the market. However, if so needed, customers can get help from Nokia Siemens Networks on this matter, by contacting the local organization to implement and customize such a solution.
  22. 22. 22/32 Runtime environment charge@once mediate is built on the most modern software technologies available today. It has been designed with the objective to meet the challenges of a single-point-of control and multi-point execution paradigm. Based entirely on Java technology, its architecture provides a distributed, heterogeneous computing environment with high level flexibility in terms of deployment options. The charge@once mediate Execution Platform is designed around a control- and execution-zone concept: Figure 4 charge@once mediate execution environment architecture Through this architecture, the charge@once mediate control zone can distribute mediation functions to any number of execution contexts. The charge@once mediate control zone maintains the configuration and transactional integrity in a centralized way. This provides a distributed execution platform, which coordinates all transactions, ensuring the consistency and reliability of the data. High-performance computing is ensured by the distribution of data processing to multiple machines. charge@once mediate is build on a clustered, High-availability HW platform. Execution Architecture charge@once mediate combines the main benefits of two prevalent types of computing system architectures:
  23. 23. 23/32 • Centralized - Data security and ease of maintenance • Distributed - Processing scalability and partitioning of functionality over multiple servers and execution nodes This architecture carries for example the following benefits: • Unlimited scalability through the support of any number of networked nodes in the same charge@once mediate system • Reduction of operation and maintenance efforts ensuring a consistent management configuration Logically, the charge@once mediate is layered into three different zones: • Access Zone – The operations and maintenance layer, where users access the system through the graphical user interfaces. • Control Zone – The control layer hosts the runtime control environment. It controls the distribution aspects of the system. • Execution Zone – The execution or processing layer is the layer where all the workflows are executed. Figure 5 charge@once mediate logical execution architecture The functionality of any of the zones mentioned above may be distributed over one to any number of nodes. This allows optimal hardware utilization. A load-balancing algorithm determines the right execution context for the execution of a workflow.
  24. 24. 24/32 Security charge@once mediate solution can be configured to use secure and authenticated communication between the different, distributed parts of the system. X.509 certificates are used to ensure the authenticity of the client and server and SSL is used to encrypt the information passed between the client and the server. Open architecture A key objective behind the design of charge@once mediate is to deliver the maximum flexibility. This is equally true from the perspective of modeling business requirements, as well as with respect to runtime deployments, operation and maintenance. charge@once mediate provides support for a wide range of standard communication protocols and includes comprehensive processing functionality to meet industry mediation requirements. The charge@once mediate open and modular architecture is built around a number of high-level programming APIs. These APIs can be used and configured according to customers needs through customization projects. The APIs are comprised of a number of Java interfaces enabling seamless extension of the charge@once mediate. Through the customization it is possible to develop platform extensions, such as support for vendor- and customer-specific protocols and requirements. In customization projects it is possible to extend charge@once mediate in the following areas: • Workflow Agents - for extending charge@once mediate agent base with new interface and processing agents. • UDR Management - APIs for management of charge@once mediate UDRs, including their creation, manipulation and viewing • User Interface Extensions - APIs for extending the graphical user interface with additional menus and dialog boxes • APL Plug-ins - APIs for extending charge@once mediate language (APL) with custom functions • Event Notification - APIs for extending charge@once mediate event and alarm mechanism with custom events and callbacks • Tasks Management - APIs for extending charge@once mediate task mechanism with custom tasks
  25. 25. 25/32 Off the shelf interfaces and formats charge@once mediate is provided with a set of off the shelf collection interfaces for collecting records from different elements from ex-Nokia, ex-Siemens and Nokia Siemens Networks, as well as distributor interfaces for delivering processed UDRs to post-processing systems and operation support systems. charge@once mediate comes also with pre-defined workflows for the processing of data. These workflows include the usage of default interfaces, as well as default output formats. In case new interfaces or data formats are needed, this can be done through a customization project. Collection Interfaces The charge@once mediate collection interfaces are interfaces that are pre-integrated and tested. This integration and testing is done between several Nokia Siemens Networks elements (and several releases of those elements) and charge@once mediate. charge@once mediate understands the data (fields, formats, content) coming from these pre-integrated network elements. It requires no customization work for collecting charging data from these elements, as they are ready-made and easy to adapt. The input interfaces are also maintained and updated as needed, across new releases of the network elements. Additionally, charge@once mediate provides default workflows to process the UDRs coming from these interfaces. For more information on these predefined workflows, refer to the chapter 11 below. The supported off the shelf collection interfaces and their data format(s) are listed below: • 2G-SGSN (GTP’ and FTP*) – Binary • 3G-SGSN (GTP’ and FTP*) – TLV • GGSN (GTP’) – TLV • FISN (GTP’) –TLV • PoC (GTP’) – TLV • MSC, MSC server (FTP) – Binary (ex-Siemens like CDR format in release 2.2) • VoIP/ NVS (FTP) – Binary • IMS (only ex-Siemens) (SFTP) – ASN.1 • MMSC (FTP) (supported in rel 2.2) • SMSC (FTP) (supported in rel 2.2) • FISN (Online) Diameter (supported in rel 2.2) • IACC (Online) CORBA (supported in rel 2.2) * Note! FTP in the SGSNs is only to be used as a backup transfer mechanism.
  26. 26. 26/32 Distribution Interfaces The off the shelf distribution interfaces provided in charge@once mediate are pre-integrated and tested. These interfaces are used for the data flow from charge@once mediate to a UDR post processing system, like a billing system, a data warehouse, a fraud system or a system used for data statistics. Also charge@once mediate comes with some pre-defined output UDR formats. These are used in the default UDR processing workflows and can also be used in new customized workflows whenever needed. Additionally it is possible to create new output formats through a customization project. The charge@once mediate supports one off the shelf distribution interface: • Traffica interface
  27. 27. 27/32 Off the shelf collection and distribution agents charge@once mediate is provided with a set of off the shelf collection and distributor agents. These agents provide functionality that can be of generic or non-generic nature. Such extensions provide functionality to handle service, protocol, or vendor specific requirements that are dependent on each deployment environment. These agents are to be used when interfacing charge@once mediate with 3rd party systems or products. The off the shelf supported extension agents are listed below. The list is for all mediation types (batch, real-time and active mediation) as it includes agents for both online and off-line. The agent(s) needed for each customer depends on the case: Collection agents • FTP (push and pull and control file FTP) • Diameter (server) • TCP/IP • Radius (Accounting data interface) • SNMP • HTTPD (request/response) • SFTP Distribution agents • FTP (push and pull) • SFTP Typically, the use of these agents require some integration, however, the basic capability exists in charge@once mediate. Additionally, if a specific adapted interface is required for a customer, a customization project is needed.
  28. 28. 28/32 Supported off the shelf workflows charge@once mediate includes also the CGF functionality as the Nokia Charging Gateway does. The supported off the shelf workflows are implemented as part of the charge@once mediate solution. In Charging Gateway these were called default processing rules. A workflow is a set of basic rules defined to process UDRs coming from a certain system(s) or element(s). Each of these workflows has its own way of handling the data. This can include for example aggregation, correlation and filtering. The detailed functionality of each workflow and the versions of the network elements supported are defined in the product’s customer documentation. Predefined workflow for ex-Nokia Packet core and ICD (differentiated charging) CDR processing This is a default workflow configuration designed to handle UDRs from ex-Nokia’s Packet core/ ICD elements, namely ex-Nokia’s GGSNs/ISNs with service aware CDRs (G-CDRs and SA-CDRs) and SGNSs (2G and 3G, S-, M-, SMSMO- and SMSMT- CDRs). Several releases of the products are supported. This workflow includes processing different CDR types and versions from the different elements. For example, the data is collected, validated and aggregated when applicable (aggregation of S- , G- and SA- CDRs) and written in a certain predefined output format. (Note, this is just an example of how this type of data could be processed in charge@once mediate). Predefined workflow for ex-Nokia PoC CDR processing This workflow was designed to handle CDRs coming from ex-Nokia’s Push to talk (PoC) servers. The PoC servers generate different CDR types and all those types are considered in this ruleset. The data received from ex-Nokia PoC server is for example collected, converted, validated, aggregated (if the aggregation is not done in the PoC servers), correlated and written in a certain predefined output format. (Note, this is just an example of how this type of data could be processed in charge@once mediate). Predefined workflow for ex-Nokia MSC CDR processing This workflow has been designed to process CDRs coming from ex-Nokia’s MSCs. The data is for example collected, converted, validated, aggregated when applicable, routed and correlated. The processed data is written in a suitable output format. (Note, this is just an example of how this type of data could be processed in charge@once mediate).
  29. 29. 29/32 Additional predefined workflows (rel 2.2) Additional predefined workflows will be implemented in rel 2.2. These include workflows for processing IMS data, conversion from Nokia Siemens Networks' MSC/MSS data to comply with Siemens output format, for MMSC data, SMSC data, for IACC and for Flexi ISN Ro-interface data (active mediation). These workflows are implemented only as examples on how to process the data and may require additional customisation.
  30. 30. 30/32 Hardware Platforms Nokia Siemens Networks charge@once mediate has been designed to conform to common scalability and high availability requirements of telecommunication industry. The basic design principle has been to provide both flexibility and required resilience into the system to such a degree that it suits to divergent operator demands and environments. So, the capacity of charge@once mediate, level of redundancy and high availability characteristics depends on the particular UCS system configuration. The HW configurations are highly scalable supporting any UDR processing capacity needs from a CGF function to full scale mediation. HP Itanium RX class configurations charge@once mediate is installed in the HP Itanium RX class server platform. The operating system of the HP platform is HP-UX. The HP rx configuration that is appropriate for each customer depends on the customer’s case and requirements. The HP rx HW models supported in charge@once mediate are rx2660 and rx2620 (supported only when Nokia Charging Gateway is migrated to charge@once mediate. Note that the CG HW supported in charge@once mediate might require some extensions, depending on the servers configurations and on customers requirements). The HW itself can be working independently or it can be clustered, depending on the solution and HW model chosen. The minimum configuration if of at least two servers and it scales up by adding more servers. All the HW components can be installed in the same rack or in different racks depending on the operator’s organizational and functional needs. Besides from the HW itself also other components may be part of the platform, depending on the customers needs. These other components may include external disk storage systems and clustering SW (this one only for the clustered solutions). More details on this can be found in the next sub-chapters. HP rx models supported rx2660 - clustered high-available or stand-alone solution The rx2660 server model can be deployed either as a clustered high-available or as a stand-alone solution. The high-available solution consists of minimum of two rx2660 servers, EMC CLARiiON disk system and high-availability SW components. The stand-alone solution includes rx2660 servers with internal disks. External disk system can be deployed when more data storage space is needed. The stand-alone solution supports n+1 resiliency. rx2620 stand-alone solution This HW model is supported only for CG customers that want to migrate to charge@once mediate and want to keep their existing rx2620 server This model is not available for new charge@once mediate deliveries. They support mainly the CGF functionality, but can be used in a full mediation
  31. 31. 31/32 solution. However a clustered high-available rx2660 hardware solution is recommended for mediation cases. The rx2620 servers support n+1 resilience. charge@once mediate supports also the existing EMC and HP external storage systems. All details on the HW models and configurations, including storage options, are delivered in the products customer documentation. More about high-availability and resilience can be found in a dedicated sub-chapter in this document. Data Storage In charge@once mediate the data storage solution can be dimensioned according to the amount of data to be stored and the period of time the data has to be stored. For existing customers migrating to charge@once mediate and using the existing rx HW models (rx2620 and rx2660), both internal disks and external disk storage solutions are supported. The new deliveries with rx2660 stand-alone solution can be delivered either with internal disks or external storage system. In the clustered high-available solution, the external storage system has to be always included. The HP MSA1500 and EMC CLARiiON CX500 storage systems that have been delivered for Nokia Charging Gateway are still supported in charge@once mediate (migration) cases. In new deliveries of charge@once mediate EMC CLARiiON CX3-20 data storage system is supported. High Availability and Resilience HW High Availability configuration In charge@once mediate high availability means that there is no single point of failure in the HW solution. This ensures the collection and processing of UDRs without downtime due to a possible malfunction in one of the machines that are part of the charge@once mediate HW platform configuration. The charge@once mediate rx2660 clustered high availability solution is built with an EMC CLARiiON external disk storage system and Veritas cluster server SW solution. All the critical components of the hardware are redundant. HW Resiliency configuration Resilience means that there is at least one active network element or server and one backup network element or server available to overcome possible failure situations. charge@once mediate
  32. 32. 32/32 uses the resilience concept on the server level. The HP rx configuration (with the rx2660 and rx2620 models) consists of n+1 HW machines and data storing (with internal or external disks). It guarantees that there is always additional processing capacity available if one charge@once mediate machine is temporarily out of service. This can be achieved by distributing the load in between the different servers and making sure that one of them can take all the load in an emergency situation or it can be done by keeping always one server in stand-by mode to take all load when needed. The critical components of the hardware are also redundant. Resilience can be achieved due to the usage of GTP’ protocol. This protocol used between several network elements and charge@once mediate has functions for checking that the HW machines are operational. This protocol controls the traffic between the network elements and charge@once mediate, making sure that no data is lost if one server is down. The main design principle for the platform is high cost-performance ratio so that the platform is cost-efficient even in the smallest networks. The minimum configuration of two HW machines can be extended for more processing power by adding more HW.
  33. 33. 33/32 Glossary 3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project API Application Programming Interface APL Analysis Programming Language ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange CAPEX Capital Expenditure CCS Convergent Charging Server CDR Charging Data Record CG Charging Gateway CGF Charging Gateway Function CLM Cluster Management node CME Convergent Mediation Engine CPS Connection Processing Server CS Circuit Switched DB Database EBCDIC Extended Binary-coded Decimal Interchange Code ECS Error Correction System FISN Flexi-ISN FTP File Transfer Protocol GGSN Gateway GPRS Support Node GPRS General Packet Radio Service GSM Global System for Mobile communications GTP’ Enhanced GPRS Tunnelling Protocol GUI Graphical User Interface HW Hardware IACC In-advance Credit Checking ICD Intelligent Content Delivery system IMS IP Multimedia Subsystem ISN Intelligent Service Node KPI Key Performance Indicators MIM Meta Information Model MMS Multimedia Messaging Service MPN Mediation Processing Node MSC Mobile Services Switching Centre
  34. 34. 34/32 NE3S Nokia enhanced SNMP solution suite O&M Operation and Maintenance OPEX Operating Expenditure PoC Push to talk over Cellular PS Packet Switched SDR Service Detail Record SFTP Secure FTP SGSN Serving GPRS Support Node SMSC Short Message Service Centre SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol SQL Structured Query Language SSL Secure Sockets Layer SW Software TA Traffic Analyser TAP Transferred Account Procedure TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol TLV Type-length-value coding UDR Usage Data Record UFDL Ultra Format Definition Language VoIP Voice over IP XML Extensible Markup Language

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