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Alcatel 1400

General Introduction
Release 2.3

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GENERAL INTRODUCTION
This document is a general introduction to Release 2.3 of the Alcatel IN platform. More detailed information is provided in specific documents about platform architecture, platform services and the service creation tool chain.

Introduction

Audience

This document is suited for readers who want to get a quick and easy overview of the features of Release 2.3 and of the service opportunities it can offer. More detailed technical information can be found in the document Architecture and Functionality.

Prerequisites

This document has been designed to be readily understandable. However, readers that are new to telecommunications and Intelligent Networks are advised to read first the document IN Concepts.

Glossary

Due to the immeasurable number of abbreviations used in the telecommunications world and to the limited interest of tables translating acronyms into full denominations but never explaining them, it has seemed useful to provide the reader with a separate Glossary of IN terminology. This glossary is best used in its hypertext version, which provides easier access to the definitions.

Online documentation

This document as well as any available documentation about Alcatel IN platform Release 2.3 is provided online, in hypertext format. We warmly recommend to take advantage from this facility. It presents all graphics and figures with meaningful colours and offers a full text search allowing instant access to the information wanted.

Contents

This document contains chapters on the following topics. A first look ....................................................................................................... Evolution of Intelligent Networks ................................................................. Platform Architecture .................................................................................... IN Services: Applications and Opportunities .............................................. Migration ......................................................................................................... 3 17 41 94 132

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A first look Overview


This chapter presents a short overview of the architecture of Alcatel IN platform Release 2.3.

Introduction

Prerequisites

Readers that are not familiar with telecommunications and Intelligent Networks are advised to read first the document IN Concepts.

Contents

This document covers the following topics. The IN platform................................................................................................ IN Platform Basic Components........................................................................ Scenarios for an IN call .................................................................................. 4 8 10

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The IN platform
A platform is a combination of software and hardware components. The Alcatel IN platform is such a combination dedicated to the development, provisioning and management of IN services.

Definition

Description

All of the software commonly required for a range of services is included on a stable platform that seldom changes. When a new service is installed, only the parts that are unique to the service need to be developed and placed on the existing platform. This drastically reduces the time required to implement a new service.

... Freephone Calling Card Televoting Personal Number (PN)

Intelligent N etw ork Platform Access N etw ork (PSTN, ISDN ...)

Access to the IN With the Intelligent Network, new services can be introduced and accessed from any terminal in the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), Integrated platform Services Digital Network (ISDN), Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) and IP Network, designated in the figure above as access network. Switching functions provide access to the services on the IN platform. These switching functions can be accessed by: local, toll, and international exchanges of the fixed network, mobile switching centres (MSCs).
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The IN platform, Continued


An IN platform can be described according to several models. The following description focuses on physical components. More information about the conceptual model is provided further on. The figure below shows the four main components of an IN platform.

Platform components

SMP
statistics

access control statistics data management

data access INAP operations

SLEE

data access

call treatment

SDP
data server

SSP
switching function

Part SSP SLEE

Function Service Switching Point/Function Service Logic Execution Environment NOTE: a specialised SLEE is the Service Control Point (SCP) in a Compaq environment, implementing the Service Control Function (SCF).

SDP SMP

Service Data Point/Function Service Management Point/Function

An Alcatel IN platform also includes: Part SCE SRP Function Service Creation environment: for design and testing of new or modified services. Specialised Resource Point: for announcement handling and DTMF (or push-button) reception. NOTE: Depending on configuration, the SRP can be internal to the Service Switching Point (SSP) or an external component, or both.
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The IN platform, Continued


The picture below shows an Alcatel IN Platform integrating an SCE and an SRP.
Network & Service management

Platform components (continued)

Service Management Point Service Creation Environment Service Data Point Signalling Transfer Points, Service Switching Points

Special Resources Point

Service Control Point

PSTN, ISDN, ...

Mobile, ...

Enterprise

IP, ...

The Service Switching Point hosts the Service Switching Function. This belongs to Service Switching Point the access network and will communicate with the SCP. Its main function is to invoke call and non-call related services on the IN platform. The SSP can be part of a PSTN/ISDN network, but other networks are possible like PLMN, IP etc. The hardware used to implement the SSF depends on the access network.

Service Control Point

The Service Control Point hosts the Service Control Function. This commands call control functions in the processing of IN provided and/or custom service requests. The SCF may interact with other functional entities to access additional logic or to obtain information (service or user data) required to process a call/service logic instance. The Service Control Function: interfaces and interacts with Service Switching Function/Call Control Function, specialised resource function (SRF) and service data function (SDF) functional entities; contains the logic and processing capability required to handle IN provided service attempts; interfaces and interacts with other SCFs, if necessary; is managed, updated and/or otherwise administered by a Service Management Function.
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The IN platform, Continued


The Service Data Point implements the Service Data Function. This is a particular service aimed to be used as data server (and even object server) by other services. It hosts all the data related to the services running on the IN Platform. The Service Data Function contains customer and network data for real time access by the SCF in the execution of an IN provided service. It: interfaces and interacts with SCFs as required; interfaces and interacts with other SDFs, if necessary; is managed, updated and/or otherwise administered by an SMF. The SDF contains data relating directly to the provision or operation of IN provided services. Thus it does not necessarily encompass data provided by a third party, such as credit information, but may provide access to these data.

Service Data Point

Service Management Point

The Service Management Point hosts the Service Management Function. This entity is involved with activities for service deployment, service provisioning, control, monitoring and billing.

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Alcatel IN Platform Basic Components


The Alcatel 1400 Intelligent Network platform consists of dedicated components: A1452 Service Creation Environment (SCE) Engineering Tool. A1000 Service Switching Point (SSP), A1425 Service Control Point (SCP), A1435 Service Management Point (SMP), A1410 Specialised Resource Point (SRP). Each component is responsible for several intelligent network functions. Standardised interfaces ensure smooth transfer of data between the IN components and with public telecommunications networks. The hardware and software needed for every component are briefly described below.

Introduction

The SCE

The SCE hardware architecture is built over a Local Area Network (LAN) and includes the following components: one or more Engineering Tool Personal Computer(s) (Pentium recommended) an SCE Software Factory and file server based on a DEC AlphaServer.

The SSP

The SSP gives any service user, anywhere in the network, access to services provided through its links with the SCPs. Two network levels the public telephone network level and the Intelligent Network level meet at the SSP. The Alcatel 1400 Intelligent Network can use the functions of the existing public switch to support intelligent network services. An Alcatel 1000 E10, Alcatel S12 switch, or another vendor switch, can be configured as the IN SSP.

The SCP

An SCP contains Front End Processor (FEP) and Back End Processor (BEP) machines running on Compaq Alpha servers inter-connected by a Local Area Network (LAN) [(Ethernet/Fibre Distribution Data Interface (FDDI)]. FEP and BEP functions can be implemented on a single machine or on several machines. The SCP uses the following Digital software: Digital UNIX, DEC SS7. Oracle database software for the SCP includes: Oracle Server Oracle SQL*Plus.
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Alcatel IN Platform Basic Components, Continued


The hardware of the SMP includes: two server systems (Compaq Alpha Servers 4100 5/466 systems, depending on requirements) working in warm/standby mode, The systems share resources (data disks and I/O equipment) for connection to local and remote devices (operator and service customer terminals). Warm/standby means the system is up and running and the second server is ready to take over, should the first fail. a duplicated LAN, two Ethernet controllers per server, two Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) controllers and two SCSI buses per group of disks, data disks configured as shared disks; in this way, the disks are accessible by both systems (although not simultaneously), mirrored disks for all groups (System disk, Swap disk and data disks). In addition, data and system disks are hot swap disks. A failed disk can be changed while the system is running, without service shutdown. The software architecture has three main components: operating system (see SCP), Oracle server (see SCP), SMP platform (beyond the scope of this introduction).

The SMP

The SRP

The Alcatel 1410 SRP is offered in two modes: SRP integrated in Alcatel SSP for Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) detection and transmission of announcements. (Typically, the integrated SRP is used for quick service handling.) External SRP, offering additional functions such as user interaction through speech recognition, voice store / forward... The External SRP is based on the Transvox Voice Processing Server.

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Scenarios for an IN call


This section gives a general description of how the components of an Alcatel Intelligent Network interact in handling a call.

Overview

Contents

The following interactions are discussed below: Service user to SSP........................................................................................... SSP to SCP: the actual call handling................................................................ Scenario for a Voice-over-IP call ..................................................................... 11 12 15

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Service user to SSP


Each call that requires treatment as an IN service is routed through the public telephone or mobile switching networks (PSTN/ISDN/PLMN) to the Service Switching Point (SSP) network node designated for that service.

Overview

The user accesses the network

The service user accesses the network through a network switch, either a transit exchange (TX) or a local exchange (LE). This network switch may contain software enabling it to be configured as an SSP or may, after identifying the call as an IN related call, direct it to the appropriate SSP.

The SSP can recognize a call as an IN-related call because of a service access The SSP recognises an IN number (SAN). A SAN contains the prefix code of the desired service. The SSP uses the SAN information and criteria in its trigger tables to analyze the call. call The triggering of the SSP can also start from the switch itself. In mobile networks, the entire dialed number identifies the call as an IN call. A mark in the LE or TX switch recognizes from this number that the call is an IN call. The call is then directed to a Mobile Network Switch (MSC) or Radio Mobile Control Point (RCP), and then to an SSP.

Next step

The SSP will gather all necessary information and forward it to the SCP (Service Control Point).

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SSP to SCP: the actual call handling


The handling of an IN call is shared between: the SCP, which controls the overall operation, and the SSP, which forwards the information to and from the SCP. Some generic situations based on this model are described below.

Overview

First relay to the SCP

As the access point for all IN services, the SSP contains two functions needed to relay calls in the IN: the Call Control Function (CCF), the Service Switching Function (SSF). After receiving the call to a service, the SSP analyzes it and determines where the SCP for that service is physically located in the IN network. The SSP gathers the information needed to proceed with the call (for example, the caller's identity). Then the SSP requests the SCP responsible for the service to take charge, and forwards the needed information. The SSP completes the call routing by following the data and call handling commands which come to it from the SCP.

Call handling at When the SCP receives the request to intervene in a service call, it selects the service script based on the input message from the SSP. SCP level Call handling is ensured by: service scripts. They describe the type and sequence of executable actions per service. a library of elementary actions (Service-Independent Building Blocks or SIBs). SIBs are made up of standard and specific subroutines that actually control the handling of the requested service. The software in the SCP analyses the script of the called service, launches the elementary actions indicated in the script, monitors their execution and remotely controls the SSP. The SCP can, for example, instruct the SSP to play a recorded announcement through a connection with the Specialised Resource Point (SRP)or to establish a connection between a network input and a network output. The SCP can also direct the SSP to set up a connection, establish a charge ticket, and supervise the resulting call events. The SSP notifies the SCP about the information it receives through the SRP. Besides interacting with the SSP, the SCP records all service related data in its database. This data is automatically updated into the SMP database.
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SSP to SCP: the actual call handling, Continued


The SCP translates the SAN dialed by the user into a destination number (routing number) in the PSTN/ISDN/PLMN.

Example: number translation

SAN PSTN ISDN PLMN Routing number

SSP

SCP

Translation

Protocols used

During the call, the SCP and the SSP exchange information in the form of INAP operations (for example, charging data, or end of call.) Communication between the SSP and the SCP uses the Common Channel Signaling System Number 7 (CCS7) network with Transaction Capability Application Part (TCAP) as the application layer. One TCAP dialog is opened for each IN call. The dialog stays open as long as the SSP and the SCP need to exchange information related to the IN call.

Call data collection

At the end of a call, the SSP sends a call record to the SCP. For each IN call, the SCP constructs a call record, called a ticket, which contains all relevant data for that call. The SCP then sends these tickets to the SMP, where they provide statistics and, optionally, charging. A record contains two parts: a common part that has the same parameters no matter what the service (e.g., called number, call start time, etc.), a service-dependent part that contains parameters that are unique to the specific service. The SCP sends the records to the SMP at the very moment when it hands back control over the call to the SSP (at the end of the call from the IN viewpoint). If communication with the SMP is impossible, the SCP stores the records until communication is restored. The SCP then transfers the buffered records to the SMP.
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SSP to SCP: the actual call handling, Continued


The picture belows illustrates the exchange of igformation that takes place between the SCP and the SSP on one side and from the SCP to the SMP on the other side.
SSP SMP

Simple Call handling

SCP Data : subscribers, services, technical Statistics observation

Service trigger

2 3

Service script

1
IN/ 0002

4 Data : services

Basic call

Call ticket

Call handling script

The figure below illustrates the sequence of actions defined in a simple service script.
User Dialling Triggering Service activation Validation Send annoucement Translation Call etablishment Conversation start Conversation Conversation end Stop call Call ticket Charging Statistics SSP SCP SMP

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Scenario for a Voice-over-IP call


Users with only one analog telephone line, that are frequently connected to the Internet, are blocking the line for incoming calls. For the network operator, all these calls to Internet users remain uncompleted and congest the network, while the calls for Internet connections generate extra revenue limited to the price of a local call. The basic idea of IN services like Browse and Talk, also known as Internet Call waiting, is to: notify user of of incoming telephone calls while he/she is surfing on the Internet deliver these incoming calls via alternative channels, depending on the users infrastructure and preferences. The following picture illustrates possible choices.

Description

IN

Notification only (ignore call) Pick up the call after Internet disconnection Call delivery to Call delivery to alternate destination voice mailbox

Call delivery to the surfers PC (Voice-over-IP)

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Scenario for a Voice-over-IP call, Continued


The following picture illustrates the scenario of a Voice-over-IP call. User B has selected the Call Delivery to PC option among the choices offered above. User A calls user B over PSTN. The SSP2 indicates that user B is busy surfing and triggers the Internet Call Waiting service on the SCP. The call is transferred to the SRP and delivered to user B Voice-over-IP application while user B keeps on surfing.
SSP 1 SCP SRP SSP 2

Scenario

User A

User B surfing

Call request IAM


B busy -> TDP13

ICW triggering

Keep alive procedure Connect to SRP IAM Call delivery V ( oIP) ANM ANM Call acceptance

Conversation

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Evolution of Intelligent Networks Overview


The Alcatel IN platform Release 2.3 provides new solutions that enable the development of next generation network applications. This introductory chapter describes , the concept of network applications, the evolution of the market and how solutions have evolved. It also describes the market drivers which Release 2.3 aims to address.

Introduction

Contents

This chapter contains the following topics. Evolution of Network Applications ............................................................... Market Evolution ........................................................................................... Platform Market Drivers ............................................................................... 18 21 37

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Evolution of Network Applications Overview


After a short description of the origin and development of intelligent services, this section presents the concept that underlies Release 2.3 : "Moving from Intelligent Networks to Intelligent Services". It describes the recent evolution of the market, the major topics, and roles for new intelligent network applications.

Introduction

Contents

This section contains maps on the following topics. Moving to personalised services ...................................................................... Roles for Intelligent Services ........................................................................... 19 20

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Moving to personalised services


During the past decade, the telecommunications services have made a very significant change. They have shifted from providing physical systems and technical solutions to offering services focused on human behaviour, with a constantly growing knowledge content. The first stage consisted bringing intelligence to the network, allowing phone calls handling and management. The coming stage is to bring intelligence to the services, allowing: management of more IN calls, applications and features, connection from and to any network: voice / data, single user / corporate, Internet, etc, use of any terminal. Networks, terminals, services and human interfaces need to be redefined to become Intelligent Services focused on the human user.

Introduction

Networks

Different networks have different capacities: the 1999 user still had to change networks depending on what he wanted to do. Intelligent Services integrate networks to allow the user to use them according to his needs, but through a single access.

Terminals

The same applies with terminals. Intelligent Services address any terminal, not only phone sets and PCs. This is achieved mainly through intelligence added within the Specialised Resource Function, which has now the role of translating and presenting the information wanted.

Services

Intelligent Services put the user at the centre, not the technology. This can be seen: at network level: unified underlying networks and terminals; at assistance level: terminal presentation, interactive content services, push and push filtering; at application level: user-defined applications, applications collaboration, mobility.

Human interface

Finally, Intelligent Services present the user with a human interface. Examples of possibilities are: personalisation through profiles user voice, speech and language recognition dialogue mechanisms.

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Roles for Intelligent Services


Intelligent Services meet new e-commerce, m-commerce or even more generally eworld requirements by offering the following: integration of voice and web, integration with the business through the Computer/Telephony Interface, and integration of call and contact (Click-To-Talk).

Integration

Expansion

Intelligent Services expand beyond the traditional scope of pure voice-based services, allowing integration of call centres, e-commerce and operation support system (TMN) functions.

Customer interaction

Intelligent Services can also offer interactive functions specifically designed for customer care: information access and help, human contacts with expert agents, intelligent delivery and reachability, virtual and mobile agents, VoIP and VoADSL agents, and optimised use of the network features. These all turn Call Centres into Integrated Contact Centres.

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Market Evolution Overview


This section identifies market trends that have affected the evolution of Alcatel Intelligent Networks. The analysis covers three domains: Voice services IN@Internet Network Contact Centres

Introduction

From N7 towards IP

With the growth of wireless networking, Intelligent Networks have gradually come to cover a wide range of mobile and fixed-mobile converged (FMC) services. Today, however, the scope of Intelligent Networks is no longer limited to the Number 7 signalling based networks. The scope of IN is naturally expanding to IP based networks and results in fixed-mobile-data convergence services. In these, according to the IN philosophy, software building blocks and network elements are re-used to offer similar services on switched circuit and packet networks. The step Alcatel Intelligent Networks are now taking is to expand from pure voice services towards multimedia and net-commerce applications.
Scope VoI P WAP SS7based I N NetC om m erce Multim edia

& rm o f n t P la a nsio s p es m l s Ex a Se rvice Se


Tim e

Network services

A wide variety of IN services is available today, generating revenue for network operators and service providers on a daily basis (calling cards, number translation and routing, mass calling, universal number, virtual private networks, etc.). Intelligent Networks are due to follow this trend as the scope of services and applications is changing with the advent of the Internet. In the near future, Intelligent Networks or rather Network Applications Environment (NAE) will be able to handle new, distributed applications, providing

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services to both IP networks and end-users (directory, profile and policy, transaction, e-commerce, etc.).

new NAE domain traditional IN domain


OSP
GW IP content & i/a PSTN/ PLMN GW/ GK

PTSN/ PLMN

IN

IP
Content & interaction

User & terminal

User & terminal

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Voice Services
The percentage of telecommunication traffic treated by Intelligent Networks is constantly increasing with services such as mobile prepaid, number portability, VPN and personal number services. The evolution of these traditional IN services is driven by user centricity: Users subscribe to any combination of services and want to see it as one service; Users want their services to be transparently available on every network: fixed, mobile or data; Users want to personalize and manage their own service via different channels, e.g.: the Internet, a WAP-terminal or speech recognition. This results in more complex and personalised services.
Worldwide Revenue (B$) 1998 CAGR 800 Services 25.9 12% Calling Card 7.8 22% Calling Name 6.2 26% Voice Mail (VM) 4.3 11% VPN 4.2 41% Call Waiting 2.0 47% Wireless & others 1.1 48% Source: IWF 98 CAGR: Cumulative Annual Growth Rate

Evolution of IN Services

Share revenue per service - Europe


1996 VPN Toll Free Premium Rate Calling Card Personal Number Source: Schema 26% 23% 33% 16% 1% 2002 37% 29% 12% 10% 11%

Terminals

Terminal proliferation results in requirements for Intelligent Services that can address all these different types of terminals. The concept of the Specialised Resource Function is extended to become the layer between the information itself and the user. Examples of this new role for SRFs are WAP-gateways, speech recognition engines and text-to-speech converters. As the IN vendor will not be specialised in all these domains, the platform has to be open to integrate third-party solutions.

Real-time billing Todays drive for real-time billing comes mainly from the prepaid services of the mobile domain. However this trend is expanding towards the fixed telephony and data domain to support new payment models. Micro-payments for e-commerce are a typical example: it is too expensive and risky to use credit cards or post payment models, so more and more players are looking for real-time micro-payments using a prepaid account.
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Voice Services, Continued


The Information & Voice Service Environment IVSE - is the foundation for realising an operational implementation of Information & Content Delivery services. IVSE will be realised through smart combination and integration of complementary platforms and servers, all controlled and managed from one Operational Management Centre.

IVSE

Virtual Home Environment

Within IVSE, service subscriber/user will have its Virtual Home Environment (VHE) / Personal Service Environment (PSE) including services profile. The VHE/PSE is made possible through the following functions.

VHE/PSE functions

The home environment management allows users to define, to customise and to use their own personalised service environment (PSE) through a unique interface. EXAMPLE: Service customisation (setting of call-forwarding parameters, VPN parameters, ); homepage definition and customisation (to establish the list of preferred services and content to be included in the users homepage); homepage automatic enhancement (to adapt the homepage content and presentation depending on the user behaviour, the user profile analysis, the terminal characteristics...). The user management maintains a dynamic association between the end-user, the attached network and the terminal in use. EXAMPLE: User authentication (performing a mutual authentication between the user and the network operator/service provider), user access control, user location ( how to reach the user on the different targeted networks), user profile management, service management/adaptation (Services registration, access, etc.) The service management adapts the service to the current terminal and network capabilities.

A distributed architecture

The IVSE solution will be based on a Distributed Server Architecture. This includes, on top of the basic Open Platform Services, all servers and resources necessary for service's and subscriber's management and for services execution.
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Voice Services, Continued


This solution works in conjunction with Special Resources Servers like: Payment Server Location server UMS server WAP server Web server, and Mediation Server interfacing towards third party Servers where either external application or service information are residing.
Personal Service Environment
Third Party Server
Management Servers Third Party Servers Statistics Server Access Server Alarms Server Configuration Server

A distributed architecture (continued)

Payment Server

Distributed Environment
Information Delivery Scenario Service Prepaid ... Mediation Server

WAP Gateway

SMS Gateway

Voice Mail

Web Server

Location Server

Third Party Server

New services

The growth of the subscriber base and the increase of revenues can be ensured by creating new and more attractive packages of features, such as the combination of prepaid service, call sponsoring, information based services and even information push-based services, both linked to the user's profile and his location (locationbased services). The chapter Application Opportunities presents a lot of existing or future services. Some descriptions extracted from this chapter are given in the following table.
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UMS

Application Servers

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Voice Services, Continued

New services (continued)

Service

Description

Call sponsoring or The users place phone calls free of charge or at reduced prices. The calls are regularly interrupted by Sponsored advertisements. The frequency and the selection of the Calling Service advertisements is made in accordance with the service profile of the caller. Information based services Such services provide the calling party with the information required: directory services, orders and deliveries, assistance, parking lots, traffic status, movie schedules, restaurants Information is pushed to the subscribers based on their location even when they are not placing any calls.

Information push based services

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IN@Internet
One of the most significant revolutions in telecommunications is the explosive growth of the Internet and other TCP/IP based networks and services. Today, the volume of data traffic has overtaken that of voice. This will have a dramatic impact upon the nature of telecommunication networks. This growth is driven by: adaptation of Internet Protocol (IP) as the application integrating standard in the enterprise networks; new multimedia applications such as unified messaging, web-enabled call centres (accessed via web sites) and e-commerce which require voice over IP to be effective; more efficient use of capacity. At the same time, however, the projected revenues coming from voice services are much larger than those coming from other data services.
data and voice traffic evolution US long distance
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 88 90 92 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10

IP Traffic

US voice and data service revenues (million dollars)


200 150
$152 $159 $167 $176

Voice (CAGR 5%) Data (CAGR 25%)


$185 $194

data voice

100 50 0
$28 $36 $40

$16

$18

$23

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Year
(source: the Yankee Group, dec 98)

Year
(source: the Yankee Group, dec 98)

Voice over IP

IP Telephony or Voice-over-IP (VoIP) is a market fact. Since 1995, VoIP has been growing up into a mature technology, and IP telephony has become a serious business. VoIP products and services are entering both corporate and public networking. Today, almost all established and new telecom operators are either experimenting with it or deploying some VoIP services in their networks.

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IN@Internet: services
With its IN@Internet program, Alcatel is proposing a series of solutions to provide the best possible synergy between the PSTN, the Intelligent Network and the IP Network/Internet. Today, IN@Internet is focusing on four major domains: Dial-up access Convergence services Voice-over-IP Native IP services.

Introduction

Dial-up access

Dial-up access adds value to the connection between Internet surfers and ISPs. In todays Internet access scenario, the role of the local loop operator is limited to the offering of a local connection from the end-user to the ISP. IN provides alternative routing and billing for Internet access.

Convergence services

Convergence services combine the features of the telephony network and the Internet, bridging the voice and data worlds. Using the same telephone line for voice calls and for surfing the Internet means that users cannot receive or make calls whilst remaining online. Browse&Talk allows telephony subscribers to be alerted of incoming telephone calls while they are surfing on the Internet. With Click-to-Dial, Internet users can simply push a button on a web page to set up a voice communication over IP. Click-to-Dial is part of a new range of webassisted services allowing a call to be set up over any combination of fixed, voice and data networks. They also integrate Internet information browsing, human assistance and commercial transactions.

Voice-over-IP

Although todays VoIP usage is still driven by the lack of regulation of IP Telephony calls (e.g. VoIP allows users to make a long distance call for the price of a local one), market analysts agree that tomorrows market will only be able to flourish through the presence of Value Added Services for the end-user. As such, the availability of a powerful intelligence infrastructure with appropriate services (including both traditional voice services and new convergence services such as Click-to-Dial, Web Call Centres, etc) is to be considered as a major asset for any operator that aims to benefit from the data wave.
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IN@Internet: services, Continued


Native IP services offer new services over pure data networks. Although the IP network is often depicted as a stupid network, there is a major role to play for the Intelligent Network as a central intelligence for the converged voice-data network. Typical examples of these functions are profiles (mobile service data), policies (data-driven service scripts) and directory services.

Native IP services

IN
home

mobility

profiles policies directories

& roaming

office

travel

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IN@Internet: architecture and standards


Most of the present VoIP networks have both VoIP Gateways (GW) and Gatekeepers (GK) implemented. The figure below illustrates a typical Voice-over-IP network.
Phone terminals connecting to the VoIP network through GWs Gatekeeper is responsible for address resolution and AAA

Current architecture

PABX VoIP GW Dial-IP GW

VoIP GK VoIP GW PABX

PSTN
M
IP terminals with VoIP client software

IP
LAN

Gateways are converting voice to/from packets

The network is accessed using: phone terminals connected to the PSTN (possibly through PABX) or connected to the IP network computers (IP terminals) equiped with IP client software allowing to establish a VoIP connection connected to the PSTN via modems or connected to the IP network via LANs

Standards

The H.323 protocol is the most commonly used in VoIP networks. Some of the major initiatives in the area of voice and multimedia over IP are taking place in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
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IN@Internet: architecture and standards, Continued


They relate to the following domains: Standards (continued) Domain Protocol or standard Network architecture

Reference

ETSI project http://www.etsi.org/tiphon Telecommunications and Internet Protocol Harmonization Over Networks TIPHON ITU H.323 Packethttp://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/h/h323.html based multimedia communications systems IETF MEGACO Media Gateway Control ITU H.GCP/H.248 IETF Signalling Transport (SIGTRAN) http://www.ietf.org/ids.by.wg/megaco.html http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/h/index.html http://www.ietf.org/ids.by.wg/sigtran.html

Multimedia services and systems Breaking-down of the gateway into two parts Packet-based PSTN signalling over IP Networks

At the moment, some of these standardisation initiatives are converging. However, much work still remains to be done to make the IP network match the traditional switched circuit networks in following areas: reliability (Quality of Service) manageability (including charging and billing) richness of services. Alcatel is actively following up or participating in most of the initiatives mentioned above. This is to ensure a smooth evolution from its current products.

Services

Today, IP Telephony is mainly driven by the opportunity to make cheap telephone calls (toll bypass). However, market analysts agree that the VoIP market of tomorrow will only be able to flourish through the presence of Value-Added Services for the end-user. These services are already provided today by IN. A powerful intelligent infrastructure consists of the platform with capability to create and deploy new services, and these services themselves. Such an infrastructure is a major asset for any operator aiming to benefit from the new surge in data products and usage, regardless of the operators size, age and history. So far most of todays data and voice-over-data networks have limited or no intelligence, and are not designed to offer these services. Although Gatekeepers are often depicted as the best VoIP service platforms, in most cases their intelligence goes no further than providing Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting (AAA) and E.164-IP address resolution (AR).

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Call model

Some of the enabling factors for deploying Value Added Services in a communication environment are: the availability of an extensive call/session model, the ability to handle these calls/sessions (Call Control Function or CCF), and the possibility to initiate services based on call/session related conditions and events (Service Switching Function or SSF). Once CCF and SSF functions are present in the network, the role of the gatekeeper or the call server becomes a service enabler rather than a service itself. In a Value Added Service-oriented environment, the call server will give access to a number of user-oriented features such as: voice interaction, user profiles, secure access control, customer care, provisioning & activation, handling of alternate billing services, charging & accounting, intelligent call-handling, alarms, statistics, etc.

Network Application Environment

Alcatel is providing a central intelligence platform that will cement voice and data networks together. Whether in terms of Internet access, web-based management and provisioning of IN services, or voice-data convergent services, Alcatel IN is unlocking the possibilities of the Internet and VoIP.
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IN@Internet: architecture and standards, Continued


The figure below presents Alcatels competitive edge: one IN platform for fixed, mobile and IP voice services.

Network Application Environment (continued)

A Single IN Solut ion SMP SDP SRP SCP SCE

Mult i-net w ork ... Mult i-prot ocol ... Mult i-vendor

fixed

SSP PSTN ISDN PLMN VoIP GW Dial-IP GW

Call Server Dat a/IP

iSRP

(Vo)IP

m obile
Sam e Plat form ... Sam e Service Creat ion ... Sam e Service Managem ent ... Sam e + New Services

iSRF

In order to be able to offer the same services as those offered today on the switched voice network, the packet voice network will need to provide the same functions as the PSTN. One of these functions is the Special Resource Function (SRF), which plays voice announcements and collects DTMF input (information input through phone keypad), offering the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) functionality to services. Alcatels Internet Special Resource Point (iSRP) provides Interactive Voice Response (IVR) functions to the Voice-over-IP network. Controlled by IN service scripts, the iSRP can deliver voice announcements to the users terminals (phone or PC) over IP instead of over PSTN.

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Network Call Centres


Alcatels newest Intelligent Network is designed for close integration with call centre technology. The range of solutions offered includes: a low-cost, full IN-based-solution, with centralised management, distributed call centre positions, using VoIP for the agents, and cheap industrial PC for every point of presence. The high-end offer includes state of the art call centre technology from Genesys, a leading Alcatel subsidiary, seamlessly integrated with IN intelligence.

Introduction

Alcatel has brought its extensive experience in operator-assisted services from Operatorassisted Services switch-based solutions to an IN-based client-server architecture. This is in line with the industry standard approach in the business market. Examples of OAS are provided in the chapter Services Opportunities.

Operatorfallback

Existing IN services can be upgraded to provide integrated operator fallback. Integrated means that: the operator will be selected by the SCP based on his/her skills profile and the user profile (e.g.: language, type of subscription); the IN call context and user profile will be automatically presented to the operator. By tight integration with the call centre software, agents can handle the call and eventually give back the call control to the SCP to complete the call.

Network based call centre

There are now many more call centre agents in the network (e.g.: home workers), and carriers increasingly provide call centre functions themselves. This means that the call centre software needs to get more control over network resources (e.g.: by using network-based IVR systems). The Intelligent Network offers this control.
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Network Call Centres, Continued


The figure below gives an overview integrating these two complementary products. This allows a new range of network-based call centres to be deployed. Call centres are located at Telco Head Office and Branch Office/Customer Office. Users access call centres from PSTN or Internet, while SOHO Remote Agents cooperate with their call centre from home, being reached via ISDN/ADSL lines. NOTE: This picture is best viewed in the online documentation - with colors.
Branch Office Customer Office Telco Head Office
User User PABX

Network based call centre (continued)

SSP Network T-server IN Platform SCP/SMP SRP

SSP

PSTN Managed Intranet Internet

Genesys T-server

LAN

Web Server

ADSL

IP phone SOHO Remote Agent(s)

ISDN

Genesys T-server

LAN

User

User

SOHO Remote agent

Web enabled and IP-based calls

With the Internet, several possibilities for integrating voice and data are readily available. Starting from a web page, a caller can get in touch with an agent via a call-back or a call-through for a normal voice conversation. Thereafter, both can engage in collaborative browsing, push and pull of web pages, etc.
http://www.book-a-holiday.com
Hello, can I book a holiday?...

I N

web
network based
Do you want to pay with your Credit Card?

call distribution

consumers

content
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This type of extension to the traditional call centre is often called a web-enabled call centre. Voice is carried over PSTN and data over IP. The Intelligent Network provides the central intelligence that will handle the communication request in co-operation with the call centre and back-end applications. In IP-based calls, voice and data components are carried over a shared IP link in a managed IP network. The Intelligent Network will control the call over this distributed IP network and will co-ordinate the accompanying data.

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Platform Market Drivers


This section discusses the main market drivers for the IN platform Release 2.3.

Introduction

Contents

The section contains information on three topics. Capacity and Customisation ............................................................................. Applications and Domains ............................................................................... Technology and Components ........................................................................... 38 39 40

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Capacity and Customisation


The first category of market drivers addressed by the platform covers the market needs for capacity and customisation.

Introduction

Requirements

The percentage of the telecommunications traffic treated by Intelligent Networks is constantly increasing, with services offered such as number portability, card services, mobility services (e.g. fixed-mobile convergence), etc. Services complexity and personalisation increase as their behaviour is more and more driven by dynamic data. Dynamic data means data that can be changed on a call-by-call basis, e.g. online billing with credit control or advice of charge. The possibility of managing his own service, via Internet, WAP or speech recognition, is becoming a key differentiator for the subscriber.

Responses

The Service Management Point (SMP) is no longer a single node in the network. Instead, the Cluster SMP presented with Release 2.3 provides an efficient way of overcoming the limitations of management activities by allowing simultaneous access, provisioning, etc. This is achieved through the ability of distributing the SMF function over several entities. The new Service Data Point (SDP) is the solution to dynamic data limitation, allowing better data distribution delay and supporting global data. (Global data are shared by several services and can be accessed simultaneously. A typical example is a user profile or credit information). The SMP architecture is now secured for massive access to service data via nontrusted channels (Internet, WAP). This includes an SMP gateway and three different Java-based GUI applications, depending on the customers needs.

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Applications and Domains


The second category of market drivers addressed by the platform relates to requirements in applications and domains.

Introduction

Requirements

The drive towards convergence has given Intelligent Networks a new role: to become an intelligent layer on top of the transport network. This layer has to provide additional communication services or features to the users, like: allowing communication with a wide range of network elements, each using its own protocol (INAP, CAP, MAP, H323, MGCP, SIP,); supporting any function to support communication services, far above the mere delivery of usual IN services; providing open interfaces (Parlay, Corba, JAIN, etc.) to the communication features of the underlying network so that third parties can develop their own communication services.

Responses

The interface layer of the services is now part of service development and installation. This means that any interface layer can be used by the services and non-N7 signalling protocols are supported. This approach is continued from the Home Location Register and Mediation Device already available in Release 2.2. Release 2.3 also introduces an inter-services communication bus called F-DPE Router and a Multi-Finite State Machine. This allows several scripts to cooperate as one service instead of having to develop one huge script. A new Service Interaction Function controls the interactive capacity of independent sub-services. This function has the ability to trigger other services and to use their output as input for another service. The Special Resource Point has been optimised to easily integrate software and hardware from different vendors to support gateway functions. These functions are: the Controller Gateway, which allows external service applications to access the resources of the network; the Bridge Gateway, which allows a connection to be made between two different resources in order to build services over mixed domains ( e.g. Voice over IP gateway interconnecting with a switched network and an IP network).

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Technology and Components


This third category of market drivers addressed by the platform presents enhancements and evolution of technology and components.

Introduction

Requirements

IN services to customers are growing and changing fast. Due to this rapid evolution, the platform must provide appropriate solutions to: ensure the power and viability of components; give service developers easier and faster training; enable the development of applications over the traditional IN scope.

Responses

The F-DPE router and the Corba architecture provide the latest communication tools allowing inter-working of different networks and services within networks. This considerably enlarges the scope of IN functions to be implemented and improves the independence of the software solutions. The number and features of SIBs and pre-designed service libraries available with Release 2.3 have greatly increased. Capacities for training and support have also been improved, both for the infrastructure and for document development and delivery. This combination enables new SCE/SDE engineers to learn much faster. Once the development process has started, it also provides them with better tools and greater support. Finally, the focus in Release 2.3 has definitely been placed on moving the intelligence from the network to the services.

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Platform Architecture Overview


This chapter introduces the essential characteristics of the Alcatel IN platform. NOTE: It does not cover the basic concepts of the telecom solutions based on Network Intelligence. After reading the preliminary document entitled IN Concepts, the reader will be provided with a common terminology and clear definition of the functions that are shared through the different releases. The first section of the present chapter gives a quick description of the existing answers offered by Alcatels current IN platform release 2.2. The second section of the chapter is the core of this book. It covers the enhanced architecture of IN platform release 2.3, enabling next generation Network Applications. Opportunities for such applications will be proposed later in the document.

Introduction

Contents

This chapter contains sections on the following topics. Advantages of the Alcatel Intelligent Network ............................................ Introducing Alcatel IN Platform Release 2.3 ............................................... 42 59

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Advantages of the Alcatel Intelligent Network Overview


This section briefly presents the main characteristics of the existing IN platform release 2.2. This aims at helping the reader to get familiar with Alcatels implementation of the IN concepts and with the terminology used throughout all releases of the IN platform.

Introduction

Contents

This section covers the following topics. Open Interfaces................................................................................................. Scalability......................................................................................................... Reliability ........................................................................................................ Service and Data Management ......................................................................... Service Creation ............................................................................................... 43 45 49 55 57

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Open Interfaces
Alcatels IN platform is independent of the underlying telecommunication infrastructure. It is totally open and can be readily integrated within any network and operational environment. It is based on open-market products, including best-of-class 64-bit technology UNIX servers, commercial databases, Alcatel and open third-party voiceprocessing resources, and industry standard voice-processing algorithms. The figure below shows an example applicable for PSTN networks.

Introduction

Interfacing with Alcatels solution can be implemented on any network: PSTN, PLMN, cable, ISDN, broadband, private networks (PABX), and data networks such as the networks Internet. This means that operators do not need to re-engineer their network structure. Alcatel IN can be : overlaid on the network, embedded in the network, or built as a node network by connecting one or more stand-alone service nodes to the switching network. Alcatel already operates in multi-vendor environments: a range of interfaces with third-party vendors switches, including Siemens EWSD, Ericsson AXE-10 and Marconi (GPT) System X, has already been implemented successfully.
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Open Interfaces, Continued


Interfacing with Alcatel has a standard range of open interfaces that integrate smoothly with existing external IT systems. These allow the reuse of legacy systems like legacy systems operators Management Information Systems (MIS), or Operation Support Systems (OSS) such as Customer Care and Billing and Fraud Management. AXE

Adaptability

Operators have existing networks and service management systems that are in place and would be costly and inconvenient to change. That is why Alcatel uses open interfaces. Its SMP can integrate with an operators existing applications and operational support systems such as billing centres or network management systems. Alcatels IN solution also integrates a unique development tool set, the Service Creation Environment, that allows fast adaptability to different customers needs. The keynote is that Alcatel adapts its systems so that operators dont have to adapt theirs.

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Scalability
Alcatels vast array of IN services is delivered by a constantly evolving range of solutions comprising all the hardware, software and dedicated support needed to ensure their success. Operators need these powerful and reliable new solutions: to provide services that will differentiate them from their competitors and increase their revenues; to allow their customers to differentiate themselves and increase their competitiveness. Responding to this need, Alcatel has defined its range of IN platforms. The Alcatel 1400 is a complete Intelligent Network solution, containing all the tools needed to manage the platform and the services that run on it. It can be scaled to any budget and adapted to any network. It allows operators to deliver flexible telecommunications to their customers, and rapidly create and deploy new services. A significant advantage to the operator is the scalability of the platform. Entrylevel IN solutions, capable of supporting systems with up to 3,000 Busy Hour Call Attempts (BHCA), can be smoothly scaled up to the largest operations with over 30,000,000 BHCA. This is shown in the figure below.
Service Node IN a box Step IN Full IN Release 2.3
Distributed

Introduction

3,600

SMP SCP SRP SSP


SRP = Intelligent Peripheral

SMP SMP SCP SRP SMP SCP SRP SCP SRP

SMP SCP SRP

SMP

SCP SRP

SDP

000 BHCA 10

Scaleable capacity (BHCA)


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Scalability, Continued
Alcatels ability to scale its IN solutions gives operators a crucial competitive advantage. That is because our solutions employ a unique architecture that enables them to scale or evolve from small systems aimed at start-up operators (or established operators wishing to explore new market niches) to the largest systems with no loss of functionality and no throw away. Investment is protected as configurations gracefully evolve upwards in line with business growth and increase in subscriber base and call traffic. The significance of this evolution cannot be overstated: it represents a massive saving of time and money for the operator. Alcatel can do this because all its configurations use the same technology and the same SCE, which provides identical code and database definitions. This means that the same services can run on any Alcatel IN configuration.

Solutions that grow with the business

Flexible entry solutions

Alcatel has designed three ranges of IN entry solutions. These small systems have all the functionality and manageability of the largest systems. Each of them makes it possible to implement IN services at low cost, matched to lower call traffic volumes, subscriber base and service demand. The table below denotes recommended solutions based on traffic and needs: Traffic Recommended for: Small, cost-effective but powerful service platform Rapid implementation Temporary installation for a specific short-term need Test bed for new ideas Point-of-presence in foreign markets, keeping investment and management under control Fast prototyping environment Low Service Node Service Node Service Node Service Node Service Node IN-a-Box IN-a-Box Step-IN Step-IN Low to Medium IN-a-Box Medium Step-IN

Service Node

IN-a-Box

These entry solutions are described below, in increasing order of processing power.
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Scalability, Continued
Alcatels SRP/SN is an unrivalled entry-level vehicle, providing a low-cost and low-risk solution with rapid implementation. Suitable for low traffic volumes, it is also ideal as a test or fast prototyping environment for established operators. SRP/SN is self-contained, combining all of the IN functions - control, management and voice announcement capabilities - on a single platform. Because it contains the switching function itself, it is not dependent on the central office switching capabilities. It uses N7 ISUP links, enabling it to be integrated into an existing network with the minimum of network redesign.

Special Resource Point/ Service Node (SRP/SN)

IN-a-Box

This is an ideal solution for new operators anticipating higher call volumes and for those who need a fast prototyping or test environment. It interfaces with external Service Switching Points (SSPs) using the INAP protocol. Control, management and voice announcement capabilities are in a single box, with switching and call control functions provided by switches installed in the network.

Step-IN Server

This is a simple solution for low-to-medium traffic needs, in which Intelligent Network control and management capabilities are provided on a single Alcatel platform. Switching and call control functions are provided by switches installed in the network. Voice announcements are provided as appropriate by external Special Resource Points.

Growth capabilities

Growth is achieved by adding more servers and spreading the functional load between them. Moreover, as the service demand increases, the entry solutions can evolve into full IN solutions with no loss of investment, as virtually everything is reusable: hardware service logic customer data this does not need to be re-input knowledge acquired in previous operations interfaces. Growth capabilities include the number of calls which can be handled, the number of customers per service and simultaneous management user connections.
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Scalability, Continued
Alcatels Full IN is a very powerful IN solution, able to handle high traffic rates and a very large number of customers. It is the natural choice for established operators. Designed for medium to high-volume traffic, it consists of separate nodes for the SMP and SCP. The Full IN solution can also include: a dedicated Service Data Point (SDP) to meet requirements about global data and dynamic data management a Specialised Resource Point (SRP) for voice announcement capabilities. Like the entry solutions, it is also scalable through the simple addition of new CPUs or servers.

Full IN

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Reliability Overview
Reliability on IN platform is mainly achieved by: redundancy or duplication of hardware components dedicated software and defence processes secured access. This subsection covers hardware and software reliability for the SMP and the SCP.

Introduction

Contents

This subsection covers the following topics. Reliability for the SMP..................................................................................... Reliability for the SCP ..................................................................................... 50 52

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Reliability for the SMP


In many cases the SMP can be implemented as a simplex configuration (made of one host). A duplex configuration made of two hosts (one active, one standby) can be used where particularly high reliability is required. The duplex versions of the SMP configuration use redundant hardware, so that all critical components are duplicated. The simplex versions have other defence mechanisms (see Software reliability). The SMP defence systems error detection and correction measures include: SMP console alarm messages, reload of the process, reload of the entire IN platform, reload of the SMP system, switchover to the standby system (in a duplex configuration) or operator intervention.

SMP hardware configuration

SMP software configuration

Software used to ensure high availability provides: rapid restoration after a software or hardware failure in one system; the mirroring function; Log File System capabilities to offer fast system restart. Moreover, the defence function continuously supervises the existence of all permanent and database processes running on the SMP. SMP reliability is ensured by the defence in the four areas described below.

Defence of the basic SMP platform

The basic SMP platform contains a set of watchdog processes which constantly monitor the status of all critical components of SMP hardware and operating system software. If a failure occurs, the watchdog issues a notification to the SMP operator console and initiates recovery action. In an SMP duplex configuration, the recovery action may involve a switchover from the active to the standby SMP. The recovery action is controlled by scripts developed for each installation. In an SMP simplex configuration, the system requests operator intervention.
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