The telecom market makes intensive use of computerized devices, for the management of communications and networks. Numerous devices are involved such as router, hub, switches but also base station and all sorts of gateways for switched, IP, GSM, GPRS or 3G networks.
The collection of network usage data from numerous IP network equipments is a key issue for providing accurate information to the carrier Business Support System or OSS. The collection infrastructure is the cornerstone for both the carrier who develops his own mediation service or for the software vendor who provides a packaged mediation product. The overall objective is to make mediation systems more scalable and more flexible.
Telcos carriers capture data flow information from the set of IP routers to bill the use of the corresponding IP services to his customers. The ScalAgent solution answers his requirement for a robust and efficient solution able to support the load generated by the huge amount of data produced by the routers. This is achieved by distributing software agents that collect and process data close to the sources. Only relevant preprocessed information is transferred to the central mediation and billing service, thus saving computing and networking resources leading to reduced hardware costs for operators. Early data processing also allows new services to be offered to customers, such as real-time follow-up and accounting. Finally, the flexibility of the ScalAgent solution allows new mediation policies to be deployed rapidly at low cost.
ISVs specialized in mediation, billing or OSS solutions can benefit from the ScalAgent technology to adapt their existing mediation and billing products to the difficult problem of handling huge amounts of IP services usage data. The ScalAgent solution is able to manage NetFlow data flows from Cisco routers and can be easily and quickly adapted to handle new data sources and evolving data formats as necessary. For ISVs, integrating the ScalAgent distributed data collection building block in their products is a step towards actual convergent mediation solutions needed for the support of 3G telecom networks. The ScalAgent solution is non intrusive and can thus be coupled with complementary functions and GUIs into a complete product. This openness is achieved through the use of connectors based on existing standards (XML, JMS, . ..).