Cisco Unified Intelligence Center Solution Reference Network Design (SRND), Release 9.1(1)
Unified Intelligence Center overview
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Unified Intelligence Center overview

Unified Intelligence Center overview

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center is a comprehensive, end-to-end reporting solution, built using Web 2.0 frameworks. It is designed to make the task of creating reports and managing disparate data sources easier for the customer. The Unified Intelligence Center reporting platform is intended to be a common tool with a consistent user interface that can access data across multiple Cisco Systems product families.

Unified Intelligence Center can be installed as a standalone server or as a cluster of a maximum of eight server nodes. There is one mandatory publisher node (called the Controller) and up to seven subscriber nodes (called Members). The Controller node includes a Member; thus a deployment can consist of a Controller only.

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center offers both a web-based Reporting application and an Administration interface. The reporting application runs on the members. The administration application runs on the Controller. See also Cluster Support.

Unified Intelligence Center 8.0(3) reporting features include multi-user support, customized reports, security, multiple display formats, web accessibility, support for permalinks, and Web 2.0-like mash-up support to display data from multiple sources on a single dashboard. These features make Unified Intelligence Center a valuable tool in the Information Technology arsenal of any organization and position it as a drop-in replacement or solution for most reporting requirements.

Release 8.0(3) contains built-in (stock) reports for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE) Release 8.0 and Release 8.5, and accepts the import of reports designed for use with the 8.0(1) release of Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (Unified CVP).

This chapter contains the following topics:

Feature list

This section includes a basic feature list for Unified Intelligence Center Reporting. For a comprehensive list of the report templates, their features, and their use, see User Guide for the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center Reporting Application and the Report Template Reference Guide For Cisco Unified Intelligence Center.

Support for Virtualization

Unified Intelligence Center Release 8.0(3) and up supports installation of the various Intelligence Center components on virtual machines. For more information, see Virtualization Doc Wiki.

Reporting Capabilities

Web 2.0 based dashboard mash-ups

Powerful grid presentations of reports with sorting and grouping

Chart and gauge presentations of reports

Association of multiple report displays with the same report data definition

Custom filters

Custom thresholds to alert on the data

Pre-installed stock report templates for Unified CCE data

Importable report templates for Unified CVP data

Report data from JDBC compatible data sources. This release of Unified Intelligence Center supports Informix and SQL Server databases

Configure redundant data sources and to switch automatically or manually from one to other data source

Report Management

Multi-user support

Customized dashboards and custom reports

Report scheduler

Detailed security levels and support for LDAP/local database authentication

Import and export of report XML files

Export of grid reports to Microsoft Excel

Email reports in PDF format

Export reports in CSV format to a remote location through SFTP

Report Infrastructure

Multiple language support

Clustered deployment

Management support through Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Java Management Extensions (JMX), and Cisco Analysis Manager

Audit Trail of changes

Report and database compatibility

For more information about the Unified CCE reports and Unified CVP reports, see http:/​/​docwiki.cisco.com/​wiki/​Compatibility_​Matrix_​for_​Unified_​CCE.

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center stock Unified CCE reports and importable Unified CVP reports were qualified to extract report data from product database versions as follows:

  • Unified CCE reports are present in the user interface after the Unified Intelligence Center installation of a member node. These realtime and historical reports are populated from the Unified CCE database.
  • Unified CVP reports ship with the Unified CVP installation. Customers can import them into Unified Intelligence Center.

Note


Cisco is focused on making Unified Intelligence Center the reporting tool of choice for all our customers and hence we are constantly working on having other products interoperate with Unified Intelligence Center. As part of this process, when a new product becomes compatible with Unified Intelligence Center, the information will be delivered to Cisco customers through http:/​/​developer.cisco.com.

Licensing

Unified Intelligence Center uses Flexlm licensing based on the MAC address of the controller node. The license is downloaded through the Administration console interface and is transmitted to all member nodes by replication. Changes or updates to the license are done on the controller node.

For virtual machine based deployments of Unified Intelligence Center, licenses are based on the Licensing MAC. For more information about obtaining and installing licenses, see the Unified IC installation guide.

For cluster deployment, the license file specifies the maximum number of Unified Intelligence Center servers that the cluster can support. For more information about the types of available licenses, see the User documentation.

Security

Access the Unified Intelligence Center over HTTPS; users must log in to the web application to access it.

Perform user authentication using either of the following:

  • LDAP based authentication
  • Application-specific authentication based on the local Unified Intelligence Center database

After logging in, Security Administrator users can define access permissions for other users based on read, execute, or write rights for the objects they own. Role-based access policies are also enforced based on commonly-preformed user roles.

A single identity is used to access the Unified Intelligence Center internal databases and the other data sources from which report data is extracted. Although each user has an individual login, the application does use multiple logins to access the internal or external databases. Use a single, pre-configured login to access the databases irrespective of the login used.

Unified Intelligence Center supports Unified CCE user integration, where Unified CCE supervisors can be imported into the Unified Intelligence Center application with specific, automatically-assigned roles.

Internal firewall

The Unified Intelligence Center nodes are shipped with built-in fire walls (IpTables based).

For more information about Internal Firewall, see the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center TCP and UDP Port Usage guide on http:/​/​www.cisco.com/​en/​US/​products/​ps9755/​prod_​maintenance_​guides_​list.html.

Firewall integration in a wide area network

Data source servers that are deployed over WAN links are likely to encounter firewalls.

Firewall requirements for supported databases are as follows:

  • Microsoft SQL Server Default instances of SQL Server listen on TCP port 1433. Named instances, however, dynamically assign an unused TCP port number the first time the instance starts. The named instance can also dynamically change its TCP port address on a later startup if another application is using the original TCP port number. Named instances should therefore be assigned a static port using the SQL Server Configuration Manager. Microsoft SQL Server uses UDP port 1434 to establish communication links from applications for its SQL Server browser service. Configure the firewall to forward all requests for UDP port 1434 on the database server address. For more information, see this article on the MSDN Configuring the Windows Firewall to Allow SQL Server Access SQL server firewall configuration guide.
  • IBM Informix IDS The Informix IDS server listens on a single incoming TCP port for incoming database connections. For more information, see the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center TCP and UDP Port Usage guide on http:/​/​www.cisco.com/​en/​US/​products/​ps9755/​prod_​maintenance_​guides_​list.html. The TCP port can be changed depending on the application and can be found in the services file (/etc/services on UNIX and %WINDIR%\system32\drivers\etc\services on Windows). For example, in Release 8.0(1), the Unified CVP Reporting Server uses port 1526. This is the only port that must be opened on the forwarding firewall that guards access to an Informix IDS server. For more information, see the IDS communication guides.
Related Information

Throttling

The Unified Intelligence Center throttling mechanism prevents servers from freezing or encountering an Out-of-Memory situation when they are pushed beyond their limits.


Note


Throttling is not the same as ensuring good quality of service. If a Unified Intelligence Center deployment is being overused, the level of service may degrade substantially before the throttling mechanism is activated.

Memory is the resource that is actively throttled by the Unified Intelligence Center application. Processing report data accounts for the majority of memory consumption in Unified Intelligence Center. For that reason, memory throttling focuses on controlling memory consumption due to reporting activity.

The report row is the basic unit used to measure the amount of reporting activity. Using report rows as the basic unit to measure reporting activity gives flexibility to users. A user can decide to run a few big reports or many small ones and the throttling mechanism are equally effective without requiring any tuning.

Report rows are counted only as they are loaded into memory, so no guesses are made as to report size. Test results using the row sizes of the installed stock reports indicate that 2 KB is a conservative estimate for the size of a report row. If each report row is 2 KB in size, then 250,000 is the maximum number of report rows that a Unified Intelligence Center server allows into memory before the server encounters an Out-of-Memory situation.

To enforce this limit, each Unified Intelligence Center keeps count of the number of report rows currently loaded into memory. That count is checked by all reporting operations to determine if additional report rows can be loaded into memory. If an operation cannot proceed because the number of concurrent rows in memory has reached the maximum value, the operation fails and an error is displayed to the user.

What happens if the limits are exceeded?

Report rows are loaded into memory when the data is being fetched from the data source and when it is being prepared to be sent to the browsers.

Either of these operations can fail if the maximum number of concurrent report rows in memory is exceeded:

  • If a violation happens while Unified Intelligence Center is reading data from a data source, the report execution aborts and the report is marked as failed. Unified Intelligence Center does not take partial results–the system either reads all the data that a user requests or marks the report as failed and stores none of the data.
  • If a violation occurs while Unified Intelligence Center is in the process of preparing the HTTPS response for a browser (HTML of a grid, JSON string of a gauge, or XML of a chart), the request to display the data is rejected and the user sees an error message that says the report cannot be rendered because the server is low on resources.

Note


Do not use the throttling mechanism for any sizing purposes. The throttling mechanism is designed to prevent an Out-of-Memory situation and hence this mechanism does not ensure a good quality of service to the users. Always use the sizing calculator to determine your reporting sizing needs.