As the demand for broadband, mobile, and wireless networking grows worldwide, service providers continue to search for solutions that can help them maximize their investments in these technologies and allow them to expand revenues and margins while the markets evolve. Service providers need solutions that can differentiate their offerings and efficiently deliver these services to attract and retain customers and increase per-customer revenue while reducing costs.
Regardless of whether the access network is mobile, public wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), cable, DSL, or Metro Ethernet, the ability to offer customized and personalized content and enable access to on-demand, value-added IP services is essential to building a strong offering and capturing new revenue. Service providers that can simplify delivery of new services will be in the best position to gain a competitive advantage in these competitive markets.
On-Demand Intelligent Networking
On-Demand Intelligent Networking delivered by Cisco Systems® (Figure 1) helps service providers to deploy and operate broadband networks carrying multiple services across the spectrum of access technologies. These solutions give the service provider complete control over the subscriber experience and deliver revenue-generating services while containing the associated capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx).
Figure 1. On-Demand Intelligent Networking
Cisco® Subscriber Edge Services Manager (SESM) is an extensible set of applications complementing Cisco Service Selection Gateway (SSG). Cisco SESM interoperates with Cisco SSG and network devices to offer basic Internet access and value-added services that are customized for the customer, locale, client type, and other criteria. Built on a scalable, standards-based platform, Cisco SESM integrates with business support system (BSS) and operations support system (OSS) components to provide a complete subscriber and service management solution.
Cisco SESM encompasses the following:
• Cisco SSG support
• Web portal applications and software development kit
• RADIUS authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory integration
• Subscriber and service profile management
• Subscriber self-care
• Support for post and prepaid billing by time, volume, or data
• Web Services Gateway for applications integration
KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Control of the User Experience
Cisco SESM supports full customization of the user experience. Device, locale, and service-type awareness can be used to modify branding, available services, and authentication requirements. Customization and personalization of the user experience provide higher value to customers and improve satisfaction and loyalty. Features such as plug-and-play support for Wi-Fi, single sign-on, and iPass global-roaming compatibility further enhance the customer experience and value.
Cisco SESM supports subscriber account self-registration and self-management as well as service self-subscription, reducing the costs and management overhead associated with offering new services. Customers have the convenience of modifying account details, subscribing to new services, and managing subaccounts without customer-care intervention. Self-care features are available when Cisco SESM is deployed with an LDAP directory.
Cisco SESM can be applied across all broadband access types including mobile, Wi-Fi, DSL, cable, and Ethernet to the home, building, or campus (ETTx). Cisco SESM provides consistent deployment, operations, and billing models that reduce the associated CapEx and OpEx.
Open Architecture, Standards Support
Cisco SESM is based on Java2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE), which defines a Java applications environment with standard APIs, protocols, and services. The J2EE platform provides a blueprint for developing highly available and scalable Internet solutions. Cisco SESM Web portals can be customized without programming and advanced customization is available through JSP customization and use of the Cisco SESM software development kit. Support for standard protocols including RADIUS and LDAP further simplifies integration with existing network security, subscriber management, and billing systems.
Cisco SESM provides Web-based administrative tools including an application for subscriber and service management and an application manager that manages all Cisco SESM components through Java Management Extensions (JMX).
CISCO SESM PRODUCT COMPONENTS
Cisco SESM product components include the following:
• Web Portals-The Cisco SESM Web portals showcase all subscriber portal features and can be used to build custom portals. A Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) portal and personal digital assistant (PDA) portal are also included for mobile wireless and PDA-based services.
• Captive Portal-Supports Cisco SSG TCP redirection by managing HTTP requests for initial logon, unauthenticated users, and unauthorized service access. The captive portal redirects requests to a configured Cisco SESM or external Web portal.
• Message Portal-Supports new service advertisement and system messages. This can be used for displaying advertising at defined intervals.
• Web Services Gateway (WSG)-Provides a Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) interface to allow other portal and service management applications to integrate with Cisco SESM for SSG session and service control. Supports authentication, session start and stop, session status, and service activation and deactivation operations.
• RADIUS Data Proxy (RDP)-Manages authentication, accounting, and service profile requests. RDP can be used as a RADIUS server compliant with RFC 2865 or as a proxy to other RADIUS servers, LDAP directories, or RDBMS.
• Cisco Distributed Administration Tool-Administrative interface for creating and maintaining subscriber, service, and policy information used by Cisco SESM and Cisco SSG. Available when Cisco SESM is deployed with an LDAP directory or RDBMS.
• Application Management-JMX-based application management for all solution components.
Figure 2 shows the Cisco SESM product components and its primary interfaces with other applications.
Figure 2. Cisco SESM Components
NEW FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS
Cisco SESM 3.3 includes the following new features:
• Location-Specific Free Services-Cisco SESM location-awareness features have been enhanced to support the provisioning of free services ("white lists") based on attributes such as client IP address, client subnet, MAC address, virtual path identifier/virtual channel identifier (VPI/VCI), Cisco SSG subinterface, and MSISDN. Cisco SESM 3.3 also supports the update of location and white-list configurations dynamically.
• iPass Client Access-iPass offers mobile users access to the world's largest virtual network (dial-up access in over 150 countries and more than 21,000 broadband access points in 61 countries, including 19,000 active Wi-Fi hotspots and Ethernet service in the rooms of more than 1700 hotels). Cisco SESM supports authentication for iPass customers using the Generic Interface Specification (GIS)-compliant iPassConnect universal client.
• Trusted ID Support-Cisco Access Registrar and Cisco SESM support implicit authentication based on the Cisco SSG Transparent Auto Logon (TAL) feature. The trusted ID may be a MAC or IP address. This provides an "always-on" subscriber experience after initial authentication.
CISCO SESM SOLUTION REQUIREMENTS
Tables 1 and 2 lists the system requirements and other required components for Cisco SESM.
Table 1. System Requirements
Operating System and Workstation
• Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES/AS, Version 3
• Solaris: Version 8 or 9
• Microsoft Windows: Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 (or later)
• Cisco SESM is bundled with Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.4.2
• Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.4.2 is required for development
Cisco SESM is bundled with the Jetty Web Server released under the Apache License, Version 2.0
Table 2. Additional Required Components
• Cisco IOS® Software Release 12.2(4)B or later (determined by feature set required)
Minor Release Update for Cisco SESM 3.3 Server License
Minor Release Update for Cisco SESM 3.3 Server License, Restricted
SERVICE AND SUPPORT
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative services programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco services help you to protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare the network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco Services, see Cisco Technical Support Services or Cisco Advanced Services.