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Cisco PGW 2200 Softswitch

Billing and Management Server for PGW 2200

Q & A

Cisco Billing and Measurement Server for the Cisco PGW2200 Media Gateway Controller

General

Q. Why should my customers buy the Cisco Billing and Measurement Server (BAMS)?

A. The Cisco BAMS offers customers several important benefits. It provides customers with call detail records (CDRs) in two output formats: Automatic Message Accounting Billing AMA Format (AMA BAF) in accordance with Telcordia GR1100 and GR508, and an ASCII version of the AMA BAF 1100 call record. In addition, the Cisco BAMS also supports custom formats and provides operational measurements based on the CDRs. Finally, Cisco BAMS issues Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps based on threshold crossings of measurement data.

In many cases, customers will want to continue to use an existing billing system or will purchase an off-the-shelf billing package to perform customer billing. While these systems may be capable of accepting and processing the proprietary CDR file format used by the Cisco PGW2200 Media Gateway Controller (MGC), typically it will be easier to use the ASCII or AMA formats produced by the Cisco BAMS. CDR-derived measurements are equally important to service providers. Without good operational measurements, service providers will have difficulty planning, managing, and optimizing their networks.

Q. Do customers have to use the Cisco BAMS?

A. No. Cisco BAMS is an optional component of the Cisco PGW2200 MGC.

Q. Is Cisco BAMS supported by the Cisco MGC Node Manager and/or the Cisco Voice Services Provisioning Tool (VSPT)?

A. Yes. Cisco BAMS is fully supported by the Cisco MGC Node Manager and the Cisco VSPT. The Cisco MGC Node Manager is the element manager for the Cisco PGW2200. The Cisco VSPT is the provisioning tool for the Cisco PGW2200.

Q. What versions of Cisco PGW2200 software are supported?

A. Cisco BAMS has been tested against the following Cisco PGW2200 software releases:

7.4.11

9.2.1

Q. Where must Cisco BAMS be physically located?

A. The Cisco BAMS node may be collocated with the paired PGW2200 node or it may be remotely located in a central data processing center. Cisco BAMS can support as many as eight PGW2200 node pairs, many of which are likely to be remote from the Cisco BAMS application.

Q. If the Cisco BAMS is remotely located, what type of connection do I need?

A. For a remotely located Cisco BAMS, a standard WAN connection is used.

Q. What hardware does Cisco BAMS require?

A. Similar to the PGW2200 host, the Cisco BAMS application runs on Sun Microsystems servers. While the Cisco BAMS has been certified to run on a number of Sun servers, the only platform sold by Cisco Systems is the Sun Netra T100/105. Solaris 8 is the only operating software certified for Cisco BAMS.

All supported Cisco BAMS hardware configurations are available through a reference sale agreement with Sun Microsystems. Customers may purchase the smaller platforms (T100/105) from either Cisco or Sun. Higher-end platforms, which support as many as eight PGW2200 node pairs, can only be purchased through Sun. A hardware configuration guide is available to assist customers in deciding which hardware platform best suits their needs.

Q. Why do I need to run Cisco BAMS on two servers?

A. Similar to the PGW2200 node, the Cisco BAMS can be deployed in either a simplex (single server) or redundant (two servers) configuration. Redundant configurations improve service availability and ensure that CDRs can always be processed.

Q. How does failover work on the Cisco BAMS?

A. Both systems are active at all times. In the event of failover, however, the Cisco BAMS will retrieve the raw tagged length variable (TLV) files, either from the primary PGW2200 or the complementary Cisco BAMS.

Q. Can a single Cisco BAMS support multiple PGW2200 nodes?

A. Yes, a single Cisco BAMS is capable of supporting up to eight PGW2200 node pairs.

Q. What is the transfer mechanism between the Cisco BAMS and the PGW2200 host? Between Cisco BAMS and downstream systems?

A. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used to send CDRs between the PGW2200 host application and Cisco BAMS and from the Cisco BAMS to downstream processing systems.

Q. Can multiple downstream systems be supported?

A. Yes. The output CDR file is not deleted from the Cisco BAMS until it is marked as successfully transferred. Consequently, multiple downstream systems can poll the Cisco BAMS and the CDR output file will not be marked for deletion until all systems have successfully received the file transfer. For example, three downstream systems (billing, fraud, and archival) could be set up to poll the CDR output file in sequential order. Not until the last system transfers the file is the file marked as transferred. Once marked, it can be deleted during the next automatic clean-up process.

Q. Why do I need four Ethernet ports on Cisco BAMS?

A. There are two reasons to have multiple Ethernet ports: users typically operate the PGW2200 host and Cisco BAMS in redundant configurations, and users do not want downstream file transfers to compete with control messages passed between the PGW2200 hosts and gateways. Consequently, up to four Ethernet ports may be required—two for redundant upstream connections and two for redundant downstream connections.

Billing

Q. What billing outputs are supported by Cisco BAMS?

A. Presently, the Cisco BAMS supports the following billing output formats:

1. AMA BAF in accordance with Telcordia GR1100 and GR508

2. ASCII

3. Un-translated TLV (copied from PGW2200)

The Cisco BAMS will also support custom formats as funded by customers.

Q. Does Cisco BAMS support ASCII output files?

A. Yes. The current version of Cisco BAMS supports basic 1010 call record ASCII output.

Q. Can the billing outputs be customized?

A. The Cisco BAMS architecture allows for customization of CDR output formats. These requests must be analyzed individually and the development must be scoped. Depending on the level of work required to produce customized outputs, the customer may be charged a one-time engineering fee.

Q. How long are CDR files stored on the PGW2200? On the Cisco BAMS?

A. For both the PGW2200 and Cisco BAMS, CDR files are retained until disk-monitoring thresholds are reached. Once the threshold is reached, additional CDR information is not captured. An SNMP trap is issued by either system when disk space is becoming limited.

Q. Under what conditions will CDR files be overwritten?

A. When the disk has reached threshold levels, the oldest files will be erased to make room for new files.

Q. How do I archive CDR files?

A. Archival from either the PGW2200 or the Cisco BAMS is accomplished by transferring the desired files from the target box via FTP.

Q. How are call types assigned to CDRs by the Cisco BAMS?

A. Call types are assigned through the use of end user defined "billing zones," which are provisioned based on the where the call originates and terminates.

Q. How many billing zones does Cisco BAMS support?

A. Cisco BAMS supports up to 999,999 billing zones.

Q. Does Cisco BAMS support long-duration calls?

A. The PGW2200 host application will generate long-call duration CDRs at pre-established intervals. These records are passed to the Cisco BAMS along with other CDRs. At this time, however, the Cisco BAMS does not generate an AMA long-call record.

Measurements

Q. What measurements are supported by Cisco BAMS?

A. The following measurements are generated on a trunk group basis:

Number

Name

Mnemonic

1

Call Attempts Incoming

BAM:IGR CALL ATT

2

Call Attempts Outgoing

BAM:EGR CALL ATT

3

Outgoing attempts blocked

BAM:EGR CALL BLKD

4

Failed Calls-Congestion

BAM:TTL FAILED CONGEST

5

Successful Calls Incoming

BAM:IGR TERM NORM

6

Successful Calls Outgoing

BAM:EGR TERM NORM

7

Percent Trunk Group Usage Incoming

BAM:IGR PCT TRK USE

8

Percent Trunk Group Usage Outgoing

BAM:EGR PCT TRK USE

9

Maintenance Duration per Trunk Group

BAM:TTL MAINT USE

10

Total Traffic in Erlangs

BAM:TTL ERLANGS

11

Total Calls Terminated Normally

BAM:TTL TERM NORM

12

Calls Terminated Abnormally

BAM:TTL TERM ABNORM

13

Calls Terminated, failed MGW or NAS

BAM:TTL TERM FAILED MGW

14

Calls Rejected

BAM:TTL CALLS REJECTED

15

Calls Rejected, unknown Dialed Number

BAM:TTL REJECTED DIALNUM

16

Calls Rejected, other reasons

BAM:TTL REJECTED OTHER

17

Overflow, outgoing attempts blocked

BAM:EGR OFL BLKD

18

Total sum of usage pegs per trunk group (excluding maintenance pegs for Phase 2)

BAM:TTL TRAFFIC USAGE PEGS

19

Tandem routing attempts, outgoing

BAM:EGR TANDEM ATT

20

Tandem completions, outgoing

BAM:EGR TANDEM COMPLT

21

Tandem attempts, incoming

BAM:IGR TANDEM ATT

22

Tandem completions, incoming

BAM:IGR TANDEM COMPLT

23

Tandem duration, outgoing

BAM:EGR TANDEM DUR

24

Tandem duration, incoming

BAM:IGR TANDEM DUR

25

IC destined calls

BAM:IC:XXXX IC EGR CALLS

26

IC destined calls, no circuit

BAM:IC:XXXX IC EGR NO CKT

27

IC usage

BAM:IC:XXXX TTL DURATION

28

Conversation Duration Ingress

BAM:IGR CONV DURATION

29

Conversation Duration Egress

BAM:EGR CONV DURATION

30

Setup Duration Ingress

BAM:IGR SETUP DURATION

31

Setup Duration Egress

BAM:EGR SETUP DURATION

32

Teardown Duration Ingress

BAM:IGR TEARDOWN DURATION

33

Teardown Duration Egress

BAM:EGR TEARDOWN DURATION

34

Call Routing I Peg

BAM:TTL CALL ROUTING I

35

Call Routing II Peg

BAM:TTL CALL ROUTING II

36

Call Routing III Peg

BAM:TTL CALL ROUTING III

37

Carrier Select No Indication

BAM:TTL CARRIERSELECT NO INDICATION

38

Carrier Select PreSubscribed Not Input

BAM:TTL CARRIERSELECT PRESUBSCRIBED NIPT

39

Carrier Select PreSubscribed and Input

BAM:TTL CARRIERSELECT PRESUBSCRIBED INPT

40

Carrier Select PreSubscribed with No Indication

BAM:TTL CARRIERSELECT PRESUBSCRIBED WNI

41

Carrier Id Code Not PreSubscribed but Input by Customer

BAM:TTL CARRIERSELECT NOTPRESUBSCRIBED

42

Successful H.323 terminating pegs

BAM:EGR SUCCESSFUL H.323

43

Successful H.323 originating pegs

BAM:IGR SUCCESSFUL H.323

44

Unsuccessful H.323 terminating pegs

BAM:EGR UNSUCCESSFUL H.323

45

Unsuccessful H.323 originating pegs

BAM:IGR UNSUCCESSFUL H.323

46

Successful ISUP Terminating pegs

BAM:EGR SUCCESSFUL ISUP

47

Successful ISUP originating pegs

BAM:IGR SUCCESSFUL ISUP

48

Unsuccessful ISUP Terminating pegs

BAM:EGR UNSUCCESSFUL ISUP

49

Unsuccessful ISUP originating pegs

BAM:IGR UNSUCCESSFUL ISUP

50

ISDN Terminating Setup Message Delay pegs

BAM:EGR ISDN SETUP MSG DELAY

51

ISDN Originating Setup Message Delay pegs

BAM:IGR ISDN SETUP MSG DELAY



Q. In what format are measurements provided?

A. Operational measurements are written to the file in ASCII format.

Q. Can Cisco BAMS generate graphical measurements and perform trending analysis?

A. No. Cisco BAMS should be considered a data source. It is not a reporting or analysis tool.

Q. How frequently are operational measurements generated?

A. Operational measurement reports are generated on a predetermined interval. Cisco BAMS can generate reports at intervals of 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60 minutes, or can generate reports every 24 hours.

Q. Are long-duration calls taken into account in the Cisco BAMS operational measurements?

A. Long-duration calls are taken into account when producing operational measurements.

Q. The measurements don't appear to be calculated correctly when I start Cisco BAMS. What is wrong?

A. The first measurement interval is always suspect and may be inaccurate. Subsequent intervals should be correct. If using the nailed configuration, the user must verify the provisioning of the SigpathID and BearchanID against trunk group and member.