The Cisco Access Point Name Manager is part of the CiscoWorks2000 for Mobile Wireless bundle (see Figure 1), which is a suite of element manager software (EMS) applications that enhances the delivery of new mobile wireless services. Based on CiscoWorks2000, it addresses the element management requirements of mobile operators and provides fault, configuration, accounting, performance, and security (FCAPS) functionality as mobile operators transition their wireless service delivery networks from second-generation (2G) circuit-based traffic to 2.5G and third-generation (3G) IP-based services.
As pictured in Figure 2, the Cisco GPRS solution enables mobile operators to provide packet data service to their wireless subscribers. The Cisco Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) offers European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) GPRS features and value-added routing functionality on a single Cisco router platform.
CiscoWorks2000 for Mobile Wireless Package
Mobile Wireless Architecture MapGPRS Network
An access point name (APN) identifies a packet data network (PDN) that is configured on and accessible from a Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN). An APN has several attributes associated with its configuration that define how users can access the network at that entry point.
The Cisco Access Point Name Manager provides a Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) and a flow-through application programming interface (API) to provision APNs within the Cisco GPRS Support Node (GSN) complex to support centralized public data network (PDN) access (Figure 3). It provides a Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) interface to view and configure the APNs and Domain Name System (DNS) resource record from a network management system (NMS) and third-party provisioning operations support system (OSS).
Cisco APN Manager Web-Based GUI
The Cisco APN Manager creates the mandatory APN network identifier, which corresponds to the fully qualified name in the DNS configuration for that network, and must also match the name specified for the access point in the Cisco GGSN configuration.
The access points that are supported by the Cisco GGSN are preconfigured on the Cisco GGSN. When a user requests a connection in the GPRS network, the APN is included in the Create Protocol Data Packet (PDP) Request message. The routing of these packets will be based on the setting performed by the Cisco APN Manager.
By configuring an APN, mobile service providers can control how users access the network through the APN entry point. Some of the attributes an operator can specify include parameters to define whether authentication is required for access to the PDN, and to identify IP addresses for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS), and charging gateway servers.
Table 1 Features and Benefits of Cisco APN Manager Feature
- APN creation: A sample API code is provided to specify all the attributes to create an APN
- APN deletion: This function allows the client application to delete an APN in both the Cisco GGSN and the Cisco Network Registrar
- APN modification: This module allows an operator to change the attributes of an existing APN
- APN query: This function returns all the APNs and their attributes as they pertain to a Cisco GGSN
As described in Figure 4, the Cisco APN Manager is a CORBA server that provides a set of Interface Definition Language (IDL) interfaces to configure the APNs on one or more Cisco GGSN nodes in the GPRS network. To perform APN configuration updates with the Cisco APN Manager server, sample Java and C++ client programs (which can be customized) are provided.
Cisco APN Manager Architecture
Cisco APN Manager supports a single Java client program or C++ client program. The Java client can be run on either the Operations and Maintenance Center IP (OMC-IP) platform, or on the OMC-G (GPRS) platform. However, the C++ client is supported only on the OMC-G. Multiple users (also called clients) can access a Java or C++ client on the OMC-G.
For APN attributes that are optional and not set by the operator, the Cisco APN Manager will use the default global values as configured in the Cisco GGSN. The following is a sample of attributes configured by the Cisco APN Manager (via the GUI or CORBA API):
- APN unique identifier (Name/Index)
- IP address allocation method
- Primary/secondary DHCP server IP address
- Primary/secondary charging gateway IP address
- Access control lists for PDN and mobile station packets
- Gi interface and next-hop IP address
- Access violation result
- User subscription to APN prior to access
- PDN PDP-initiated sessions
- PPP regeneration setup
- APN VRF name
- Idle PDP purge timer
The server system requirements can be found in the product overview documents for the CiscoWorks2000 for Mobile Wireless solution. Please refer to these and other product installation documentation for more detailed information on setting up and configuring these solutions.
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