Cisco SCA BB System Overview
The Cisco Service Control Application for Broadband (Cisco SCA BB) is
the Cisco Service Control solution that allows broadband service providers to
gain network-traffic visibility, to control the distribution of network
resources, and to optimize traffic in accordance with their business
strategies. It enables service providers to reduce network costs, improve
network performance and customer experience, and create new service offerings
and packages. This chapter contains the following sections:
The Cisco Service
Control solution consists of four main components:
- The Cisco Service Control
Engine (Cisco SCE) platform—A flexible and powerful dedicated network-usage
monitor that is purpose-built to analyze and report on network transactions at
the application level.
information about the installation and operation of the Cisco SCE platform, see
Platform Installation and Configuration Guides .
- The Cisco Service Control
Subscriber Manager—A middleware software component that is used where dynamic
binding of subscriber information and policies are required. The Subscriber
Manager manages subscriber information and provisions it in real time to
multiple Cisco SCE platforms. The Subscriber Manager can store subscriber
policy information internally, and act as a stateful bridge between the AAA
system (such as RADIUS and DHCP) and the Cisco SCE platforms.
information about the installation and operation of the Subscriber Manager, see
Control Management Suite Subscriber Manager User Guide.
The Quota Manager
(QM) is an optional component of the Subscriber Manager. It enables Service
Control solution providers to manage subscriber quota across subscriber
sessions with a high degree of flexibility.
information about the installation and operation of the QM, see the
Control Management Suite Quota Manager User Guide.
- The Cisco Service Control
Collection Manager (CM)—An implementation of a collection system that receives
Raw Data Records (RDRs) from one or more Cisco SCE platforms. It collects usage
information and statistics, and stores them in a database. The CM also converts
subscriber usage information and statistics into simple text-based files for
further processing and collection by external systems.
information about the installation and operation of the CM, see the
Control Management Suite Collection Manager User Guide.
- The Service Control
Application (SCA) Reporter—A software component that processes data stored by
the CM and provides a set of insightful reports from this data. The SCA
Reporter can run as a standalone or as an integrated part of the Console.
information about the installation and operation of the Reporter, see the
Control Application Reporter User Guide.
Together, the Cisco
SCE platform, the Cisco Service Control Collection Manager, the Cisco Service
Control Subscriber Manager, and the SCA Reporter are designed to support
detailed classification, analysis, reporting, and control of IP network
traffic. The Cisco Service Control Collection Manager, the SCA Reporter, and
the Cisco Service Control Subscriber Manager are optional components; not all
deployments of the Cisco Service Control solution require them. Sites that
employ third-party collection and reporting applications, those that do not
require dynamic subscriber-aware processing, and those that use a RADIUS or
DHCP sniffing option may not require all of these components.
The following figure illustrates the flow of information in the Cisco
Service Control solution.
Figure 1. Flow of
Information in Cisco SCA BB
Subscribers and Subscriber Modes
One of the fundamental entities in the Cisco Service Control solution is a subscriber.
A subscriber is the most granular entity on which Cisco SCA BB can individually monitor, account,
and enforce a policy. In the most granular instance of the Cisco SCA BB system a subscriber is an
actual customer of the service provider on whom an individual policy is implemented. However, you
may also configure Cisco SCA BB to monitor and control traffic at a higher granularity, such as
when monitoring or controlling traffic by subnets or aggregation devices.
One of the most important decisions you must take when designing a service control solution is
what subscribers in the system represent. This decision determines which subscriber mode is used,
which in turn determines what (if any) integrations are required and what policies to define. The
following sections describe the different subscriber modes supported and, for each mode, the
functions supported, any prerequisites, and the components needed.
Cisco SCA BB supports the following four subscriber modes:
- Subscriberless mode—No subscribers are defined. Control and link-level analysis functions
are provided at a global platform resolution.
- Anonymous subscriber mode—IP addresses are controlled and monitored individually. The Cisco
SCE platform automatically identifies IP addresses as they are used and assigns them to a
- Static subscriber mode—Incoming IP addresses are bound and grouped statically into
“subscribers” as configured by the system operator.
- Subscriber-aware mode—Subscriber information is dynamically bound to the IP address
currently in use by the subscriber. Subscriber-aware mode can be achieved by integrating Cisco
SCA BB with the system (RADIUS, DHCP) that assigns IP addresses to subscribers, or by sniffing
this information. Policy information is either administered to Cisco SCA BB directly or
provisioned dynamically via an integration.
Subscriberless mode is the choice for sites where control and analysis functions are
required only at a global platform resolution. It can be used, for example, to monitor
and control the total P2P traffic over the link.
Subscriberless mode requires no integration; hence, the Cisco Service Control Subscriber
Manager is not required.
The number of subscribers or inbound IP addresses does not influence the
Subscriberless mode. Hence, the total number of subscribers using the monitored link is
unlimited from the point of view of the Cisco SCE platform.
Anonymous Subscriber Mode
Anonymous subscriber mode provides the means to analyze and control network traffic at
subscriber-inbound IP address granularity.
Use this mode when:
- You do not require subscriber-differentiated control or subscriber-level quota
- Analysis on an IP level is sufficient
- When offline IP-address/subscriber binding can be performed
For example, you can identify which subscribers generate the most P2P traffic by
identifying the top IP addresses and correlating them to individual subscribers using
RADIUS or DHCP logs. The total bandwidth of P2P traffic allowed for each subscriber can
also be limited.
Anonymous subscriber mode requires no integration or static configuration of the IP
addresses used, so the Cisco Service Control Subscriber Manager is not required.
In this mode, ranges of IP addresses are configured directly on the Cisco SCE platform.
Cisco SCE Platform dynamically creates “anonymous” subscribers for these IP addresses,
using the IP address as the subscriber name.
The total number of concurrently active anonymous subscribers supported by the Cisco
SCE platform is the same as the total number of concurrently active subscribers.
Static Subscriber Mode
Static subscriber mode binds incoming IP addresses together into groups, so that traffic from
and to defined subscribers can be controlled as a group. For example, you can define all traffic
from and to a particular network subnet (used by multiple subscribers concurrently) as a
(virtual) “subscriber” and controlled or viewed as a group.
Static subscriber mode supports cases in which the entity controlled by the Cisco Service
Control solution uses a constant IP address or address range that does not change dynamically,
- Environments where the subscriber IP addresses do not change dynamically via, for example,
DHCP or RADIUS
- Deployments in which a group of subscribers using a common pool of IP addresses (such as all
those served by a particular aggregation device) are managed together to provide a shared
bandwidth to the entire group
The system supports the definition of static subscribers directly on a Cisco SCE platform; it
does not require external management software (such as the Cisco Service Control Subscriber
Manager). Use the Cisco SCE platform CLI to define the list of subscribers, their IP addresses,
and the associated package.
In subscriber-aware mode, the subscriber information (OSS ID and policy) that is
dynamically bound to the (IP) address currently in use by the subscribers are populated
on the Cisco SCE.
The subscriber information is populated regardless of the IP address in use and provides
differentiated and dynamic control per subscriber and subscriber-level analysis. Use
this mode to control and analyze traffic on a subscriber level, to monitor subscriber
usage, and to assign and enforce different control policies (packages) for different
In this mode, the Cisco Service Control Subscriber Manager may provision the Cisco SCE
platform with subscriber information.
Table 1 Summary of Subscriber Modes
Global control solution or subscriber-level analysis.
Anonymous subscriber mode
IP-level analysis or control that is not differentiated per
subscriber, and where offline IP-address/subscriber binding is
Static subscriber mode
One-time static subscriber configuration, with no
Manage subscriber traffic in logical groups.
Control of traffic of groups of subscribers.
Differentiated and dynamic control per subscriber.
Subscriber-level analysis, regardless of IP address in use.
Control and analysis of traffic on a subscriber level.
Monitor subscriber-usage, regardless of IP addresses.
Assign different control policies (packages) to different
subscribers, and change packages dynamically.
defines the way the Cisco SCE platform analyses and controls traffic. In
general terms, service configuration defines the following:
Figure 2. Service
- Protocol and service
- Packages and policies
- Bandwidth controllers
- Global controllers
is accomplished using one of the following:
The Cisco SCA BB Console
The Cisco SCA BB Console is a set of GUI tools that are used to manage, configure, and
monitor the solution components.
The Console is fully documented in the remainder of this guide.
The Cisco SCA BB
Service Configuration Utility (servconf) is a simple command-line utility that
you can use to apply PQB configuration files onto Cisco SCE platforms or to
retrieve the current configuration from a Cisco SCE platform and save it as a
PQB file. The utility configures Cisco SCE platforms with the service
configuration defined in a PQB file. You can install and execute it in a
documentation of the servconf, see
“The Cisco SCA BB Service Configuration Utility”
Configuration API is a set of Java classes used to:
- Program and manage service
- Apply service configurations to the
Cisco SCE platforms
applications with third-party systems
configuration API allows service providers to automate and simplify management
and operational tasks.
Configuration API is documented in Cisco Service Control Application for
Broadband Service Configuration API Programmer Guide.