ERAMON Provisioning has been developed for medium to large-scale enterprises in all industries to simplify and improve the process for the roll out of new configurations and configuration changes on comprehensive WAN/LAN infrastructures.
New technologies for improving quality, security as well as performance, have to be integrated cost effectively and with the least operational disruption. Running networks requires dynamic adjustments of affected components, such as devices, routers, switches, firewalls; or changes or expansions to the infrastructures, this usually requires considerable manpower and effort beyond regular office hours. A network-wide introduction of new services such as VoIP, Quality of Service (QoS), etc., would be an example of this. It is crucial to roll out QoS profiles simultaneously and reliably to all affected components in order to ensure the continued quality of the voice connections.
Based on the experience of running their own international IP/MPLS network infrastructure, ERAMON GmbH developed, among other modules, ERAMON Provisioning. Since its launch the feedback from users and operators is continuously integrated into any further developments of this product and then made available to all ERAMON customers; ensuring everyone benefits from one another’s ideas and suggestions.
Any network components contained on the network are recorded and their configurations saved on the NMS through scans. This function is imbedded in ERAMON's Inventory. Through open and documented APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), the users themselves can install applications; for this purpose, ERAMON’s data structures are made transparent; giving access to the internal configuration database via API.
Initially, all data relevant for the provisioning process is written to ERAMON’s master database, such as any details of new devices, already existing devices, or individual ports. For example, device types (hardware) are specified that are to be selected during a new provisioning. In the course of this process so-called config templates have to be saved, which can contain place holders (tokens). These tokens will then be replaced by real values during the actual provisioning job. A very helpful special feature here is that the different token types can be automated and even assigned with interdependent links (script, plain text, external data sources, etc.) in a variety of ways. Multiple provisioning processes can be combined very flexibly as a product or service. In addition, several hierarchical levels (CPE, PE or access layer) can be specified and taken into account. Preparation work is thus centrally organized and processes to run provisionings are carried out automatically.
Recording profiles for ports
The end user can provision without knowing the syntax
At this point device ports can be assigned to the port profile templates that were previously specified in the master database. This can also be done for several ports on different devices, where the system will always display the appropriate selection masks for devices and ports in question.
If tokens were set up for the templates, these now have to be filled with actual values by polling for each port.
Bundling of jobs
Products bundle individual provisioning processes into one. A product can consist of several steps; these can be interdependent. A step is specified by:
- Existing device
Script, port or bulk
- New device
- Step 1 CPE Provisioning
Initial configuration via serial or ethernet interface
- Step 2 Configuration or a backup port on the PE
- Port provisioning
There are four different levels available when setting the TPR. If a level >1 has to be set, the user who has to authorize the job will receive a request by e-mail. The authorization will then be carried out through ERAMON’s GUI. The following levels are available:
- Level 1
TPR not applied
- Level 2
Authorization by a different user
- Level 3
Same as for level 2, but the execution date must be within a certain time frame
- Level 4
Same as for level 3, but only for a certain device group
Recovery of the config
The device is provisioned with the most recently backed up config. For this purpose, ERAMON logs onto the device via a specified login method and then provisions the selected config. The recovery can be scheduled if an IP connection to the device is available.
If the device is no longer available via IP but only via a terminal/console server, recovery is possible through the disaster recovery.
Certain parameters have to be recorded for each firmware, such as RAM and Flash requirements. When trying to roll out firmware a pre-check is carried out that checks the firmware’s parameters. Only once this has been successful will the copying of the firmware be started with the help of a provisioning template.
The IP-SLA Manager facilitates a comfortable management of IP-SLA measurements. The measurements are set up in the provisioning module; an analysis then takes place when carrying out the performance measurements.
Measurements are set up with their status as inactive. As soon as the relevant SAT was able to poll IP-SLA data, the status will be changed to active.
Parameters when setting up a measurement:
- Device A/B
- Time Frame from/Time Frame until (depending on the category)
- Thresholds for the set up measurement