This book offers guidance for finding answers to one or more of the following questions:
How do I efficiently track network and application resource usage?
How do I know if my customers are adhering to usage policy agreements?
How do I account and bill for resources being utilized?
How do I effectively plan to allocate and deploy resources most efficiently?
How do I track customers to enhance marketing customer service opportunities?
After discussing accounting and performance management concepts in some level of detail, we can summarize the essential points:
Accounting management means
Collecting usage data records at network devices
Optional preprocessing of the data records at the device (filter, sample, aggregate)
Exporting the data records from the device toward a collection server
Processing the data records at the collection server (filter, sample, aggregate, mediate, de-duplicate)
Mediation: converting data records into a common format for higher-layer applications (performance, SLA, fault, security, billing, planning)
Performance management means
Monitoring: collecting device, network, and services data records at the device level (availability, response time, device and link utilization)
Data analysis: data record aggregation, QoS parameter verification, accuracy
Transforming data records into information: baselining, reporting, performance analysis, capacity planning, SLA compliance tests, alarming, quality assurance
Mediation: converting data records into a common format for higher-layer applications (baselining, reporting, performance analysis, capacity planning, SLA compliance tests, alarming, quality assurance)
Configuration management: adjusting configurations to improve performance and traffic handling of the network (threshold definitions, capacity planning)
This book emphasizes the close relationship between accounting and performance management. We will prove that the two areas are indeed complementary and, by combining the best of both parts, we set the foundation for better network management.
We have discussed various areas of network management, which can benefit from accounting and performance management. Table 1-9 summarizes the applications and highlights the areas with the closest fit, where means a full match and * means a partial match.
|User monitoring and profiling||3|
|Application monitoring and profiling||3||3|
|Traffic profiling and engineering||3||*|
|Peering and transit agreements||3|
|Application- and content-based billing||3|
|Voice over IP (VoIP) and IP telephony (IPT) billing||3|
We have also identified blocking factors for implementing accounting and performance management architecture; these are mainly cost and overhead concerns such as
Mediation, processing, and reporting
By now, you understand the rationale behind accounting and performance management and can develop an individual business case. Based on the business justification, you can derive the required technical parameters and develop an appropriate accounting and performance management architecture. This book addresses technology-specific details, standards, and implementation guidelines. Finally, we will assign technologies to solutions to give guidelines that you can apply in your network. Because the prime focus of this book is technology-related, we will not go into more details from a business and operational perspective. If you are interested in these areas, refer to OSS Essentials by Kornel Terplan (Wiley, 2001). A very good introductory book on network management is Network Management Fundamentals by Alexander Clemm (Cisco Press, 2006).