Essent Business Solutions

Architectural Overview

From its inception, Essent InSite was envisioned as a comprehensive Network Performance Reporting System that would seamlessly incorporate all aspects of an organization’s production network, from troubleshooting, performance management, and quality-of-service through capacity planning, and process management.

To accomplish this architecturally Essent InSite is organized into three interdependent components:

  • Systems Administration
  • Data Collection and Management
  • Information Presentation
These components work in concert to provide a continuous information flow from the source devices, to the data repository, and finally to the users of the information. Essent InSite’s architecture is flexible and powerful, permitting any equipment that collects performance measurements to potentially store information in the Essent InSite Database. Access to the information is achieved through a number of tools, most notably Essent InSite InfoSource™, which provides access to the majority of the information stored in the Essent InSite Database.

Features

  • Client/Server Technology
  • Windows 2000/XP 32-bit Application
  • Utilizes Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)
  • Utilizes Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI)
  • Textual and Graphical Reporting Integrated and Centralized Security

Benefits

  • Minimal Investment Required
  • Consistent User Interface
  • Follows Industry Standards
  • Superior, Extensible Reporting
  • Low-cost Systems Management
  • Quick and Responsive

Essent InSite Systems Administration
Essent InSite Systems Administration tools manage the following:

  • Network Topology
  • Users and Groups
  • System Usage and Security
  • Regions and Markets
  • Data Collection
  • Technical Support
Though typically the most difficult part of an information system to use, Essent InSite’s applications have intuitive interfaces that walk administrators easily through each administrative activity; even infrequent users of the administrative tools find tasks a snap to perform.

Essent InSite Data Collection and Management
Essent InSite is open and extensible, comprised of Windows services for transferring, parsing, and archiving. The data is stored in a database server configured with scheduled tasks automating SQL Server data maintenance, management, and warehousing activities.

Transfer services automate the process of transferring raw data files between the collection and processing systems.

Parsing services, or parsers, are custom-configurable, data-driven services that process the collected data files[1]. As such, InSite can manage data from devices representing a wide-range of mobile technologies from major telecommunications equipment providers, including but not limited to: Ericsson® , Hughes® , Lucent Technologies® , Motorola® , Nokia® and Nortel Networks®. And because InSite is fully customizable by Essent, a host of specialty telecommunications equipment may be supported as well. To add data to the InSite database, an InSite Engineer simply selects a pre-defined data collector and parser configuration or custom-configures a parser for a particular data format. After it is configured, a parser will process files or data streams accumulated by the data collectors; it will identify discrete data fields in the raw data files or raw data streams, perform data type and range validation, and then add the information into the Essent InSite database via ODBC.

Database management is performed by Microsoft SQL Server. The Essent InSite data repository is limited only by the capabilities of the database server, storage capacity, and processor performance. In terms of a year’s worth of storage, a typical network would be represented by hundreds of Gigabytes to Terabytes of live data (although actual capacity requirements depend upon data retention times and metrics collected). Essent InSite remains quick and responsive.

[1] Real-time data collection and database population is possible but is dependent upon the data communication capabilities of the source device. Contact your Essent InSite Facility Liaison for more information.

Warehousing services fully automate the process of summarizing large quantities of out-of-date, yet relevant historical data. Typically, users want summaries of historical information in order to identify trends. Unfortunately, keeping years and years worth of data comes at the price of greatly reduced performance, increased data storage needs, and significantly increased administration whenever data is migrated or archived. Warehousing gives users and administrators the best of both worlds: historical and trending information is already summarized for quick user access and the database becomes tremendously more manageable.

Archiving services automate the process of compressing raw data files in preparation for transfer to tape or other storage media. It’s important to note that migration is intelligently occurring at the database and raw data file levels based upon criteria set by Essent InSite administrators. Traditional hierarchical data migration tools start at the file system level; Essent InSite starts with both the raw data files and database, insuring that data is preserved but not at the expense of database performance or administrator intervention.

Using industry-standard hardware, software, and communications protocols, Essent InSite is open. Using industry-standard software development[1] and reporting tools[2] , Essent InSite is extensible. At any time Essent InSite can grow to accommodate new or modified data, devices, or business requirements. [1] Any development language capable of creating Windows services can be used. [2] Any software tool utilizing ODBC or capable of directly accessing Microsoft SQL Server can be used.

Features and Benefits

  • Windows Services
  • Windows Event Logging
  • Services run even when a user is not logged on
  • Remotely managable from the desktop
  • Events are viewable from the event viewer
  • A high performance tool

Essent InSite Information Presentation Tools
By far the most frequently used components are InSite’s extensive information reporting, querying, executive information, analysis, and decision support tools. Essent InSite offers multiple tools to aid administrators, engineers, managers, and executives in determining the past, present, and future of the production telecommunications network. These tools fall into four broad categories: Customer Service, Engineering Reporting, Management Reporting, and Executive Information System presentation tools:

Overall Features and Benefits

Consistent 32-Bit Application
Essent InSite is a fully-preemptible, Win32 application, allowing for smoother response, better system throughput, and the avoidance of data loss that can occur when an application has to wait too long for control of the processor.

Multi-threaded Services
Essent InSite services are multi-threaded allowing for optimal performance on multi-processor systems.

Consistent, Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Essent InSite’s Windows®-based GUI is eminently usable, learnable, intuitive, extensible, and clean looking; allowing users to perform even the most complex tasks quickly and easily.

Utilizes ODBC and MAPI
Essent InSite is designed to take advantage of Microsoft’s Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard for allowing applications to access different database systems by means of a common API, as well as the Microsoft-defined messaging application programming interface (MAPI) that allows applications to use a consistent interface to message-related subsystems such as mail messages, voice mail, and facsimile data.

Category Features and Benefits

Customer Service
The Essent InSite Mobile Query System™ is a convenient tool for System Technicians and Customer Service Representatives to diagnose and validate mobile telephone related problems. The tool is available within InSite InfoSource and as a stand-alone tool for users that need to quick access to the Essent InSite Mobile Query System but don’t necessarily need access to other InSite InfoSource features.

The InSite Batch Report Tool™ is designed to make reporting easier for users that run a large quantity of reports on a regular basis. It allows users to create reports in specific report-oriented tools and then optionally save them in the Batch Queue for processing all reports as a group at one time. The tool also allows users to change date and time specific criteria so that the queued reports can be conveniently reprinted at anytime without having to recreate the entire query or report.

Engineering Tools
Operational Measurements Report Tool
Operational Measurements Query Tool
Operational Events Report Tool
Operational Events Query Tool
Topology Report Tool
Batch Report Tool
System Report Tool

Management Reporting Tools
Operational Measurements Report Tool
Warehouse Query Tool
Graphical Trending System
Quality Assurance Tool
Batch Report Tool
System Report Tool

Executive Information System (EIS)
Executive Dashboard
Batch Report Tool

Additional Features and Benefits
Ultra-Fast Report Generation
Wide Variety of Reports
View Multiple Reports Simultaneously
Preview, Batch, and Save Reports
Ad Hoc Querying
General Accounting
Uniform Presentation from Disparate Data Sources

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