- Avaya Unified Communications Management
Avaya Unified Communications Management Developer(s) Nortel (now Avaya) Operating system MS-Windows, and Linux Type Unified Communications Configuration and Management
Avaya Unified Communications Management in computer networking is the name of a collection of GUI software programs from Avaya utilizing a Service-oriented architecture that serves as a foundation for unifying configuration and monitoring of Avaya Unified Communications Servers and data systems.
- 1 History
- 2 Capabilities
- 3 Summary of Products and Functionality
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
These management tools were originally named and created by Synoptics, carried on by Bay Networks, and later updated with the family name Unified Communications Management by Nortel. The products, in a similar fashion as the Optivity product predecessors are notable for their innovative use of web browser based user interface not only for access to network management data, but also for configuration of the network. This was something which heretofore was only possible with a installed binary application.
The management tools have grown over a long 15 years of migration from the Bay Networks creations through the acquisitions of Nortel and Avaya. The products in the management suite were replaced by older Optivity products; Optivity Policy Services was replaced by Enterprise Policy Manager, Optivity Network Management System was replaced by Visualization Performance and Fault Manager, Optivity Switch Manager was replaced by Configuration and Orchestration Manager, Optivity Analysis was replaced by Application Flow analysis and Packet Capture Functionality was replaced by IP Flow Manager.
The Optivity Planning tool was replaced by the metro Ethernet traffic planning capability, and Optivity Telephony Manager was replaced by functionality is several UCM products, specifically CS1000 Subscriber Manager, CS1000 Element Manager, and Visualization Performance and Fault Manager.
Bay Networks management tools
In June 1996, release 7.0 included the Optivity Network Management System, which included version 7.0 which provided SNMP based auto-discovery of the data network switches, analysis, planning tools, policy services, and telephony management. This management tool was rated very high by Info World with an analysis of the tools from Bay Networks, HP, 3Com, and Network General solutions, with HP open view receiving the highest marks.
Nortel management tools
In June 2010 Nortel branded the tools as the Unified Communications Management Suite (UCM) and integrated the following applications into a suit of tools that could be installed on a single server, Visualization Performance Fault Manager, Configuration and Orchestration Manager, Network Resource Manager, IP Flow Manager, Enterprise Policy Manager, Subscriber Manager.
Avaya management tools
As of June 2011, Avaya has re-branded all the products with the Avaya logo and has enhanced their capabilities as well as integrated the tools into it's system manager common services as of system manager. In June 2011, Avaya re-branded the tools during the following upgrades; Visualization Performance Fault Manager was re-branded when upgraded to version 2.3, Configuration and Orchestration was re-branded when upgraded to version 2.3, Bulk Configuration was re-branded when upgraded to version 2.3, which replaced the network resource manager 2.1, Enterprise Policy was re-branded when it was upgraded to version 5.1.3, IP Flow was re-branded during its upgrade to version 2.0.1, and communication system 1000 Subscriber Manager was re-branded during it version 2.1 upgrade.
The products in the Unified Communications Management (UCM) suite integrate into the same SOA based Web Services framework to provide a comprehensive set of management capabilities all available through a web browser single sign on. Web browser sessions the the[clarification needed] Unified Communications Management Suite use HTTP Secure sessions to provide access to the UCM Home Page. From the UCM Home page each user can access any of the UCM applications by clicking on the application link from the navigation bar on the left hand side of the page.
The UCM suite architecture reduces administrative overhead by integrating these features in with common services. For example, the network device credentials are stored within the common services framework and therefore all functions such as performance trending, backup and restore, VLAN configuration, status monitoring use the common services stored device credentials. When using the Configuration and Orchestration Manager product to change network device passwords, the common services stored device credentials are automatically updated with the new passwords. This saves administrative work from having to manually update the stored device credentials in several other products. A recently Tolly study showed a time savings compared to other products.
Comprehensive management of a data network with many services such as voice, video wireless and other services running over it will require a number of different capabilities. The Unified Communications Management suite of products provides all of these capabilities through a single web based sign on.
The Common Services of the Unified Communications Management solution are included and automatically installed when any one of the UCM Products are installed on a Windows or Linux server. Therefore the UCM Common Services are not something that can be purchased or installed separately. The UCM Common Services operate on the cross-platform JBOSS Application Server and can be installed as part of any of the UCM products on supported versions of Windows and Linux. When another UCM product such as Visualization Performance and Fault Manager is installed on a Server Operating System where and existing product such as Communications and Orchestration Manager already exists, the installer program is able to detect the existing product and does not re-install common services layer.
Single Sign On – The single sign on capabilities allows the user to login to a SOA web server and seamlessly pass through authentication to any of the products in the UCM suite. The Common Services layer takes care of seamlessly passing the login session to any of the UCM Applications whether or not they are installed on the same server or distributed across multiple servers.
Shared Device Credentials – The Common Services handles the task of storing the Network Device or Server credentials needed in order for the UCM Network Management applications to communicate with entities that will be managed. All Network Management Applications share a single set of SNMPv3, SNMP, SSH, CLI, Credentials.
Common Licensing - Licenses needed to permanently activate the UCM Applications can be uploaded, viewed, and managed through the UCM Common Services Home Page. UCM Applications are licensed based on number of nodes to be managed. It is possible through the UCM Home Page Web Based User interface to upload incremental node license counts allowing additional devices to be managed. For example, the Base Node Count for the Visualization Performance and Fault Manager is 500 network devices, stacks of switches, servers, etc. It is possible to upload incremental licenses for a total of up to 20,000 nodes for VPFM. It is possible to upload a permanent license for each UCM Application to replace any temporary evaluation licenses without having to reinstall the Application.
Role Based Access Control (RBAC) - The Unified Communications Management home page allows the user to specify different permissions per user account created within UCM. For example some users could be given read-only access, whereas other users could be granted read/write access to the system depending upon their role within the company.
RADIUS Support - The user authentication to the Unified Communications management can be back-ended into RADIUS servers such as Microsoft IAS which would allow users to login to the UCM system with their Microsoft Active Directory usernames and passwords.
Visualization Performance and Fault Manager
Visualization of the Network Topology - VPFM is able to perform autodiscovery of the Wireless, WAN, LAN and VoIP network infrastructure as well as Servers, End Node Devices, Printers. VPFM has a Path Trace Capability that provides functionality to see the physical network connectivity from the End Node Device to the server it may be trying to access. This provides more functionality than a traceroute in that the graphical path trace functionality is able to show Split Multilink Trunk physical connections and related statistics down the path being diagnosed. The diagnostic tools such as trending can be used to observe errors and traffic levels down each link in the Split Multilink Trunk.
Auto Organization of Large Network Maps - The Hub and Spoke design of large networks can produce large maps in network management software. VPFM automates that task of maually arranging the network into groups and folder since the network is logically organized into folders by network device connectivity. Therefore right-clicking on any one of the automatically created folders by campus or switch name produces a smaller map of just area of interest. VPFM has the ability to use custom layouts for the network map or built in layouts in a Symmetric, Hierarchal, or Circular format.
Auto Trending - Capacity Planning and Reporting is an important feature of a network management system in order for the operator to respond to network utilization and growth. Upon auto-discovery of the physical slot/port connectivity of the entire network, VFPM is able to understand which connections link the network together. VPFM automatically enables trending of Key Resource Indicators and Key Performance Indicators to provide historical views of things like errors, congestion, utilization in/out of the important trunk links of the switch by slot and port. These interface trends allow the operator to determine if the conditions that are being encountered at the current time are atypical or not. VPFM also enables Key Performance Indicator trending at the overall switch level as well to provide a view into the routing stability, physical connection stability, bridging stability, and CPU utilization among other key statistics.
Auto Thresholding – VPFM has a concept called Management Information Types. The Management Information Types abstract Network Management Data gathered via SNMP for multiple vendors network equipment such as Cisco, Juniper, and Avaya Data Solutions Products. Although statistics such as CPU utilization are stored in different Management Information Bases or MIBs for different vendors, they are all commonized as CPU statistics in VPFM. Thresholds are automatically enabled for Key Statistics such as CPU utilization and if CPU utilization of a network device crosses a threshold of 90% then an alert is logged in the event browser.
VoIP Monitoring and Quality Management – Visualization Performance and Fault Manager provides the capabilities to monitor the traffic levels to key Voice over IP equipment such as Call Servers, Signaling Servers, IP Handsets and Media Gateways. Avaya CS1000 equipment automatically monitors itself for Quality of Experience metrics such as R-Value, Latency, Packet Loss, and Jitter end to end from IP Handset to IP Handset or IP Handset to Media Gateway. A Telchemy agent exists in each soft phone, hard phone and is constantly monitoring Quality of Experience. When the Telchemy agent detects a drop in quality it uses the normal signalling process to inform the Signalling Server. Once the signalling server is informed of the drop in quality it sends an SNMP trap to VPFM which highlights the IP Handset on the VPFM Map and logs an event in the VPFM Event Browser. The Event contains information of the TN or virtual extension of the handset and IP Addresses of the local and remote handset or media gateway. This information can then be used for troubleshooting purposes.
Executive Level Exception Reports – Trending systems by design contain hundreds or thousands of trend reports on multip statistics per link multiplied by hundreds of trunks that connect the network together. The VPFM Top-N reports provide a summary view of Key Performance Indicators such as busiest devices, most utilized links. By providing a tabular view sortable by column (statistic) the operator may sort by the most problem area and quickly identify problem areas or over-utilized segments in the network. The Top-N reports also include energy saver information to show the switches using the most PoE wattage. Enterprise Policy Manager may then be used to create energy saving policies for such switches and devices.
Email Alerts – VPFM supports sending of email alerts when there are serious issues in the network such as a key network trunk link going down. Built in event correlation summarizes errors that would cause a ripple effect such as when many switches go down as the result of a primary link failure. In this way events are summarized to a signle event for the outage.
Physical Connectivity Topology Visualization – Knowledge and visualization of where key network resources such as Call Servers, Media Gateways, Wireless Access Points, Servers, Internet Gateway allows optimization and protection of network services. Includes ability to search with and Innovative Network Management “GoTo Search Box” by NetBIOS or DNS Name, IP Address, MAC Address. This search box exposes network management information and finds devices on the network quickly in a similar way as a Google search box does in a web browser such as Internet Explorer.
Multi-Vendor Support. VPFM is one of the few network management platforms that supports standards based topology protocols such as 802.1ab and MIB-2 as well as proprietary discovery protocols such as Avaya’s SONMP and Cisco’s CDP discovery protocol in a single product. VPFM Provides support for Heterogeneous network device discovery, performance trending, thresholding, and fault management.
Event De-Duplication. VPFM includes an Event Correlation system that can de-duplicate events to reduce the total number of fault messages in the event browser to just a few summarized events. The VPFM Map is color coded to indicate any down links or events related to a specific device in the event browser as well as the network map.
Support for SNMPv3 Informs. VPFM can receive SNMPv3 informs to guarantee reliable delivery of event messaging from the network device to the Network Management System (VPFM) With SNMPv3 Informs as opposed to SNMPv1 Trap messages, the network device using informs will retransmit the event message if an ACK is not received from the management station.
VPFM can also receive and display Syslog Messages from Network Devices. VPFM has the ability to forward events and send email notifications when important issues happen. This function coupled with event de-duplication and correlation makes email notifications effective without flooding mobile devices with too many events.
IP Flow Manager
IP Flow Manager provides an IPFIX / Netflow Collector with Reporting. When using Visualization Performance and Fault Manager to observe atypical heavy utilization trends on a trunk link, the IP Flow Manager Application can be used to find out what conversations on the data network are causing the traffic trends observed in VPFM.
Summary reports across multiple switches to display a higher level view of how the network is being used by what application flows to and from what destination. Good for security and performance tuning. Use in conjunction with EPM to filter out undesired traffic.
The network device itself such as an ERS5500 keeps a summarized table of data connections / conversations that flow across ports that are configured on the device to monitor all traffic. Periodically the network device exports or pushes the conversation table to the network management station IPFIX Collector, which in turn aggregates this data into the database and produces real-time information on the flows across the network. This is similar to the way a sniffer works in showing conversations on a network segment, except this capability is built into the network device. IPFM can be configured to create monthly PDF reports.
IPFM has the ability to show Top 10 Applications, Conversations, Hosts, and Ports etc. which provides very useful information on how the network is being used by what applications. This information may be used for security analysis and network performance tuning and configuration.
A summary display in IPFM is shown in the dashboard view. The network user would click on the Top 10 Conversation Menu item to open up a new Tab showing the details in customizable list of the conversations. From this window it’s possible to click on a specific conversation and select the “Show Ports” menu action. This will display which physical interface of the switch the traffic is flowing across. This is information can be used when IPFIX is enabled across all the ports on an Multi Link Trunk or Split Multi Link Trunk link to be able to observe which one of the interfaces the conversation or traffic is actually flowing across. This can be compared to the detailed Path Trace and Trends from VPFM to help determine if the flow is being affected by errors on any of the interfaces.
IPFM Includes Wireshark and when used with an ERS8600 or ERS8800 with dual switch fabrics it is possible to use the graphical PCAP function. This makes it possible to use any port of the ERS8600 or ERS8800 port as a packet capture device. The packet capture is retrieved by IPFM and displayed in Wireshark.
Information on flows can be used to detect if unauthorized or unwanted traffic is flowing on the network that is interfering with time or delay sensitive applications such as Voice or Video traffic. IPFM can be used to identify the TCP or UDP port numbers of the unwanted traffic as well as the source destination IP Address information of the impacting flow.
This information can be used to create a Traffic Condition policy in Enterprise Policy Manager, to filter, rate limit, or apply Quality Of Service to the network flow.
Configuration Orchestration Manager
Element Management – Configuration and Orchestration Manager provides loadable WAR files that provide element management for Wireless and Data Switching Equipment. The EDM (or Enterprise Device Manager) provides all possible configuration capabilites of attributes for specific devices such as VSP-9000, ERS8800, ERS8600, ERS5500, WLAN 8180 and 8120AP’s. The plugin architecture of EDMs provides for a common experience configuring all types of Avaya Data Solutions equipment. It also provides centralized real time audit logging of configuration changes made through the element managers.
Device Firmware or System Image Upgrades - Configuration and Orchestration Manager can be used to automate the task of device firmware upgrades, for operational or security enhancement purposes. Network Devices can be grouped together through multiple criteria such as core or network edge location. Upgrades can be performed from edge to core to ensure successful communication to switches being upgraded thereby preventing communications failures due to switches being randomly upgraded. This prevents the situation where the edge switch behind the core switch is attempted to be upgraded.
Configuration Backup and Restore – The configuration file backup / restore feature in Configuration and Orchestration Manager provides the ability to automatically schedule BINARY or ASCII switch or network device configuration file backups. Configuration backup files can be stored over time in order to provide comparisons of a working configuration of network devices with a troubled configuration of network devices. COM provides the ability to perform a “SmartDiff” comparison of a configuration baseline versus the current running configuration.
Centralized VLAN Management – Configuration and Orchestration Management provides both a VLAN Manager as well as an automated Wizzard for creating VLANs across many switches at a time. The VLAN Manager provides Point and Click Capability to specificy which VLAN should be added across the slot/port trunk links multiple switches for rapidly creating or extending multiple VLANs across the network.
Bulk Configuration Manager (BCM)
The Bulk Configuration Manager provides enhanced configuration capabilites over Configuration Orchestration Manager. The Bulk Configuration Manager software is included within COM however requires a BCM license to be purchase at additional cost to enable the functionality.
BCM provides Automated Configuration Tasks – With the Bulk Configuration Manager function in COM configuration script templates may linked to data configuration files (in Comma Separated Value “spreadsheets”). This provides the ability to feed unique configuration parameters into Standard Operation Procedure configuration scripts so that configuration of the network equipment may be rolled out to the entire network with site specific configuration parameters.
Enterprise Policy Manager
Enterprise Policy Manager, formerly know as Optivity Policy Services supports identification of network traffic based on several critera such as IP Address, TCP or UDP port number, or VLAN Number
Centralized ACLs for Filtering and QoS – VPFM provides the ability to monitor the traffic levels on the many links that connect a network together for excessive utilization or error rates. This information can be used in conjunction with flows observed in IP Flow Manager to create Roles and Policies within Enterprise Policy Manager against these links on the switches referred to as a Policy Decision Point or PDP.
A Role is a group of these switches and links within EPM. EPM allows the operator to set centralized policies for Network Level Filtering (by many different factors such as Source/Destination IP or Subnet, TCP/UDP Port Number, VLAN, etc.) or Quality of Service (QoS) across the Roles or Group of ports. This provides the capability to correct Quality of Experience Issues or maintain fast and reliable network services by applying a Policy to a Role. EPM also includes PoE policies and Energy Savings Reporting.
Energy Management – In order to begin an Energy Management / Sustainability program, it’s important to understand current energy consumption tends, heat generation, and carbon footprint from devices in the network. Enterprise Policy Manager and Visualization Performance and Fault Manager provide the ability to discover network devices such as PoE switches and PoE powered devices. EPM provides an energy consumption dashboard and the ability to implement Avaya Energy Saver Policies for Powered and Non-powered port types and PoE powered device type throughout the network. EPM then provides energy saving reports Quarter over Quarter and by several other criteria. VPFM provides a Top-N executive level report allowing location and identification of the Top energy using devices in the network.
Summary of Products and Functionality
Avaya Unified Communications Management includes the following products and functionality:
Configuration Orchestration Manager (COM)
- Backup and Restore (Single Automated Backup per Network Device)
- Device Configuration Updates
- Password Management
- VLAN Manager and VLAN Creation Wizzard
- Embedded Element Managers (offbox EDM) with Central Realtime Audit Logging via SNMPv3 or SNMPv1
- IEEE 802.1aq Shortest Path Bridging Visualization, Troubleshooting, Configuration for Data Center
Bulk Configuration Manager (BCM) - Part of the COM Software Requiring an Add On License
- Configuration Backup and Restore (Automated Backup with Multiple, Historical Backup Files per Network Device)
- Configuration Update Generator
- Device Password Manager
- Log browser
- Software version Updater
Visualization Performance & Fault Manager, a GUI software network management system to discover and manage network attached devices. It transforms complex networks into physical and logical views to allow the operators to identify application or network issues. The primary functions are: L2-L7 network topology mapping, Fault correlation and root cause analysis, Performance monitoring and trending, Loading of the MIBs and serves as a SNMP TRAP and INFORM message receiver, Heterogeneous Network Device Support, Management of Voice, Data, and Multimedia in a single application
IP Flow Manager (IPFM)
- IPFIX and NetFlow Collection, Display, and Analysis
- Top Ten Display with Protocol Views
- Thresholds with alerts and events
Subscriber Manager (SM)
- Centralized Management of subscriber services
- Provisioning workflow across products
Enterprise Policy Manager
It is possible to load Enterprise Policy Manager 5.1.2, Visualization Performance and Fault Manager 2.2, IP Flow Manager 2.0 and Configuration and Orchestration Manager 2.2 on a Single Operating System. The Common Services layer gets installed onto the server with the first product that is installed. Subsequent products that are installed on the same server detect and integrate with the existing Common Services layer, thus reducing installation time.
Avaya Unified Communications Management provides Single sign-on navigation to all these applications.
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