On May 24, 2012 Allot released a new version of the Allot Operating System (AOS) for Allot Service Gateway Sigma platforms. In addition, new versions of Allot NetXplorer centralized management and Allot SMP software were released. This coordinated release brings new and exciting capabilities to Allot solutions and the following Allot products:
- AOS12.3 for Allot Service Gateway Sigma and SigmaE
- NX12.3 for Allot NetXplorer
- SMP12.3 for Allot Subscriber Management Platform (SMP)
AOS 12.3 combines all the features of SG-Sigma and SG-Sigma E that have been introduced since 12.1, in a single, consolidated GA release.
Leading the list of key new features in version AOS12.3 is real-time usage monitoring and reporting to support Allot ChargeSmart, which enables pay-for-use charging based on real-time consumption of bandwidth and applications in mobile networks. In addition, we beefed up the monitoring capabilities of our AOS-based platforms to support a new and valuable set of Mobile Analytics reports. Full details are in the AOS12.3 Release Notes for SG-Sigma.
Highlights of version AOS12.3 include:
- Real-time usage metering: The granularity of volume reporting from Allot in-line platforms to Allot SMP was increased from 5-minute intervals to real-time granularity. In doing so, Allot provides the real-time communication that is required for online charging and policy enforcement between Allot systems and operator PCRF/OCS/OFCS.
- Real-time statistics: the Allot Operating System has been updated to support the collection and export of raw data records to analytics systems, including records on session metadata as well as subscriber’s metered usage and “conversation” statistics. Requires license activation.
- Metering VoIP minutes of use: Allot Service Gateway platforms now meter VoIP minutes of use per VoIP application and/or per subscriber service plan, giving operators a valuable tool to quantify the voice revenues lost to popular VoIP applications. The VoIP minutes of use report is available in NetXplorer version 12.3.
- DART engine enhancements: The DART (Dynamic Actionable Recognition Technology) engine inside every Allot Service Gateway and NetEnforcer was improved to:
- Enable signatures for specific VoIP applications based on SIP (such as Net2Phone) to be implemented via Allot Protocol Packs.
- Support Teredo tunneling which is commonly used by P2P apps to send IPv6 traffic over IPv4 networks.
- Handle “RAW” HTTP sessions.
- Traffic Steering functionality was enhanced to support steering to 128 servers (instead of 25) and to support chaining of proxy servers when subscriber-application traffic requires treatment by multiple services. Steering requires license activation.
- ServiceProtector Sensor has been embedded within the Allot Operating System, and is now available as a licensed-activated function instead of an additional appliance. The result is a much more cost-effective and scalable security solution.
- VLAN Bypass: When there is no need to actively monitor certain types of traffic, the operator can now define a VLAN for that traffic, and exclude the VLAN from processing by Service Gateway platforms. This selective bypass on VLAN traffic allows flows to bypass policy decisions and enforcement and thereby travel through the Service Gateway platform with a negligible effect on computational resources or load.
NX12.3 and SMP12.3
The 12.3 release combines all the NX and SMP features that have been introduced since 12.1, in a single, consolidated GA release.
These new versions of Allot NetXplorer and Allot Subscriber Management Platform not only support the new features in Version AOS12.3 described above. They also pave the way for a number of new and exciting capabilities in value-based charging and analytics.
- First among the new features in both Allot NetXplorer and Allot SMP is a set of Proactive Mobile Analytics reports that shine a light on mobile data sessions. These useful reports reveal the different mobile devices that subscribers are using; how often those devices access the service, how long they stay connected; their average bit-rate, the volume of traffic they generate, the most popular protocols on each device, and more. Details about each report are in the Allot NX/SMP12.3 Release Notes. Requires license-activation.
- As part of the new Proactive Analytics product, Allot has released a new data collection and export capability, designed to collect subscriber session, usage, and conversation statistics from Allot SMP, Allot in-line platforms, and Allot data collectors and to export those records in .CSV format to analytics systems, allowing the operator to deploy his preferred analytics solution. The new Centralized Statistics Collector (CSC) was introduced to support this functionality and it supports the Subscriber Statistics Export feature in Allot SMP.
- In conjunction with this release, Allot also launched an Enhanced Data Collector (STC-ENH) appliance, which provides more storage and horsepower than the standard Data Collector (STC-NX). The Enhanced Data Collector is intended for use in large networks where the volume of data records is very high. Both of these new Collectors are available and shipping.
- Allot NetXplorer now provides a dedicated Charging Policy Editor to define the conditions and rules for real-time usage metering and charging. Managing charging rules independently from QoS enforcement rules gives you the flexibility to act according to dynamic conditions such as network congestion, real-time usage, subscriber choices, and the nature of specific broadband sessions.
- Allot SMP supports standard Diameter Gy and Gz interfaces to enable seamless integration with operator Online and Offline Charging Systems (OCS, OFCS) and to facilitate the real-time charging process. Requires license activation.
- When Allot SMP operates as a standalone policy server in the network, it now allows service providers to provision and up-sell turbo boost bandwidth-on-demand as well as additional volume or time allowances on top of quota services. In addition, quota management policy can be managed together with cell awareness policy. The NX Subscriber Admin Tool has been enhanced to facilitate these new capabilities.
Full details are in the Allot NetXplorer 12.3 Release Notes.