Enea Aptilo SMP Common Core Functions
We have built Enea Aptilo SMP for stability, scalability, and high availability with geographical redundancy. The application logic is separate from the communication, which makes it easy to scale with additional nodes where capacity is most needed.
Taking the Scalability Issue Out of the Equation
When it comes to performance, we can only be sure of one thing. No matter if we use RISC-based, standard Intel®-based or proprietary servers or hyperscalers, today’s top performance will be considered a mediocre performance tomorrow. We can also be sure that the server hardware price will go down at the same pace as the speed goes up.
The only way to be sure to take the scalability issue out of the equation is to get linear scalability when adding more servers. With the fast development of server hardware, it is crucial to go with a platform that can offer the best price-performance ratio.
We achieve carrier-class scalability by distributing our system over different layers in several standard Intel®-based servers. This provides the most cost-effective platform for delivering additional performance by just adding another server.
The Intel®- architecture offers economy of scale thanks to its pure volume in the number of units. This means you will not risk investing in individual high-performance servers that may not fit the purpose in the end. True linear scalability can only be achieved with 100% flexibility in both hardware and software.
The Aptilo SMP ALE Architecture
In the Aptilo Long-term Evolution (ALE) architecture, we have divided the functionality into three distinct layers:
- A management layer for configuration and monitoring
- A control layer for protocol-level interactions with external systems
- An execution layer for application logic processing.
The different layers are distributed over several server nodes to increase capacity where needed most and obtain high availability, including geographic redundancy and distribution.
We scale from two redundant server pairs up to a large linearly scalable server cluster by just adding more server nodes.
ALE Application Control Layer
The control layer runs a number of protocol adapters that facilitate interoperability with the required set of external systems. These protocol adapters include RADIUS, Diameter, REST, SOAP/XML, LDAP, and SNMP. New adapters are introduced as needed to implement new or modified relationships with external systems. This layer does not need redundant servers as it is state-less and can be replaced by any other server with the control layer running.
ALE Application Execution Layer
All application logic is performed in this layer. It holds state and thus needs to be on redundant server pairs. We have learned the hard way that no matter how many features we add, there will always be one more needed. Every customer has different legacy aspects we need to consider when designing the solution. Thus new logic needs to be added as configuration. Learn more about how we have solved this in the separate section about the Aptilo ServiceGlue™ concept. The application execution layer architecture allows us to run several different types of applications such as EAP-SIM authentication and Policy Management from the same scalable platform.
ALE application management layer
The application management layer handles the configuration and monitoring and is tightly integrated with a management plane spanning all layers. With this design, we can assure that we add capacity where it is most needed. It might be the control layer that needs the most power for signaling intensive applications, while in applications with extensive business logic, it might be the execution layer.
The Aptilo ServiceGlue™ is an integral part of the Enea Aptilo SMP and the smart way to deploy wireless- and IoT services. It features rule set-based configurable logic and an intelligent database interface.
Designed for the Real-World
We have designed the Aptilo ServiceGlue™ based on the simple truth that there will always be new requirements and that neither our customers nor we have the time to wait for the next software release. There is also a need to integrate with existing systems seamlessly. Thus, nothing can be hard-coded. Any adapted logic for deployments needs to be added by configuration.
With the Aptilo ServiceGlue functionality, the Aptilo SMP becomes a powerful and flexible glue between the OSS/BSS/core and the wireless network. Our vendor-agnostic approach with pre-enabled adaptations for our partners’ equipment and the flexible integration with OSS/BSS/core systems provides unprecedented savings in the deployment phase. Our customers can preserve existing infrastructure and supporting system investments and execute a phased step-by-step integration.
Rule-Set Based Configurable Logic
The Aptilo ServiceGlue features advanced configurable rule-set-based functions. The functions can receive requests and triggers from gateways and other nodes such as policy and provisioning systems to trigger the advanced rule-set-based configurable logic. And finally, push the required actions back to the external gateways and systems. One request can also result in multiple actions toward different nodes.
The functions can utilize the intelligent database interface in Aptilo ServiceGlue to perform multiple lookups and intelligently map the different parameters from these sources to another set of parameters in the wireless network or other nodes and systems. Based on the result from these intelligent lookups, new functions can be triggered in the Aptilo ServiceGlue, creating a highly flexible logic.
In the example, a request triggers the start of the primary function ‘100’. The function can then start two alternative functions (or any number of functions) based on the received data from the trigger. The sub-functions can, in turn, start additional functions to complete the desired logic.
Three types of triggers initiate the execution of the functions:
- Events in the network, such as login requests, accounting requests, etc.
- Changes of values in the Aptilo account database, such as changing the parameter “Charge for Wi-Fi” from yes to no.
- Timer, for instance, performing a clean-up of sessions at a specific time.
With the Aptilo ServiceGlue acting as a ”black box,” the operator can deploy advanced functionality with minimal impact on existing systems.
The Enea Aptilo SMP base package allow customers to login and monitor various reporting functions such as aggregated reports and the status of the system. The system owner can login to check real time data from logs, sessions, history events, aggregations and SNMP data. This provides a comprehensive view for the system owner to understand the overall status of the system.
The Enea Aptilo SMP system reporting function features automatic data processing and aggregation, including demographics, usage information, and events.
Multitenancy analytics capability for Wi-Fi services with dashboards and diagrams are available in the Enea Aptilo Venue Wi-Fi Manager application. Flexible reports can be created for all data depending on the use case, whether for Wi-Fi analytics, IoT, or anything else.
The information can be tailored for multiple groups of users, such as network administrators, customer care staff, customer support, managers, marketing, roaming partners, and venue owners.
Policy-Based Statistics Counters
Aptilo SMP features a very flexible way to add statistics counters. This makes it possible to add tailor-made statistics. The possibilities are endless as up to 100 counters can be added to our policy engine. Anything available in the system can be combined to provide the statistics needed.
For instance, the ruleset logic enables Aptilo SMP to count complex combinations of different parameters, such as counting the number of Web logins using prepaid accounts per browser type.
In addition to the analytics dashboard, it is also possible to distribute statistics through SNMP MIB.
Extensive SNMP Support
The Enea Aptilo SMP contains many SNMP MIBs with thousands of objects. Of these, about 550 are Aptilo-specific objects. About 25 objects are traps; the others are used to monitor status and gather statistics from different system components.
The Enea Aptilo SMP platform comes with a rich set of features for managing the service and the platform. From the management GUI, the system administrator gets the most important tools to manage general configurations, analyze logs, system health metrics, backups, service definitions, and integration points.
The SNMP MIBs allow system administrators to integrate Aptilo SNMP with their existing monitoring systems easily.
Trouble Shooting Tools
The Enea Aptilo SMP platform is built on a robust architecture that can manage millions of users and sessions and, at the same time be able to support and troubleshoot individual users.
Below are a few examples of tools that can be used to manage the Wi-Fi service.
The user and/or device activity in the Aptilo SMP is one of the most powerful troubleshooting tools available. The system allows you to define a user to analyze and provides a detailed description of what happens to the data related to this specific user as it passes through the solution.
Session Search is the way to get a list of active end-user sessions in an Aptilo SMP. An active session means any end-user that is either logged in to the Wi-Fi service or is currently trying to log in through a captive portal flow.
The Aptilo SMP keeps the GDPR-compliant log information required for troubleshooting in one consolidated system log for the complete installation. Logs from the different system nodes are all sent to the management node, where they can be searched in the SMP admin GUI. The logs can also be received over Syslog. Since the European GDPR legislation is one of the strictest in the world for protecting personal data, you will be covered to support other legislations globally.
The Audit Trail is a list of configuration actions that have been performed on the Aptilo SMP. All GUI activities are listed with the intended purpose of being able to identify who did what and when in the Aptilo SMP.
Aptilo SMP allows for searches in the configuration database. This makes it possible to find all occurrences of a configuration value and is valuable when the system administrator does not know where to configure the parameter in the SMP admin GUI.
The Enea Aptilo SMP also features several tools for smoother system operation.
Automatic and Manual Backup
The Aptilo SMP allows for collections of all configuration changes and accounts that have been added or changed and can manually or by a defined schedule create a backup based on this. This feature helps to secure the provided service and be able to quickly enable the service again in case of issues in the data center.
Online Updates and Upgrades
The Aptilo SMP platform supports online updates and upgrades and updates from locally downloaded installation files. Due to the scalable architecture of the Aptilo SMP, the platform’s upgrade doesn’t affect the provided service, as each functional node can be upgraded separately.
The Wi-Fi software package and portal products that typically contain customer-specific data will be updated separately on the management node once the changes to their specific package have been added.
System Integrity Self-check
The Aptilo SMP platform is installed with signed software and libraries to make sure that no unauthorized person makes any changes to the system. These files are checked through a built-in self-check service that makes it possible to track and identify a breach.