Category Archives: Work

Snom Asset Management and Provisioning with Genesys

Snom Asset Manager (SAM) is a desktop application which provides a fully integrated solution for managing Snom IP Phone assets end to end throughout the asset lifecycle. When used in configuration with the Snom Asset Audit (SAA) desktop application the majority of the IP Phone provisioning process is fully automated and the built in checks ensure that the possibility of human error is minimised. A built in persistent storage mechanism allows Snom IP Phone assets to be tracked over a period of time and a history of asset status and information changes to be retrieved.

SAM is integrated with the following components of the provisioning solution:

  • Provisioning Servers (HTTP / Web Servers)
  • DHCP Servers
  • Genesys Configuration Management Environment (CME) via Configuration Server

If required SAM can be used in conjunction with a standard barcode scanner and has built in checks to ensure that the scanned MAC address is a valid Snom MAC address otherwise the scanned input is ignored. This reduces the time to manage an asset since incorrectly scanned barcode labels are simply ignored.

SAM tracks the dynamic IP address assigned to an asset in two ways. Firstly through processing of HTTP logs fetched periodically from each configured provisioning server. This mechanism is also used to track the download of IP Phone specific configuration files and also firmware downloads. The second way is through the periodic fetching of DHCP lease logs from each configured DHCP server.

Automatic de-duplication of log entries from multiple provisioning servers and multiple DHCP servers always ensures that SAM provides a single source of truth in terms of the IP Phone’s current IP address and also firmware revision.

This information is available to support engineers through an asset status request. In this way support engineers can check if an IP Phone has recently downloaded new configuration information and/or firmware. In addition the current dynamic IP address assigned to the IP Phone can be determined and this allows engineers to login to the IP Phone via its secured Web UI interface to download IP Phone logs or to perform PCAP capture.

Enough talk – see SAM in action below!

 

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Genesys Log File Management Tool (LFMT)

http://www.genesyslab.com/support/news-and-events/support-announcements/download-the-new-log-file-management-tool.aspx

 

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Genesys Customer Care is pleased to announce the global availability of the new Log File Management Tool (LFMT). This tool collects copies of Genesys application log files, stores them in a central repository, and provides an interface for retrieving the specific log files needed to troubleshoot an application issue. The LFMT was developed by our Customer Care team to make it easier and quicker to retrieve the right logs for troubleshooting, and thus reduce problem resolution times.

The goal of the new Log File Management Tool is to promote fast and targeted log file capture, reliable log file retention, and quick and easy log file retrieval. Built as a plug-in to Genesys Administrator Extension, the LFMT performs the following functions:

  • Transfers copies of log files from application server hosts to a centralized log file repository
  • Indexes log files into a central database according to customer-defined criteria, such as time or ConnID
  • Scrubs sensitive data based on customer needs
  • Provides a graphical user interface for customers and partners to easily search logs pertaining to an issue
  • Provides a secure delivery method for customers, partners and Genesys Customer Care to share log files
  • Enables unassisted log file retrieval by partners and Genesys Customer Care

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Open-source telecom rocks at Dutch events

Moscow based Fairwaves recently deployed its open-source GSM solution in the Netherlands using the unlicensed GSM spectrum. Small GSM networks were launched during major music festivals in cooperation with Dutch solution provider Event Connection.

http://fairwaves.ru/news/2013-07-24-open-source-telecom-rocks-at-Dutch-events.php

I just wish it was easier to find some unlicensed GSM spectrum in the UK ….

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Genesys SIP Call Flows – The easy way!

Introduction to my SIP/RTP Sequence Diagram / Call Flow generator tool. How to create Genesys SIP call flows the easy way!

Features and Benefits:

  • Documenting and annotating SIP and RTP call flows in real world
  • Realtime generation of SD Edit diagrams (http://sdedit.sourceforge.net/)
  • Online markup of issues, proposed changes, impact assessment etc.
  • Reordering of actors focuses on messages flows to/from a particular actor (e.g. a SIP UA)
  • TLS support (Secure SIP / SIPS)
  • Breakpoint and auto comments
  • Automatic missing SIP message identification  -> PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
  • Automatic repeated SIP message identification -> PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
  • Identification of dynamic RTP port ranges / Identification of firewall issues -> PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

YouTube video here:

UPDATE 04/05/2013 – Genesys TLib support added.

I knew this blog post would come in useful one day!

http://genesysguru.com/blog/blog/2009/09/26/t-library-protocol/

UPDATE 06/05/2013 – Multiple capture devices and PCAP file merging added.

UPDATE 12/06/2013 – Added lots of new features like timelines, audio decoding and Genesys T-Lib message decoding!

SDGenerator

 

 

 

 

 

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Open Source Telecom

The GSM Association (GSMA) (http://www.gsma.com/) is an association of mobile operators and related companies devoted to supporting the standardising, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system.

Universal service funds (USF) are set up by levies on telecoms in individual countries, which are then used to increase consumer access based on criteria such as income distribution, rural and urban population ratios, literacy and geography.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22121429

Universal service funds (USF) set up to improve poor and rural access to mobile services worldwide are “inefficient and ineffective”, according to a recent GSMA report.

More than $11bn (£7.2bn) has yet to be spent, according to the GSMA. “Very few funds, if any, would appear to disburse all that they collect,” it said.

The GSMA report estimates that more than one-third of the 64 funds surveyed have yet to disburse any of the contributions they have collected and less than 12.5% of the funds are meeting their own targets.

This is where Open Source Telecom comes in …

“Fairwaves (http://fairwaves.ru/) helps mobile operators radically widen subscriber base and boost profitability in low-income regions. With a minimal initial budget, operator could quickly roll-out his network and launch profit-generating services. Fairwaves sells equipment and provide hosted services for mobile operators.

In Fairwaves we believe that communications could be affordable for everyone and mobile networks could be profitable anywhere. We bet on a network of proven partners, the power of open-source and the latest IC technology.”

Below is a link the personal manifesto of Alexander Chemeris, CEO/Founder of Fairwaves:

http://openbts.chemeris.ru/2012/10/open-source-telecom-fixing-inefficiency-of-mobile-industry/

“I believe that mobile/wireless industry is broken now — it lacks cooperation. Competition is a good thing, but cooperation is no less important. Without cooperation companies throw millions of $$$ to re-implement the wheel instead of implementing what’s important for a customer. And I believe open-source is a great (the only?) way to fix this. Personally, I love open-source exactly for this reason — it improves cooperation and cuts inefficiency. I can’t say how much I hate inefficiency, I can’t stand duplicated efforts which do not lead to innovation.”

Hopefully you now know why I have become so interested in OpenBTS, UmTRX, OsmocomBB etc. over the last few months!

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OsmocomBB

http://bb.osmocom.org/trac/

OsmocomBB is an Free Software / Open Source GSM Baseband software implementation. It consists of 3 elements:

  • Firmware running on the baseband chip of a compatible Mobile Phone such as a Motorola C115. Normally this is the GSM Layer 1 (physical layer) firmware
  • A communication process (osmocon) running on a Unix host which relays communication between GSM Layer 2/3 (Data Link and Network layers) applications and the GSM Layer 1 firmware running on the Phone using a serial cable connection
  • GSM Layer 2/3 applications which run also run on the Unix host

The easy way to think of OsmocomBB is a physical NIC card (Mobile Phone and baseband firmware) with a host driver (osmocon) which can be accessed by GSM applications.

The beauty of OsmocomBB is that (ignoring the cost of the Unix host) a compatible Motorola Mobile Phone and USB serial cable can be bought on eBay for less than £10. A £30 Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/) can even be used as the Unix Host.

Playing with GSM and access to GSM Layer 1 does not come any cheaper than that!

Overview

osmocon is responsible for downloading custom baseband firmware into the phone. After downloading a firmware image, osmocon turns into an High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) mulitplexer/demultiplexer allowing for multichannel communication with the phone.

When using the GSM Layer 1 firmware GSM L1CTL messages are received via a USB serial port by osmocon, which demultiplexes the different data streams and passes L1CTL on via a unix domain socket into whatever GSM Layer 2/3 application is running (e.g. mobile, cell_log, ccch_scan, bcch_scan, cbch_sniff or other naughty GSM applications such as RACHell).

./osmocon -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -m c123xor ../../target/firmware/board/compal_e88/layer1.compalram.bin

mobile is a L2/L3 application that implements most of the behavior of a regular GSM telephone but is extended in many ways. The mobile application is used in combination with the layer1.bin firmware.

./osmocom-bb/src/host/layer23/src/mobile/mobile

ccch_scan is a L2/L3 application that can sync to a carrier ARFCN then logs power measurement and GSM Common Control Channel (CCCH) information such as Paging Requests and Immediate Assignments. Like mobile, ccch_scan is also used in combination with the layer1.bin firmware.

./osmocom-bb/src/host/layer23/src/misc/ccch_scan -a 512

As an alternative to the GSM Layer 1 firmware, the RSSI firmware can be downloaded. RSSI is an application that can be used to monitor the received signal indication (RSSI) of ARFCNs or the entire spectrum. RSSI is too big to be loaded directly so it has to be chainloaded e. g. osmocom first loads a little chainloader binary which in turn is used load actual payload (big RSSI binary) specified via “-c” option:

./osmocom-bb/src/host/osmocon/osmocon -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -m c123xor -c ./osmocom-bb/src/target/firmware/board/compal_e88/rssi.highram.bin ./osmocom-bb/src/target/firmware/board/compal_e88/chainload.compalram.bin

YouTube demo here …

 

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