Aug 302016

In OSS, we use the polling concept often to pull statistics and configuration data from the devices. If the devices we are dealing with are implementing the pull based protocols such as SNMP or FTP, we cannot get rid of this.

All types of polling processes come with a polling period. If I have 100 routers and a polling period of 5 minutes, each and every 5 minutes I will have to connect each device and pull the necessary KPIs to be injected into my DataMart.

If you look at the CPU and Memory utilization of a performance management server (poller) during the process, you will see high peaks at the start of the polling periods. If we follow the 5 minutes polling example above, we will see the peaks at the minutes, for example, 0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55. If your polling period is 5 minutes, you have 5 minutes to finish your job. If it exceeds that period, you will fall into data consistency issues. As the node and KPI count increase, you have to throw more hardware to finish soon. (For each device connection, we will most probably want to open up a separate thread until we hit the point of diminishing returns)

Considering the whole collection process does not occupy the whole 5 minutes’ period, the remaining period will be wasted in the waiting state for the server. Since the hardware configuration was designed for the peak times, our server will remain to be “expensive”.

Assigning a polling time to a specific node is the key to this problem. In this approach, we divide the polling period to sub-periods. So, if the polling period is 5 minutes, we can divide it like:

10 nodes Zeroth second of First Minute, 10 nodes Thirtieth second of First Minute, 10 nodes Zeroth second of Second Minute, 10 nodes Thirtieth second of Second Minute…

Here we put 10 nodes into each 30 seconds timeframe, to finalize polling of 100 nodes in 5 minutes.

We also need to consider the speed of these nodes. Some nodes will suffer performance problems due to weak hardware configuration or high load. The response time of those may exceed the 30 seconds timeframe.

In order to cope with this problem, we should also consider putting the slowest responding nodes to the earliest sub-frames. This way, a node’s polling can “extend” to the next subframe and can still be finalized in the given 5 minutes. This, of course, requires you to maintain a continuous baseline of node response times at the server side.

Splitting the polling period and distributing the nodes wisely to the sub-periods will help you to reduce your hardware costs.

Mobile Device Repositories

 CEM, Device Management  Comments Off on Mobile Device Repositories
Nov 212011

One of the first requirement for mobile portals is to provide customized and optimized content which will enable a consistent customer experience throughout the mobile channel. Mobile portals should convert the content to the desired format on the fly before the content hits the consumer device.

In order to do this conversion, portal (or conversion enabling tool underneath it) needs to “know” the device. The device information should be listed in a central repository where it can easily be searched and extracted. Another important point is to have this information stored up-to-date at all times.

Most mobile device management software provide this kind of central repository. Some mobile portal products are also packed with this kind of information. If you are using a commercial and supported product, you can rely on the vendor to maintain this information. (It could be a nightmare to maintain this information by yourself.)

There is a nice, open-source initiative named Wurfl if you haven’t heard about it yet. You can reach it at here.

From this platform, you can download the latest mobile device repository in XML format and use it in your applications.

It also has a web interface where you can search a specific device.

After locating  the device you are looking for, you can reach information categories such as:

  • Product Information
  • Display Information
  • Markup Language/CSS/Ajax Support
  • Ajax Support
  • Playback/Streaming Protocol Support
  • Chips (NFC, GPS etc.)

Having and maintaining an up-to-date device information repository is a must for todays’ mobile telecommunication operator. Delivering a consistent customer experience in the mobile channel, effective support processes, effective device campaigns all require you to have this kind of repository.