|June 16, 2003
XACCT Contributes its Highly Reliable Network Accounting Protocol to IPDR.org
|Standardization of network accounting protocol will accelerate adoption of usage-measurement and value-based billing standards
|Santa Clara, Calif., June 16, 2003-XACCT Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of network data management solutions for global communications service providers, today announced that XACCT has contributed its CRANE (Common Reliable Accounting for Network Elements) protocol to IPDR.org, for adoption as the IPDR Streaming Protocol (IPDR/SP-TCP). By leveraging CRANE's field-proven embedded elements for both, "producer" and "consumer", network equipment vendors as well as application developers will be able to implement reliable network accounting solutions quickly and cost effectively. XACCT developed CRANE protocol over the past three years to address the lack of a standard method to reliably export high volumes of accounting information from IP network and service elements to downstream OSS/BSS applications. Several network equipment vendors have already embedded CRANE in their products. IPDR.org is an industry consortium of leading service providers, equipment vendors, system integrators, and billing and mediation vendors.
" Thanks to the XACCT contribution, a specification and a source implementation will be ready for industrial implementation this year" commented Aron Heintz, President of IPDR.org. "By leveraging CRANE's proven, embeddable technology, IPDR/S-TCP will permit network equipment vendors ("producers") and application developers ("consumers") to implement high-speed accounting solutions with ease."
" The contribution of CRANE source code and implementations to IPDR.org further demonstrates XACCT's long-standing commitment to the service provider industry", said Tal Givoly, Chief Scientist, XACCT Technologies. "Standardization of network accounting protocol will propel the adoption of value added services, unencumbered by technological challenges of accounting interfaces."
CRANE (Common Reliable Accounting for Network Elements) Protocol
CRANE was developed by XACCT to create a reliable, flexible, extensible and efficient protocol to transport usage data from network/service elements to downstream systems, such as mediation systems and BSS/OSS. It is designed to specifically address the critical needs of exporting high volume of accounting data reliably from network elements with efficient use of network, storage, and processing resources.
Over the past three years, CRANE has been successfully implemented by over a dozen network equipment vendors. It has also been implemented in production environments by several carriers to:
•Capture usage data and revenue for SMS inter-connect accounting over SS7 over IP network
•Efficiently capture end-to-end service intelligence data across ATM/Frame Relay service for service level monitoring and reporting
•Collect and aggregate network data from probes distributed across global network
As part of XACCT's effort to promote CRANE through various standard bodies, it has been offered as a candidate protocol in various standard organizations and was published as RFC 3423 by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) last year.
Key features of the CRANE protocol:
End-to-end reliability -The CRANE protocol uses a transport layer protocol such as TCP or SCTP that ensures in-sequence, reliable data packet delivery. It supports flow control and CRANE protocol-level reliability through acknowledgement procedures. As a result, valuable accounting records are not only ensured to be delivered reliably across the network, but also processed correctly and stored in persistent storage if required. The CRANE protocol also supports server redundancy configurations and load balancing; through rapid, automatic failover and fallback operations, high level of availability and fault tolerance is offered.
•Flexibility -The CRANE protocol imposes minimal constraints on the structure and type of delivered accounting records. By employing a "template negotiation" procedure, any kind of user-defined data model can be supported. The protocol also has version and capability negotiation facility, much like Modems, to allow communicating parties to establish the best version and capabilities in which to communicate. This degree of flexibility has allowed CRANE to be used for diversified information export requirements in domain-agnostic reliable exchange of records.
•Lightweight and memory efficient -The CRANE API embedded in network equipments has a footprint of approximated 150 - 200 KB and requires little CPU processing power.
•Real-time delivery -The CRANE protocol supports a real-time "push" based data delivery model. This minimizes the latency between data collection at Network Elements and data reception and processing at CRANE servers.
•Efficiency -The CRANE protocol messages have very low overhead, and records are encoded in a compactly packaged binary format. By negotiating "templates", only desired records and fields are transmitted with considerably less overhead compared to other encoding mechanisms.
•Scalability - With its high performance, low overhead and load balancing capability, the CRANE protocol scales well with the increasing number of network elements, especially in highly available (HA) deployments. CRANE allows operation in a cost-effective N to M redundancy rather than typical 1:1 redundancy and can save up to 50% of the hardware costs.
About XACCT Technologies
XACCT Technologies provides the leading network data management platform for telecommunications service providers such as network backbone providers, mobile operators, cable operators and managed services providers. XACCT's carrier-class Network-to-Business (N2B(tm)) Platform enables service providers to monetize their network traffic by harnessing network information to create new value-based services and lower operational costs. XACCT offers the industry's first and only platform that enables real-time data capture and enhancement; seamless integration with any business or operations application; and instantaneous, flow-through service provisioning.
XACCT has received numerous awards including Upside magazine's 'HOT100', 'Product of the Year' by Internet Telephony and 'Top 50 private companies most likely to change the world' by Red Herring magazine. XACCT investors include Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW), Dell Computer (NASDAQ:DELL), Deutsche Bank, Technology Crossover Ventures, Trident Capital, Ampal (NASDAQ:AMPL), Eucalyptus Ventures and Israel Seed Partners. With offices around the globe, XACCT has more than 70 customers, including Bell Canada (NYSE:BCE), Boeing (NYSE: BA), Broadwing (NYSE:BRW), Cable & Wireless (NYSE:CWP), Cegetel-Vodafone, COLT (NASDAQ:COLT), Equant (NYSE:ENT), Genuity-Level 3 Communications (NASDAQ: LVLT), Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Omnitel-Vodafone, SingTel Optus, Sprint (NYSE:FON/PCS), Teleglobe, (NYSE:BCE), TELUS (NYSE: TU), TV Cabo, and Verio-NTT (NYSE:NTT). The XACCT N2B platform links the network to the business.