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3G SGSN Element Management


3G SGSN Element Management

© Copyright Hughes Software Systems, 2004

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1. 3 G Wireless Networks 5
1.1. Management Modules 6
1.2. Challenges 7
1.3. 3G-SGSN Managers 8
1.4. Future Roadmap 8
1.5. Conclusion 9
1.6. References 9

3G SGSN Element Management


Figure 1: The SGSN in the 3G Network ........................................ 5

Figure 2: Management of a 3G SGSN Module ................................ 8

The 3G-SGSN is the network entity in a 3G GPRS
1. 3 G Wireless Networks network primarily responsible for managing the
mobility of a served GPRS capable UE in the 3G
Serving GPRS Support Node (3G-SGSN) is
mobile network. It also performs session management
an integrated system consisting of several
procedures for packet routing and transfer functions
modules. 3G SGSN provides a framework for
and is responsible for the delivery of data packets
complete element management intended for a
from and to the mobile stations within its geographical
field-deployable system. The 3G-SGSN Element
service area.
Management involves management of the
system as well as its constituent modules. The The figure below gives an architectural overview
paper summarizes element management of a 3G network, illustrating the important
framework of 3G-SGSN. It also highlights the components of the network and the logical interfaces
challenges involved in development of the between these components
element management framework and solutions
to various challenges faced

Other PLMN

Other Center
BT Charging
Um S Border Gn Gateway

Abis Gd

S Gf
Gateway E
Uu B R D
B Iur
N N Other

Figure 1: The SGSN in the 3G Network

3G SGSN Element Management

The system exports a public-interface to the 1.1. Management Modules

external network for IP and SS7 connectivity on a
This section describes the various management
distinguished system entity called System Controller.
modules of 3G-SGSN.
The public interface for node management also
terminates on the System Controller. The 3G-SGSN 1.1.1. Configuration Manager (CM)
architecture separates the signaling and the traffic
The CM reads the configuration parameters of the
processing on other distinguished system entities
3G-SGSN from a configuration file at the startup and
referred to as Signaling slots and Traffic slots
configures the system and the corresponding
respectively. The System Controller is also responsible
modules. At the system level it is also responsible to
for controlling and managing different Signaling slots
serve the configuration requests received from an
and Traffic slots configured on the system.
external manager and configures the various modules
Each slot consists of several modules, each appropriately. Additionally the CM is also responsible
providing a definite functionality defined for 3G-SGSN. to serve requests from the external manager for
These modules include protocol stacks and element statistics collection, status query and trigger necessary
management modules. actions based on imperative commands received from
the external manager.
The management of 3G-SGSN includes the
following functions 1.1.2. Health Manager (HM)
¡ Read configuration parameters of the 3G-SGSN at
The HM periodically monitors the health status of
various modules in the system and in case of failure
¡ Modify configuration parameters of the 3G-SGSN reports the faults to a fault manager. This module is
and handle consequent modifications in also responsible to report startup of different slots
operation. configured on the 3G-SGSN to FM.

¡ Read status values and tables of the 3G-SGSN. 1.1.3. Fault Manager (FM)
¡ Retrieve (and possibly atomically reset) statistics
Any fault in the system is reported to the FM. The
data collected at the 3G-SGSN. FM takes necessary actions depending on the severity
¡ Report alarm conditions asynchronously. of the fault. The different levels of severity identified
¡ Detect faults and take necessary corrective for the faults reported are Critical, Major, Minor and
actions. Informational. The Critical faults trigger a restart of
the system. All the faults that occur in the system are
¡ Accept and perform imperative commands.
further reported to the Event Manager.
The basic principle here is that the public element
1.1.4. Event Manager (EM)
management interface will be accessible from the
system controller through a proprietary suite of APIs The EM receives information for various events
based on OIDs generated from SMIv2C MIBs. and alarms that have occurred in the system from the
Internally, each management function is available at respective modules or the FM. All the events and
the system level as well as on individual slots. alarms are reported to the configured external
element manager.

1.2. Challenges 3G-SGSN management API is defined for a basic
set of following 5 commands
3G-SGSN consists of several modules, which have
¡ Set Request – This API corresponds to any
been developed independently. All these modules
individually export different APIs towards the request received to set a particular management
management interface. The biggest challenge attribute to a particular value.
involved in managing the 3G-SGSN and its modules, ¡ Set Response – This API contains the response to
was to address these several disjoint management the corresponding Set Request received indicating
APIs through a common management point.
a success or failure. In case of success the value
To address this mammoth management task a configured is also present in the API.
uniform interface has been used to manage all the
¡ Get Request– This API corresponds to any
modules irrespective of the APIs exported by them.
request received to receive the value
The API interface for 3G-SGSN management has also
been adaptable enough to suite a standard corresponding to a particular management

management technique. This has been achieved using attribute.

the MIBs defined for the 3G-SGSN system as well as ¡ Get Response– This API contains the response to
all the constituent modules. Hence the management the corresponding Get Request received
interface is completely based on these MIBs.
indicating a success or failure. In case of success
1.2.1. Management Interface of 3G-SGSN the value is also present in the API.

The MIBs defined for 3G-SGSN and its constituent ¡ Trap – This API is used to asynchronously report
modules provided unique OIDs for each management occurrence of any event or alarm in the 3G-SGSN.
attribute. Internally 3G-SGSN addresses these OIDs
All the management attributes are identified by
from the level of 3G-SGSN OID. Hence it is possible to
their OIDs in the above APIs. Hence the management
modify the MIBs to generate OIDs for any network in
interface is independent of the API expected by the
which the OIDs for any management attribute below
corresponding modules. Each module has a small
the level of 3G-SGSN OID did not change.
encapsulation layer which translates these generic
Example: APIs (based on OIDs) to the module specific APIs and
vice-versa. This ensures that any changes in the
The PLMN Id attribute of GMM module MIB in the
module specific management APIs require minimal
3G-SGSN has the OID
change in the 3G-SGSN management modules.
defined for a 3G-SGSN with its MIBs defined for HSS
(OID Internally 3G-SGSN processes The Iu interface is split into 2 parts: circuit
the OID after the prefix OID for HSS switched and packet-switched. The Iu interface is
( If this MIB is later defined for any based on ATM with voice traffic embedded on virtual
other network the prefix ( can change circuits using AAL2 technology and IP-over-ATM for
but the suffix ( will remain unchanged. data traffic using AAL5 technology. These traffic types
Hence there is no change required in the are switched independently to either 3G SGSN for
management functionality of 3G-SGSN when placed in data or 3G MSC for voice.
a different network.

The stripping-off of the prefix OID digits is

external to 3G-SGSN.

3G SGSN Element Management

Stack Wrapper Code

Core Porting Code of module

Module includes stack wrapper

Module Specific API

Generic API

Figure 2: Management of a 3G SGSN Module

1.2.2. Management Information Base 1.3.2. CLI

As stated earlier the MIBs defined for 3G-SGSN 3G-SGSN is available with a CLI (generated from
and its constituent modules generate unique OID HSS CLI Toolkit). CLI is based on the 3G-SGSN
corresponding to each attribute. The leading digits of System MIBs and MIBs of the constituent modules of
the attributes OID (prefix stripped-off) identify the 3G-SGSN. Corresponding to each MIB attribute the
module for which the API is received. The CLI provides basic set of commands to configure the
corresponding management module then routes the attribute or retrieve its value from the system. CLI
message, unchanged, to the module using the 3G- exports a telnet interface using, which the 3G-SGSN
SGSN IPC. This ensures that any change in the MIB can be managed remotely.
specific to a module does not impact the operation of
the management modules. However in case of
1.4. Future Roadmap
addition of new module minimal change is required in Currently 3G-SGSN supports a single
the management modules to enable the management management interface, thus limiting the management
of the new modules. from a single external manager. In future 3G-SGSN
shall be enhanced to support management from
1.3. 3G-SGSN Managers multiple managers simultaneously.
1.3.1. SNMP Management
HSS FlexNM™ shall be available to manage the
3G-SGSN can be bundled with a SNMP Agent, 3G-SGSN over the SNMP interface through the SNMP
which exports the SNMP interface to the external Agent.
manager and the 3G-SGSN specific management API
Currently MIBs are defined for 3G-SGSN system
towards the 3G-SGSN. The SNMP Agent is responsible
parameters and individual MIBs are defined for each
to strip off the prefix OIDs, which are specific to the
of the constituent module of 3G-SGSN. Some of the
modules’ MIBs have the same parameter hence
requiring multiple configuration of the same attribute

for the system. A proxy MIB will be defined for 3G-
SGSN, which shall require a single configuration for
such attributes and internally 3G-SGSN management
modules can configure appropriate modules based on
the module specific MIBs.

1.5. Conclusion
Element management system of HSS 3G SGSN
provides a uniform management interface of all the
integrated stack components. Being MIB based NM
interface, this can be adapted to interface with a
standard NM framework

1.6. References
¡ HSS Internal Approach Papers for 3G-SGSN
Feature Development
¡ IETF RFC 1157 Simple Network Management
Protocol (SNMP). J.D. Case, M. Fedor, M.L.
Schoffstall, J. Davin. May-01-1990.
¡ 3GPP TS 32.106, 3G Configuration Management:
Concepts and Requirements
¡ 3GPP TS 32.111-1, 3G Fault Management
¡ ITU-T Recommendation X.733, Alarm Reporting

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