Tuesday, December 22, 2009

IEEE paper on "Developing Converged Application using Open Source software"

The 2009 IEEE Symposium on Industrial Electronics & Applications was held at Best Western Premier Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 4th-6th October 2009. From RedHat/Mobicents I submitted paper on "Developing Converged Application using Open Source software" and presented the same on 5th October 2009. The paper is already registered in the IEEE Xplore database. The paper talks about leveraging the Open Source Solution in development of real time application like voice. The paper then talks in details about Mobicents Platform, components involved in Mobicents Platform and finally a converged example developed on Mobicents Platform.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Encounter with JOPR

There is a discussion for Mobicents Media Server 2.x.y Console requirements on

  • whether it should be built using Swing that can be installed on any machine and this stand-alone instance connects with Mobicents Media Server for statistics and configuration
  • use standard JOPR server that almost all Mobicents project is using as de-facto and write agent that will monitor media server.

In quest to understand what exactly is JOPR I decided to write a custom plugin for JOPR and see how it can monitor any resource's that we want.

I started with blog from Heiko and this was very useful. Thank you JOPR guys for such a niece blog! After reading all 5 Part's I decided to give it a try.

Started with SVN check-out of JOPR from http://svn.rhq-project.org/repos/rhq/trunk to my local directory /jopr/src/

Since JOPR is also using maven, building JOPR was not nightmare. However JOPR by default requires the access to Postgres database and it wasn't easy for me to install Postgres and get it running :( I wish JOPR uses in-memory HSQLDB initially and latter on give an option to go for Postgres, Oracle, My-Sql or any DB that user may want to use in production. This will make the development very fast.

The wiki explaining the build of JOPR is given at http://support.rhq-project.org/display/RHQ/Building+RHQ

Once you have JOPR built and installed and have Postgres up and running, you need to develop a custom plugin as explained in Part3 of blog.

Assuming that custom plugin is built and ready, next step is start the server

  1. cd to /jopr/src/trunk/modules/enterprise/server/container/target/rhq-server-1.3.0-SNAPSHOT/bin and call ./rhq-server.sh start
  2. Go to http://localhost:7080/ to see the JOPR console. Login as user rhqadmin and password rhqadmin
  3. Still we haven't started the Agent. So next cd to /jopr/src/trunk/modules/enterprise/agent/target/rhq-agent/bin and ./rhq-agent.sh -l. This will configure the Agent and ask few simple questions. For almost all of them the default answers are rigtht. Bellow is from my comandline showing what reply I provided

    RHQ 1.3.0-SNAPSHOT [4925] (Thu Aug 20 13:44:46 GMT+05:30 2009)
    Answer the following questions to setup this RHQ Agent instance.
    - After each prompt, a default value will appear in square brackets.
    If you press the ENTER key without providing any value,
    the new preference value will be set to that default value.
    - If you wish to rely on the system internal default value and
    not define any preference value, enter '!*'.
    - If you wish to stop before finishing all the questions but still
    retain those preferences you already set, enter '!+'.
    - If you wish to cancel before finishing all the questions and revert
    all preferences back to their original values, enter '!-'.
    - If you need help for a particular preference, enter '!?'.

    Agent Name [localhost] : postgres_agent
    Agent Hostname or IP Address [!*] :
    Agent Port [16163] :
    RHQ Server Hostname or IP Address [] :
    RHQ Server Port [7080] :
    The setup has been completed for the preferences at node [/rhq-agent/default].

    Next from client CLI I executed command 'plugins' just to refresh the plugins from server.

  4. Now go to http://localhost:7080/ Click on Dashboard - Auto-Discovery and you should see entry of the 'postgres_agent' agent. Import this Agent and now all the statistics including the custom plugin that we developed will be available to JOPR Server and we can monitor the stats. Below is the Screen shot showing the Response Time metrics exposed by our custom plugin.

So far so good. The conclusion is Agent needs to be installed on Mobicents Media Server that we need to monitor and Agent communicate to server Via JBoss Remoting. I am still learning what is the communication protocol and what is the load on client machine where Agent is installed due to agent activity. Remember Mobicents Media Server cannot take any heavy load else Jitter will kill all the performance.

Its now clear that we can expose the statistics using JOPR. Next I want to write a Agent that talks to MMS via MGCP protocol to avoid installing Agent at MMS side and expose some real statistics. Also one of the requirements of MMS Console is configuring the media-path at run-time with easy drag-and-drop feature from console. I still don't know if this is possible via JOPR Agent? And if yes can it be remote or needs to be in same JVM as Mobicents Media Server?

May be I will ask the JOPR experts to help me out with this dilemma.

Till then enjoy the JOPR :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mobicents Annual Meet at Brno Czech Republic - August 24 - 29, 2009

Last week Mobicents core team met at Brno, Czech Republic to discuss the achievements and road-map of Mobicents platform. Some brain storming between all the projects and some learning and party at the end of the day is something that is equally important :)

This time too it was as exciting as last year. This was third time Mobicents core team met, and each one of us did presentations of the project we are working on. The agenda of the meet was:

  • Overview of project status, partner ecosystem and market opportunities; internal training for pre-sales and consulting teams.
  • Productization achievements in 2009 and current challenges. Comparison with JBoss EAP and SOA productization. Goals and milestones for 2009-2010.
  • Documentation, achievements in 2009. Current process, challenges and goals
  • QE: achievements in 2009, current QE lab setup, automated test harness, outstanding challenges, what to expect in 2009-2010
  • MSS achievements, challenges and roadmap
  • IPBX Demo, STF, Ruby API
  • MMS achievements, challenges and roadmap, what to expect in 2009-2010
  • Diameter achievements, challenges and roadmap, what to expect in 2009-2010
  • Mobicents JSLEE 2.x.y achievements, challenges and roadmap, what to expect in 2009-2010
  • Presence Services achievements, challenges and roadmap, what to expect in 2009-2010
  • 3G and IMS
  • MMS - SS7 review, use cases, implementation strategies
  • HA status, implementation roadmap alternatives, cross-server strategy

The major achievements of the past year is Mobicents Media Server, Mobicents Sip Servlet Server, Mobicents JAIN SLEE Server and Mobicents Diameter all went GA! Mobicents JAIN SLEE Server is already JAIN SLEE 1.1 compliant.

This couldn't have been possible without the continuous support of the community. For all the discussions, presentation and blogs from other team members please visit Mobicents Brno page.

I did two presentations on MMS 2.x.y architecture and role of MMS in SS7 world.

MMS 2.x.y architecture makes it one of the most flexible and the only OpenSource media server available as of today built on top of JBoss Microcontainer.
For SS7 support, Zaptel compatible SS7 cards will be installed on MMS and MMS core will take care of media circuit. For signaling the lower level parsing of MTP2 and MTP3 will be done by MMS and then depending on the protocol the message will be forwarded to corresponding stack wrapped by JAIN SLEE resource adaptor for handling the signaling and business logic in SBBs. Going forward we will have complete SS7 support like ISUP, SCCP, TCAP, MAP, etc. This will bridge the gap between legacy and next generation applications.

We marked day end by team dinner at some real good restaurant's and visiting pub's. Also enjoyed playing soccer at Public Garden and Go-Karting on one of the evenings.

The Team from Left to Right : Jean, Ivelin, Amit, Luis, Bartek, Vladimir, Alex and Eduardo. Our host Pavel is missing.

RedHat, Brno office has great infrastructure and they also have Wii Game Console. Bartek killed me 'n' number of times while playing 'James Bond: Quantum of Solace'. "I will get back with vengeance Bartek"

The beer of Brno is worth mentioning, they have different varieties of beer and we didn't leave a single chance to savour it ;)

From left to right Vladimir, Alex and Eduardo

Thats me and Vladimir

Extreme right is Pavel. A big thanks to Pavel for arranging everything :) The team walking on a mission after beer.

The mystery man Oleg couldn't make this time either :( I hope one day will come when GOD's are happy and we will get blessing to meet Oleg face-to-face. Other members missing from team are Vicky and Jared.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

JBoss World 2009 - Chicago September 1-4, 2009

Its time of year when JBoss World 2009 event will rock the stage! This time JBoss World and RedHat summit are hosted together. From Mobicents perspective, there are two sessions happening

First is "Rapid VoIP development - SIP Servlets 1.1, Seam Telco Framework, JRuby on Rails, Eclipse VoIP tooling" that will talk about the framework/tools developed by Mobicents that can facilitate the faster and better development of Converged Application. This seminar will be very productive for developers who wants to dive in VoIP world and also for vetrans who already knows the details.

Next is "Writing Telco 2.0 applications with JBoss Communications Platform based on Mobicents" which will focus on all available pieces of JBoss Communications Platform like JBCP JSLEE Server, JBCP Sip Servlets Server, JBCP Media Server, JBCP Presence Server, JBCP Diameter Server. For a Business decision makers who are planing to embark on "Converged Application" business, this could give a very good overview of what all pieces you need to make a comprehensive converged application. This will also be good for developers as it will give over all picture of JBCP components and how they fit with each other.

If you haven't yet registered, now is the time!

For people who attended the Mobicents presentation last year will be amazed by how much we progressed in just 1.5 years!

Enjoy the sessions and do let us know your feedback.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sangoma & Asterisk + SS7

This is in continuation to my earlier blog on Asterisk + SS7

Here I will jot down my experience on installing wanpipe drivers for new Sangoma A102 card. I bought this card for approximately 60000 INR which is approximately 1350 USD. Just FYI, if any of you guys planing to buy, not sure if its expensive?. I started with downloading Wanpipe drivers and downloaded the most recent 3.3.16 Beta version from http://wiki.sangoma.com/wanpipe-linux-drivers#beta.

Untar this to /usr/src directory

From /usr/src/wanpipe call 'sudo ./Setup dahdi' This will ask you few questions like where is your dahdi installation (point to directory of dahdi). If you have installed dahdi at default location it will automatically give you an option to select that. You will find info at wiki http://wiki.sangoma.com/wanpipe-linux-asterisk-dahdi. I really was looking for way to update this wiki with all the questions that I faced while installing and answers I provided, but unfortunately I didn't find a way to edit the wiki. Though there is an option to leave comment but didn't like that :( Sangoma people can you please make this more dynamic?

Once the compilation of drivers is successful, the Setup will ask you to configure the Channels. This is interesting part and one that kept failing at my end with error message

"No Sangoma voice compatible cards found/configured"

I was having hardware and could see the lights glowing so definitely there was no problem with hardware or PCI slot. I tried executing the command 'sudo wanrouter hwprobe' and would always get

wanrouter: Wanpipe Module: /lib/modules/2.6.24-23-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wan/sdladrv not found !!!!
WANPIPE drivers must be compiled as modules
Check kernel configuration in /usr/src/linux/.config:

I had to ping Sangoma support for this. You can find contact details for support at http://wiki.sangoma.com/SangomaTechSupport

Marc from Sangoma was really quick on this one to help me out. Thanks you Marc Celsie! As per support I had to edit /lib/modules/2.6.24-23-generic/build/Makefile and remove line "EXTRAVERSION = .6". Then change "SUBLEVEL = 24" to "SUBLEVEL = 24-23-generic". After this I had to re-execute the command 'sudo ./Setup dahdi' and it worked like a charm. I set-up the E1 lines and could see 62 channels getting created at /dev/dahdi/1 ... /dev/dahdi/62. The LED at both the port (A-102 has two ports) is now Red which means the drivers installation is good but there is no traffic.

I created a loop-back as shown in this image http://www.t1installers.com/wp-includes/images/loopback/clip_image002.jpg

Pin-outs for the loopback cable:

And inserted in one of the ports and LED turns Green!

Execute 'ifconfig' command number of times and you will see the tx and rx value increasing for port where you have loopback wire plugged. This is proof that everything is good so far.

After this comes the configuration files for Asterisk to talk to your hardware. I am doing this as of now and will post soon in my next blog.

Stay Tunned!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Asterisk + SS7

From last few days I am trying to set up Asterisk + SS7 with Sangoma A102 card on my Ubuntu 8.04 machine. This being my first time with Asterisk I was bit skeptical of things and was wondering if it will be smooth? Well, it wasn't really out-of-box, but it wasn't tough either. Here I will try to explain step-by-step of what I did, challenges I faced and solution for same.

First of all keep in mind that Zaptel module is now renamed to Dahdi. It really took some time for me to understand this and I was wondering if I need Zaptel or Dahdi. This might be very trivial for people who are into Asterisk, but for some one like me who has just started, especially after reading 'Asterisk - The future of Telephony' book where they always talk about Zaptel, it wasn't easy to make out that Dahdi is latest version of Zaptel. Follow the announcement here http://blogs.digium.com/2008/05/19/zaptel-project-being-renamed-to-dahdi/

To have Asterisk + SS7 you need following modules

  1. LibSS7
  2. Dahdi
  3. Asterisk

Even before you start on installation of these modules, there are few linux specific modules that needs to be installed in your machine.

#sudo apt-get install build-essential
#sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`
#sudo apt-get install libssl-dev
#sudo apt-get install ncurses-dev
#sudo apt-get install libnewt-dev
#sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev
#sudo apt-get install bison

In addition I also followed the packages explained in book 'Asterisk - The future of Telephony'. look at Table 3.1

Next download the source code for libss7 (this is still not available as binary). Remember you need to download the Branch 1.0 and *not* Trunk. Follow the forum entry http://archives.free.net.ph/message/20090331.150153.564445b6.en.html

Check out src code to your /usr/src svn co http://svn.digium.com/svn/libss7/branches/1.0/

Next call 'make' and then 'sudo make install'. Thats it! libss7 is installed.

Check out dahdi linux trunk src (there is also dahdi-tools) to /usr/src

svn co http://svn.digium.com/svn/dahdi/linux/trunk/

I renamed /usr/src/trunk to /usr/src/dahdi-trunk. But really it doesn't matter. Go to this dir and call 'make' and 'sudo make install' and your dahdi is installed

Dahdi Tools
Check out dahdi-tools trunk src to /usr/src

svn co http://svn.digium.com/svn/dahdi/tools/trunk/

Go to this dir call './configure' and 'make menuselect'. This will open up UI where you can select modules that you want. I just called 'Save & Exit'. Next call 'make' and 'sudo make install' This will install the dahdi tools for you.

Download the Asterisk from http://downloads.digium.com/pub/asterisk/asterisk- to /usr/src. Un-tar it and go to parent dir. Call './configure' You should see in console output that libss7 is selected. Call 'make menuselect'. In this under 'Channel Drivers' header you should see 'chan_dahdi' selected (* against it) This means libss7 is good! Just call 'Save & Exit'. Next execute 'make' command and then 'sudo make install'. If everything is good, Asterisk is installed for you!

So far we just talked about Asterisk side of the world. But for Asterisk to talk to your Sangoma Hardware you need to install the wanpipe drivers. I downloaded the beta version from Sangoma site and trying it out now. Will blog about Sangoma experience in next blog!

I also tried chan_ss7 instead of Asterisk libSS7 for Asterisk support of SS7, but realized chan_ss7 is not compatible with Asterisk 1.6.x.

Found a very good article on this and worth reading http://www.cesnet.cz/doc/techzpravy/2006/asterisk-ss7/asterisk-ss7.pdf

Stay Tunned!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Project ideas for Google Summer of Code 2009

Its that time of the year when students across the globe gets an opportunity to participate in Google Summer of Code and get paid for executing the project that they always wanted to. This year too RedHat/JBoss has participated and has been accepted as Mentoring Organization.

Follow the RedHat page for GSoC 2009 here

There are many ideas that have been listed by JBoss here

The Mobicents Media Server team too has identified following Project Ideas where we are ready to mentor the students

Project Ideas
  • Add Support for RTCP protocols to Mobicents Media Server
  • Support for SRTP protocol to Mobicents Media Server
  • The Automatic Speech Recognition engine to Mobicents Media Server. You can look at Sphinx-4 project which is open source
In addition the VoIP PBX project from Mobicents Sip Servlets listed on same page too is of interest to us. It uses Media Server for all of its media processing.

However these are not the only topics, if you have something in your mind and would like to execute as project on Mobicents Media Server, please feel free to drop us a line at amit dot bhayani at gmail dot com or oleg dot kulikoff at gmail dot com

All the best!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mobicents Media Server has new home

Mobicents Media Server now has its very own personal blog ;0) http://mobicents-media-server.blogspot.com/. All the discussions about MMS roadmap, architecture discussion, design, release notes etc will go to this blog.

Many more news to follow on MMS front, stay tuned!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mobicents Media Server 1.0.0.CR5 a step closer to GA (Stable) release

With the latest release of Mobicents Media Server 1.0.0.CR5 its just an inch away from finish line - GA (Stable) release. The CR4 was completely overhauled to achieve greater performance and CR5 is bug fix reported from CR4. In doing so there were number of modifications made such that the MSC API from Application Developers perspective doesn't change. The Announcement and IVR endpoint's in new MMS doesn't have transcoding capacity now. This was required to boost the performance. Also most of the time in Telco world the application developer knows precisely which codec will be used by end User Agent (UA) and hence use the pre-encoded audio file such that Audio Player reads this file, creates RTP packets and sends across to UA. If this is not the case than the application just has to front-end the Ann/IVR Endpoint with Packet Relay endpoint which still has transcoding capacity. The Announcement endpoint is capable of generating DTMF Tones. The Conference Endpoint is not modified and it too has transcoding capacity just like pre CR4. The Conference Endpoint has the DTMF detection and Audio Player such that Application can directly detect DTMF on Conf Endpoint or play the announcement.

We are very happy to announce that MMS can now easily achieve 100 concurrent announcements with transcoding. This test was done on my laptop which is 2GB Dell D620 mahine. We still have to do a test without transcoding and on real servers. If you want to test the performance of MMS in your environment please feel free to drop a line at amit dot bhayani at gmail dot com

For further details please look at http://groups.google.com/group/mobicents-public/browse_thread/thread/e6dd1ee52a357f53