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HOL-1886-02: Operational Tools for Managing vIMS and vSBC Deployments

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This part of the lab is presented as a Hands-on Labs Interactive Simulation. This will allow you to experience steps which are too time-consuming or resource intensive to do live in the lab environment. In this simulation, you can use the software interface as if you are interacting with a live environment.

The orange boxes show where to click, and the left and right arrow keys can also be used to move through the simulation in either direction.

Making a call

As a example let us start with making a simple 4G  Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) call between two subscribers ‘London Calling’ and ‘The Clash’. The startup screen shots of both phones placed side-by-side.  

To initiate a call from the phone on the left

  • Click the green phone button

Receiving a call

The caller ‘London Calling’ from Jenny softphone 8675309 is calling ‘The Clash’ with softphone number 6871221 and you see the  incoming call.  

The called party is sent  SIP invite message. This message goes through the Proxy-Call Server Control Function (P-CSCF). The phone on the called party side (The Clash) is now receiving a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) 180 Ringing message.

Once Called party confirms, by accepting the call a ACK  200 OK message is sent through the proxy to the caller.

  1. Click anywhere in the phone on the right.
  2. Click on the green phone button.

Call Answered

This click has ‘answered the incoming call’. This sends the call accept message (200) through the proxy servers to the calling party.   Once successful, you will notice that the call has been established between the calling party and called party.  You will see both phones now Display “Call Established”. This says the control plane functions are now complete.

The first half of the call flow is thus complete. You will notice in the calling SIP phones  London: Call established.  In the called SIP phone you will see

Jenny: Call established.

From a call processing point the ACK has been received and both parties can now talk through the data path. The communication session continues through the Real Time Protocol (RTP) stream till either of the parties decide to end the call

Ending the Call

Let us say both parties have completed the conversation and Jenny decides to end the call.

  • Click the red phone button on the right side.

This sends a ‘Bye' notification through the proxy servers. Virtual resources used for the call are regained, the billing system is notified, call logs are updated and the call is closed with message 200 OK between the calling and called parties.

This demonstrates a very basic call processing using vIMS and vSBC in this lab.

MetaView Service Assurance Server

Now let us look at a series of tools and capabilities available to monitor, manage and troubleshoot a NFV environment hosting a VoLTE Environment. We will use Metaswitch Metaview, VMware vRealize Operations, vRealize Network Insight and VMware Network Insights. All these management tools have been configured for your use for this lab.

To do this, look at the windows desktop. You will see four icons down the left hand side.

  1. Click HOL-SAS

MetaView Call Lookup

This launches Metaswitch Metaview User interface.

Let us enter the phone number of a subscriber who has been provisioned on the Home Subscriber System (HSS).

  1. Click the number field and type 867 in the number box.
  2. Click Search all number fields (advanced use only)
  3. Click the scroll bar.
  4. Click Search.

Search Results

Now the Search result  view is displayed with the call we just established between ‘London Calling’ and ‘The Clash’. The calling number,  Called number, start time and end time are all shown. This helps us to know the call duration.

  1. Click the search result, to disply the SIP Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for each subscriber.
  2. To get further details on this call, click ‘Detailed Timeline’

Review Detailed Timeline

You will see a full view of the various steps with time stamps in milliseconds printed and every single VNF entity that the call progressed through as shown above.

  1. Click the scroll bar to show the Detailed Timeline (4 times)
  2. Click on the Callee 8675309 has answered to examine the call flow

Examine Call Flow

Notice the Callee Answered gets highlighted to ‘yellow’ and the tab ‘Call Flow’ is now active 

Now click on ’Call Flow’ this will show the actual steps and messages that were sent between the calling SIP UID, VNFs and Called SIP UID as shown above

  1. Click the scroll bar down to understand the flows (4 times)
  2. Click the scroll bar up to return to the entry we will examine.

Inspect SIP: ACK

The SIP:200 message arrow highlights showing a rectangular drop down menu box which contains details on the message.

  1. Click the SIP: 200 OK (for INVITE) (SDP) box.
  2. Click the drop down menu box
  3. Click the first item in the list 'Display Details'.

Display details

This essentially brings up a text window that details out every single SIP flow, how it happened, from whom, packet details etc. With this we have see how a call can be made on VMware vCloud NFV virtualized platform that is hosting  vIMS VNFs, what a SIP call involves and walked through in detail on the steps post call using Metaswitch Metaview interface.

  1. Click the scroll bar to see all the call processing, audio, codec used details (2 times)
  2. Click the top right most corner to close the Metaview interface

Switch to vRealize Log Insight

We will now examine how log Insight processes log information from the VNFs. VMware vRealize Log lnsight delivers heterogeneous and highly scalable log management with intuitive, actionable dashboards, sophisticated analytics and broad third-party extensibility. It provides deep operational visibility and faster troubleshooting across physical, virtual and cloud environments.

When you launch the VMware Log Insight user interface, you will see a tab for ‘dashboard’ and ‘Interactive Analytics’.  One data point we know is the subscribers who make the VoLTE call. During that call processing phase various logging activities would have happened at the NFV infrastructure layer. Let us do s search on one of the subscriber phone number and see what Log Insight has captured.

  1. Click "HOL-vRLI" in the main desktop to open vRealize Log Insight
  2. Click in the search box
  3. Type the subscriber number “8675309” in the search window
  4. Click the ‘search’ button

Examine Search Results

The search returns one result. It basically identifies the ‘Sprout’ VNF which includes vIMS VNFs that include Proxy Call Server Control Function, Interrogating Call Server Control Function, Serving Call Server Control Function.

The fact that Log Insight does not show much logs indicates the system is working successfully and there are no issues at the infrastructure layer. In a real production environment Log Insight plays a tremendous value in problem identification and root cause analysis.

With this we will close Log Insight.  To close Log Insight:

  1. Click on the Red Box on the top right corner. This will close Log Insight user interface.

Opening vRealize Operations

We look now look at operations management using VMware vRealize Operations (vRoPS).  VMware vRealize Operations integrated with vRealize Log Insight and vRealize Business for Cloud helps plan, manage and scale SDDC and multi-cloud environments with unified monitoring, automated performance management, cloud planning and capacity optimization.

  • Click the  icon “HOL-VRops” on the Desktop.  This opens up the vRealize Operations Manager Home page which shows the current state of the system.

Alerts in vRealize Operations

Let us look at the alerts to see if the VoLTE application is behaving as expected.

  1. Click on the ‘Alerts’ pane at the left side of the screen,this displa ysthe current list of Alerts on the right side pane. You will notice that there are alerts from the VM ‘sas00’
  2. Mouse over the result “Virtual Machine has continuous high CPU usage causing stress”.  
  3. Click on the text 'Virtual machine has contin...'

Examine Alert

This will bring up the details on the specific alert. The alert details also provides a Recommendation to avoid the alert.  Let us check if the recommendation for this case “Set CPU count for VM” will work.

  • Click 'Set CPU Count for VM'

Examine Action, Add CPU

A pop-up  child window as shown below now appears and shows the ‘sas00’ VM has a recommendation to transition to 3 CPU, instead of the one CPU assigned currently.

  1. Click 'Power off Allowed' in the box that pops up allowing the VM to be powered down to update its CPU count from 1 to 3
  2. Then click 'Begin Action', This will increase the CPU count from one to three and a Task ID has been initiated.
  3. Click on the 'Recent Tasks', to examine the task running in the background
  4. Click on the Refresh Button as in status we see 'In Progress'


We see after a refresh that the task completed successfully.

  1. Click the red highlighted area in the top right to close the browser.
  2. Click on the icon in the quick launch bar to launch the vSphere Web Client, to verify the change to the VM
  3. Click the 'Management-Cluster',This expands the Cluster menu and shows all the hosts and the “ClearWater” cluster that is hosting all the VNFs.  The VNF ‘sas00’  is one we will concentrate on.
  4. Click the 'sas00' VM

Validation of CPUs

Confirm 3 CPU(s) are now assigned to the VM look at the details of the CPU

We have accomplished our change based on the vRops Alert on that VNF, implemented the recommendation and verified from the vSphere Web Client it has been implemented and thus the alert will no longer show-up.

  1. Click on the ‘CPU’ drop down, this will display the CPU shares, reservations, limits, hardware virtualization and performance counters.
  2. Click on the ‘x’ box in the topmost right corner which closes the web client.

 This completes the operational validation.  

vRealize Network Insight

VMware vRealize Network Insight delivers intelligent operations for software-defined networking and security. It helps customers build an optimized, highly-available and secure network infrastructure across multi-cloud environments.

  1. Click on HOL-vRNI from the desktop to launch vRealize Network Insight
  2. Click inside the 'Search Your Data Center' box
  3. Type ‘vm Perimeta00’  
  4. Click the search button

Review Results in vRealize Network Insight

The results of the search is displayed showing the details of the VNF.

  1. Click on the ‘Perimeta00 Manager’, which displays the key information related to the VNF uptime, its configuration, resources usage and Topology. 
  2. Click the scroll bar and see details for VM Properties, Security, and Path to Internet
  3. Click the scroll bar and see Network Traffic Rate, VM Neighbours, and VM Metrics
  4. Click the scroll bar and see Events, R/W IOPS, Virtual Disks of VM, and VM Datastore Performance
  5. Click the scroll bar again to return to the top

Examine Flows

Notice under key information there is a orange rectangle around the flow number 22.  Let us examine what this flow mean.

  1. Click on the number '22' below Flows, displaying 22 different flows. As you may see most of this are flows related to ‘Diff host’. Let us examine one of them.
  2. Click on the flow for SSH from ->, this displays the metric for packets sent through ssh port 22 from the vSBC Perimeta to the external network
  1. Click on the search bar in the top of the screen
  2. Click on the Pin to 'Save this search making it easy to return in the future
  3. Click in the search box again showing that the search is now pinned

To return to the lab, click the link in the top right corner or close this browser tab.