Browse Prior Art Database

Billing Server

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125323D
Published in the IP.com Journal: Volume 5 Issue 6A (2005-06-20)
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

In the market today, a mechanism to accurately charge end customers for the amount of ATM cell traffic used across an ATM network did not exist. Several billing strategies do exist in today's market, but none that allow the bill to be computed based on the actual number of ATM cells that a specific customer used across a billing cycle. The pre-existing billing strategies are based on time and size of the overall requested bandwidth. This allows a customer to be overcharged because they are being billed based off a theoretical limit, when in actuality they are either using more or less bandwidth than what was ordered. By billing them, based off of the actual number of cells that are being passed across the ATM network we can accurately charge them for exactly what they are using. The network provider also gets an added benefit in knowing exactly how utilized the network is so it can be overbooked to an appropriate level. What the Billing Server allows us to do is retrieve the cell count information from the ATM switches that the customer circuits are riding across. The Provisioning Management system can then retrieve this information, correlating against a defined set of information, to complete the billing information that is needed. The whole process, as shown in figure 1, starts when the ATM switch sends its ATM cell count information for active circuits to an accounting server on a periodic basis. The accounting server will accumulate this information for a definable interval before it proceeds to create a file containing all of the accumulated ATM cell count information for all active circuits. This file is transported to the machine that the Billing Reader is running on. The Billing Reader will recognize that a new file has been placed in its monitored file system and proceed to reed it. The Billing Reader will associate a thread per each file that needs to be parsed. The information that has been deemed important to the overall billing process is then extracted from each entry within the file and the information is persisted within the database. After a file has been completely processed it is then moved to a processed file system for later removal. To maintain speed issues, each record is persisted within the database without doing any lookup.

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Billing Server

Idea: John Blackford, US-Dallas, Texas; John Spence, US-Dallas, Texas

In the market today, a mechanism to accurately charge end customers for the amount of ATM cell traffic used across an ATM network did not exist. Several billing strategies do exist in today's market, but none that allow the bill to be computed based on the actual number of ATM cells that a specific customer used across a billing cycle. The pre-existing billing strategies are based on time and size of the overall requested bandwidth. This allows a customer to be overcharged because they are being billed based off a theoretical limit, when in actuality they are either using more or less bandwidth than what was ordered. By billing them, based off of the actual number of cells that are being passed across the ATM network we can accurately charge them for exactly what they are using. The network provider also gets an added benefit in knowing exactly how utilized the network is so it can be overbooked to an appropriate level. What the Billing Server allows us to do is retrieve the cell count information from the ATM switches that the customer circuits are riding across. The Provisioning Management system can then retrieve this information, correlating against a defined set of information, to complete the billing information that is needed.

The whole process, as shown in figure 1, starts when the ATM switch sends its ATM cell count information for active circuits to an accounting server on a periodic basis. The accounting server will accumulate this information for a definable interval before it proceeds to create a file containing all of the accumulated ATM cell count information for all active circuits. This file is transported to the machine that the Billing Reader is running on. The Billing Reader will recognize that a new file has been placed in its monitored file system and proceed to reed it. The Billing Reader will associate a thread per each file that needs to be parsed. The information that has been deemed important to the overall billing process is then extracted from each entry within the file and the information is persisted within the database. After a file has been completely processed it is then moved to a processed file system...