SitePortal® is a web-based Network Management System (NMS) for remote monitoring and management of large-scale, distributed systems and equipment. The familiarity we have with monitoring numerous venues and types of equipment provides us with the ability to be proactive and identify problems before end-users are impacted. We provide 24x7x365 Help Desk, monitoring and maintenance support for numerous customers, and are proud of SitePortal being chosen over the competition to monitor thousands of systems nationwide, including university and professional sports stadiums. Additionally, our experience and established relationships with all major carriers enables us to deliver a best-in-class solution. Unique strengths of SitePortal over other monitoring platforms include the following:
- Custom device drivers to pull all device details (not just SMNP)
- Significantly more data available than via typical SNMP monitoring.
- All settings recorded for implementation of change control
- Dynamic variables such as input and output power recorded to aid in troubleshooting
- Proactive monitoring with robust troubleshooting and features to help direct next steps for quick resolution
- Ability to integrate and monitor multi-device types and manufacturer’s equipment, including system supporting devices (batteries, HVAC, power plants, etc.). Also collecting parameters and statuses for these devices that are not available via SNMP
- Alarm rules and thresholds to properly and efficiently manage service level agreements ensuring contractual obligations are achieved
- Multi-user login providing functionality to limit visibility/control for some users while simultaneously allowing admin users to see all devices, status and activity
- C Squared Systems’ impeccable carrier relationship in conjunction with our experience providing remote monitoring, in field break/fix, design, optimization, and troubleshooting specifically for Wireless systems
When monitoring wireless networks, you cannot rely on SNMP only. SNMP can be slow and unreliable and even more importantly, many devices are not typically robust enough for SNMP. These devices include batteries, power plants, HVAC and generators. To properly monitor for wireless, the monitoring system must be capable of more than just SNMP, with specific device drivers for other protocols such as HTTP, SSH, telnet and ModBus.
While SNMP traps are the fastest way to receive alarms in SitePortal, not all wireless devices are equipped with this functionality. SitePortal utilizes a polling method to not only retrieve alarms to accommodate for potential SNMP trap losses, but to retrieve other system settings and readings. This data is typically not made available via SNMP trap and is critical when analyzing system performance and functionality.
SitePortal is accessed by users through an interface that is 100% Graphical and not command line. The connection is served over an HTTPS connection to multiple supported web browsers (Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Chrome). Its user-friendly interface provides users the ability to customize a dashboard to help them efficiently monitor relevant systems in one location regardless of make or model.
All information that the user needs about the remotely monitored devices as well as all functions that need to be access or configured (notification, user accounts, device adds, and others) are available through the SitePortal GUI web interface. Learning CLI commands is not needed to add users, add devices, configure notifications etc. The interface is intuitive requiring minimal training and or reference to user manual to operate. This saves time on training, lost productivity due to confusion, and ultimately ensures a faster time to market.
Alarms & Notifications
SitePortal provides users the ability to configure alerts via email or text and choose specific alert timeframes during which these notifications are processed. Email and text methods operate independently of each other and can be configured individually.
SitePortal’s “inheritance” methodology allows users to add a notification to one node in the network tree which will apply to every node contained within. This saves users time by not having to configure notifications for individual systems. Additionally, users can easily disable notifications on a node for any reason with the same inheritance methodology. This can be useful when performing maintenance on a site to allow users to temporarily halt notifications. Shown below are SitePortal’s Notification Settings.
Additional filtering and node selection options allow the user to fine-tune alerts based on location and alarm severity, as shown below. For example, alerts can be configured to send only critical and major alarms so that users are not receiving notifications for non-severe conditions. This filtering can also be applied independently for email or SMS.
SitePortal’s Notification Module is also equipped with a “Vacation Mode” feature allowing users to quickly and easily disable all of their notifications for a selected period of time. When the “Vacation Mode” timeframe expires, all notifications will resume processing as configured.
For alarms that occur outside of each user’s notification timeframes, SitePortal will collect and store them in a consolidated email which is sent to the user the next time their notifications become active. This prevents the loss of alert condition data, keeping technicians completely informed of their system statuses for all hours of the day.
When alarms are recurring, users have the option of grouping notifications together for a single delivery, once a predetermined number of alerts has been reached. This feature reduces the volume of notifications being sent while preserving system status information.
SitePortal’s Notification Module is also aware of custom tree filters that may be implemented by any user. If a user has created a custom filtered tree having specific nodes of interest, they can configure notifications against the filtered tree to alert them for only the nodes contained therein.
For both polled and SNMP trap alarms, SitePortal detects the clearing event and automatically moves the alarm into history for later analysis. SitePortal keeps active alarms separated from historic alarms in two different views, making it easy for technicians to quickly view current fault conditions. As with notifications, SitePortal uses the same inheritance methodology enabling users to quickly view alarms associated with particular sections of the network tree.
Each alarm is equipped with a hyperlink to quickly take the user to the specific node in the network tree where the alarm exists. Severity and date/time filtering are available in both Active and History views allowing technicians to quickly isolate specific alarms. Each alarm grid in SitePortal has an export feature that can be used to quickly export current filtered views to Excel for further analysis.
SitePortal’s Alarm Grid view enables users to filter and sort alarms by severity, description and timestamp. The alarm grid also has a built-in search functionality so that users can quickly locate alarms by description, device path or alarm ID. Users can also choose to hide ignored and/or delayed alarms. These features enable users to quickly view only the alarms of interest and speeds up time to repair during critical events. SitePortal’s large internal storage capacity allows for the archiving of several years of alarm data.
The Alarm Grid enables the user to select one or multiple alarms and select actions on the alarm including:
- Create a Ticket
- Add to Ticket
Additionally, you can export the list of alarms (active, historical or ignored) to an Excel file for analysis outside of SitePortal. The exported list mimics the alarm list view in SitePortal so you are able to manipulate the data similar to SitePortal.
Custom filtered network tree views can be made public or private. Private trees limit visibility to the user who created the view. These views are very useful when technicians are covering areas outside of their own, allowing them to quickly view nodes for a particular area of responsibility without the need for recreating the tree of interest.
Parameters and Settings
All active parameters and device settings are collected and presented to the user in the Properties Canvas of SitePortal. In many situations, the parameters for the devices can be directly updated from within SitePortal.
In addition, for any property, the user can decide to set up alarm notifications when changes are detected for a single or multiple parameter(s). Even if these notifications are not enabled, the user can also view a history of all parameter changes on the Property History canvas. This will display a chronical list of changes to properties including the parameter name, original value, new value, person’s name, and date/time of the detection.
Information is displayed in logically grouped folders as shown below for a Power Plant device.
All dynamically changing variables such as temperature, voltage, and fuel levels are recorded for every poll interval. Graphing of these variables is available to aid in problem resolution.
Additionally, custom thresholds can be set for these parameters. The use of this feature helps to identify problems before the device is actually in alarm and can also identify issues that may adversely affect the cell site equipment even though the system may not be in alarm.
Min, max, mean, median and standard deviation are all displayed for the period of interest.
Graphing is accomplished simply by selecting the node of interest and the associated parameter as shown below.
In the graphing view, you can view the raw data of the graph, presented in a grid. The parameter’s threshold limit can also be viewed on the graph so you can quickly see when and how often the limit was exceeded. By hovering your mouse on the plotted lines of the graph, the values and date/time will be shown.
SitePortal provides both geographical and building drawing views. In addition SitePortal provides specific functionality for portable assets. A summary of available features is provided below.
SitePortal provides mapping functionality that enables users to view their entire network geographically as a dashboard. This provides an easy to view snapshot of the entire network with the ability to select folders and devices to access more detailed information. Device and folder icons displayed on the map are color coded based on current status (e.g., red = alarm condition). The display can also be filtered to show specific alarm severities. By hovering the mouse over a device or folder on the map, information is displayed including alarm status and location in the network tree. Users can also utilize custom views to limit visibility to their sites of interest.
If the user selects a specific device or location instead of the higher network folder, the map will automatically auto-scale/zoom to show a view that tracks where the user has selected within the Network Explorer.
Users can import images and associate devices to points on that image as shown below. In this example, multiple temperature sensors are shown as individual elements layered over a core site image. Each sensor is moveable and editable, as required by the user, with the ability to add image layers as necessary.
SitePortal puts its database at each user’s fingertips via a robust user-friendly reporting module, in the GUI. The reporting module allows the user to specify desired information via options such as node selection, device type, cell site, switch, manager group, market, region and timeframe. Also, as each report is tailored to specific data sets, each contains different user-definable filtering options to fine-tune results, such as; alarm severity, user-settable fuel percentage thresholds and more as shown below.
Reports are exported in Excel format and may be run on-demand, or scheduled for periodic delivery. The reports may be exported immediately, or configured for scheduled delivery via email. Reports are easily configured to provide information relative to specific date ranges, or timeframes and can be sent to any user with an account in that SitePortal environment. Each report, once generated, offers several filters within the spreadsheet, allowing users to fine-tune content and date ranges, as desired.
SitePortal’s ticketing functionality enables the ability to track a variety of tasks and challenges. Ticketing can be used to send updated notifications via email, text message and/or phone to any number of users. Ticketing allows the management of issues and processes that impact a network environment while ensuring that procedures are followed.
Tickets in SitePortal can be generated by three primary methods:
- Manually creating the ticket – this is beneficial to log issues reported via phone or to simply issue an internal ticket for tracking purposes for issues not related to alarms.
- Email mailbox – This option automatically check a designated inbox for new emails to automatically trigger new tickets or stages to an existing ticket when new email messages are received.
- Auto-Ticketing – Which automatically creates tickets for all device alarms. Using an integrated platform for alarms and ticketing allows enhanced visibility and communication regarding the status of alarms.
SitePortal’s Ticketing Details screen provides users with a snapshot of all open tickets in their network environment as well as specific details about each ticket such as:
- Date/Time of creation and last action
- Ticket ID/tracking number
- Subject/description of ticket
- Actions taken