NG 911 & Consolidation: The Future of your PSAP

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1 NG 911 & Consolidation: The Future of your PSAP This easy to read guide was designed to give you a full understanding of the mechanics behind using MPLS technology to build a secure and stable PSAP of tomorrow, today. This simple option allows for easy consolidation of resources, with or without physical relocation of resources, depending on the needs of your community. Please contact or (614) for more information.

2 What is MPLS? The purpose of this paper is to explain, in simple and basic terms, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) and how it relates to your PSAP or Dispatch Center. The goal is to make sure your understanding, regardless of your level of knowledge in the field, is clear and concise. Let s start with a high level view of MPLS. An overview MPLS is an evolution of WAN (Wide Area Network) technology. WAN s do exactly what their name implies: they link computers together across a wide area. This link can connect cities, states, or even countries. So, a WAN can be used to link different municipalities and agencies, within your county, together. Another type of network you are also probably already familiar with is a LAN (Local Area Network). A LAN is smaller, and typically connects computers together in the same area or building. LAN s are connected together by WAN s. There are several types of WAN s. MPLS is a type of WAN that uses Packet Switching technology. 2 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

3 3 Key Benefits of MPLS Alert PSS has already successfully installed a Next Gen Capable 911 system that can easily route and re-route calls through an IP Based Controller over an IP Network, so if one PSAP is overwhelmed or unable to respond (think tornado), calls are easily sent to other centers. As a SIDE NOTE: MPLS is simply one type of IP Network. There are several ways to network your solution, but to be a NG Capable 911 solution, regardless of how you choose to connect your IP Network, you must have an IP based controller and IP based Phone System. Alert PSS offers this technology today, and is currently one of a select group of companies worldwide that has the unique software architecture required to allow for such an advanced array of options and configurability. 1 MPLS, as stated above, uses Packet Switching technology. Simply put, this means that it takes your data (like voice transmissions, s, pictures, videos, etc.) and turns it into packets of data. It then sends those packets to other computers in your network over a shared connection. The shared connection means that you re not using the same path every time. MPLS networks utilize a vast option of available pathways and streams to get your data across. This functionality leads to one of the major benefits of MPLS: Resilience to Failure. Resilience to Failure One of the features of MPLS is that it uses Dynamic Adaption to determine which path to send the data. This basically means that if it encounters a problem, it adapts, and chooses a different path to send the data. Again, remember that MPLS uses a shared connection, so it has a multitude of paths to choose from. This enables the system to be resilient to failures. If a line is down anywhere in the backbone (due to a cut line, or a catastrophe such as a tornado), MPLS simply routes the data down one of the many other available paths, and your connectivity is not lost. This feature is crucial to the Emergency Responsiveness of your PSAP, and to the safety of your Public Safety workers and the citizens of your community. 3 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

4 (Key Benefits continued) An IP Network, in simple terms, connects computers together using a specific set of rules. In a regular IP Network, the shortest path is chosen to send the data, regardless of congestion. An IP Network with MPLS, however, uses CSPF routing (Constrained Shortest Path First), and chooses the shortest available path with the most available bandwidth, thus speeding up the transmission of your data. 2 Assigning Priority In addition to using Dynamic Adaption to determine which path to send the data, there are a few other aspects of MPLS engineering that deal with how your data is transmitted. One of these aspects is Class of Service (CoS). This brings us to the discussion of how MPLS actually works. As your data is assembled into packets, and before it is sent into the network, it is labeled. The system then determines where to send your packet, based on the label it puts on each packet. This saves time, because in other systems, every router your packet encounters throughout the network needs to lookup the address of the next node in the system to forward your packet to. By slapping a label on each packet before it sends it, MPLS eliminates that step. The other important aspect involved in adding labels to your packets, is that it can assign different labels, based on priority. This means, it can assign priority to packets carrying voice traffic, which makes it the perfect solution for carrying VoIP calls! By sending that traffic first, and with top priority, it makes sure nothing interferes with your call, and the end result is crystal clear voice communications. I I n a r e g u l a r 4 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

5 (Key Benefits continued) MPLS Networks provide one foundation for delivering Next Generation IP services, like multi-media and VoIP, which require specific Service Quality and Privacy settings for each application. However, since MPLS uses labeling technology, which automatically assigns a Service Quality and Privacy setting with each label, it is now possible to group packets of information together and designate a different set of rules for each group based on the label. This method of grouping makes it possible to deliver new services more quickly, and at a much lower cost! 3 Security Think of your MPLS Network as a castle, or fortress, with one heavily guarded main gate. Everything and anything in the castle must pass through that main gate, in order to get in or out of the castle. In much the same way, all data must pass through one main portal to get in or out of your MPLS network! Once inside your network, information is free to travel anywhere it wants, as long as it stays inside your network. Remember, your network can be county wide, connecting several locations, buildings, and municipalities together. If information wishes to leave the Network, it must once again pass through the main portal to get to the outside world. This is because an MPLS Network accesses the Internet at only one point, usually from your main agency. All traffic enters and leaves the Network at this point. For this reason, it is very easy to manage, control, and monitor your data. Also, because the management and security are located at one point, you realize a cost savings by removing the need for security systems at all of the other agencies. For example, with MPLS, one firewall can protect several different sites. 5 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

6 Case Study Crawford County, Ohio (June, 2009) Crawford County Sheriff s Office implements and goes live with the first VoIP Next Gen 911 System over MPLS in the country! By adding an IP Controller to an IP Network, you create a Next Gen capable 911 System. This technology is available today, and can be seen everywhere in the private sector. There are a handful of Public Safety companies who have already brought this technology into the Public Safety sector. Alert Public Safety Solutions is one of those companies. Alert PSS was the first company in the country to implement a NG911 VoIP system over MPLS. Prior to implementation of this ground breaking solution, the County maintained four separate and costly 911 controllers at the Sheriff s Office, Gallion Police Department, Bucyrus Police Department and Crestline Police Department. After implementation, all four PSAP s now work together by connecting into one 911 controller, located at the Sheriff s Office. The new IP Based Controller, along with the VoIP Telephone PBX, automatically routes the 911 caller to the appropriate PSAP based on Emergency Service Number (ESN) with no personnel intervention. When a situation of high volume activity occurs at one dispatch center, 911 calls automatically rollover to one of the other dispatch centers. The County receives significant annual savings because it only has to maintain one controller. The County is now functioning on a true IP based solution with redundancy at every level. This system provides security with virtually no point of failure. The PSAP s also work from one CAD and RMS system, making all incident and arrest data available to all agencies in the county. The integration of this solution will increase investigative abilities, and help ensure the safety of all Public Safety responders and the citizens of Crawford County. 6 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

7 (Case Study continued) Crawford County BEFORE 4 Separate and Costly Systems, NO Data Sharing 7 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

8 8 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

9 (Case Study continued) Crawford County AFTER 1 Interoperable, Fully-Redundant, and Cost-Efficient System, complete with Integrated Data Sharing 9 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

10 SUMMARY Alert PSS utilized the latest Microsoft SQL technology to build their system from the ground up. So, unlike some other software companies, Alert PSS is not encumbered by heavy layers of old legacy code. This unique architecture of the Alert PSS system allows for solutions that simply aren t an option from other industry software providers. For this reason, many software providers have recently found themselves in a struggle to reinvent their systems so they too can offer the type of cost efficient and lifesaving new technology that Alert PSS is already providing today. MPLS over IP has become the backbone network technology of choice for tier one carriers consolidating their network. - Mpls-expert.com MPLS is less expensive than frame relay and/or point-to-point networks. Less expensive to lease from the carrier, and less expensive to manage. - Telecom.com MPLS is rapidly replacing frame relay as the internet technology most chosen for moving high-speed data and digital voice it provides better reliability and increased performance, and can often decrease overall costs - wikipedia.com MPLS is flexible, fast, cost-efficient and while MPLS technology has been around for several years, it is now a fixture in service provider networks and something every network engineer and product manager should be familiar with. - Myinternetaccess.net 10 Alert Public Safety Solutions 2010

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