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SPS-200 - IBM SPSS MPRO - IBM SPSS Modeler Professional - Dump Information

Vendor : IBM
Exam Code : SPS-200
Exam Name : IBM SPSS MPRO - IBM SPSS Modeler Professional
Questions and Answers : 73 Q & A
Updated On : October 31, 2017
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SPS-200 Questions and Answers


QUESTION: 66

Once a model has been developed, it needs to be monitored to be determining when it needs to be replaced. Which of the following is not a reason for replacing the model?

  1. Changes in marketing strategies by your firm.
  2. Changes in general economy.
  3. New customer in database.
  4. New products and services sold by your firm.

Answer: B


QUESTION: 67

In the Aggregate node, when you click on Preview button, which statement is true?

  1. The preview will by default be before aggregation but that can be changed.
  2. The preview will always be after aggregation.
  3. The preview will always be before aggregation.
  4. The Aggregate node does not have a Preview option.

Answer: A


QUESTION: 68

Missing values can be specified in the Source node used to read the data or in the type node.

  1. True
  2. False

Answer: A


QUESTION: 69

Some data mining model such as Neural Net and Support Vector Machine models do not provide equations or rules to help analysis determine how the models use the input fields for

prediction. If you have a categorical target field and a continuous input field, which graphing technique could ad with interpretation?

  1. Distribution node
  2. Histogram node
  3. Plot node
  4. Evaluation node

Answer: A


QUESTION: 70

Which of the following is the biggest advantage of using a data cache?

  1. Integrating the modified data with the original data source.
  2. Creating reports or doing other analysis with other software.
  3. Using the prepared data file more efficiently.
  4. Applying modifications to new data more easily.

Answer: C


QUESTION: 71

The set Random seed option on the sample node is required if you want to draw the same random sample with the same records more than once.

  1. True
  2. False

Answer: A


QUESTION: 72

Which outlier treatment is not available in the Quality tab of the Data Audit output?

  1. Coerce
  2. Nullify

  3. Recode
  4. Discard

Answer: C


QUESTION: 73

A Database Export node can be used to write data to more than one database table in the same operation.

  1. True
  2. False

Answer: B


IBM SPS-200 Exam (IBM SPSS MPRO - IBM SPSS Modeler Professional) Detailed Information

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  • Charting a bull-bear stalemate at the S&P’s 200-day average

    The S&P 500 Index has nailed its 200-day moving average ahead of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement, due out Wednesday.
    This area defines the U.S. markets’ headline test, and the response to the Fed’s directive will likely set the immediate technical tone. A breakout would incrementally strengthen the bigger-picture backdrop.

    Before detailing the U.S. markets’ wider view, the S&P 500’s SPX, -0.24%  hourly chart highlights the past two weeks.
    As illustrated, the S&P has reached a headline technical test — the 2,020 mark — a level matching the 200-day moving average, currently 2,018.9.
    Near-term support rests at 2,009, and is followed by a deeper floor matching the December low of 1,993.

    Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s DJIA, -0.19%  backdrop is slightly stronger.
    In its case, the index has cleared major resistance — around 17,130 — a level matching the 200-day moving average, better illustrated on the daily chart.
    This area pivots to support, and is followed by a near-term floor matching its former range bottom, around 16,900.

    And the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.23%  remains the weakest widely-tracked benchmark.
    Still, the index has extended its rally attempt, reaching two-month highs. Its first significant support rests at the 4,714 breakout point, an area better illustrated below.

    Widening the view to six months adds perspective.
    On this wider view, the Nasdaq has knifed from its former range, placing distance atop the 4,714 resistance. (This level corresponds with S&P 1,950.)
    On further strength, an inflection point rests at the 2014 peak of 4,815.
    More broadly, the Nasdaq remains the weakest major benchmark, positioned firmly under the 200-day moving average, currently 4,876.

    Looking elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has cleared major resistance.
    The specific area spans from 17,125 to 17,144, matching its breakdown point and the 200-day moving average.
    From current levels, the 2015 close rests at 17,425, and is followed by major overhead around 17,580.

    And the S&P 500 has reached the U.S. markets’ headline technical test.
    To reiterate, it’s challenging the 2,020 resistance, closely matching the 200-day moving average. As always, the 200-day is a widely-tracked longer-term trending indicator, and a breakout would strengthen the bull case.
    The bigger picture
    Broadly speaking, the U.S. markets continue to make technical progress. Each major benchmark has cleared significant resistance, extending a directionally sharp rally from this year’s low.
    Beyond the headline benchmarks, consider the small- and mid-caps:

    To start, the iShares Russell 2000 ETF is positioned firmly under its 200-day moving average, lagging behind the larger-cap benchmarks.
    Still, the IWM has sustained recent gains, edging atop its breakdown point.
    Consider that the 50-day moving average defined its former downtrend, and closely matches technical support around 103. The small-cap benchmark’s recovery attempt is intact barring a violation.

    Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF has rallied within view of the 200-day moving average, currently 258.60.
    It’s been capped by the 200-day since August, and a close higher would incrementally strengthen the bull case.

    Looking elsewhere, the SPDR Trust S&P 500 SPY, -0.22%  has rallied atop trendline resistance closely matching the 200 mark.
    At the same time, it’s notched consecutive closes atop the 200-day moving average, currently 202.
    Though the breakout has been fueled by lackluster volume and breadth, the SPY’s price action is constructive. The 200 area pivots to notable support.

    And the S&P 500’s backdrop highlights the U.S. markets’ headline technical test, still underway.
    Recall that significant resistance falls out as follows:
  • Resistance matching the September peak of 2,020.
  • The November low of 2,019.
  • The S&P’s 200-day moving average, currently 2,018.9.
  • Against this backdrop, the S&P closed last week at 2,022, and Monday at 2,019.6.
    So looking ahead, it’s the response to resistance that’s worth tracking. The chances of a legitimate breakout improve to the extent the selling pressure in this area is muted.
    On further strength, the S&P’s next target rests at the 2,040 mark, a level that formerly underpinned the S&P 500’s tightest six-month range on record. The 2015 close held at 2,044.
    Beyond specific levels, the underlying technicals aren’t picture-perfect. The rally continues to be underpinned by lackluster volume and breadth.
    Meanwhile, the sub-sector backdrop cuts two ways, as detailed Monday.
    Starting with the negative, the traditional sector leaders — the transports, financials and technology sector — have underperformed technically.
    Still, the prevailing rally isn’t predicated on a return to the FANG stocks — , Amazon, Netflix and Google (now Alphabet) — a distinct positive against the current backdrop. Sustainable rallies find new leadership, a process that may be underway.
    Tactically, major resistance broadly spans from about S&P 1,980 to 2,020 — closely matching the 20-month and 200-day moving averages — and the index is rattling the cage on a breakout. Against this backdrop, the prevailing upturn has been directionally sharp, and the S&P’s rally attempt gets the benefit of the doubt barring a violation of the lower band, S&P 1,980.
    The response to the Federal Reserve’s policy statement, due out Wednesday, should add color.
    Tuesday’s Watch List
    The charts below detail names that are technically well positioned. These are radar screen names — sectors or stocks poised to move in the near term. For the original comments on the stocks below, see The Technical Indicator Library.

    Initially profiled Jan. 25, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR has returned 10% and remains well positioned. (Yield = 3.4%.)
    Technically, the group has staged a straightline March rally, reaching 52-week highs.
    Though near-term extended, and due to consolidate, the group is attractive on a pullback. First support matches the former range top, and is followed by a firmer floor at the breakout point, circa 45.40.

    Initially profiled March 2, Apple, . AAPL, +0.10%  is acting well technically.
    As illustrated, the shares have extended the break from trendline resistance, reaching two-month highs on increased volume.
    It’s subsequently sustained the breakout, establishing support fractionally atop the 100 mark.
    Also consider that the 20-day moving average has turned higher, a level that formerly defined its downtrend. Apple’s recovery attempt is intact barring a violation of the breakout point, an area closely matching the 20-day.

    Kate Spade & Co. KATE, -3.42%  is a well positioned mid-cap retailer.
    Earlier this month, the shares staged a strong-volume breakout, rising despite a fourth-quarter revenue miss due to the company’s better-than-expected same-store sales.
    It’s subsequently established a bullish flag, positioning the shares to build on the initial spike. Near-term support rests just under 22.90, and a posture higher supports a bullish bias.

    Gilead Sciences, . GILD, -1.27%  is a large-cap biotech name showing signs of life.
    Technically, the shares are challenging trendline resistance matching a six-week range top and the 50-day moving average.
    Underlying the upturn, Gilead’s relative strength index (not illustrated) has reached four-month highs, improving the chances of an eventual breakout. Near-term support matches the March low, fractionally under 87, and a breakout attempt is in play barring a violation.

    GameStop Corp. GME, +0.00%  is a widely-hated mid-cap name positioned to rise.
    As illustrated, the shares have recently knifed to three-month highs, rising after the company’s revised outlook.
    The ensuing pullback has been comparably flat, placing the shares at an attractive entry near the breakout point — an area matching trendline support — and 4% under the March peak.
    Still well positioned
    The table below includes names recently profiled in The Technical Indicator that remain well positioned. For the original comments, see The Technical Indicator Library.
    Company Symbol Date Profiled Applied Materials, . AMAT Mar. 14 Advanced Energy Industries, . AEIS Mar. 14 Stratasys, Ltd. SSYS Mar. 14 Agrium, . AGU Mar. 14 Deere & Co. DE Mar. 11 Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. RS Mar. 11 Goldcorp . GG Mar. 11 Cogent Communications Holdings CCOI Mar. 11 Target Corp. TGT Mar. 10 Dillard’s . DDS Mar. 10 Joy Global, . JOY Mar. 10 MA-Com Technology Solutions MTSI Mar. 10 Nippon Telegraph & Telephone NTT Mar. 9 Potash Corp. POT Mar. 9 Laclede Group, . LG Mar. 9 Logitech International LOGI Mar. 9 Cyrusone, . CONE Mar. 8 Steel Dynamics, . STLD Mar. 8 Generac Holdings, . GNRC Mar. 8 Adeptus Health, . ADPT Mar. 8 TJX Companies, . TJX Mar. 7 First Solar, . FSLR Mar. 7 Brocade Communications Systems, . BRCD Mar. 7 iShares China Large-Cap ETF FXI Mar. 3 International Business Machines IBM Mar. 3 Nucor Corp. NUE Mar. 3 Teleflex, . TFX Mar. 3 Apple, . AAPL Mar. 2 Eaton Corp. ETN Mar. 2 Cummins, . CMI Mar. 2 Kindred Healthcare, . KND Mar. 2 Orbcomm, . ORBC Feb. 29 Mosaic Co. MOS Feb. 29 Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF Feb. 29 Panera Bread Co. PNRA Feb. 29 Himax Technologies, . HIMX Feb. 25 Copa Holdings C Feb. 25 Agnico Eagle Mines AEM Feb. 24 II-VI, . IIVI Feb. 24 Reynolds American, . RAI Feb. 24 Garmin, Ltd. GRMN Feb. 22 DuPont Fabros Technology, . DFT Feb. 22 Cray, . CRAY Feb. 22 U.S. Steel Corp. X Feb. 22 Johnson & Johnson JNJ Feb. 19 Waste Management, . WM Feb. 19 Pan American Silver Corp. AS Feb. 19 Silver Wheaton Corp. SLW Feb. 19 Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF GDXJ Feb. 18 AT&T, . T Feb. 18 Walt Disney Co. DIS Feb. 18 Super Micro Computer, . SMCI Feb. 17 Schlumberger Limited SLB Feb. 17 Spirit Airlines, . SAVE Feb. 17 Michael Kors Holdings KORS Feb. 17 Sysco Corp. SYY Feb. 10 Procter and Gamble Co. PG Feb. 10 Intrexon Corp. XON Feb. 10 SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF XME Feb. 5 Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF GDX Feb. 5 SPDR Gold Trust GLD Feb. 4 Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR XLP Feb. 1 Entergy Corp. ETR Jan. 29 Stryker Corp. SYK Jan. 29 Verizon Communications, . VZ Jan. 29 iShares Silver Trust SLV Jan. 28 Duke Energy Corp. DUK Jan. 28 Coach, . COH Jan. 28 Consolidated Edison, . ED Jan. 27 Utilities Select Sector SPDR XLU Jan. 25 Southern Co. SO Jan. 25 Regency Centers Corp. REG Jan. 25 Lululemon Athletica, . LULU Jan. 25 Campbell Soup Co. CPB Jan. 25 Huntington Ingalls Industries, . HII Jan. 13 Adtran, . ADTN Jan. 13 Barrick Gold Corp. ABX Jan. 11 Kellogg Co. K Jan. 11 Wal-Mart Stores, . WMT Jan. 6 American Water Works Co. AWK Dec. 21 ITC Holdings Corp. ITC Dec. 21 Equity LifeStyle Properties, . ELS Dec. 16 Kimberly-Clark Corp. KMB Dec. 8 Microsoft Corp. MSFT Oct. 26 Coca-Cola Co. KO Oct. 26 Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, . DPS Oct. 19 McDonald’s Corp. MCD Oct. 8 Heartland Payment Systems, . HPY Oct. 8 Nasdaq, . NDAQ Sept. 28
  • Telecommunications system with wide area internetwork control

    TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates to a telecommunications system and more particularly relates to a public switched telecommunications network having a control signaling system which provides wide area national and international routing and supervision using out of band signaling which includes a wide area internetwork implemented signaling system. The following background material introduces various telephone network control and computer network concepts and definitions and those familiar with telephone network control and computer networks and TCPIP may wish to skip to following subsections.
    Acronyms
    The written description uses a large number of acronyms to refer to various services, messages and system components. Although generally known, use of several of these acronyms is not strictly standardized in the art. For purposes of this discussion, acronyms therefore will be defined as follows:
    Address Complete Message (ACM)
    Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN)
    Answer Message (ANM)
    Application Service Part (ASP)
    Backward Indicator Bit (BIB)
    Backward Sequence Number (BSN)
    Central Office (CO)
    Common Channel Signaling (CCS)
    Common Channel Interoffice Signaling (CCIS)
    Customer Identification Code (CIC)
    Cyclic Redundancy Code (CRC)
    Data and Reporting System (DRS)
    Destination Point Code (DPC)
    Dual Tone Multifrequency (DTMF)
    Fill in Signal Unit (FISU)
    Global Title (GTT)
    Initial Address Message (IAM)
    Integrated Service Control Point (ISCP)
    Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
    ISDN User Part (ISDN-UP)
    International Standards Organization (ISO)
    Link Service Signaling Unit (LSSU)
    Local Access and Transport Area (LATA)
    Message Signaling Unit (MSU)
    Message Transfer Part (MTP)
    Multi-Services Application Platform (MSAP)
    Open Systems Interconnection (OSI)
    Operations, Maintenance, Application Part (OMAP)
    Origination Point Code (OPC)
    Point in Call (PIC)
    Point in Routing (PIR)
    Point of Presence (POP)
    Recent Change (RC)
    Service Control Point (SCP)
    Service Creation Environment (SCE)
    Service Information Octet (SIO)
    Service Management System (SMS)
    Service Switching Point (SSP)
    Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP)
    Signaling Link Selection (SLS)
    Signaling System 7 (SS7)
    Signaling Point (SP)
    Signaling Transfer Point (STP)
    Subsystem Number (SSN)
    Time Slot Interchange (TSI)
    Transaction Capabilities Applications Protocol (TCAP)
    BACKGROUND Computer Network Background
    A computer network is simply a collection of autonomous computers connected together to permit sharing of hardware and software resources, and to increase overall reliability. The qualifying term “local area” is usually applied to computer networks in which the computers are located in a single building or in nearby buildings, such as on a college campus or at a single corporate site. When the computers are further apart, the terms “wide area network” or “long haul network” are used, but the distinction is one of degree and the definitions sometimes overlap.
    A bridge is a device that is connected to at least two LANs and serves to pass message frames or packets between LANs, such that a source station on one LAN can transmit data to a destination station on another LAN, without concern for the location of the destination. Bridges are useful and necessary network components, principally because the total number of stations on a single LAN is limited. Bridges can be implemented to operate at a selected layer of protocol of the network. A detailed knowledge of network architecture is not needed for an understanding of this invention, but a brief description follows by way of further background.
    At the heart of any computer network is a communication protocol. A protocol is a set of conventions or rules that govern the transfer of data between computer devices. The simplest protocols define only a hardware configuration, while more complex protocols define timing, data formats, error detection and correction techniques and software structures.
    Computer networks almost universally employ multiple layers of protocols. A low-level physical layer protocol assures the transmission and reception of a data stream between two devices. Data packets are constructed in a data link layer. Over the physical layer, a network and transport layer protocol governs transmission of data through the network, thereby ensuring end-to end reliable data delivery.
    The most common physical networking protocol or topology for small networks is Ethernet, developed by Xerox. When a node possesses a packet to be transmitted through the network, the node monitors the backbone and transmits when the backbone becomes clear. There is no central backbone master device to grant requests to gain access to the backbone. While this type of multipoint topology facilitates rapid transmission of data when the backbone is lightly utilized, packet collisions may occur when the backbone is heavily utilized. In such circumstances, there is a greater chance that multiple nodes will detect that the backbone is clear and transmit their packets coincidentally. If packets are impaired in a collision, the packets are retransmitted until transmission is successful.
    Another conventional physical protocol or topology is Token Ring, developed by IBM. This topology employs a “token” that is passed unidirectionally from node to node around an annular backbone. The node possessing the token is granted exclusive access to the backbone for a single packet transfer. While this topology reduces data collisions, the latency incurred while each node waits for the token translates into a slower data transmission rate than Ethernet when the network is lightly utilized.
    As computer networks have developed, various approaches have been used in the choice of communication medium, network topology, message format, protocols for channel access, and so forth. Some of these approaches have emerged as de facto standards, but there is still no single standard for network communication. However, a model for network architectures has been proposed and widely accepted. It is known as the International Standards Organization (ISO) Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. The OSI reference model is not itself a network architecture. Rather it specifies a hierarchy of protocol layers and defines the function of each layer in the network. Each layer in one computer of the network carries on a conversation with the corresponding layer in another computer with which communication is taking place, in accordance with a protocol defining the rules of this communication. In reality, information is transferred down from layer to layer in one computer, then through the channel medium and back up the successive layers of the other computer. However, for purposes of design of the various layers and understanding their functions, it is easier to consider each of the layers as communicating with its counterpart at the same level, in a “horizontal” direction.
    The lowest layer defined by the OSI model is called the physical layer, and is concerned with transmitting raw data bits over the communication channel. Design of the physical layer involves issues of electrical, mechanical or optical engineering, depending on the medium used for the communication channel. The layer next to the physical layer is called the data link layer. The main task of the data link layer is to transform the physical layer, which interfaces directly with the channel medium, into a communication link that appears error-free to the next layer above, known as the network layer. The data link layer performs such functions as structuring data into packets or frames, and attaching control information to the packets or frames, such as checksums for error detection, and packet numbers.
    Although the data link layer is primarily independent of the nature of the physical transmission medium, certain aspects of the data link layer function are more dependent on the transmission medium. For this reason, the data link layer in some network architectures is divided into two sublayers: a logical link control sublayer, which performs all medium-independent functions of the data link layer, and a media access control (MAC) sublayer. This sublayer determines which station should get access to the communication channel when there are conflicting requests for access. The functions of the MAC layer are more likely to be dependent on the nature of the transmission medium.
    Bridges may be designed to operate in the MAC sublayer. Further details may be found in “MAC Bridges,” P802.1DD6, September 1988, a draft publication of IEEE Project 802 on Local and Metropolitan Area Network Standards, or in later drafts of this document.
    The basic function of a bridge is to listen “promiscuously,” i.e., to all message traffic on all LANs to which it is connected, and to forward each message it hears onto LANs other than the one from which the message was heard. Bridges also maintain a database of station locations, derived from the content of the messages being forwarded. Bridges are connected to LANs by paths known as “links.” After a bridge has been in operation for some time, it can associate practically every station with a particular link connecting the bridge to a LAN, and can then forward messages in a more efficient manner, transmitting only over the appropriate link. The bridge can also recognize a message that does not need to be forwarded, because the source and destination stations are both reached through the same link. Except for its function of “learning” station locations, or at least station directions, the bridge operates basically as a message repeater.
    As network topologies become more complex, with large numbers of LANs, and multiple bridges interconnecting them, operational difficulties can ensue if all possible LAN bridging connections are permitted. In particular, if several LANs are connected by bridges to form a closed loop, a message may be circulated back to the LAN from which it was originally transmitted, and multiple copies of the same message will be generated. In the worst case, messages will be duplicated to such a degree that the networks will be effectively clogged with these messages and unable to operate at all.
    To prevent the formation of closed loops in bridged networks, IEEE draft publication P802.1D, referred to above, proposes a standard for a spanning tree algorithm that will connect the bridged network into a tree configuration, containing no closed loops, and spanning the entire network configuration. The spanning tree algorithm is executed periodically by the bridges on the interconnected network, to ensure that the tree structure is maintained, even if the physical configuration of the network changes. Basically, the bridges execute the spanning tree algorithm by sending special messages to each other to establish the identity of a “root” bridge. The root bridge is selected, for convenience, as the one with the smallest numerical identification. The algorithm determines which links of the bridges are to be active and which are to be inactive, i.e., disabled, in configuring the tree structure. One more piece of terminology is needed to understand how the algorithm operates. Each LAN has a “designated” link, which means that one of the links connectable to the LAN is designated to carry traffic toward and away from the root bridge. The basis for this decision is similar to the basis for selecting the root bridge. The designated link is the one providing the least costly (shortest) path to the root bridge, with numerical bridge identification being used as a tie-breaker. Once the designated links are identified, the algorithm chooses two types of links to be activated or closed: first, for each LAN its designated link is chosen, and second, for each bridge a link that forms the “best path” to the root bridge is chosen, i.e., a link through which the bridge received a message giving the identity of the root bridge. All other links are inactivated. Execution of the algorithm results in interconnection of the LANs and bridges in a tree structure, i.e., one having no closed loops.
    The “Internet” is a collection of networks, including Arpanet, NSFnet, regional networks such as NYsernet, local networks at a number of university and research institutions, and a number of military networks. The protocols generally referred to as TCPIP were originally developed for use only through Arpanet and have subsequently become widely used in the industry. The protocols provide a set of services that permit users to communicate with each other across the entire Internet. The specific services that these protocols provide are not important to the present invention, but include file transfer, remote log-in, remote execution, remote printing, computer mail, and access to network file systems.
    The basic function of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is to make sure that commands and messages from an application protocol, such as computer mail, are sent to their desired destinations. TCP keeps track of what is sent, and retransmits anything that does not get to its destination correctly. If any message is too long to be sent as one “datagram,” TCP will split it into multiple datagrams and makes sure that they all arrive correctly and are reassembled for the application program at the receiving end. Since these functions are needed for many applications, they are collected into a separate protocol (TCP) rather than being part of each application. TCP is implemented in the transport layer of the OSI reference model.
    The Internet Protocol (IP) is implemented in the network layer of the OSI reference model, and provides a basic service to TCP: delivering datagrams to their destinations. TCP simply hands IP a datagram with an intended destination; IP is unaware of any relationship between successive datagrams, and merely handles routing of each datagram to its destination. If the destination is a station connected to a different LAN, the IP makes use of routers to forward the message.
    TCPIP frequently uses a slight deviation from the seven-layer OSI model in that it may have five layers. These five layers are combinations and derivatives of the seven-layer model as shown in FIG. 1. The five layers are as follows:
    Layer 5—The Application Layer. Applications such as ftp, telnet, SMTP, and NFS relate to this layer.
    Layer 4—The Transport Layer. In this layer, TCP and UDP add transport data to the packet and pass it to layer 3.
    Layer 3—The Internet Layer. When an action is initiated on a local host (or initiating host) that is to be performed or responded to on a remote host (or receiving host), this layer takes the package from layer 4 and adds IP information before passing it to layer 2.
    Layer 2—The Network Interface Layer. This is the network device as the host, or local computer, sees it and it is through this medium that the data is passed to layer 1.
    Layer 1—The Physical Layer. This is literally the Ethernet or Serial Line Interface Protocol (SLIP) itself.
    At the receiving host the layers are stripped one at a time, and their information is passed to the next highest level until it again reaches the application level. If a gateway exists between the initiating and receiving hosts, the gateway takes the packet from the physical layer, passes it through a data link to the IP physical layer to continue, as is shown in FIG. 2. As a message is sent from the first host to the second, gateways pass the packet along by stripping off lower layers, readdressing the lower layer, and then passing the packet toward its final destination.
    A router, like a bridge, is a device connected to two or more LANs. Unlike a bridge, however, a router operates at the network layer level, instead of the data link layer level. Addressing at the network layer level makes use of a 32-bit address field for each host, and the address field includes a unique network identifier and a host identifier within the network. Routers make use of the destination network identifier in a message to determine an optimum path from the source network to the destination network. Various routing algorithms may be used by routers to determine the optimum paths. Typically, routers exchange information about the identities of the networks to which they are connected.
    When a message reaches its destination network, a data link layer address is needed to complete forwarding to the destination host. Data link layer addresses are 48 bits long and are globally unique, i.e., no two hosts, wherever located, have the same data link layer address. There is a protocol called ARP (address resolution protocol), which obtains a data link layer address from the corresponding network layer address (the address that IP uses). Typically, each router maintains a database table from which it can look up the data link layer address, but if a destination host is not in this ARP database, the router can transmit an ARP request. This message basically means: “will the host with the following network layer address please supply its data link layer address.” Only the addressed destination host responds, and the router is then able to insert the correct data link layer address into the message being forwarded, and to transmit the message to its final destination.
    IP routing specifies that IP datagrams travel through internetworks one hop at a time (next hop routing) based on the destination address in the IP header. The entire route is not known at the outset of the journey. Instead, at each stop, the next destination (or next hop) is calculated by matching the destination address within the datagram's IP header with an entry in the current node's (typically but not always a router) routing table.
    Each node's involvement in the routing process consists only of forwarding packets based on internal information resident in the router, regardless of whether the packets get to their final destination. To extend this explanation a step further, IP routing does not alter the original datagram. In particular, the datagram source and destination addresses remain unaltered. The IP header always specifies the IP address of the original source and the IP address of the ultimate destination.
    When IP executes the routing algorithm it computes a new address, the IP address of the machinerouter to which the datagram should be sent next. This algorithm uses the information from the routing table entries, as well as any cached information local to the router. This new address is most likely the address of another routergateway. If the datagram can be delivered directly (the destination network is directly attached to the current host) the new address will be the same as the destination address in the IP header.
    The next hop address defined by the method above is not stored in their IP datagram. There is no reserved space to hold it and it is not “stored” at all. After executing the routing algorithm (the algorithm is specific to the vendorplatform) to define the next hop address to the final destination. The IP protocol software passes the datagram and the next hop address to the network interface software responsible for the physical network over which the datagram must now be sent.
    The network interface software binds the next hop address to a physical address (this physical address is discovered via address resolution protocols (ARP, RARP, etc.), forms a frame (Ethernet, SMDS, FDDI, etc.—OSI layer 2 physical address) using the physical address, places the datagram in the data portion of the frame, and sends the result out over the physical network interface through which the next hop gateway is reached. The next gateway receives the datagram and the foregoing process is repeated.
    In addition, the IP does not provide for error reporting back to the source when routing anomalies occur. This task is left to another Internet protocol, the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP).
    A router will perform protocol translation. One example is at layers 1 and 2. If the datagram arrives via an Ethernet interface and is destined to exit on a serial line, for example, the router will strip off the Ethernet header and trailer, and substitute the appropriate header and trailer for the specific network media, such as SMDS, by way of example.
    A route policy may be used instead of routing table entries to derive the next hop address. In the system and methodology of the present invention, the source address is tested to see in which ISP address range it falls. Once the ISP address range is determined the packet is then routed to the next hop address associated with the specific ISP.
    Data communications network services have two categories of call establishment procedures: connection-oriented and connectionless.
    Connection-oriented network services require that users establish a single distinct virtual circuit before the data can be transmitted. This circuit then defines a fixed path through the network that all traffic follows during the session. Several packet switching services are connection-oriented, notably X.25 and Frame Relay. X.25 is the slower of the services, but has built-in error correction—enough for its performance not to depend on clean, high-quality optical fiber lines. Frame relay, regarded as the first generation of fast packet technology, is well-suited for high-speed bursty data communication applications.
    Connectionless network services, by contrast, let each packet of a communications session take a different, independent path through the network. One example is the Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS), a possible precursor to broadband ISDN. This fast-packet service supports data rates ranging from the T1 rate of 1.544 Mbs up to 1 Gbs. The SMDS transport system architecture is defined by IEEE 802.6 Metropolitan Area Network standards.
    Eventually, SMDS is expected to operate at rates of 51.85 Mbs to 9.953 Gbs specified by the family of standards known in North America as Synchronous Optical Network (SONET). Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) is an ITU recommendation that grew out of and includes the specifications of SONET.
    The process of routing packets over the Internet is also considered a connectionless network service. The Internet Protocol (IP) addresses packets from sender to receiver. It is still used mostly in conjunction with the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which establishes a connection between end users to manage the traffic flow and ensures the data are correct, providing end-to-end reliability. The combination, known as TCPIP, is the Internet's main backbone protocol suite.
    Telephone Network Control
    All telecommunications systems having multiple switching offices require signaling between the offices. Telephone networks require signaling between switching offices for transmitting routing and destination information, for transmitting alerting messages such as to indicate the arrival of an incoming call, and for transmitting supervisor information, e.g., relating to line status. Signaling between offices can use ‘in-band’ transport or ‘out-of-band’ transport.
    In-band signaling utilizes the same channel that carries the communications of the parties. In a voice telephone system, for example, one of the common forms of in-band signaling between offices utilizes multifrequency signaling over voice trunk circuits. The same voice trunk circuits also carry the actual voice traffic between switching offices. In-band signaling, however, tends to be relatively slow and ties up full voice channels during the signaling operations. In telephone call processing, a substantial percentage of all calls go unanswered because the destination station is busy. For in-band signaling, the trunk to the end office switching system serving the destination is set-up and maintained for the duration of signaling until that office informs the originating office of the busy line condition. As shown by this example, in-band signaling greatly increases congestion on the traffic channels, that is to say, the voice channels in the voice telephone network example. In-band signaling also is highly susceptible to fraud because hackers have developed devices which mimic in-band signaling.
    Out-of-band signaling evolved to mitigate the problems of in-band signaling. Out-of-band signaling utilizes separate channels, and in many cases separate switching elements. As such, out-of-band signaling reduces congestion on the channels carrying the actual communication traffic. Also, messages from the end users always utilize an in-band format and remain in-band, making it virtually impossible for an end user to simulate signaling messages which ride on an out-of-band channel or network. Out-of-band signaling utilizes its own signal formats and protocols and is not constrained by protocols and formats utilized for the actual communication, therefore out-of-band signaling typically is considerably faster than in-band signaling.
    Out of band signaling networks typically include data links and one or more packet switching systems. Out-of-band signaling for telephone networks is often referred to as Common Channel Signaling (CCS) or Common Channel Interoffice Signaling (CCIS). Most such signaling communications for telephone networks utilizes signaling system 7 (SS7) protocol. An SS7 compliant CCIS network is a dedicated digital network used for telephone call setup and control. Each signaling point in the SS7 network is uniquely identified by a numeric point code. Point codes are carried in signaling messages exchanged between signaling points to identify the source and destination of each message. The signaling point uses a routing table to select the appropriate signaling path for each message.
    There are three kinds of signaling points in the SS7 network; Service Switching Points (SSPs), Signal Transfer Points (STPs), and Service Control Points (SCPs). SSPs are switches that originate, terminate, or tandem calls. An SSP sends call setup messages to other SSPs. An SSP may also send a query message to a centralized database (an SCP) to determine how to route a call. An SCP sends a response to the originating SSP containing the routing Number(s) associated with the dialed number. Network traffic between signaling points may be routed via an STP. An STP routes each incoming message to an outgoing signaling link based on routing information contained in the SS7 message.
    The STPs are program controlled packet data switching systems. In operation, an STP will receive a packet data message from another node of the network, for example from an end office switching system. The STP analyzes point code information in the packet and routes the packet according to a translation table stored within the STP. This translation table is static. Any packet having a particular point code is output on a port going to the next CCIS signaling node specified by translation of that point code.
    SCPs and STPs are usually deployed in mated pair configurations to ensure network-wide service in the event of an isolated failure. Links between signaling points are also provisioned in pairs. Traffic is shared across all links in the link set. If one of the links fails, the signaling traffic is rerouted over another link in the link set. SS7 traffic is sent over 56 kbs or 64 kbs bidirectional signaling links.
    The development of the CCIS network has recently permitted the offering of a number of new service features provided by centralized program control from a high level control point. Such an enhanced telephone network is often termed an Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN). In an AIN type system, local andor toll offices of the public telephone network detect one of a number of call processing events identified as AIN “triggers”. For ordinary telephone service calls, there would be no event to trigger AIN processing; and the local and toll office switches would function normally and process such calls without referring to the central database for instructions. An office which detects a trigger will suspend call processing, compile a call data message and forward that message via the CCIS signaling network to an Integrated Service Control Point (ISCP) which includes a Multi-Services Application Platform (MSAP) database. If needed, the ISCP can instruct the central office to obtain and forward additional information. Once sufficient information about the call has reached the ISCP, the ISCP accesses its stored data tables in the MSAP database to translate the received message data into a call control message and returns the call control message to the office of the network via CCIS link. The network offices then use the call control message to complete the particular call. An AIN type network for providing an Area Wide Centrex service was disclosed and described in detail in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 5,247,571 to Kay et al., the disclosure of which is entirely incorporated herein by reference. Existing AIN type systems, such as disclosed in the Kay et al. Patent, utilize the routing functionality of the STPs in the CCIS network as described above. Every time a specified switching office launches a query for an identified ISCP, the translation table in the STP(s) of the CCIS network causes the STP(s) to route the query message to that ISCP.
    The CCIS and AIN which have been described provide effective and efficient connection oriented signaling between switches in modern telephone networks. However, such control is not available in the United States on a nationwide basis and is not available internationally for a variety of reasons. Connections between Interexchange Carriers (IXCs) and Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) in the United States are still made to a significant extent with in-band signaling. This requires inefficient use of circuit time of voice trunks and is vulnerable to fraud. The inefficiencies are particularly aggravated where international and particularly transoceanic communications are involved.
    DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION Objects of the Invention
    It is an object of the present invention to provide telephone service over wide areas between different telephone systems and carriers using a new form of common channel signaling architecture which permits use of existing telecommunication signaling control facilities in conjunction with existing and readily available world wide data internetworks.
    It is a further object of the invention to provide such a telecommunications system and service in a manner which obviates any need for installation of end to end connection oriented common channel signaling facilities.
    It is another object of the invention to provide telephone service over wide areas between different telephone systems and carriers using common channel signaling which uses existing telecommunication control facilities in conjunction with existing open access, non-proprietary world wide data internetworks.
    It is a still further object of the invention to provide a new method and system utilizing an architecture in which a destination telecommunications network having common channel signaling control is connected to an originating telecommunications network having common channel signaling control through a call set up methodology which provides ad hoc connection between the two spaced common channel signaling networks via an unrelated world wide data network which preferably constitutes the Internet.
    It is another object of the present invention to provide telephone service over wide areas between different telephone systems and carriers using a new form of common channel signaling architecture which permits use of existing telecommunication signaling control facilities in conjunction with existing and readily available world wide connectionless data networks to achieve an increased redundancy and reliability of the control internetwork.
    It is another object of the present invention to provide telephone service over wide areas between different telephone systems and carriers using a new form of common channel signaling architecture of a hybrid nature using multiple protocols.
    Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.
    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
    The present invention provides a novel system and method for controlling on a worldwide basis two or more telecommunications networks which are themselves capable of exercising a form of common channel signaling network control. The invention is particularly advantageous in providing telecommunications network control on a more universal basis. The new method and system use an architecture in which a destination telecommunications network having common channel signaling control is connected to an originating telecommunications network having common signaling control through a call set up methodology which provides ad hoc connection between the two spaced common channel signaling networks via an unrelated world wide data internetwork which preferably constitutes the Internet. Through this arrangement the normal CCIS signaling of the two spaced networks can be effectively utilized to obtain the advantages of common channel signaling which are known to those skilled in the art.
    The invention utilizes a hybrid or combination of CCIS with a data internetwork to link the signaling points in a telecommunications network via the new hybrid common channel interoffice switching system. Preferably this internetwork comprises the Internet. In this manner virtually immediate equipment, architecture, and protocol are made available in a form which is utilized and understood on a worldwide basis. In a preferred specific example the Internet is relied upon to link signal switching points, signal transfer points, and a signal control point. The signal control point is preferably hierarchical and distributed so as to provide ample power and capacity to supply signal control for multiple telecommunications networks of related or unrelated operating companies. With such a signal control point or controller it is feasible for each company using the controller to maintain control of its allocated portion or functionality of the common controller or control point without interfering with the accessibility of all or predesignated portions of the control point or controller to all users of the internetwork.
    It is an important feature of the invention that multiple telecommunications networks may be controlled from a central control point by using a hybrid form of common channel signaling in which signaling points in the telecommunications networks operate with signaling protocols for which they are presently designed while the control signaling between signaling points is transported by pre-existing internetwork signals using a different protocol for which the internetwork is designed.
    DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
    FIG. 1 is a comparative diagram of the International Standards Organization (ISO) Open System Interconnection (OSI) model for network architectures and a commonly used TCPIP model.
    FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram illustrating the passage of a packet from an initiating host to a receiving host through a gateway using the TCPIP model.
    FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram of a Public Switched Telephone Network and its SS7 signal control network.
    FIG. 4 depicts the protocol stack for SS7 and comparison thereof to the OSI model.
    FIG. 5 illustrates in graphic form the layout of an SS7 protocol message packet.
    FIG. 6 illustrates in graphic form the layout of the routing label portion of the SS7 protocol message packet shown in FIG. 5.
    FIGS. 7A and 7B together show a somewhat more detailed block diagram of a network of the type shown in FIG. 3 including two interexchange carrier networks linking local exchange carriers (LECs).
    FIG. 8 is a more detailed diagram of a typical switching system utilized in networks of the type shown in FIGS. 3 and 7A and B.
    FIG. 9 is a more detailed diagram of a typical signal transfer point utilized in networks of the type shown in FIGS. 3 and 7A and B.
    FIG. 10 provides a more detailed illustration of two telephone networks linked by an SS7 network showing point codes.
    FIG. 11 shows a block diagram of the architecture of a hybrid network system according to the invention.
    FIG. 12 shows a block diagram of a communication similar to that shown in FIG. 11 with a showing of an illustrative number of the routers in the Internet.
    BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
    To facilitate understanding of the present invention, it will be helpful first to review the architecture and operation of a telephone network having CCIS capabilities.
    Referring to FIG. 3 there is shown a simplified block diagram of a switched traffic network and the common channel signaling network used to control the signaling for the switched traffic network. In the illustrated example, the overall network actually comprises two separate networks 1 and 2. As shown, these networks serve different regions of the country and are operated by different local exchange carriers. Alternatively, one network may be a local exchange carrier network, and the other network may comprise an interexchange carrier network. Although the signaling message routing of the present invention will apply to other types of networks, in the illustrated example, both networks are telephone networks.
    In FIG. 3, a first local exchange carrier network 1 includes a number of end office switching systems providing connections local communication lines coupled to end users telephone station sets. For convenience, only one end office 11 is shown. The first local exchange carrier network 1 also includes one or more tandem switching systems providing connections between offices. For convenience, only one tandem office 13 is shown. As such, the first telephone network consists of a series of switching offices interconnected by voice grade trunks, shown as solid lines. One or more trunks also connect the tandem 13 to one or more switches, typically another tandem office, in the second network 2.
    Each switching office has SS7 signaling capability and is conventionally referred to as a signaling point (SP) in reference to the SS7 network. In the first network 1, each switching office 11, 13 also is programmed to recognize identified events or points in call (PICs). In response to a PIC, either office or switching system 11 or 13 triggers a query through the signaling network to an Integrated Service Control Point (ISCP) for instructions relating to AIN type services. Switching offices having AIN trigger and query capability are referred to as Service Switching Points (SSPs). The ISCP 17 is an integrated system as understood by those skilled in the art and as discussed in the above referenced Kay U.S. Pat. No. 5,247,571.
    The end office and tandem switching systems typically consist of programmable digital switches with CCIS communications capabilities. One example of such a switch is a 5ESS type switch manufactured by AT&T; but other vendors, such as Northern Telecom and Siemens, manufacture comparable digital switches which could serve as the SPs.
    Within the first network 1, the common channel interoffice signaling (CCIS) network includes one or more Signaling Transfer Points (STPs) and data links shown as dotted lines between the STP(s) and the switching offices. A data link also connects the STP 15 to the ISCP 17. One or more data links also connect the STP(s) in the network 1 to those in networks of other carriers, for example to the STP 25 in the network 2.
    Although shown as telephones in FIG. 3, the terminal devices can comprise any communication device compatible with the local communication line. Where the line is a standard voice grade telephone line, for example, the terminals could include facsimile devices, modems, etc.
    The network 2 is generally similar in structure to the network 1. The network 2 includes a number of end office SP type switching systems 21 (only one shown) as well as one or more tandem switching systems 23 (only one shown). The network 2 includes a CCIS network comprising one or more STPs 25 and data links to the respective SP type switching offices and to the CCIS system of other carriers networks.
    In the illustrated example, the second network 2 is not a full AIN type network. The switching systems do not have full AIN trigger and query capabilities. The network 2 includes a Service Control Point (SCP) 27, but the routing tables utilized in that database are more limited than those in the ISCP 17. The switching systems 21, 23 can query the SCP 27 for routing information, but the range of trigger events are more limited, e.g., to 800 number call processing.
    An end office switching system 11 or 21 shown in FIG. 3 normally responds to a service request on a local communication line connected thereto, for example an off-hook followed by dialed digit information, to selectively connect the requesting line to another selected local communication line. The connection can be made locally through only the connected end office switching system but typically will go through a number of switching systems. For example, when a subscriber at station X calls station Y, the connection is made through the end office switching system 11, the tandem offices 13 and 23 and the end office switching system 21 through the telephone trunks interconnecting the various switching offices.
    In the normal call processing, the central office switching system responds to an off-hook and receives dialed digits from the calling station. The central office switching system analyzes the received digits to determine if the call is local or not. If the called station is local and the call can be completed through the one central office, the central office switching system connects the calling station to the called station. If, however, the called station is not local, the call must be completed through one or more distant central offices, and further processing is necessary. If at this point the call were connected serially through the trunks and appropriate central offices between the caller and the called party using in-band signaling, the trunks would be engaged before a determination is made that the called line is available or busy. Particularly if the called line is busy, this would unnecessarily tie up limited voice trunk circuit capacity. The CCIS system through the STPs was developed to alleviate this problem.
    In the CCIS type call processing method, the originating end office switching system, switching system 11 in the present example, suspends the call and sends a message through the CCIS network (STPs 15 and 25) to the end office switching system serving the destination telephone line, i.e., to a terminating end office 21. The terminating end office determines whether or not the called station Y is busy. If the called station is busy, the terminating end office 21 so informs the originating end office 11 via CCIS message, and the originating end office provides a busy signal to the calling station. If the called station Y is not busy, the terminating end office 21 so informs the originating end central office 11. A telephone connection is then constructed via the trunks and end offices (andor tandem offices) of the network between the calling and called stations.
    For an AIN type service, such as call redirection based on data stored in the ISCP 17, the end offices andor tandems are SSP capable and detect one of a number of call processing events, each identified as a ‘point in call’ (PIC), to trigger AIN type processing.
    Specifically, in response to such a PIC, a tandem 13 or end office switching system 11 suspends call processing, compiles a call data message and forwards that message via common channel interoffice signaling (CCIS) links and one or more STPs 15 to an ISCP 17. If needed, the ISCP 17 can instruct the particular switching office to obtain and forward additional information. Once sufficient information has reached the ISCP 17, the ISCP 17 accesses its stored data tables to translate the received data into a call control message and returns the call control message to the switching office via the STP 15 and the appropriate CCIS links. The office uses the call control message to complete the particular call through the public switched network in the manner specified by the subscriber's data file in the ISCP 17.
    The SCP 27 offers a similar capability in the network 2, but the range of service features offered by that database are more limited. Typically, the SCP 27 offers only 800 number calling services with a limited number of related call routing options. The triggering capability of the tandem 32 and end office 21 is limited to 800 number recognition. If the end office 21 is capable of 800 number recognition and CCIS communication with the SCP 27, as shown, then the office 21 launches a CCIS query to the SCP 27 in response to dialing of an 800 number at a station set Y. The SCP 27 translates the dialed 800 number into an actual destination number, for example the telephone number of station X, and transmits a CCIS response message back to end office 21. End office 21 then routes the call through the public network to the station X identified by the number sent back by the SCP 27, using CCIS call routing procedures of the type discussed above.
    SS7 signaling protocol is based on the OSI model. The International Standards Organization (ISO) Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model specifies a hierarchy of protocol layers and defines the function of each layer in the network. FIG. 4 shows the OSI model and the relationship thereof to the protocol stack for SS7. The lowest layer defined by the OSI model is the physical layer (L1). This layer provides transmission of raw data bits over the physical communication channel through the particular network. The layer next to the physical layer is the data link layer (L2). The data link layer transforms the physical layer, which interfaces directly with the channel medium, into a communication link that appears error-free to the next layer above, known as the network layer (L3). The data link layer performs such functions as structuring data into packets or frames, and attaching control information to the packets or frames, such as checksums for error detection, and packet numbers. The network layer provides capabilities required to control connections between end systems through the network, e.g., set-up and tear-down of connections.
    In the OSI model, a transport layer protocol (L4) runs above the network layer. The transport layer provides control of data transfer between end systems. Above the transport layer, a session layer (L5) is responsible for establishing and managing communication between presentation entities. For example, the session layer determines which entity communicates at a given time and establishes any necessary synchronization between the entities.
    Above the session layer, a presentation layer (L6) serves to represent information transferred between applications in a manner that preserves its meaning (semantics) while resolving differences in the actual representation (syntax). A protocol (L7) that is specific to the actual application that utilizes the information communicated runs at the top of the protocol stack.
    A detailed explanation of the SS7 protocol may be found in Bell Communications Research, “Specification of Signaling System Number 7,” Generic Requirements, GR-246-CORE, Issue 1, December 1994, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference. A summary description of the most relevant aspects of SS7 appears below.
    For SS7, typical applications layer protocols include Transaction Capability Application Part (TCAP); Operations, Maintenance, Application Part (OMAP); and ISDN User Part (ISDN-UP). TCAP provides the signaling protocols for exchange of non-circuit related, transaction-based information, typically for accessing databases such as SCPs. For example, TCAP specifies the format and content of an initial query message from an SSP to an SCP and various response messages from the SCP back to the SSP. ISDN-UP is the actual call control application protocol of SS7. ISDN-UP specifies the procedures for setting up and tearing down trunk connections utilizing CCIS signaling. ISDN-UP messages, for example, include an Initial Address Message (IAM), an Address Complete Message (ACM) and an Answer Message (ANM).
    SS7 specifies an Application Service Part (ASP) for performing the functions of the presentation, session and transport layers for the TCAP and OMAP protocols. The lower four layers of the SS7 protocol correspond to the lower three layers (network, link and physical) of the OSI model. The lower three layers of the SS7 protocol, the network layer, the signaling link layer and the data link layer, form the Message Transfer Part (MTP) of SS7. The MTP is common to messages for all applications and provides reliable transfer of signaling messages between network nodes. The MTP relays messages between applications running at different nodes of the network, effectively like a datagram type service.
    The SS7 network layer (lower portion of L3) routes messages from source to destination. Routing tables for the signaling network layer facilitate routing based on logical addresses. The routing functionality at this layer is independent of the characteristics of particular links.
    The signaling link layer (L2) performs flow control, error correction and packet sequence control. The signaling data link layer (L1) is the actual physical connection between nodes of the CCIS network. The signaling data link layer in CCIS provides full duplex packet switched data communications. The signaling data link layer element provides a bearer for the actual signaling message transmissions. In a digital environment, 56 or 64 Kbitss digital paths carry the signaling messages between nodes, although higher speeds may be used.
    At the equivalent of the OSI network layer (L3), the SS7 protocol stack includes a Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP) as well as the network layer portion of the MTP. SCCP provides communication between signaling nodes by adding circuit and routing information to SS7 messages. The SCCP routing information serves to route messages to and from specific applications. Each node of the signaling network, including the various switching offices and databases in each network, is assigned a 9-digit point-code for purposes of addressing signaling messages through the CCIS network. Both the SCCP protocol and the MTP processing utilize these point codes.
    The SS7 messages traverse the network at all times. The messages themselves comprise digital serial messages that come into the STP. FIG. 5 provides a graphic illustration of an SS7 message packet. The first byte or octet of the message is a flag, which is a zero followed by 6 ones and another 0. This constitutes a unique bit pattern in the SS7 protocol. The protocol ensures that this particular pattern is not repeated until the next message. This provides a flag at the beginning of a new message. A flag at the end of a message is also provided usually in the form of the flag at the beginning of the next message, i.e., a message usually contains only one flag. The message is arranged in 8 bit bytes or octets. These octets represent the information carried by the message. The message contains both fixed and variable parameters. The Message Transport Part (MTP) of the SS7 message is always in the same place. The values change but the MTP is always in the same place.
    Octets 2-11 form a routing label as discussed later with regard to FIG. 4. Octet 12 contains a signaling link selection (SLS) byte used to select specific links andor determine the extent to which the network can select specific links to achieve load sharing. Octet 13 contains a Customer Identification Code (CIC) which typically is used to select an interexchange carrier. Octet 14 contains a message type indicator, and octets 15-N contain the actual message, in the form of fixed parameters, mandatory parameters and optional parameters. The length of the mandatory parameters field and the optional parameters field are variable. There would be 16 other bits that have Cyclic Redundancy Codes (CRCs) in them and another flag which would constitute the end of the SS7 message (and typically the start of the next message). CRCs constitute a further error detection code which is a level 1 function in the protocol.
    FIG. 6 is a graphic illustration of the routing label of the SS7 message packet. The first 7 bits of octet 2 constitute the Backward Sequence Number (BSN). The eighth bit is the Backward Indicator Bit (BIB) which is used to track whether messages have been received correctly. The length of an SS7 message is variable, therefore octet 4 contains a message length indicator.
    Octet 5 is the Service Information Octet (SIO). This indicates whether it is a Fill In Signal Unit (FISU), Link Service Signaling Unit (LSSU) or Message Signaling Unit (MSU). MSUs are the only ones used for setting up calls, LSSUs are used for alignment, and FISUs are fill in signals. The MSU indicator type SIO octet is formatted and encoded to serve as an address indicator, as discussed below.
    The routing label includes fields for both destination related addressing and point of origin addressing. The destination or ‘called party’ address includes octets 6, 7 and 8. Octets 9-11 carry origination point code information, for example member, cluster and network ID information.
    In the example shown in FIG. 6, the three octets of the called party address contain an actual destination point code (DPC) identified as DPC-member, DPC-cluster and DPC-network ID information. In operation, the translation tables stored in the STP cause the STP to actually route based on the DPC without translating any of the DPC octets into new values. The called party address octets (6-8), however, may carry other types of called party addressing information and receive different treatment by the STP. For example, these octets may carry a global title (GTT) and subsystem number (SSN) information.
    To distinguish the types of information carried in octets 6-8, the MSU type service information octet (5) contains an address indicator. For example, a ‘1’ value in the first bit position in this octet signifies that the called party address octets contain a subsystem number, a ‘1’ value in the second bit position in this octet signifies that the called party address octets contain a signaling point code. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth bits of the address indicator serve as the global title indicator and are encoded to identify the presence and type of global title value in octets 6-8.
    FIGS. 7A and 7B together show a public switched telephone network similar to that of FIG. 3. Again, the network actually includes two local exchange carrier networks, 1 and 2, and the structure and general methods of operation of those networks are identical to those of the networks 1 and 2 shown in FIG. 3. FIGS. 7A and 7B, however, add a high level functional representation of two competing interexchange carrier networks.
    Each local exchange carrier network operates within boundaries of a defined Local Access and Transport Area (LATA). Current laws require that interexchange carriers, not local exchange carriers, must transport calls crossing the LATA boundaries, i.e., all interLATA calls. To transport calls from one LATA to another, each interexchange carrier network includes a point of presence (POP) 41A, 41B in the region of the first local exchange carrier network 1 and a point of presence (POP) 43A, 43B in the region of the second local exchange carrier network 2. Although not shown in detail, the interexchange carrier will operate a network of communication links and switching offices to provide transport between the POPs in different LATAs.
    The interexchange carrier networks provide two-way transport for both communication traffic (e.g., voice calls) and signaling. For CCIS type processing, the POP in each region will include both a tandem type switch with at least SS7 signaling point (SP) capability as well as an STP. In each POP, the tandem connects to a switching office in the respective local exchange carrier network, and the STP connects to an STP of the respective local exchange carrier network. In the illustrated simplified example, the tandem switches in POPs 41A, 41B connect to the tandem 13 in network 1. The STPs in POPs 41A, 41B connect to the STP 15 in network 1. Similarly, the tandem switches in POPs 43A, 43B connect to the tandem 23 in network 2, and the STPs in those POPs connect to the STP 25 in network 2.
    Typically, each interexchange carrier will operate an SCP database 45A, 45. The SCP 45A, 45B connects to a signal transfer point (STP) at some point in each respective interexchange carrier's network. In the illustrated example, the SCP 45B connects to an STP in POP 41B, and the SCP 45A connects to the STP in POP 43A. The SCPs provide data translations for 800 number calling services and the like offered by the interexchange carriers. If an interexchange carrier chooses, one or more of the carrier's tandems may have full SSP capability, and the SCP could be replaced by an ISCP to offer AIN type services to the interexchange carrier's customers. The precise arrangement of switches, trunks, STPs, signaling links and SCPs or the like vary between interexchange carriers depending on the traffic load each transports, the sophistication of services provided, etc.
    FIG. 8 is a simplified block diagram of an electronic program controlled switch which may be used as any one of the SP or SSP type switching offices in the systems of FIG. 3 or FIGS. 7A-7B. As illustrated, the switch includes a number of different types of modules. In particular, the illustrated switch includes interface modules 51 (only two of which are shown), a communications module 53 and an administrative module 55.
    The interface modules 51 each include a number of interface units 0 to n. The interface units terminate lines from subscribers' stations, trunks, T1 carrier facilities, etc. Where the interfaced circuit is analog, for example a subscriber loop, the interface unit will provide analog to digital conversion and digital to analog conversion. The interface modules for the analog lines also include dial pulse detectors and dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) detectors. Alternatively, the lines or trunks may use digital protocols such as T1 or ISDN. Each interface module 51 also includes a digital service unit (not shown) which is used to generate call progress tones.
    Each interface module 51 includes, in addition to the noted interface units, a duplex microprocessor based module controller and a duplex time slot interchange, referred to as a TSI in the drawing. Digital words representative of voice information are transferred in two directions between interface units via the time slot interchange (intramodule call connections) or transmitted in two directions through the network control and timing links to the time multiplexed switch 57 and thence to another interface module (intermodule call connection).
    The communication module 53 includes the time multiplexed switch 57 and a message switch 59. The time multiplexed switch 57 provides time division transfer of digital voice data packets between voice channels of the interface modules 51 and transfers data messages between the interface modules. The message switch 59 interfaces the administrative module 55 to the time multiplexed switch 57, so as to provide a route through the time multiplexed switch permitting two-way transfer of control related messages between the interface modules 51 and the administrative module 55. In addition, the message switch 59 terminates special data links, for example a link for receiving a synchronization carrier used to maintain digital synchronism.
    The administrative module 55 includes an administrative module processor 61, which is a computer equipped with disc storage 63, for overall control of operations of the switching office. The administrative module processor 61 communicates with the interface modules 51 through the communication module 55. The administrative module 55 also includes one or more inputoutput (IO) processors 65 providing interfaces to terminal devices for technicians such as shown at 66 in the drawing and data links to operations systems for traffic, billing, maintenance data, etc. A CCIS terminal 73 and an associated data unit 71 provide a signaling link between the administrative module processor 61 and an STP of the SS7 signaling network, for facilitating call processing signal communications with other central offices (COs) and with one or more of the SCPs andor the ISCP 17.
    As illustrated in FIG. 8, the administrative module 55 also includes a call store 67 and a program store 69. Although shown as separate elements for convenience, these are typically implemented as memory elements within the computer serving as the administrative module processor 61. For each call in progress, the call store 67 stores translation information retrieved from disc storage 63 together with routing information and any temporary information needed for processing the call. For example, for a switch based Centrex type service, the call store 67 would receive and store extension number translation information for the business customer corresponding to an off-hook line initiating a call. The program store 69 stores program instructions which direct operations of the computer serving as the administrative module processor.
    Of particular note, the translation data in the disc storage 63 includes translation information needed to address messages for transmission through the signaling network. In particular, when the switch needs to send a message through the SS7 network to a particular node, the data from the disc storage 63 provides the global title andor point code for the message destination.
    FIG. 9 depicts the functional elements of one of the STPs shown in the networks of FIGS. 3, 7A and 7B. As shown, the STP comprises interface modules 81, a packet switch fabric 83 and an administrative module 85. The interface modules 81 provide the physical connections to the two-way data links to the switching systems, SCPs, ISCPs and other STPs. Typically, these links provide two-way 56 kbitss or 64 kbitss virtual circuits between nodes of the CCIS signaling network. The modules provide a two-way coupling of SS7 data packets, of the type shown in FIG. 3, between the actual data links and the packet switch fabric. The packet switch fabric provides the actual routing of packets coming in from one link, through one of the interface modules 83 back out through one of the interface modules 81 to another data link. The packet switch fabric 83 also switches some incoming messages through to the administrative module 85 and switches some messages from the administrative module 85 out through one of the interface modules 81 to one of the data links.
    The administrative module 65 includes an administrative module processor 87, which is a computer equipped with RAM 91 and a program store 89, for overall control of operations of the switching office. Although shown as a logically separate element, the program store 89 typically is implemented as memory within the computer serving as the administrative module processor 87. The administrative module processor 89 provides control instructions to and receives status information from the operation control element (not shown) within the packet switch fabric 83. The administrative module processor 87 also transmits and receives some messages via the packet switch fabric 83 and the interface modules 81. The administrative module 55 also includes one or more inputoutput (IO) processors 65 providing interfaces to terminal devices for technicians such as shown at 66 in the drawing and data links to operations systems for traffic recording, maintenance data, etc.
    The program store 69 stores program instructions which direct operations of the computer serving as the administrative module processor 87. The RAM 91 stores the translation tables used to control routing andor processing of messages through the STP. The RAM may be implemented as a disc storage unit, but preferably the RAM comprises a large quantity of semiconductor random access memory circuits providing extremely fast access to information stored therein.
    FIG. 10 provides a more detailed illustration of two telephone networks linked by an SS7 network along with legends facilitating a detailed description of its operation. The overall switched telephone network is generally indicated at 100 having a common channel signaling network in the form of an SS7 network illustrated generally at 112. The switched telephone network consists of a series of central offices which are conventionally referred to as signaling points (SPs) in reference to the SS7 network. Certain of these SPs comprise end offices (EOs) illustrated at 114, 116, 118 and 120 as EOs 1-4 in FIG. 10. Each signaling point has a point code comprising a 9-digit code assigned to every node in the network. In FIG. 10 EO1 has a point code of 246-103-001, EO2 has a point code of 246-103-002, EO3 has a point code of 255-201-103, and EO4 has a point code of 255-201-104.
    The end offices EO1 and EO2 represent end offices in the region of one regional operating company while end offices EO3 and EO4 represent end offices of the region of a different operating company. Each operating company has its own network ID, shown here as 246 for the left region and 255 for the right region in FIG. 10. The number 103 in the designation 246-103-001, is the number of the cluster. A cluster can hold 32 SPs or members, the member being designated by the final 3 numbers. Thus 246 may represent C & P of Virginia Regional Operating Company, cluster 103, member EO2 for EO2 when viewed from an SS7 standpoint.
    The broken lines connecting the SPs together may be analog trunks or voice or similar circuits. The SPs in a given region are connected together by local trunks 122, 124 and 126 in the left region and 128, 130 and 132 in the right region. The SPs in one region are connected to the SPs in other regions via inter-exchange carrier network trunks or ICN trunks 134 and 136 in FIG. 10 connected to Access Tandems (ATs) 138 and 140 (AT1 and AT2). These SPs or ATs are shown as having point codes 246-103-003 and 255-201-101 respectively.
    Referring to FIG. 10, the SS7 network 112 comprises a series of Signal Transfer Points (STPs) shown here at 140, 142, 144 and 146 designated STP1, STP2, STP3 and STP4. Each STP in a network is connected to the SPs in the network by A links indicated at 148, 150, 152 and 154. STP1 and STP2 constitute a mated pair of STPs connected by C links 156 while STP3 and STP4 constitute a mated pair connected by C links 158, each mated pair serving its respective transport area. It will be understood that there may be multiple mated pairs per region, one for each designated transport area. STP1 is connected to STP3 by B link 160 and to STP4 by D link 162. STP2 is connected to STP4 by B link 164 and to STP3 by D link 166.
    As will be understood, the A, B, C and D links are physically identical with the designation relating to cost in terms of ease of access. The A links represent the lowest cost. B and D links have the same route cost with respect to SS7 so that the D designation is used only because it extends diagonally in the drawing. The C links are used to communicate between the two paired STPs for network management information and also constitute another route. The STPs in mated pairs have the same translations. Thus the translations in STP1 are the same as the translations in STP2, and the translations in STP3 are the same as the translations in STP4. The C links communicate between the paired STPs for network management information and SS7 message routing. The STP pair cannot function without the C links. Therefore, unnecessary utilization of the C links causes congestion and prevents the paired STPs from performing their intended function.
    The STPs are connected to Signal Control Points (SCPs) indicated in FIG. 10 as an SCP 168 and an ISCP 170. The ISCP is an Integrated Signaling Control Point, which is basically the same as an SCP but comprises a larger and more powerful computer. SCPs are usually used for 800 and credit card services with ISCPs being used for AIN. However, this is optional. The ISCP may hold application information as well as routing information whereas an SCP contains routing information, i.e., routing tables.
    The SS7 network constitutes a highly redundant data network, generally a 56K switched data circuit. By way of example, an SS7 message from EO2 to EO4 might travel any one of 8 possible routes. It could go from EO2 to STP1, from STP1 to STP3, STP3 to EO4. One variation on that route would be from STP1 down the D link 162 to STP4 to EO4, and so forth. In the event that a link between STP3 and EO4 was lost, an SS7 route could be established from EO2 to EO4 via STP1 to STP3 and then via C link 158 to STP4 to EO4. However, that would be an undesirable route in unnecessarily using the C link. A links provide direct connectivity while C links provide circuitous routes using extra switches, a situation to be avoided. An alternate route would be from STP1 via D link 162 to STP4 to EO4. Another reason for not using the C link is to avoid tying up the entire STP3-STP4 pair.
    The operation of placing a call from EO2 to EO4 may be described as follows: The user at EO2 picks up his phone and dials the number that resides in EO4. The SP generates an Initial Address Message (IAM). This message would have the destination point code of EO4, namely, point code 255-201-104. It would have an originating point code of EO2, namely, 246-103-002, in addition to miscellaneous other information needed for call set-up. That message would then be sent to either STP1 or STP2. Assuming that the message goes to STP1, STP1 would look at the message and determine that the message was not for it as an STP but rather is for EO4. STP1 would then investigate possible routings to get to 255 or EO4. B and D links are available and STP1 would choose one of the two. Assuming that it chooses the B link to STP3, STP3 repeats the same procedure. It determines that the message is for 255 or EO4 and puts that message on the A link to EO4.
    EO4 gets the IAM which has the called telephone number in it and determines whether or not the line is busy. If the line is not busy, EO4 generates an Address Complete Message (ACM) to indicate that it received the request for a call and that the number is not busy. That message is sent back by simply reversing the point codes. Now the destination point code is EO2 and the originating point code is EO4. The message goes back to EO2 to indicate that the IAM was received and processed. As soon as the phone is answered at EO4, EO4 sends an Answer Message (ANS) back to EO2 indicating that the phone at EO4 was picked up, and at that time the trunks are connected together. EO2 connects its user to that trunk and EO4 connects its user to that trunk so that communication is established. All such messaging may occur in about 600 milliseconds which would be average but not necessarily fast.
    The foregoing constitutes the function of the STPs insofar as routing is concerned. The STPs look at a point code and if it is not for them they just pass it on via a route determined from translations and routing tables. The C link is the last route permitted and is not utilized unless no other route is available.
    As opposed to the foregoing, where the point code was for EO4 and not STP1, the point code may be for STP1. One example of such a situation would be the case of an 800 call. The 800 number is a fictitious number which is associated with a POTS number in a database in the SCP. Thus if EO2 makes an 800 call to EO4 it is necessary to determine the real telephone number. EO2 launches a Switching Connection Control Part (SCCP) message, which is a database request. This point code has a destination point code of an alias which is the point code of STP1 and STP2. STP1 and STP2 have various point codes indicated in FIG. 1 as 246-100-000 and 246-101-000. They also have alias point codes that indicate that they have a function to perform. Upon recognizing such a point code the STP does a data search and generates another SCP message to perform a database search or dip. This returns the real telephone number and the STP now has the destination point code of the real telephone number message. This is sent back to EO2. STP1 determines that this message is not for me but for EO2. The message is sent back down to EO2. EO2 now has a real telephone number and the system performs the IAM and ACM procedure all over again to set up the call. The only difference between a regular direct call and an 800 call is the necessity to perform the dip to obtain the real number first. This procedure takes about 1.3 seconds because of the additional operation. The STPs have various databases, such as the 800 database and the credit card database, and there is still a further database for AIN.
    The SS7 protocol describes how the signal messages are built and routed and provides for network management of the SS7 network itself. Thus if a link between EO4 and STP3 were to be lost, STP3 generates a transfer restricted message (TFR) to all nodes, i.e., all SPs connected to STP3, indicating that traffic is not to be sent to STP3 for EO4 because no route from STP3 to EO4 exists. If both A links to EO4 were down, EO4 would essentially be isolated and the STP pair STP3 STP4 would broadcast a transfer prohibited (TFP) message indicating that nothing should be sent to the pair for EO4.
    In the transfer restricted situation it would be possible for STP3 to reach EO4 via the C link to STP4. This is a non-favored route but would be used in necessity. Handling such situations is the purpose of network managing messages. Congestion control or TFC accomplishes basically the same thing except that it constitutes a more sophisticated message limiting use of a circuit by stopping messages below a certain priority. Each message has a different priority. IAMs have a priority of 1 where ANS messages have a priority of 2.
    Upon congestion occurring in the STP node for EO4 a new call could not be sent to EO4 because it constitutes a priority 1 message which is restricted because the congestion level is 2. Only priority 2 messages and higher would be permitted. If a call is already existing it could be answered or released. Releases have a priority of 2 to permit call completion. New calls could not be initiated until the congestion had been removed or lowered to congestion status 1 or 0.
    Referring to FIG. 11 there is shown a simplified block diagram of a communications system according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. The system illustrated in diagrammatic form in FIG. 11 includes two local exchange carriers or LECs linked by an interexchange carrier or IXC. These carriers are generally similar to the corresponding carriers shown in the conventional system illustrated in FIGS. 7A and B. The LECs are generally similar to the regional carriers illustrated with more detail in FIG. 10.
    The leftmost LEC is shown as including signaling points SP 200 and SP 202, which are shown connected by a heavy line representing trunk connection. This may be either direct connection as shown or may be through one or more tandems. The rightmost LEC is shown as including signaling points SP 204 and SP 206, which also are shown connected by a heavy line representing trunk connection. This also may be either direct connection as shown or may be through one or more tandems. In this description all SPs are assumed to have SSP capability. The intermediate IXCs are shown as respectively including signaling points SP 208 and SP 210, and SP 212 and SP 214, which also are shown connected by heavy lines representing trunk connections. These also may be direct or through one or more tandems. For convenience of description the signaling points SPs 200, 202, 204 and 206 may regarded as end office (EO) switching systems having subscriber stations A, B, C, and D connected thereto by local links.
    Centrally located in FIG. 11 is a cloud which represents the Internet 216. Each SP or SSP is connected through a router to the Internet. These routers are shown at 218-232 and are of the type commonly used as interfaces to the Internet. Signal transfer points or STPs corresponding to those shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B are also connected to the Internet through routers. The STPs are shown at 218-240. The routers are shown at 242-248. It will be understood that the STPs 218-240 represent paired STPs connected by C links as shown in FIG. 10. It will also be understood that the router connections to the STPs shown by single lines represent individual connections to the STPs in the pair. Also, the single lines connecting the routers 218-232 to the Internet will be understood to represent the multiple A links shown in FIG. 10 connecting the SPs to the STPs. The routers are provided with sufficient ports to enable the necessary connections. While the drawings depict only a limited number of SPs and STPs it should be appreciated that this is illustrative only. It is a feature of the invention that an almost unlimited number of SPs and STPs may be accommodated limited only by the capacity of the worldwide Internet.
    It is an important advantage of the invention that the architecture is so designed as to be almost universally adapted to interconnect widely spaced telecommunications systems using differing signaling control systems. The central control for this very wide area system is provided by a central controller 250 which is also connected to the Internet. The central controller may be viewed as being akin to a universal ISCP which provides not only control of the linked telecommunications networks but also of the necessary routing within the Internet to control the various linked network signaling control systems. As will be appreciated, such a central controller requires a large database and controller capacity. This is implemented according to the invention by providing the controller with a hierarchical architecture of the type used with domain name servers in the Internet. Connected supplemental capacity of this type is represented in FIG. 11 by the exemplary supporting and subsidiary controller databases 252 and 254.
    The operation of the communications system of FIG. 11 is now described in the handling of a typical call which involves the central control point. For convenience there is described a call for a telephone station whose number has been forwarded using a custom calling service commonly known as call forwarding. In this example station B connected to SP 202 has ordered calls addressed to station B to be forwarded to station D which is connected to SP 206. An appropriate entry has been made in the customer record database of controller or central control point 250. In addition the end office (EO) 202 to which the call forwarding subscriber station B is connected has been programmed to recognize as a point in call (PIC) the signaling resulting from the dialing of the number for station B to trigger AIN type processing.
    The dialing of the number for station B connected to SP 202 by station A 200 is handled pursuant to common channel signaling methodology. Since station B is not local to station A, i.e., the call cannot be handled through the same switch or switching system, the call must be completed through switching system or SP 202 in FIG. 11. As a result the SP 200 suspends the call and formulates and sends a common channel signaling message in SS7 protocol addressed to SP 202 for station B. This SS7 protocol message is sent to router 218. Router 218 encapsulates the SS7 message in TCPIP format and provides optimum path addressing through the Internet 216 to the router 220 which is connected to the called station SP 202. The router 220 strips the TCPIP addressing and delivers the SS7 message to SP 202. Call forwarding normally utilizes a destination trigger and thus SP 202 is programmed to contain a PIC to constitute this trigger.
    When the SS7 message (IAM) is received at SP 202 the trigger is activated or tripped and SP 202 suspends call processing. SP 202 formulates a call data message in SS7 format and sends the message to its router 220. The SS7 message is addressed to the controller 250 in SS7 protocol. The router 220 encapsulates the SS7 message in TCPIP format and provides optimum path addressing through the Internet 216 to the router (not shown) which is included as an interface to the controller 250. This router retrieves the SS7 message which is read by the controller. Assuming that the message includes sufficient data, the controller accesses its stored data tables and translates the received data into an SS7 call control message. In the event that additional information is needed the controller can instruct the particular SP to obtain and forward additional information. The SS7 address information from the received message is reversed pursuant to normal SS7 methodology described above. The SS7 response message formulated by the controller is then encapsulated for Internet TCPIP transport by the router in the controller. This includes optimum path addressing through the Internet pursuant to TCPIP protocol. The message formulated by the controller router has a destination address for the router 220.
    When the TCPIP message is received by the router 220 it is stripped to its SS7 content, i.e. the message from the controller. This SS7 message includes the forwarding number along with handling instructions for the SP. This information is transmitted from the SP 202 to the originating SP 200 in an inverse of the original signaling from SP 200 to SP 202. Thus the SS7 message is transported from SP 202 to SP 200 through the Internet via TCPIP transport. When the originating SP 200 receives the message and the forwarding number the entire procedure is repeated to the destination station D connected to SP 206. If the called line or local link is available the call is connected or completed and a message to this effect is returned from SP 206 to SP 200.
    In the foregoing example the signaling procedure was carried out completely through the internetwork or Internet without recourse to a signal transfer point (STP). While the signaling could have been carried out with routing through one or more STPs there is no necessity for following such a procedure where an STP is not addressed in the call processing signaling. The particular example involved a destination trigger and processing by the controller. In the case of the processing of an 800 number call an originating trigger is used and the STP may be provided with the necessary 800 to POTS number translation. In that event the originating SP communicates with the STP in a signaling methodology of the type described in the foregoing example.
    In that methodology the SPs formulate their conventional SS7 messages. These are then transported via the internetwork using the internetwork protocol, which in the case of the Internet constitutes TCPIP. It will be understood that the invention is not limited to use of the Internet as the internetwork nor limited to using TCPIP protocol. However it is a feature and preferred embodiment to use the Internet in this capacity by virtue of its nature. The Internet is virtually worldwide in geographic extent and provides a developed and readily available transport medium. In addition to the foregoing the connectionless nature of message handling provides a high degree of redundancy for reliability purposes.
    It is also a feature of the invention that reliability may be enhanced by an alternate arrangement which may serve as a substitute or supplement to the preferred example discussed above. According to this feature of the invention high capacity for signal handling may be obtained through an internetwork such as the Internet through the use of dedicated virtual paths. Such dedicated virtual paths can supply minimum guaranteed bandwidth and latency. This embodiment of the invention establishes dedicated virtual paths for large scale transport of packets along high traffic routes.
    Referring to FIG. 12 there is shown a communication system similar to that shown in FIG. 11. In this illustration there are shown a portion of the routers contained within the Internet.
    In simplified fashion the Internet may be viewed as a series of routers connected together with computers connected to the routers. In the addressing scheme of the Internet an address comprises four numbers separated by dots. An example would be 164.109.211.237. Each machine on the Internet has a unique number which constitutes one of these four numbers. In the address the leftmost number is the highest number. By analogy this would correspond to the ZIP code in a mailing address. At times the first two numbers constitute this portion of the address indicating a network or a locale. That network is connected to the last router in the transport path. In differentiating between two computers in the same destination network only the last number field changes. In such an example the next number field 211 identifies the destination router. When the packet bearing the destination address leaves the source router it examines the first two numbers in a matrix table to determine how many hops are the minimum to get to the destination. It then sends the packet to the next router as determined from that table and the procedure is repeated. Each router has a database table that finds the information automatically. This continues until the packet arrives at the destination computer. The separate packets that constitute a message may not travel the same path depending on traffic load. However they all reach the same destination and are assembled in their original order in a connectionless fashion.
    Referring to FIG. 12 there are shown in the Internet 216 a series of routers R that route data packets along available paths 256 based on known algorithms. As known in the art, the separate packets that constitute a message may not travel the same path 256 depending on traffic load. However they all reach the same destination and are assembled in their original order in a connectionless fashion.
    In order to provide guaranteed service quality and reliability certain packets between high traffic routers can be transported on dedicated virtual paths. The described example establishes dedicated virtual paths 258 for large scale transport of packets on selected high traffic routes. These are shown in FIG. 12 linking the STPs to the controller 250. Selected routers reserve a predetermined amount of bandwidth for these virtual paths. Such reservation is arranged by agreement between the telecommunication network operators and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs). While a complete dedicated virtual network could be arranged in this fashion the reliability has to be balanced against the cost of obtaining the dedicated paths.
    It will be readily seen by one of ordinary skill in the art that the present invention fulfills all of the objects set forth above. After reading the foregoing specification, one of ordinary skill will be able to effect various changes, substitutions of equivalents and various other aspects of the invention as broadly disclosed herein. It is therefore intended that the protection granted hereon be limited only by the definition contained in the appended claims and equivalents thereof.


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A These options have now been added to the CMA SmartDashboard in the IPS tab B The Merge and Override options are not supported in R71 C The options are available in Global Smart Dash boad / IPS tab in Profiles options D From the Provider-1 Properties in MDG, select the Global Policies tab and enable the check box 'Enable legacy SmartDefense merging options' Answer: B QUESTION: 171 You are the responsible administrator for two customers managed by your MSP You must configure each CMA with local objects as well as rules You have to configure the IPS accordingly In addition, you will configure and assign Global Rules for your customers What minimum rights do you need at the MDS? A Provider Superuser B Customer Manager C Customer Superuser D Global Manager Answer: D QUESTION: 172 One of your customers will not renew their subscription for the IPS Software Blade, and decides to cancel their subscription early What happens if they don't allow the IPS service to expire? A When the subscription has ended, the IPS falls back to run only checks that were active with the first version published B Since the customer is still subscribed to IPS service via MDG, all things run as before The MSP has to take care that customers will renew their subscription C New updates are not possible after the IPS service blade has ended, but all checks being downloaded before are still configured and active D IPS update service is free of charge and therefore there is no time limit for it Answer: A QUESTION: 173 You manage several customers with Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1 Two of the customers need to be connected via a global VPN using VPN Communities in a Global Rule In the MDG, you configure both Gateways to be enabled for Global use Then you define a Global VPN Community in the Global SmartDashboard How do you configure a rule so that encrypted HTTP traffic is accepted between the corresponding Gateways? A In the menu of the Global SmartDashboard, select Policy > Convert To Simplified Mode, follow the Wizard and define a rule accepting HTTP traffic that fits to the community listed in the column VPN B It's possible to define Global VPN Communities, but it is not possible to use them in a Global Rule Base C In the Global SmartDashboard, define a rule accepting the wanted traffic In the column VPN select the VPN community y5o8u have defined D After having defined a Global VPN Community, the Global Rule Base needs to be assigned to both customers The VPN can only be defined in each (local) CMA individually Answer: A QUESTION: 174 Steve is the Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1 Superuser of an MSP having a Provider-1 R71 environment with 2 MDS Manager systems, 4 MDS Containers and 2 MLM's One of the customers of the MSP requires redundancy for the CMA's Steve has already added a secondary CMA, but the customer insists on having one more CMA What is the best way to do this? A Steve can add a third CMA on the same MDS as the secondary CMA as a single customer can only use up to two MDS Containers for CMA's B Provider-1 only supports 2 CMA's per customer, so Steve will have to install a Security Management Server for backing up the CMA C This is not possible as Provider-1 supports only one backup / secondary CMA D Steve can add a third CMA on another MDS Container Answer: D QUESTION: 175 Select the correct statement about the following Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1environment example A This will never work because all the MDS containers must be on the same LAN and it is also a license violation B This setup will not work as the MDS Co5n9tainer-HA can only host CMA-HA's C This will not work as the number of CMA-HA's must be equal to the number of primary CMA's D This setup will work without any issues as Provider-1 supports a mix of Primary and Secondary CMA's on the same MDS Container as long as they are of different customers Answer: D QUESTION: 176 In Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1 R71, the Security Management backup server can be installed on: A any platform where Security Management Server is supported B any platform where Security Management Server is supported except Windows or Nokia IPSO C SecurePlatform or Windows Server D only SecurePlatform Pro Answer: B QUESTION: 177 As in the example below, MDS-ManagerAndContainer is Active whereas MDS-Manager2 is in Standby mode If a Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1 Superuser logs into MDS- ManagerAndContainer in Read/Write mode using the MDG while the first user is still logged in, and another Provider-1 Superuser tries to log in to MDS-Manager2, what will happen? The second user will: A get an application error and the MDG will close B get a message informing him that another user is logged in with Read/Write access Hence, he will be allowed to log in with Read-Only access C also be allowed to log in through the MDG in Read/Write mode and they can both make changes to the Provider-1 configuration within the MDG D get a message informing him that another user is logged in with Read/Write access, and an option to disconnect the first user will be given QUESTION: 178 Which of the following is the correct syntax for mirroring all CMA's from FirstMDS to SecondMDS? A cma_mirror_all -s FirstMDS -t SecondMDS B p1shell/mirrorcma -s FirstMDS -t SecondMDS -c 2 C mdscmd mirrorcma -s FirstMDS -t SecondMDS -c 2 D mirrorcma -s FirstMDS -t SecondMDS -c 2 Answer: C QUESTION: 179 Let's assume that your Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1 configuration has only one MDS You want the installation to be redundant, so you decide to set up a secondary MDS Container and Manager While completing the installation, you need to provide the activation key The installation is completed after a reboot The final steps are taken with the MDG connecting to the primary MDS Which of the following statements is TRUE? A When the activation key is provided, synchronization at MDS as well as CMA level is started automatically B The first step is to define the secondary MDS in the MDG and to provide the activation key After this is done, it is not possible to synchronize at MDS level only because only the complete configuration of a MDS can be synchronized (including all CMAs) C Before synchronization can start, both the activation key and performing an Install Database are necessary D When the secondary MDS is defined in the MDG and the activation key has been correct, synchronization at the MDS level can be started immediately Answer: D QUESTION: 180 NetSec MSP has Multi-Domain Management with Provider-1 R71 in their New York network They have 1 MDS Manager and 1 MDS Container on a Solaris server with 10 CMA's NetSec has recently setup a network in Dallas and wants to use the Provider-1 MDS Container hosting backup CMA's for all the 10 customers The management is not in favor of buying a Solaris Server, hence they are asking if they can use SecurePlatform on Intel hardware How can NetSec implement this requirement? SecurePlatform in Dallas and then associate the two to enable High Availability' B As it is not possible to have a secondary CMA on a different operating system, NetSec will have to install 10 Security Management Servers to backup the CMA's' C They can have the new Provider-1 R71 MDS Container on SecurePlatform and host all the secondary CMA's on this MDS; Provider-1 R71 HA supports different operating systems' D They will have to buy a Solaris Server to install the MDS Container and host the secondary CMA's on that as it is required for the HA systems to be running the same operating system and version' Answer: C QUESTION: 181 When importing the configuration of a Management Server, the CMA is also imported The name of the CMA is the same name that the Management Server had before How do you configure a name change to the CMA before the CA is re- established again? A At the MDS, change to the corresponding CMA context using the mdsenv command Then issue the command fwm sic_reset to reset the CA completely B In the MDG, select the CMA you want to change With a right-click on the object, select edit and change the name in the window that opens C In the CLI of the MDS environment, issue the command fwm sic_reset You will be asked which SIC you want to reset Select the appropriate CMA and the name as well as the CMA will be changed D The name of a CMA cannot be changed by design because this name is used in certificates Answer: A QUESTION: 182 Importing an existing Management Server configuration into a MDS via CLI might be useful First, the new customer needs to be defined After having defined the CMA, an existing configuration can be imported How can this be done? A At the CLI of the MDS type\linecma_migrate B It is not possible to import a configuration using CLI This can only done using the MDG C At the CLI of the MDS type\linecma_migrate –s -t D At the CLI of the MDS type\linecma_migrate -t –s Answer: A CheckPoint 156-815-71 Exam (Check Point Certified Managed(R) Security Expert R71) Detailed Information Training & Certification Check Point offers a wide range of education programs, professional certifications and self-study resources developed in-house by Check Point security experts. Training is available from our global network of Authorized Training Centers (ATC). TRAINING CALENDAR FIND A TRAINING CENTER CERTIFICATION FAQ Training Together with our Authorized Training Centers, we offer comprehensive technical training and certifications for IT security professionals who deploy and manage Check Point Security solutions. Entry-level Security Awareness Text book and course covers important principles of CyberSecurity from a vendor neutral perspective. Concepts include issues of physical and document security along with data protection and recovery in the event of data or systems loss. Security Principles Associate Core Security Administrator Training Three-day course covers everything you need to start-up, configure and manage daily operations of Check Point Security Gateway and Management Software Blades systems on the GAiA operating system. Security Administrator R77.30 Security Administrator R80 Core Security Expert Training Advanced three-day course teaches how to build, modify, deploy and troubleshoot Check Point Security Systems on the GAiA operating system. Hands-on lab exercises teach how to debug firewall processes, optimize VPN performance and upgrade Management Servers. Security Engineering NextGen Security Training Learn how to deploy the latest cyber-security solutions to defend and prevent today’s evolving threats Threat Prevention Secure Web Gateway Advanced Security Training Learn to manage virtualized security in high-end networks and advanced security optimization techniques. MDSM with VSX Security Master Custom Training Certifications Check Point Certifications mean expertise with the technology that secures the internet for all Fortune and Global 100 companies. The benefits of becoming Check Point certified include the skills to support and sell Check Point products, 2-year expert access to our SecureKnowledge database and advanced product documentation. Getting Started: A Check Point UserCenter or PartnerMap account is required to receive certification benefits. You can create a new account at the User Center. If you are not sure about your account, please contact Account Services for verification. You also need a Pearson VUE account, and the email address should be the same as your UserCenter account. Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) R80 Essential certification for IT Admins who manage daily operations of Check Point Security solutions. Course Description and Exam Information Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) R77.30 Essential certification for IT Admins who manage daily operations of Check Point Security solutions. Course Description and Exam Information Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE) R77.30 The next level of certification proves troubleshooting skills and the ability to maximize the performance of security networks. Course Description and Exam Information Check Point Managed Security Expert (CCMSE) Advanced certification proves expertise in Multi-Domain Security Management with Virtual System Extension. Course Description and Exam Information Check Point Certified Security Master (CCSM) R77.30 Our most technical certification proves advanced use of time-saving commands to configure and troubleshoot Check Point Security Systems. GENERAL INQUIRIES Q: What is the difference between “Certification” and “Accreditation”? A: Check Point recognizes those professionals who have passed a rigorous, thorough examination process with a “Certification”. Certifications are based on proctored exams derived from comprehensive job models and detailed instructional objectives. Accreditations are derived from product specific content exams delivered in a less formal examination setting and recognize an individual’s effort to stay current on the latest products. Q: What versions are available? A: Our Current certifications are based on R77.30 and the new R80. Q: How long will R77.30 be available? A: Current projections have the R77.30 exams retiring 3rd quarter 2017. Q: How long does a certification last? A: Certification, like security, must be kept current to be truly effective - which is why we strongly encourage you to constantly refresh and keep your certification current. Certifications expire after 24 months. Q: Where can I take a Check Point certification exam? A: Check Point professional certification exams are proctored through Pearson VUE, a third party testing vendor with over 3.500 locations worldwide. You can register for any Check Point exam and earn your certification by visiting Pearson VUE website and creating a Web Profile. Q: Do I have to take classes in order to take the exams? A: No, it is possible to take an exam with only your own experience or self-study using the Check Point courseware, but we highly recommend taking a class instead. Instructor-led training accelerates and focuses your learning, gives you hands-on experience and an opportunity to make mistakes in the lab, and is much more cost-effective than self-study in your spare time. CHECK POINT EDUCATION SERVICES CERTIFICATION FAQ Updated September 2016 2 Q: What certifications are available? A: Check Point certifications are structured around comprehensive job models for administration, engineering (Expert), enterprise management, and advanced systems (Security Master). Certifications include: Core Security courses establish a strong foundation in essential Check Point product knowledge and skills Certifications Related Courses Exams CCSPA Check Point Certified Security Principles Associate Principles of Network Security #156-110 CCSA Check Point Certified Security Administrator Check Point Security Administration #156-215 CCSE Check Point Certified Security Expert Check Point Security Administration #156-215 Check Point Security Engineering #156-315 Advanced Specializations recognize your proficiency and expertise in specific disciplines and technologies Certifications Related Courses Exams CCSM Check Point Certified Security Master Check Point Certified Security Master #156-115 CCMSE Check Point Managed Security Expert Multi-Domain Security Management with Virtual System Extension #156-820 Q: What are the prerequisites for each Check Point certification? A: Check Point certifications are designed to build upon the knowledge and skills of the previous courses, reinforcing lessons learned and extending your competencies with ever more complex and valuable skills. Certifications Prerequisites CCSPA Check Point Certified Security Principles Associate None CCSA R77 Check Point Certified Security Administrator R77 TCP/IP and routing fundamentals CCSA R80 Check Point Certified Security Administrator R80 TCP/IP and routing fundamentals CCSE R77 Check Point Certified Security Expert R77 CCSA R77 CCSE R77 Update Check Point Certified Security Expert R77 Any prior CCSE up to R65 CCSM Check Point Certified Security Master R77 CCSE R77 CCMSE R77 Check Point Managed Security Expert R77 CCSE R77 Updated September 2016 3 Q: What courses should I take to prepare for the exams? A: To help prepare for exams, you should consider the following corresponding courses: Core Security courses establish a strong foundation in essential Check Point product knowledge and skills Exams Courses Certifications #156-110 Principles of Network Security CCSPA Check Point Certified Security Principles Associate #156-215 Check Point Security Administration R80 CCSA R80 Check Point Certified Security Administrator R80 #156-215 Check Point Security Administration R77 CCSA R77 Check Point Certified Security Administrator R77 #156-215 Check Point Security Administration R77 CCSE R77 Check Point Certified Security Expert R77 #156-315 Check Point Security Engineering R77 #156-915 CCSE R77 Update CCSE R77 Update Check Point Certified Security Expert R77 Advanced Specializations recognize your proficiency and expertise in specific disciplines and technologies Exams Courses Certifications #156-115.77 Check Point Security Master R77 CCSM R77 Check Point Certified Security Master #156-820.77 Multi-Domain Security Management with Virtual System Extension CCMSE R77 Check Point Managed Security Expert R77 Q: Is study material available? A: Exam objectives are posted on the Education Services page for reference, but all official training materials are provided when you attend instructor-led training through one of our Authorized Training Center (ATC) partners. Q: Where can I find training classes? A: Courses are offered through our network of over 230 Authorized Training Centers (ATC) around the globe. Use our partner locator to find an ATC near you and sign up for training today! Q: Are classes available globally? A: Yes! We have Authorized Training Centers (ATC) in over 42 countries worldwide - just use our partner locator to find an ATC near you and sign up for training. If for any reason you can't find an ATC near you, send an email to us directly at training@checkpoint.com and ask about on-site training options. Q: How long are the classes recommended for certification exams? A: Check Point recommends minimum time frames for each course, but individual Authorized Training Centers (ATC) may choose to adjust the time to offer more 'intensive' courses or to cover topics in more detail. You should check with your local ATC for the exact length of each course to be sure the time fits your schedule. Updated September 2016 4 Q: I know that CCSA certification is a prerequisite for CCSE. Can I achieve a CCSE R80 certification with a CCSA R70 or later certification? A: No. Since R80 is a completely new product version with many new features, only CCSA R80 certification provides the background necessary to be a prerequisite to CCSE R80 certification. However, if you have a CCSE based on NGX or the Blade technology, you are eligible to take our upgrade exam #156-915 to earn your CCSE R80 certification. Q: When will my R77 certifications expire? A: Check Point Certifications are good for 24 months. Q: My R70 certifications have already expired. Do I need to start over with CCSA R80 to update to CCSE R80? A: Actually, you don’t. Even though your certification has expired, the eligibility for updates to the latest version has not. If you ever held a CCSE certification, you are eligible for the Update exam. Q: Why has the 156-915.77 exam been removed from the exam list? A: The 156-915.77 exam was retired as soon as the 156-915.80 exam was released. Check Point only offers updates to the latest version of the product. Q: How can I learn about updates in the Check Point Certified Professional Program? A: You can always find the latest information on our News and Updates page, including special offers on the most indemand courses and certifications. Back to top MY INFORMATION Q: Why is my Check Point Professional ID Number important? A: It represents your personal identification with Check Point Software Technologies and establishes proof of your certification. You are only allowed one Certified Professional ID number. Q: How do I get my Check Point Professional ID Number? A: It is assigned to you when you register with VUE for the first time to take an exam. It will be in the form CP00000nnnnn. Q: When do I use my Check Point Professional ID Number? A: Whenever you contact VUE to register for another exam session, and whenever you contact Check Point regarding any certification issue. Q: Why do I need to provide an email address? A: An email address is necessary in order to create your User Center account - your access point for certification benefits - as well as keep you up to date with any important changes or updates. Q: If I change jobs, will I still have access to my certification information and benefits? A: Yes! Your certification is yours. However, since your email address is based on your work email you will want to contact Account Services via accountservices@checkpoint.com to update your User Center account and request that your information be linked to your new email address. Q: How do I advise Check Point of any change of address or other relevant information? A: You can send your profile updates to accountservices@checkpoint.com. Back to top Updated September 2016 5 WHAT ABOUT THE BENEFITS Q: I just passed my exams. When can I expect to receive my certificate? A: Check Point now provides e-Certificates that you can access from your User Center profile. Once we receive your exam results we'll update your User Center account with your new credentials, giving you immediate access to your online benefits like Access to SecureKnowledge and your on-line Certification Profile. Q. How do I download the electronic copy of my certification? A: To download your certificate(s), please follow the instructions below. 1. Log into User Center at https://usercenter.checkpoint.com/usercenter/portal 2. Click "Assets/Info". 3. Click "My Certifications" under "My Info" option. 4. Click "Download" to the right of the certificate to open/save/print. a. Open to print. b. Save to print later. c. Cancel to do nothing. Q: What type of SecureKnowledge access do CCSA's get? A: Advanced Access for the duration of the CCSA contract. Q: What SecureKnowledge access does a CCSE get? A: Advanced Access for the duration of the CCSE contract. Q: What SecureKnowledge access does a CCSM get? A: Expert Access for the duration of the CCSM contract. Q: What SecureKnowledge access does a CCMSE get? A: Advanced Access for the duration of the CCMSE contract. Q: How do I access my benefits? A: By setting up a User Centre account based on the email address you used with VUE, you can have access to our Certified Professionals Only web site and to advanced features of Secure Knowledge. Please try the following: If you do not currently have a User Center account, please visit the following URL: https://usercenter.checkpoint.com/usercenter/index.jsp You may reference at the bottom of the page a section titled "New Customers": 1. Click on the hyperlink titled "Sign Up Now!" 2. Begin completing your profile. 3. Use the email ID provided VUE for testing. 4. Set your own password. Q: How do I find the Certified Professionals Only website? A: By clicking on the link https://www.checkpoint.com/services/education/cpo/index.html Q: Do I have access to Check Point online technical support? A: Yes. As a Certified Professional you have Advanced Access to SecureKnowledge, our online technical knowledge database with thousands of solutions, how to articles, and troubleshooting tips to solve your most difficult issues. Q: Are there logos associated with Check Point certifications? A: Yes. As a certified professional you have usage rights to the logo for your certification level. Logos for each Check Point certification are downloadable from the Certified Professional Only website. Updated September 2016 6 Q: Will becoming a Check Point Certified Professional improve my career or employment opportunities? A: Companies hire certified professionals to ensure maximum security and availability of valuable business assets, and know certified professionals are more efficient, productive, and deliver lower total cost of ownership from Check Point solutions. And as one of over 50,000 Check Point Certified Professionals worldwide, you'll get immediate recognition of your experience, knowledge, and abilities while investing in your professional development and security career. Q: Where do I go to access my benefits? A: All benefits are accessed through your User Center account. Create a User Center account now if you don't already have one. If you have any problems with creating your account and linking your certifications, contact accountservices@checkpoint.com Q: Why is my certification information not listed in my User Center account? A: Your certification information could not be listed in your User Center account for one of the following reasons: • We tried to activate your benefits but there was no User Center account with the email address we have on file for you. Please check to ensure that the email account you provided VUE for registration matches the email account you used to set up your User Center account. • The benefits you received from a certain Check Point certification have expired. • We might not have received your results from Pearson VUE. If you do not see your benefits or certification listed with your User Center account, send an email to accountservices@checkpoint.com and we'll try to resolve the issue for you. Q: What email address should be used when registering for an exam? A: It is important that the email address used when registering for an exam is the email address associated to your User Center profile. This ensures that all certifications are reflected within the User Center and the e-certificate can be downloaded via the account. Q: Can certifications get tied to an alias email address? A: All certifications must be tied to a person-specific email address. Q: How do I update the email address associated to my User Center profile? A: For assistance or the steps of how to update your email address online, please contact our Account Services department for assistance; accountservices@checkpoint.com. Q: What should I do if my Pearson VUE profile has the wrong email address? A: Please contact Pearson VUE for assistance; http://www.pearsonvue.com/checkpoint/contact/ Back to top TELL ME ABOUT THE EXAMS Q: What is the difference between “low stakes” and “high stakes” exams? A: All Check Point exams are delivered through Pearson VUE. “Low stakes” exams are those delivered over the Internet to your desktop. They do not require attendance at a Pearson VUE Authorized Testing Center (ATC). “High stakes” exams are only delivered at Pearson VUE Authorized Testing Centers (ATC) and delivery meets certain exacting compliance standards. Q: In what order should I take the exams? A: Courses, certifications, and exams are all designed to build on the lessons learned and develop your skills and knowledge, so we recommend starting with CCSA R77 and CCSE R77 to get a core security foundation. From there you can choose the specialization or area of expertise that best matches your job role or career goals. See the complete list of courses, exams, and prerequisites earlier in the FAQ for more information. Updated September 2016 7 Q: How much do the exams cost? A: Exams vary in price between US $150-$200, but exact pricing is available through Pearson VUE. Q: Where can I take a Check Point certification exam? A: Check Point exams are offered through Pearson VUE, a third party testing vendor with over 3,500 testing centers worldwide. Register for your exam at a testing location near you. Q: What is the format of the exams? A: The exams are composed of multiple choice and scenario questions. All questions are “Select the BEST answer” type questions. There are no multiple response. Q: How long are the exams? A: We use a 90-minute exam in all English-speaking countries. Non-English speaking countries receive an additional 30 minutes. Q: How do I know I am ready for an exam? A: If you are preparing for the CCSA certification and want to take the 156-215 exam, you can determine if you are ready by taking the 156-601 CCSA R77 practice exam. This exam presents 40 questions from a subset of the actual exam pool. Feedback is limited to providing the correct answer during the exam. If you are preparing to complete the CCSE certification and want to take the 156-315 exam, you can determine if you are ready by taking the 156-602 CCSE R77 practice exam. This exam presents 40 questions from a subset of the actual exam pool. Feedback is limited to providing the correct answer during the exam. Q: Are the Check Point certification exams adaptive? A: Check Point has no plans at this time to move into adaptive exams. Q: Do any of the exams contain questions where the correct answer relies on the selection of multiple responses, even though the exam doesn't indicate to check more than one? A: Although the instructions for each exam state that there is one BEST answer, in truth the best answer may be a combination of more than one in the final results. We do this to evaluate how each student reaches their conclusion and makes difficult choices, just like you will be faced with on the job. However, there is no partial credit for incorrectly marked questions. Q: Should I have experience with Check Point products before attempting to pass an exam? A: Surveys of certified professionals suggest that a candidate have one to two years’ experience with the product in a production environment before attempting the CCSA certification. Since that isn’t practical in today’s environment, we recommend six months after training. A similar interval trended when studying the Engineering tasks of a certified CCSE professional. We recommend one year. The new Check Point Security Master certification job profile suggests five years’ experience before challenging the exam. Of course, this varies by individual. Q: Can I take the CCSA and CCSE exams on the same day? A: Yes, you can take the CCSA exam and later that same day, challenge the CCSE exam. Q: Does Check Point have an exam retake policy? A: Yes. If you fail an exam and want to retake it, the following applies: • Wait 24 hours after first unsuccessful attempt • Wait 30 days after each subsequent attempt thereafter Note: Once you pass an exam you cannot take it again. Updated September 2016 8 Q: I have taken the exam twice, and scored exactly the same thing. How is this possible? Is there a problem with the exam or the testing software? A: This is actually quite common, and indicates how reliable Check Point's exams are in testing your knowledge and skills. To create the best certification exams, we focus on consistency and on how an exam will measure competencies. There is a related learning/testing condition called "plateauing". Let's say you've studied hard, practiced the labs and exercises, and absorbed all you can through the current study approach. Studies and experience show you will consistently score the same regardless how much you review the material beyond that point. In this case the best solution for you would be to take a different study approach to gain new insight, and retain more knowledge than you would in just one method - we suggest taking an additional class, or working through some different practice exercises. Q: Does Check Point penalize incorrect answers? A: Check Point does not subtract points from your score for answering a question incorrectly. You will simply not get credit for that question. When taking one of our exams, answer as many questions as you can, even if you are not certain of your answer. Back to top MAINTAINING CURRENCY Q: I wanted to extend my certification by retaking my last exam but got the information from Pearson VUE that I’m not allowed to do so because I’ve already finished that. How do I extend my certification? A: Check Point policy is that you do not retake an exam you have already passed. You either update or upgrade. Ideally, the best course is to take the next higher exam. Q: What is the difference between “Inactive” and “Valid”? A: “Inactive” means that a candidate has not kept their certifications current in an aggressive threat environment. All professional certifications - those taken in a proctored exam environment - are good for, or considered “Current”, for two years. “Valid” refers to the candidate actually having met the requirements for Certification. Q: What are Continuing Education Credits? A: Check Point values lifelong learning. It is essential in an ever changing threat environment. Candidates can acquire Continuing Education Credits by participating in certain events, or by taking certain Low Stakes exams. Candidates are eligible to acquire two Continuing Education credits in a two year certification period Q: What low stakes exams are eligible for Continuing Education Credits? A: Where Check Points High stakes professional exams are primarily focused on performance-based questions, lowstakes exams are focused more on product knowledge and product features. Currently, on the Pearson VUE exam site, the following low stakes exams are available: 156-728 – Gaia Overview 156-729 – Advanced IPS 156-730 – SandBlast 156-733 – Mobile Threat Prevention SE Any two of these will renew your current CCSE certification for one year 1. What are the pre-requisites for the CCSE R75 exam? CCSA R70 or CCSA 71 or CCSA R75. 2. How can I update my R65 certification? If you have any CCSA R60 certification, take the CCSA R70/71 Update Training Blade to update your CCSA certification. If you have a CCSE R60 certification, take the CCSE R70/71 Update Training Blade to update your CCSE certification. 3. How long is my certification valid? Check Point certifications are valid for 2 years. CCMAs are valid for 3 years. Any certification more than three (3) years old is not considered current. Certifications become inactive after five years. Your benefits may be suspended if your certification is not current. Your certification can be maintained with annual continuing education credits. 4. What are ‘continuing education credits’? Continuing education credits help you maintain Check Point certifications without starting over with every product release. Continuing education credits can be earned in a variety of ways like completing shorter training lessons (Training Blades), by participating in our test development process, and even attending CPX. 5. What are the pre-requisites for CCMA? CCSE is mandatory; CCMSE is suggested. 6. Do you have a test-out option? Though highly recommended, it is not a requirement to attend a training course before challenging the exam. You may test at any time, however it is advised you spend at least 6 months working with Check Point products before attempting to achieve certification. 7. Are study materials available? Free study guides and practice exams are available for download at http://www.checkpoint.com/services/education/index.html#resources. Courseware can be purchased on our eStore and Training is available from an ATC. 8. How soon can I re-take an exam if I fail? If you fail an exam you must wait 24 hours before your 2nd attempt, and 30 days for the 3rd attempt. Once you pass a test you cannot take it again for a higher score. 9. Can I get exam insurance? Students automatically get a 50% re-take discount on any 2nd attempt of the CCSA and CCSE R75 exams. 10. I only failed by 1 point and based on my calculations I should have passed – what happened? The function of certification is to provide proof the Check Point Certified professional is qualified to protect the lifeblood of organizations – their data. Check Point takes this very seriously and we constantly strive to administer the most effective exams. Passing is calculated by comparing the number of questions answered correctly versus the number of questions answered incorrectly. Not all sections of the test are weighted equally. ©2012 Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. . Classification: [Unrestricted] — For everyone | P. 2 11. Can I take any R65 level exams? No, all R65 exams have been retired except for the Japanese versions. Our philosophy is to provide training and certification only for current technologies so our partners and customers will always benefit from the latest security advancements. 12. Where can I find more information about Check Point Certified Professionals? The Check Point Certified Professionals website and newsletter are a benefit which contain special information and resources that are not available to the public. 13. What happens when I pass my exam? When will I receive my Certificate? After you pass a Check Point exam at VUE, your exam results are uploaded. On the 15th and 30th, we process all certification results and order certification kits. It takes 6-8 weeks to receive your certificate. Your advanced access to Secure Knowledge and the Certified Professionals website is established once you achieve certification. 14. Why can’t I have more than one account at Pearson VUE test centers? Check Point only allows one Pearson VUE account to track your Check Point exams. If you change companies, please update the contact information in your Pearson VUE account instead of creating a new one so your Check Point certifications will follow you. You can verify your accounts with Customer Service here http://www.vue.com/checkpoint/contact/ 15. What happens if someone gets caught cheating? How do you prevent it? Every individual who takes an exam signs our Non-disclosure agreement. Anyone caught in the act of cheating or sharing exam items will have their Check Point certifications revoked for 2 years. All testing privileges and partner program participation will be deactivated during this time. Check Point collaborates with major technology companies to prevent cheating through test pattern analysis and distribution best practices. Together we identify and take legal action against unauthorized test centers and inaccurate “brain dump” sites. 16. What are the benefits of Check Point certification? Check Point Certified Professionals receive access to the Advanced SecureKnowledge base, Certified Professionals only website and quarterly newsletter for 2 years. Check Point Certified Master Architects (CCMA) receive 3 years Expert level access to SecureKnowledge. 17. How do I access my certification benefits? Make sure your Check Point User Center (UC) email address matches the email address registered with Pearson VUE. Your UC profile will automatically be updated with each certification, including advanced access to SecureKnowledge and the Certified Professionals only website. Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) R80 Today, managing security is a complex endeavor. The key to managing this complexity is through security consolidation – bringing all security protections and functions under one umbrella. With R80 management, security consolidation is fully realized. This three-day course covers everything you need to start-up, configure and manage the daily operations of your Check Point infrastructure with R80. TRAINING CALENDAR SCHEDULE YOUR EXAM SEARCH FOR YOUR LOCAL ATC Course Description Learn How To Install R80 management and a security gateway in a distributed environment Configure objects, rules, and settings to define a security policy Work with multiple concurrent administrators and define permission profiles Configure a Virtual Private Network and work with Check Point clustering Perform periodic administrator tasks as specified in administrator job descriptions Prerequisites Basic knowledge of networking 6 months to 1 year of experience with Check Point products recommended How You Will Benefit Be prepared to defend against network threats Evaluate existing security policies and optimize the rule base Manage user access to corporate LANs Monitor suspicious network activities and analyze attacks Troubleshoot network connections Implement Check Point backup techniques Exam Information Exam# 156-215.80 What You Need To Know Check Point Technology Overview Security Policy Management Monitoring Traffic and Connections Network Address Translations Basic Concepts of VPN Managing User Access Working with ClusterXL Administrator Task Implementation Prerequisites 6 months to 1 year of experience with Check Point products recommended Check Point User Center account Pearson VUE Test Center account How You Will Benefit CCSA’s rank higher than other security vendor professionals Validation you have the skills to implement the latest network security advancements Certified Professionals community, newsletter and special web access Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) R77.30 Advance your knowledge on the GAiA operating system! 3-day course covers everything you need to start-up, configure and manage daily operations of Check Point Security Gateway and Management Software Blades systems on the GAiA operating system. TRAINING CALENDAR SCHEDULE YOUR EXAM SEARCH FOR YOUR LOCAL ATC DOWNLOAD STUDY GUIDE Course Description Learn How To Install the security gateway in a distributed environment Configure rules on Web and Gateway servers Create a basic rule base in SmartDashboard and assign permissions Schedule backups and seamless upgrades with minimal downtime Monitor and troubleshoot IPS and common network traffic Prerequisites Basic knowledge of networking Windows Server and/or UNIX skills Internet and TCP/IP experience How You Will Benefit Be prepared to defend against network threats Evaluate existing security policies and optimize the rule base Manage user access to corporate LANs Monitor suspicious network activities and analyze attacks Troubleshoot network connections Protect email and messaging content Exam Information Exam# 156-215.77 What You Need To Know Check Point Technology Overview Deployment Platforms and Security Policies Monitoring Traffic and Connections Network Address Translations User Management and Authentication Using SmartUpdate Implementing Identity Awareness Configuring VPN tunnels Resolving security administration issues Prerequisites 6 months to 1 year of experience with Check Point products recommended Check Point User Center account VUE Test Center account How You Will Benefit CCSA’s rank higher than other security vendor professionals Validation you have the skills to implement the latest network security advancements Certified Professionals community, newsletter and special web access Security Engineering (Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE) R77.30) Advanced 3-day course teaches how to build, modify, deploy and troubleshoot Check Point Security Systems on the GAiA operating system. Hands-on lab exercises teach how to debug firewall processes, optimize VPN performance and upgrade Management Servers. See course description TRAINING CALENDAR SCHEDULE YOUR EXAM SEARCH FOR YOUR LOCAL ATC DOWNLOAD STUDY GUIDE Course Description Learn How To Backup your Security Gateway and Management Server Build, test and troubleshoot a clustered Security Gateway Upgrade and troubleshoot a Management Server Configure and maintain security acceletration solutions Manage, test and optimize corporate VPN tunnels Prerequisites Security Administration Course or CCSA certification (R70 or later) Windows Server, UNIX and networking skills and TCP/IP experience Certificate management and system adminstration How You Will Benefit Build, test and troublehoot numerous deployment scenarios Apply insider tips troubleshooting Check Point Security Systems Practice advanced upgrading techniques Migrate to a clustering security solution Create events for compliance reporting Manage internal and external access to corporate resources Exam Information EXAM #156-315.77 What You Need To Know Check Point Technology Overview Deployment Platforms and Security Policies Monitoring Traffic and Connections Network Address Translations User Management and Authentication Using SmartUpdate Implementing Identity Awareness Configuring VPN tunnels Resolving security administration issues Prerequisites CCSA Certification – R70 or later Check Point User Center account VUE Test Center account Get Ready Download the study guide Search for training from your local ATC Schedule your exam at VUE test centers Update Exam UPDATE EXAM #156-915.77 What You Need To Know If you have any CCSE certification, you can save time and maintain your certification with the CCSE Update exam! The CCSE Update only tests your knowledge on the latest product release. To prepare you should train or study the full CCSE course. Prerequisites CCSE Certification – any previous version Check Point User Center account VUE Test Center account MDSM with VSX (Multi-Domain Security Management with Virtual System Extension) 5-day advanced course teaches how to design, install, configure and manage Multi-Domain Security Management with Virtual System Extension. TRAINING CALENDAR SCHEDULE YOUR EXAM SEARCH FOR YOUR LOCAL ATC Course Description Learn How To Install, configure and troubleshoot Multi-Domain Security Managment Configure and implement a Global Policy Transition and consolidate physcial firewalls to a virtualized environment Prerequisites CCSE or equivalent experience Check Point User Center account VUE Test Center account How You Will Benefit Consolidate multiple firewalls onto a single management platform Convert a security management server to a domain management server Use advanced migration tools to quickly migrate existing configurations Apply common troubleshooting best practices Implement MDS High-Availaibility Exam Information Exam #156-820.77 What You Need To Know Install, configure and manage the MDM environment Discribe common deployment scenarios Describe the traffic inspection process Configure DMS High Availability Configure and implement a Global Policy Apply common troubleshooting practices Prerequisites CCSE R75 or later 6 months to 1 year of experience with Check Point products Check Point User Center account How You Will Benefit Check Point Certified Professionals rank higher than other security vendor professionals Validation you have the skills to manage enterprise security deployments Certified Professionals community, newsletter and special web access Check Point Certified Security Master (CCSM) R77.30 Our most advanced technical 3-day course teaches how to use advanced commands to configure and troubleshoot Check Point Security Systems. Multiple hands-on lab exercises teach how to bring optimization techniques back to your workplace. Read Customer Testimonials sharing how Check Point Certification propelled the careers of these security experts. 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