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General FAQ's

TrapServer was designed with flexibility in mind to meet the custom requirements each organization has. Below are a few examples of the real business needs our clients have, as well as how we can assist them.

Reasons companies choose TrapServer

"My company needs a simple system to monitor my existing infrastructure but needs to grow as we grow."

TrapServer was designed to be simple in its operation and can "Future Proof" the monitoring needs as companies grow with support of many open and proprietary system support.

"Every NE we purchase comes with its own EMS so that we have many systems we need to watch and learn."

TrapServer Consolidates Alarm Data from many systems and simplifies overall system monitoring.

"My company just acquired new sites/operating areas and they have an incompatible monitoring system separate from what I use now."

TrapServer integrates Alarm Data from many systems into one system and provides remote access on an Area-of-Responsibility basis.

"I need to translate alarm events into a protocol compatible with our system."

TrapServer translates all alarm events it monitors into SNMP traps, ASCII text and API (or other type and format) for forwarding to Northbound Systems.

"My system is obsolete, I can´t expand it and it is no longer supported by the original vendor or I can´t find the original vendor so I can´t get support."

TrapServer monitors Legacy systems and enables these same companies to also monitor New Systems.

"My monitoring system is difficult to operate and can´t easily grow with my communications system"

TrapServer was designed and built to be simple. It has virtually no limit in its ability to add additional monitoring items.

"I need my technicians to have access with the same information as the NOC".

TrapServer supports a secure access to its web server for technician access and with Access Control, filters what each technician can view.

"My current system works well but it isn´t compatible with the latest technologies we are adding to our system"

TrapServer supports the latest technologies in providing monitoring solutions.

"What is TrapServer?"

TrapServer is a low-cost monitoring application for the telecommunications environment.

TrapServer monitors many device types. This allows it to be used as an event concentrator. You can monitor SNMP and non-SNMP devices. You can monitor your SONET, switch, DACS and remote terminal with it.

It also has many user interface features, such as color-coded event status, browser-based status, browser-based history reports, and notification that reduce the time and effort required to monitor a telecommunications infrastructure.

Once they see how versatile TrapServer is, SchoRen clients usually wind up monitoring more device types than initially planned. This adds even more value to their TrapServer purchase!

"Why is it called TrapServer?"

It was named after its SNMP Proxy functionality. TrapServer can monitor devices with no SNMP agent, convert the information to events, and then forward the events as SNMP traps; hence the name "TrapServer".

"Who are SchoRen's customers?"

Our customer base includes utilities, power authorities, oil & gas companies, transportation authorities, public organizations, schools, Independent Telephone Companies (IOC), Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLEC), Wireless Service Providers and financial firms.

"How do I get documentation on TrapServer?"

You should submit your information on the Contact page of the SchoRen Web site.

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My NetManager, Badger 2000, or TSM-2500 is ancient and in some cases, unsupportable; can I replace it?

Absolutely. Badger Alarm & Control and SchoRen have partnered to develop superior protocol interfaces that allow for worry-free monitoring of the Badger, Larse, and MCS11 remote terminal devices. After a painless database conversion that SchoRen does for you, TrapServer is a seamless replacement for these older systems.

Other companies provide products that monitor Badger and Larse remote units. How is your product different?

SchoRen has developed the only certified Badger and Larse interfaces in partnership with Badger Alarm & Control, Inc. who provided all their expertise, applicable support and protocol-related documentation. As a result, TrapServer Badger and Larse interfaces are the most reliable and feature-rich products on the market. In contrast, all other competitive products marketed were developed by reverse engineering.

Do you really want to take a chance on a product that was developed without knowledge of all of the appropriate codes required to monitor the remote unit?

Why chance it when TrapServer costs no more (many times less) and has more features than those other products?

Your competition claims that you didn't develop the TSM-2500 MCS-11 protocol with the correct documentation.

Not true. Badger Alarm & Control once had a partnership with Alcatel, the owner of the MCS-11 protocol. As a result, Badger Alarm & Control has sufficient protocol documentation to develop an MCS-11 interface that is as robust as any other on the market.

In addition to reporting MCS-11 events from your microwave, TrapServer MCS-11 interface allows real-time scanning and control of all RSS, RDS, RAS and RDCI scanners. This means you can click a button and see the current status -- analog values included -- of all of your scanners in your system.

When you consider the real-time scan and control feature, and combine that with all other TrapServer features, you'll find that TrapServer is an excellent value compared to the competition.

Does TrapServer support SNMP?

Yes. TrapServer supports the SNMP protocol. It can convert traps and gets into TrapServer events.

After the SNMP information is converted into an event, it becomes a TrapServer event. This means that the event is a color-coded event that indicates either an off or on state. The SNMP alarm event is also processed by TrapServer history, notification, trouble ticketing and TrapServer status reporting applications. Indeed, it is NOT just a "black and white" string of text on the display, as is the case with many SNMP managers.

Can I monitor my SONET transport?

Yes. TrapServer monitors SONET with TL1-over-TCP or with SNMP. If your SONET transport is not currently being monitored to your satisfaction, then you should consider using a monitoring system such as TrapServer, since monitoring transport is so important.

What about my phone switch, can I monitor it?

Of course you can using TrapServer! We can monitor your switch so that its events are consolidated with other monitored devices such as your SONET and microwave transport appearing side-by-side in the event window and reports.

What about my DACS?

Yes, TrapServer can monitor that too. Can you imagine this: your SONET, microwave, DACS and remote units monitored by a single monitoring system?

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When should I buy a monitoring system such as TrapServer?

SchoRen recommends buying a monitoring system if your transport or environment is not being sufficiently monitored. If you can't see the SONET, microwave, and the remote terminals that monitor the equipment room environment -- and you can't see them on a single system - then you have visibility problems. You should think about acquiring a monitoring system like TrapServer.

Another case in which you should think about purchasing a new monitoring system is if your current monitoring system is aging. The prospect of a monitoring system that can go out of service at any time is too costly.

Furthermore, after pricing in parts and labor, repairing an aging system can also be too costly. You should start looking into new monitoring systems.

How do I know if a monitoring system meets my needs?

A good rule of thumb is if a monitoring system can monitor about 90% of the device types that you need to monitor, then the system meets your needs. This usually translates to monitoring your transport and environmental alarms.

Of course, the system should have as many useful features as possible for the money. At SchoRen we believe that TrapServer is an example of a monitoring system with many useful features.

How do I determine what to monitor?

Typically, the most important things to monitor in the telecommunications environment are transport (microwave and SONET) and environmental. Within the OSI stack, TrapServer provides the centralized monitoring of Layers 1, 2 and 3. TrapServer can also provide higher level monitoring, as well.

Why should I buy from SchoRen?

In addition to the tremendous value that TrapServer brings to the table, you should do business with SchoRen because:

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Installation and Administration

How long does an installation take?

An installation takes about one (1) to one and a half (1.5) weeks. If you purchased training, then we'll need about a week and a half.

Do I have to do the installation myself?

No. SchoRen usually attends an installation to help get the system up and running. Therefore, you can expect a call from your SchoRen representative about shortly after your order. The purpose of the call will be to confirm an installation date and to discuss the installation of TrapServer.

What should I do to plan for an installation?

When SchoRen calls to contact you, the representative will help you with the following installation planning.

First, find a place for your TrapServer. The location is usually in a telecommunications equipment rack or on top of or underneath a desk. Once you've done that, you can determine the distance to the network connections.

If async (RS232) communications is used by any of your devices, then measure the distance to those devices so cables can be procured.

Creating a system cabling diagram with all necessary cables labeled is always a good idea.

Finally, inform SchoRen of the cable lengths so we can provide any miscellaneous cables in the correct lengths.

How do I get new features and fixes?

You install the latest TrapServer packages which usually only takes about fifteen minutes. Once the package is installed, TrapServer is rebooted and the system operation is tested to ensure all monitoring services are back online. SchoRen is always happy to be on the phone to help.

TrapServer employs standard utilities in its package: zip and tar. To install a package, you simply type "zip <package name" and then "install <package version". That's it.

What do I do if I need help with my TrapServer?

Call SchoRen anytime, 24 / 7. Whether you have a question or have a problem, SchoRen is here to help. Just call.

How long will it take to fix my problem?

That's hard to say with complete certainty. This is one thing SchoRen can say with certainty is that, if you have a problem, we promise to stay on the phone until the cause is determined. Once the cause is determined, most of the time we'll immediately fix it. Sometimes, the problem cannot be immediately fixed. In that case, you will help determine a mutually agreeable time frame during which the problem should be fixed.

"My TrapServer is installed. How do I use it on a daily basis?"

We recommend that you following these simple guidelines:

First, if you've been notified during the off hours and have not addressed the fault, then you should do so first thing when your shift begins. If you are local to TrapServer, you can use the console EventViewer to check for standing alarms. If you are remote, then you can use the browser-based standing alarms report. There is also a form-based history report that can be used to troubleshoot. Enter the applicable device, sites and dates into the form, click on submit, and the results will contain helpful troubleshooting information.

If you have not been notified, you should still check the standing alarms when your shift begins.

Once you have determined there are no critical standing alarms to address, you can run the Nuisance Report or Event Summary Report. These reports will list events and event quantities that can help you proactively maintain your system. Use the list to determine maintenance tasks and priorities.

Your shift is over? No worries. TrapServer is working for you, collecting event history and notifying you only if the event is a problem. When your next shift begins, don't forget to check those events!