Adding a cluster node to the lab this morning. The lab is currently working using older versions of ss7box/SMG. This configuration needs to remain intact. The new cluster being added will be the development tip alpha test site.
It takes a lot of coordinated data to make it work because that's how the protocol works. The smgcfg tool attempted to simplify the task and it did to some extent but plenty of feedback says we can do better.
Using a spreadsheet helps to make things visual and colorful, but downloading .csv and running smgcfgXX against it is kludgy. Two tools and manually pushing files is not good. I'm getting reintroduced to the problem this morning.
A better approach would be to use a single tool that is aware of a group of nodes and a library of configurations. The user interface needs to be efficient for users that want to use vi to edit a source file, a command line for lean systems with no X11 stuff loaded, and a command line IF that accommodates a web interface. A diagramatic interface showing nodes and connections that allows click-to-query-or-modify would be helpful. All of these interfaces should be supported interchangeably, for example, if one person wants to use vi on a source file and another wants to use the CLI or web interface (not at the same time), then it should be possible - because the CLI is a specialized source file editor and the web interface uses the CLI. Of course, using vi to edit the source file could screw things up if the format is disturbed. Ideally the CLI interface will not have this problem. Furthermore, the CLI would have prompts like: add a link to a linkset, or add a trunk to a trunkgroup, or a powerful add a node. These prompts would lead the user through the collection of information needed. Maybe the tool could generate a graphical representation output from input data as a precursor to using a graphical representation as an input.
Here's something interesting. Whatever gets built, most of it is general purpose for all SS7 networks regardless of what equipment or protocol is being used. Distinctions about specific equipment like ss7boxd, isupd, and sccpd are made in the final steps where specific conf files are created and pushed or pulled from specific nodes. Sounds like an open source project.