FCAPS Series: Configuration Management for Carrier Ethernet
Welcome to November 2011 issue of Creanord EchoNEWS. EchoNEWS aims to keep you informed of developments at Creanord and in the fields of SLA assurance, automated Ethernet service delivery and OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance).
This edition of EchoNews is the second part of a series on EchoVault and FCAPS. FCAPS stands for Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security, which are the five functional areas of the ITU-T Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) model. Any complete EMS/NMS platform should support a comprehensive set of FCAPS functions and integrate seamlessly with OSS/BSS systems. This edition focuses on Configuration Management for Carrier Ethernet.
Taking FCAPS Configuration Management to the Next Level
The goal of FCAPS Configuration Management is to enable efficient network planning and commissioning by providing an up-to-date catalog of network element properties and configurations. At the same time it is vital to be able to maintain consistency between system functioning and requirements. A good Configuration Management system will further facilitate provisioning of initial and incremental services. In a Communications Service Provider environment this means tracking and managing the hardware and software elements as well as service-related information.
Many Network Element manufacturers will provide basic tools that fulfill the high level requirements on paper. This is a good starting point, but what the Service Provider really needs is a set of tools to support not only fulfilling those requirements, but additionally to flexibly support processes and easily manage large numbers of nodes and circuits.
Creanord EchoVault is a Carrier Grade FCAPS system that has been designed with the needs of the Service Provider in mind - to give the user robust yet flexible configuration management functionality. It empowers your organization with the following advanced functionality:
- Intelligent configuration archive management
- Powerful task scheduling and management with option to batch process a large number of nodes
- Automated discovery and RFC 2544 testing to verify that the set configuration supports the required functionality
- Template-driven configuration setting for managing multiple (hundreds of) nodes and services at a time
- Applying configurations based on the SLAs to the nodes and associating to customers
The drivers in developing EchoVault have been automating and simplifying configuration management and linking it to the SLA. The SLA is what defines the service to be provided and without this link there is a risk that configuration management needs to be tied into the Service Providers processes manually, meaning extra work and extra risk of inconsistency.
SLA Driven Configuration Management - What's in it for the Service Provider?
Advanced Configuration Management carries significant benefits for the Service Provider. Not only does it allow you to reduce the cost of support due to a decrease in reactive support issues and the network cost due to tools and processes to identify unused network components. It also helps you keep components in sync and improves time to resolve problems and thus improve network availability. Further, improved network consistency and appropriate documentation help you achieve improved time to revenue as they allow provisioning services faster.
Process disconnects can be a significant risk, particularly in fast growing organizations and with the network being the Communication Service Providers most important asset, ensuring consistency and up to date documentation is absolutely vital. Aligning business needs with Configuration Management by extending consistency management all the way from the customer SLAs to the device configurations lets you streamline your workflow and utilize your assets to the full. Best in class companies at Configuration Management are much more likely to hit launch dates, product quality and revenue targets than their peers.
Carrier Ethernet Configuration Management with Y.1731
Configuration Management for Y.1731 can be extended to the whole process where devices are deployed to the field and finally circuits turned over to the customer with birth certificates and real time SLA portal reporting. With EchoVault the flow through this process is as shown below.
Stay tuned for more information on how EchoVault helps you move to the next level in leveraging the best practices of FCAPS.