MPLS Network Inventory Management
Telecom service providers, who are using the Inventory & Management System (IMS) from VC4, can enjoy a wide range of features, including the ability to use the entire MPLS Network Inventory for all MPLS and IP network related issues.
The OSS software application allows clients to take advantage of the following functionality:
IMS can be used to manage all MPLS and IP connections, such as:
For each connection, users can access a graphical overview that is drawn on the fly, based on information contained within the database. All worker and project route details are given by the overview, including information about leased lines.
The user has the option to decide which details should be displayed on the screen, allowing them to choose data on location, card details or DDF/ODF.
Example of a 2Mb IP connection running over SDH network:
And this is a layer2VPN Circuit path. It runs from one modem to another, via a DSL+PVC and 1GBE+VLAN, and passing over IP cloud and another router:
Users of the IMS software application will find it very easy to cycle through all of the different connection layers, such as 1GBE to VLAN to L2VPN or L3VPN (and vice versa).
Domains and Routing Distinguisher
IMS allows telecom service providers to relate IP addresses and connections – such as V-LANS – to domains, which are being used to group together several different network items that are separated from other domains.
A routing distinguisher (RD) is managed as a domain, allowing the L2VPNs and L3VPNs related to the individual RD to be placed into the same group.
Telecom service providers can also use the IMS OSS application to automate the task of maintaining information on the way IP addresses are assigned on a network. It manages the process of identifying IP addresses that are in use and those that are no longer assigned to a device.
IMS eradicates IP-related conflicts through the use of network domains. Within one domain, an IP address needs to be unique.
Create and Edit IP Address Ranges
With IMS functionality, users can create IP ranges and subnet masks by entering an IP address and prefix. Here is an example:
Relation IP addresses to Network Items
A range of network items can be related to IP addresses, including:
- equipment (loopback address)
- connections (like VLAN’s)
IMS uses business rules to present the optimum next free available IP addresses to the client, as demonstrated by the following screen shot:
All IP/MPLS equipment can be modelled using the MPLS Network Inventory management of IMS, the OSS software application. Other platforms such as SDH, SONET, WDM, ethernet, mobile 2G/3G/4G, voice, DSL, PDH, microwave, servers, power or sync can be modelled in IMS as well.
As IMS is vendor-independent, all types of vendor – such as Cisco, Huawei and Juniper – can be modelled on the application.
For each shelf or sub-shelf, the front and back layout can be modelled in a graphical representation.
Example of Juniper M120:
Screenshot of a Cisco 7304 in IMS
Screenshot of Huawei NE40 in IMS
Also servers (physical and virtual machines) can be registered.
Screenshot of a server in IMS:
DDF-ODF related to MPLS equipment
All equipment can be pre-wired to a patch panel, DDF, ODF or any other type of distribution frame. The frames and cabling can be stored in the system.
The digital and optical distribution frames can be created with location as the starting point, with DDF/ODF shelves and patch panels positioned in a rack.
Every frame has both a front and back. Depending on its position, a connection or patch can be made to the equipment before wiring has been completed, or a different frame entirely. Here is a screenshot of an ODF with its various positions:
The following image shows a cable route of two pieces of equipment on different locations. These are connected to one another by distribution frames and internal cabling.
Relation between IP/MPLS and other platforms
The relationship between IP/MPLS and other platforms – like SDH, SONET, WDM, ethernet and fiber – can be given by IMS. This relationship can be as a carrier/sub-relation or circuit/cable between ports of the different platforms. This is demonstrated by the following schematic drawing:
Network Map in MPLS Network Inventory Management
Network map functionality can be used to create graphical drawings of a network.
All items that appear on the network map are drawn from the database, while equipment and connections can be opened directly from the map itself (see dwawing below). The network can also be configured via this form.