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MPLS network inventory management

MPLS and IP 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:

Connections

IMS can be used to manage all MPLS and IP connections, such as:

  • 10MB
  • 100MB
  • 1GBE
  • 10G
  • VLAN
  • Tunnels
  • Pseudowires
  • Layer2VPN
  • Layer3VPN
  • VRF

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:

MPLS Network Inventory - Example of a 2Mb IP connection running over SDH network

2Mb IP connection 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:

MPLS Network Inventory - Layer2VPN Circuit path

Layer2VPN Circuit path

Connection Layering

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.

IP Management

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.

MPLS Network Inventory - IP addresses on a network

IP addresses on a network

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:

MPLS Network Inventory - Create and Edit IP Address Ranges

Create and Edit IP Address Ranges

Relation IP addresses to Network Items

A range of network items can be related to IP addresses, including:

  • equipment (loopback address)
  • ports
  • cards
  • 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:

MPLS Network Inventory - Available IP adresses

Available IP addresses

Equipment

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:

MPLS Network Inventory - Juniper M120

Juniper M120

Screenshot of a Cisco 7304 in IMS

MPLS/IP Cisco 7304 in IMS

Cisco 7304 in IMS

Screenshot of Huawei NE40 in IMS

MPLS Network Inventory - Huawei NE40 in IMS

Huawei NE40 in IMS

Also servers (physical and virtual machines) can be registered.

Screenshot of a server in IMS:

MPLS/IP Server in IMS

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.

MPLS Network Inventory - DDF-ODF related to Ethernet equipment

DDF-ODF related to MPLS equipment

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:

MPLS/IP Screenshot of an ODF with its positions

ODF with its 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.

MPLS Network Inventory - Distribution-frames

cable route of two equipment

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:

MPLS Network Inventory - Relation between MPLS and other platforms

Relation between IP/MPLS and other platforms

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.

MPLS Network Inventory - Networkmap MPLS

Networkmap MPLS