An introduction to telecom network ethernet inventory with IMS

VC4’s Inventory & Management System (IMS) can help a telecom service provider to manage multiple types of ethernet platforms, including metro ethernets and carrier ethernets. The latter also includes e-lines, e-LAN and e-tree connections.

In addition, IMS allows for ethernets to be transported over SDN/SONET, MPLS and carrier ethernet transport links.

If an ethernet connection is expanded into a carrier ethernet, it can then be transported via fiber cables, microwaves and GPON.

Network Ethernet Inventory Management

Within the Inventory & Management System, there is a separate network ethernet inventory that allows the software to manage complete networks, along with the following functions:

Ethernet connections

As mentioned above, all connections relating to an ethernet can be managed within IMS, with graphical overviews available for each.

These diagrams are created using information from within the database, which provides details relating to the employee, the protection rout and the leased line, to name just a few items.

Once this can be seen, users can decide exactly what other information is visible on screen.

See the diagrams below, which demonstrate an example of an ethernet service running over an SDH platform and a fiber connection. The final picture shows an MPLS ethernet service operating via pseudowires.

Network ethernet inventory - Ethernet Service over SDH
Ethernet over SDH

Example of MPLS Ethernet Service running over Pseudowires:

Network ethernet inventory - MPLS Ethernet Service over Pseudowires
MPLS over Pseudowires

Layering and equipment

The network ethernet application of IMS makes it extremely easy for different connection layers to be viewed and explored. For instance, users can travel from fiber to ethernet and from V-LAN to customer service screens.

What’s more, the ethernet functionalities of IMS allow for the user to model all equipment and platforms within the software. As it is a vendor independent telecom solution, vendors can also be modelled in IMS. Graphical representations can be viewed at each stage throughout this process, while network maps can also be created.

Network ethernet inventory - Ethernet Service SDH Sonet
Equipment Ethernet

Each piece of equipment can be pre-wired to a patch panel, DDF, ODF or other form of distribution frame as required. These frames and accompanying cabling can then be stored in the Inventory & Management System.

Network ethernet inventory - DDF-ODF related to Ethernet Service equipment
DDF/ODF related to Ethernet equipment

Distribution frames can also be created in this application, using the location information as a starting point.

Below a screenshot of an ODF with its positions.

Network ethernet inventory - Screenshot of an ODF with its positions
ODF with its positions

Below screenshot a cable route of two equipment on different location connected to each other via internal cabling and distribution frames.

Network ethernet inventory - Distribution-frames
Cable Route Ethernet Services

Finally, relationships between ethernet services and other platforms can be managed in IMS, such as those involving SDH/SONET connections, fiber, WDM or MPLS. This can be applied to carrier/sub relations and circuit/cable links between ports as well.

Network ethernet inventory - Relation between Ethernet Service and other platforms
Relation between Ethernet and other platforms

Graphical network drawings can be created in the Network Map functionality.

All items on the Network Map are drawn from the database. Equipment and connections can be opened directly from the Network Map. Configuration of the network can be done via this form.

The VC4 team can be reached on New call-to-action or at New call-to-action  if you’d like to find out more about how our network ethernet inventory could benefit your telecoms business.