Industry Expertise: Benefits of GIS-Enhanced Hybrid Network Infrastructure Management

To support the demands of the digital world, network operators must be able to effectively document and manage large quantities of geographically dispersed asset data. A geographic information system (GIS) is the ideal extension of an infrastructure and resource management solution, as it provides a geo-referenced representation of such data.
Applying location intelligence to infrastructure management processes significantly increases efficiency and brings network asset and resource data to life. Location-based visualization and geo-intelligence can support use cases from capacity management, to planning and rollout management, operation support, and site management.
Let’s take a look at the common challenges that GIS-enhanced hybrid network infrastructure management can simplify.

Capacity Management – When expanding the network, it’s important to plan and build capacities based on up-to-date information to avoid additional construction and changes later on. To track capacity and resource utilization, georeferenced localization and visualization facilitates the analysis of available and used resources in cables and ducts and displays their routes with cross-sectional views on a map. Accurate data visualization of splice enclosures and cassette details, rack views, manhole capacities, and schematic views can also help optimize the use of free capacities and reduce CAPEX investments.

Infrastructure Operations – The purpose of a unified resource inventory, which comprises all passive inside and outside plant as well as all active physical, logical and virtual resources of a hybrid network infrastructure, is that from an operational perspective immediate impact analysis across all hierarchies can be executed in case of a failure. This will identify all affected resources and customer services. A tightly integrated GIS application combines this impact analysis with location intelligence to enable accurate fault localization.

To accelerate the problem resolution, OTDR measurement data can be used and mapped to cable length information that is stored in the unified resource management tool. In this way, the requested fault localization can be executed, and the corresponding geo-coordinates are calculated and displayed on the map, so that field technicians can be quickly navigated to the point of failure.

Georeferenced Planning – Graphical documentation and spatial analysis, combined with cable and outside plant management, can provide full transparency across digital infrastructures and interconnected systems. For the planning of cable and outside plant infrastructure or additional locations, a GIS-based user interface with spatial visualization of data via maps is usually the preferred starting point for planners. Yet, to run planning processes effectively and with minimized failures and manual rework, it is vital that network infrastructure details and GIS-based location intelligence be tightly integrated.

Furthermore, all planned changes, transformations and rollouts must be carried out on accurate as-built documentation, and all changes and status updates need to be reflected immediately in a centralized network infrastructure and resource management solution. This approach prevents data inconsistencies and deviations between as-is documentation and planning data over time due to ongoing planning and execution iterations.
Site Management – The combination of location intelligence with site data, site equipment and network infrastructure details enable the planners to streamline the fiber deployments needed to connect the sites and to manage the equipment rollout and configuration changes required based on the accurate as-is documentation of the available network and services resources and configurations.

Ultimately, a holistic view is provided across all information and resources linked to a site, including schematic and geo-referenced representations of fiber optic connections from the data centers to the sites, and even details about the routing to the roof tops. After the selection process is completed, the new site is determined, and the remaining candidates can be saved and used for further requests.

Optimizing Infrastructure and Resource Management
Overall, the tight integration between a GIS application and a unified resource inventory will provide the expanded functionality CSPs need today and fundamentally improve the way they manage their hybrid infrastructure and network resources. High-end geographical visualization, together with comprehensive infrastructure and resource management, comprising all passive inside and outside plant as well as all active physical, logical and virtual resources of a hybrid network infrastructure, will bring network asset and resource data to life and improve capacity management, planning, and operational use cases based on accurate data.

Stefanie Siegel, Product Manager at FNT Software, discussed the benefits of GIS-enhanced hybrid network infrastructure management in The Fast Mode. Read the full article here.

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