Industry Expertise: How to Achieve an Inside View of Network Infrastructure

Cables carry the data needed to light our cities, make cloud computing possible, and enable billions of devices to function, be it miniature sensors, Industry 4.0 machines, or huge industrial facilities. Some 2.5 quintillion bytes are transported through cables every day. That’s equivalent to the storage capacity of 36 million iPads.

How these cables are managed matters – a lot. Cable management is crucial to efficiently manage fiber rollouts, which are needed to support the requirements of business and residential customers and the rollout of new technologies such as 5G.

To achieve efficient management of operations, fast and consistent planning, and enable future expansion, an inside view of network infrastructure is crucial. A central data repository, based on a unified data model, can provide the required transparency across all cable and network infrastructures, from inside plant management through to outside plant management.

The ideal cable management solution should provide the following features and functions:

• An integrated, central data model which encompasses data, relationships, and dependencies across all technologies and layers from the building level through physical, logical, and virtual assets and resources to applications and services, including business services.
• Interfaces to source systems together with an ETL Staging Area for data cleansing prior to import.
• Continuous end-to-end signal tracing across the entire cable infrastructure in both actual and planning views, based on the relevant geo-referenced nodes and routes in the GIS representation.
• Immediate impact analysis as well as faster fault analysis and repair, based on seamless integration between the physical network infrastructure and the assigned connections and services on logical and service layers.
• Efficient planning and analysis of redundant circuits to ensure protected services are based on diverse routed connections, not only on the logical layers (active network resources) but also on the cable layer (passive network infrastructure).
• Managed maintenance/fault and repair tasks. For example, by planning the exchange or replacement of components, work orders for field force teams can be automatically created to execute tasks.
• Auto-routing capabilities on tray, duct, and cable level to enable optimal planning and routing of connections. Work orders for patches and splices that are required to implement the planned connections can be automatically created within the planning mode.
• A geo-referenced visualization of the network infrastructure to support as-is documentation and planning.

Ulrich Schälling, Head of Business Line Networks at FNT Software, discussed the current and future drivers of modern cable management systems in Mission Critical Magazine. Read the full article here.

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