Network Inventory Management Software

A modern network inventory management solution creates transparency across the entire network by documenting all resources that play a role. This comprehensive network view enables efficient planning, fast impact analysis and optimal capacity utilization. Only with complete and detailed documentation can network operators optimize processes and deploy resources in a targeted manner.

A telecommunications provider’s OSS (Operations Support Systems) is foundational to operating a reliable network. It oversees monitoring, analyzing, and managing the network to keep it up and running. But the outcomes of these processes are only as good as the data on which they are based, which makes a quality documentation tool a critical must-have. FNT's Network Inventory Management software, which documents, tracks and manages the lifecycle of all network assets, delivers on all fronts and fits perfectly into any OSS environment. 

Advantages of FNT’s Network Inventory Management Software

Plan Changes on Actual Documentation

Accurate data about the current state of the network is provided for planning network transformations. Data stays synchronized with automatic updates to the documentation when planned changes are executed.

Execute Efficient Maintenance Window Planning

Identify affected services and customers when equipment maintenance is needed and proactively inform those impacted. See what protections exist and plan necessary circuit rerouting to avoid SLA breaches.

Optimize Network Capacity Utilization

Assign services and circuits to devices to understand utilization and capacity. Find and reassign stranded assets. Reduce unnecessary capital expenses by only expanding capacity when required.

Ensure Redundant Circuit Routing

Differentiate between and manage service protection scenarios, including diverse end-to-end routing on active transport and passive infrastructure layers and cross media auto-routing.

Perform Fast Impact Analysis

Immediately identify affected services and customers in case of an outage or other performance issue. Provide data enrichment via APIs to optimize incident and problem management processes.

Highlights of FNT’s Network Inventory Management Software

FNT’s Network Inventory Management software governs all physical, logical, and virtual resources in the network and their relations to services and consumers. With this information users have the information needed to answer important questions such as which resources are available? How do they contribute to the delivery of services? Who consumes which services? 

These difficult questions become easy to answer with FNT software. It’s built to handle networks that contain a heterogenous mix of technologies, domains, and manufacturers. FNT houses all network information in one comprehensive data model, which is enriched from multiple data sources and shared with other applications. All this is accomplished with extensive out-of-the-box integration capabilities. The result is a single source of truth for holistic telecom network management. 

Location Management Powered by GIS

Document all data centers, PoPs (Point of Presence) and customer sites. Visualize campus, inside- and outside plant infrastructures on a map in 2D/3D.

Hybrid Resource Management

All physical, logical and virtual resource information is documented in an integrated data model, across all layers, including all dependencies. Support planning activities by showing available resources, utilization levels, and remaining capacity. Integrate with NMS (Network Management System) and controllers to keep data current.

Lifecycle Management

A component library supports the identification and management of every asset in the network, across every stage of its lifecycle.

Service Fulfilment Support

Ensures the ability to reliably deliver telecommunication services by allocating resources to fulfill orders placed, linking reserved resources into single service hierarchy, and exposing allocated service and resource topology to orchestration and provisioning tools.

Enabler for Service Assurance

Provisions device and topology configurations to fault management and monitoring systems. Enriches alarm information with affected location, topology and customer reports.

Openness and Flexibility

Highly configurable and extendable data model. Extensive integration framework which includes generative open APIs, ETL, Reconciliation and Notification functions.

Display of the network documentation tool from FNT on different end devices.

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FAQ: Network Inventory Management

What is a network inventory system?

A network inventory keeps track of all assets in the telecom network, making it possible to know at any given time which resources you have, which are planned, their status, and all relevant details. And since documentation is not static, keeping it up to date is critical for it to provide the intended value. The importance of gathering and maintaining this information cannot be overstated, because using outdated and inaccurate data for planning and fault resolution can have disastrous consequences on the functioning of the network.  

An accurate and optimized network inventory makes it possible for a network operator to efficiently provide high-quality and resilient services to customers at lower operational costs. Network inventory solutions work by collecting and managing data about the network and infrastructure. The assets that make up the network and managed by the inventory system are: 

  • Active assets – Examples include routers, switches and multiplexers. They’re called active devices because they are powered and usually have interfaces (APIs) that allow up-to-date information to be collected from them.  
  • Passive assets – Examples include cables, junction / splice boxes and racks. They’re called passive devices because they don’t have active electronics so there is no way of harvesting stored information from them. 
  • Logical / virtual overlays - Examples include logical circuits, virtual private networks (VPNs), virtual network functions (VNFs), etc. These logical entities may exist within one domain (e.g., a logical circuit in a transmission network) or could cross many different network domains (e.g., an SD-WAN that includes access networks from different service providers around the world). 
Why do I need a network inventory system?

A network inventory system is vital for keeping the network healthy and functioning. It is almost impossible to adequately manage today’s advanced, dynamic, virtualized networks without a comprehensive and near-real-time view of network assets and resources. A network inventory system provides this view to support general network operation levels, uptime quotient, and capacity planning.  

A dynamic network inventory supplies network operators with up-to-date awareness of their network, assets, surroundings and available routing / connectivity in near-real-time. This information is vital input to many different types of workflows and solving different types of problems. Almost all business-as-usual workflows service providers and network operators perform have some sort of dependency on their network inventory solution. 

Network inventory is a prerequisite for network management and supports or facilitates the most essential use cases:  Asset Information / Management: captures and stores up-to-date information about the network and all its components to enable insights and actions to be performed  Fulfillment: enables customers to be connected to the network, including network resource allocation for customer use 

Assurance: identifies network bottlenecks, customer impacts and their root-causes, routes data traffic around the problem and manages repair activities  Planning: informs about the current capacity and status of the network and helps assess the outcome of alternative configurations / changes  

Digital Twin: provides a representation of all current assets and connectivity as well as up-to-date performance / health status of each asset in the network Today’s networks are continually evolving to accommodate new digital requirements.

Frequent changes to the network include adding new assets, decommissioning old ones, changing configurations, and rerouting circuits. This constant fluctuation of asset status and use within the network makes losing track of the documentation state a real risk. A network inventory tool mitigates this risk and makes it easier to maintain a functioning network.

What are the most important features?

Unified resource management – Today’s complex networks use assets and resources from the active telecommunication transport network, passive inside- and outside plant infrastructure, as well as IT and data center infrastructure environments. All are instrumental in delivering telecommunication services and should be managed holistically in a single database. This approach makes it possible to view network data, relationships and dependencies across all technologies and domains, which greatly simplifies keeping track of the network’s diverse resources. 

Integration – For a network inventory solution to do its job, it must always reflect the real network. Exchanging data with other systems is therefore a must. A network inventory tool should have an extensive integration layer that reconciles data from third-party systems and exposes information to any application that needs it. APIs, ETL technologies, and prepackaged interfaces facilitate collecting, reconciling and using data from various sources.  

Visualization – Being able to view network infrastructure and service data graphically makes it possible to recognize patterns within the data and gain a better understanding of dependencies. Such easier extraction of insights from the data drives better decisions, faster response times, and improved overall efficiency.

Further Downloads

Would you like to know more about Network Inventory Management? Then you might be interested in the following:

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A Guide for Service Providers and Network Operators

Dynamic inventory management solutions make it possible to efficiently operate the network from asset management to service delivery, assurance, and planning. This white paper discusses the important role network inventory plays in managing today’s complex network infrastructure, the biggest challenges service providers face in keeping track of network components, and how a modern network inventory solution addresses these needs.

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How to transform network asset and resource management
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this will influence the performance of the entire network. This white paper explores in detail what a modern inventory solution looks like and the tangible business benefits delivered from using one.

White Paper
How to get a great Return from your Investment in a Network Inventory Solution
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Tips on how to make a compelling business case

The necessity of network inventory management fordriving operational efficiency and profitability for telecommunication operators is widely accepted, but thereis resistance to its adoption. Reasons range from costto implementation difficulties to unwanted disruption.These perceived risks are overwhelmingly outweighed bythe benefits to be gained. This paper explains in detail the returns you can expect to realize on your investment in anetwork inventory system and lays out how to enumerate these returns and make a compelling business case.

White Paper
Guide to Inventory Management System Replacement
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A telecommunication providers’ guide to changing inventory management solutions without impacting business.

This white paper details how to change inventory management solutions in such a way that prevents disruption and keeps all processes that rely on inventory data operational.

FNT Software Americas
Contact: Justin Menoche

FNT Software APAC
Contact: Prislyn Peck

FNT Software Europe
Contact: Claudio David