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    Understanding the Need for Connectivity Services Director for Managing Services

    An important aspect of any network management system is to monitor, control, and plan the network infrastructure that comprises a large number of devices and extensive configuration parameters in a streamlined, easy, and cohesive way. The bulk propagation of settings on large sets of devices without impacting the working efficiency and traffic-handling capacity of the network is a salient objective. With networks constantly increasing in size, heterogeneity, and complexity, effective management and planning for such network becomes more important.

    The following network management capabilities are essential for effective management of services on devices:

    • In IP networks, services are essentially a combination of Layer 2 Ethernet and Layer 3 (IP-based) VPNs deployed over pseudowires or LSPs. These services are complex to provision and manage. Furthermore, as networks evolve, many network operators have hybrid networks that offer both legacy TDM and next-generation IP-based services.

      Network management systems must be able to manage such hybrid networks. Simplification of essential tools required to set up, configure, provision, and operate devices and the services that run on them are key to keeping operational costs down and achieving efficiency.

    • Detection and resolution of faults are essential to maintaining high availability of deployed services and ensuring service performance to meet service-level agreements (SLAs). For instance, a delay in detecting loss of signal (LOS) or in responding to the delay with appropriate switchover mechanisms can result in loss of service and impact operator revenue.

      A network management system must offer simple and efficient tools to detect service faults and performance so that service levels are assured. Such a system includes tools to correlate faults with the alarms and traps generated on devices, and provide a real-time view of the complete operational status of a network.

    • In many cases, operators already own an OAM system or a third-party tool to manage the legacy network. Any new network management system needs to provide seamless support for legacy functions while enabling new features to support packet-based networks. This may require the use of standards-based open interfaces to enable such OAM systems to query, configure, provision, and manage the new devices and services being deployed.

    • Networks contain devices from various vendors. An ideal network management system should present a unified device management interface for all devices from the access network to the core network. Multivendor, standards-based management is becoming increasingly important now, in the context of SDN and service automation. In the context of mobile backhaul, a unified network device management interface is essential to efficiently deploy a large number of devices such as cell site gateways.

      Assuming that these devices are hosted in remote locations, it is essential to ensure that the device management interfaces (DMIs) provides the right level of automation to reduce the time required to set up and configure each device without requiring additional manual intervention at the site, after the device is deployed.

    • Centralized configuration management, rapid deployment, polling, statistics capture, and reporting of services are some of the essential components of a good DMI. Management systems must be standards compliant and provide open interfaces for interoperability with existing systems in an operator’s network.

      Standards-based northbound interfaces that use REST APIs are becoming the norm for such interoperability. Mobile backhaul networks typically contain tens of thousands of cell sites connected to aggregation devices and further, into the core network.

    • Network management systems must be able to cope with such scale and offer efficient, user-friendly mechanisms to provision services in bulk. For example, reduction in the number of steps required to provision a pseudowire from end to end greatly improves the efficiency of a network provisioner, while also reducing the number of provisioning errors.

    The aforementioned key objectives are achieved using the Connectivity Services Director application. You can configure your network topology in an optimal and effective manner using Connectivity Services Director for administration, provisioning, and monitoring of routing devices.

    Note: In Connectivity Services Director Release 2.0, point-to-point Ethernet services, VPN services, VPLS services, and RSVP LSP services are supported. All other than these service types can be configured using the Services Activation Director GUI, which is installed with the Connectivity Services Director software image.

    Modified: 2016-05-10