Campus-wide Network Infrastructure Management
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Campus-wide Network Infrastructure Management. Network infrastructure management: Challenges. fibre/UTP cables and switch ports use (availability) wireless coverage and AP specifics wiring centre / equipment room layout data centre management. Infrastructure management systems.

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Campus wide network infrastructure management

Campus-wide Network Infrastructure Management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Network infrastructure management challenges

Network infrastructure management: Challenges

  • fibre/UTP cables and switch ports use (availability)

  • wireless coverage and AP specifics

  • wiring centre / equipment room layout

  • data centre management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Infrastructure management systems

Infrastructure management systems

a.k.a. Cabling management software (CMS),

a.k.a. Network modeling software (NMS),

a.k.a. Physical Layer Management (PLM)

are meant to store enterprise-wide information on network equipment along with details of cabling usage and availability.

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


In this presentation

In this presentation:

  • History, practices, experience

  • System features and requirements

  • Comparative analysis of commercially available network modeling systems

  • Implementation, practical results and challenges in infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


What this presentation is not

What this presentation is NOT:

  • a comprehensive analysis of the PLM systems on the market

  • an effort in promoting or advocating of any product mentioned

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Network infrastructure documentation

Network infrastructure documentation…

… as we know it

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


The good

The good…

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

The good…

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


The not so good

… the not so good…

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


The ugly

… the ugly

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

Storing infrastructure data:

(pre-PLM time)

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

Legacy system: IsiCAD - Command

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


List of system requirements

List of system requirements

  • ability to manage both equipment and cable inventory in compliance with ANSI/TIA/EIA 606 (Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Buildings) http://www.cablemgmt.com/tia.htm

  • graphic capabilities to represent campus maps and building floor plans along with equipment layout and cable tunnels, conduits, pathways etc.

  • Industrial strength multi-user ODBC relational database as a repository to all information pertinent to the network infrastructure

  • scalability (should not impose any limits to inventory database expansion or shrinkage)

  • well-developed standard GUI with options to be customized by user

  • multiple users with concurrent access

The goal: to integrate equipment, cable and network management.

Basic

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

List of system requirements

CAD graphics capabilities

  • the system should be capable of being used with or without CAD files or a mixture of both

  • the system should import and export CAD files supporting both the latest AutoCAD file formats (.DWG and .DXF)

  • avoid the necessity to have a CAD application present or any CAD experience to use the system (CAD systems are typically very complex)

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

List of system requirements

User Interface

  • the application should have a full and open Application Programming Interface (API)

  • the GUI is customizable by the user

  • the system is capable of defining any number of item types (i.e., patch panel, faceplate, workstation or port)

  • the system should be capable of creating a custom property window for each type of item with any number of user-defined fields for recording data about an item

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Desirable extras

List of system requirements

  • SNMP-based network auto-discovery and auto-mapping

  • Means of documenting wireless infrastructure

  • Integration with other operational support systems such as help desk (e.g., Remedy ARS) and logical network managers (e.g. Spectrum, HP Open View)

  • Web interface

  • Ability to look up and retrieve data from any third-party database or file over a TCP/IP network

Desirable extras

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Comparative analysis of infrastructure modeling systems

Comparative analysisof infrastructure modeling systems:

A. The legacy system

  • Cambio Networks Inc. COMMAND 5.1 – a legacy system U of T used, along with netRunner - a new product run on Windows rather then UNIX platform

  • Command 5.0 version adopted by Pinacl, an UK company

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


B a class of products that are meant mainly for equipment inventory management

B. A class of products that are meant mainly for equipment inventory management.

Comparative analysisof infrastructure modeling systems:

  • N/A - ClickNet 4.0 from ClickNet Software Corp.

  • http://www.netsuite.com/: NetSuite from NetSuite Development Corp.

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

C. A number of products specifically designed and profiled for telecommunication industry (with special emphasis on WAN facilities management).

Comparative analysisof infrastructure modeling systems:

  • Cable-Master from Angeles Group, Inc.

  • http://www.architel.com/: Objectel from Architel Systems Corp.

  • http://www.xiox.com/: FMS for Windows by XIOX Corp.

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

D. GIS-focused or fully functional AM/FM/GIS products - expensive. Still some of them should be considered viable choice for the campus NMS

Comparative analysisof infrastructure modeling systems:

  • http://www.enghouse.com/ : CableCAD and GeoNet from Enghouse Systems Ltd. Also they recently announced a number of industry applications (NetWORKS, etc.) worth attention. Markham, Ont. based.

  • CX-P21-CM from Cadix International, Inc.

  • http://www.adc.com/ : FiberBase 4.0 - fibre network management software from ADC Telecommunications.

  • http://www.cadtel.com/: SpatialBASE - network documentation and engineering tool

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

E. A class of NMS products integrated with common office tools like MS Office, Visio and AutoCAD. Most come with hardware based means for circuit analysis.

Comparative analysisof infrastructure modeling systems:

  • http://www.uwo.ca/its/projects/archive/docit.html/ - docIT product distributed in Canada by CMS International. Was implemented by University of Western Ontario (CANHEIT 2003 presentation)

  • http://www.itracs.com/ - (former Cablesoft product called Crimp) by now developed into iTRACS v7.0

  • http://www.systimax.com/ - iPatch System Manager Software; like the above product is a part of a complex cable management system

  • http://www.rittech.com/ - RiT PatchView is a physical layer management solution. Allows to monitor mission critical connections and all networked devices

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

Products in this intermediate list were assessed and compared regarding the following system requirementsBasic

  • cost effectiveness (complex issue to be defined and discussed separately),

  • functionality: comprehensive infrastructure support including horizontal systems, backbone/riser systems and campus systems,

  • "open concept" design (a simple scripting engine for customization and additional functionality),

  • quality 24x7x365 technical support

Desirable add-ons

  • cable test result storage and management,

  • cable lengths calculation,

  • circuit information,

  • cable path information,

  • Moves, Adds and Changes management,

  • multi-floor designs.

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


The shortlist was comprised of a d and e groups

The ‘shortlist’ was comprised of A, D and E groups:

  • PatchView (RiT Technologies)

  • docIT (CMS Intl.)

  • iTRACS (Cablesoft)

  • NetWORKS (Enghouse)

  • iPatch (Systimax)

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


The shortlist of cms was comprised of a d and e groups from the above and be read as follows

The shortlist of CMS was comprised of A, D and E groups from the above and be read as follows:

  • PatchView (RiT Technologies)

  • iTRACS (Cablesoft)

  • iPatch (Systimax)

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

Implementation

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

VWC – Virtual Wiring Centre

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

Case study: Campus security network (U of T police)

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Campus wide network infrastructure management

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Implementation notes

Implementation notes

  • Defining infrastructure model: time consuming but pays in the end

  • Porting data from legacy systems: CSV files vs. SQL programming/scripting

  • Customizing infrastructure model: a big effort (schema, datastores, graphic, equipment templates etc)

  • Training users: a good investment

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • A robust long term infrastructure management plan is a serious investment, $30-100k

  • For large infrastructure inventories, cost-effective management system are end-to-end architectures: termination hardware, connectivity monitoring tools, cabling management software. This appears to be a global industry trend.

  • Buying from partner companies: VAR benefits vs. product becoming too ‘vendor specific’

  • Best available PLM products tend to “runtime” (as opposed to authoring) or integrate common applications under one umbrella, thus minimizing proprietary code and TCO.

  • A centralized service model seems to be a good solution for large institution. UTCNS is ready to offer infrastructure management services to other departments.

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


Thank you

Thank You

Vladimir Kouptchinski

Ph. 416 978-5448

[email protected]

CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary


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