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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


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    1. Campus-wide Network Infrastructure Management CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

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

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

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

    5. 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

    6. 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

    7. 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

    8. 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

    9. Network infrastructure documentation… … as we know it CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

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

    11. The good… CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

    12. The good… CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

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

    14. … the not so good… CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

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

    16. Storing infrastructure data: (pre-PLM time) CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

    17. Legacy system: IsiCAD - Command CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

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

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

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

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

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

    23. 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

    24. 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

    25. 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

    26. 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

    27. 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

    28. 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

    29. 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

    30. 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

    31. 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

    32. 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

    33. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    42. 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

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

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

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

    46. VWC – Virtual Wiring Centre CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

    47. Case study: Campus security network (U of T police) CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary

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

    49. 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

    50. 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