Most professionals working in the network design and NOC design of Carrier Service Providers (CSP) are frequently facing a dilemma. Should they implement a vendor’s Element Manager (EMS) and integrate it to their OSS/NMS umbrella systems or should they directly manage the vendors devices from the umbrella OSS/NMS?
Let’s try to identify and analyze the MIB integration risks, and then see if there are any benefits when deploying the vendor’s NMS.
Typically, the vendors use MIBs in their products that are both proprietary and standard ones.
Sure, CSPs can get the MIBs and buy consulting services from vendors if needed, to directly integrate the devices to umbrella OSS/NMS platform(s), but here are some MIB integration risks that need to be considered:
How fast is integration of new MIBs? With every new firmware the probability of change of MIBs is non-zero. Thus the CSP has to do a fresh integration and at least check if the new firmware (and MIBs) did not cause something to break. This has an impact on how fast a new firmware release can be introduced in the network, thus slowing the pace of adding features or solving technical issues.
How complete is the MIB integration? Despite CSP effort to do 100% MIB integration, there may be pieces of information in the vendor’s devices which can be accessed/uploaded by other than SNMP interfaces. Examples include:
- logs which may be better retrieved via SFTP, or
- batch configurations that can be downloaded using scripts over SSH.
Obviously this variety has an impact on how much of the operational features are integrated to the umbrella NMS/OSS.
What features are you missing? Each product has a provisioning state machine which can’t be replicated in each and every NMS platform. Additionally, there are facilities which are available because of development effort in the NMS platform of the radio vendor and not because of the MIB. Examples include:
- photo-realistic visualization of devices,
- or calculated KPIs that combine multiple synchronized measurements,
These cannot easily be replicated on umbrella NMS/OSS.