Centralized network inventory management have become popular with service providers and is now widely accepted operational doctrine. Leading vendors like Telcordia (Granite), Amdocs (Cramer), Oracle (Metasolv) and NetCracker are filling the needs in this realm with feature-rich offerings in their respective inventory management applications and their promise to eventually be able to automate activation of new services.
Yet in spite of the strength of inventory management applications available on the market today, service providers are still consistently frustrated by inconsistencies in their databases of record that hamper their efforts to automate critical processes like service activation.
What are they missing? Effective and live reconciliation with the real production network is missing.
The Nakina NI-Collector solution discovers full physical and logical inventory from all managed devices. More importantly, services, service segments and circuits are pieced together using the network data. The value of this data is very high since this is an accurate representation of the services actually provisioned in the network and all the resources that are utilized.
The discovered data can now be compared with the offline centralized inventory system. Any discrepancies which are identified need to have business rules applied in order to determine the appropriate action. Should the data discovered in the network simply overwrite the data found in the offline centralized inventory system? Should a trouble-ticket be generated so that operations personnel can investigate the discrepancy and determine the root cause of the process failure? Should some or all of the circuit or service parameters be changed in the network to match the centralized inventory system? These are critical business rules that change over time and the maturity level of the processes used by the service provider.
The Inventory browser is an onboard integral part of the Nakina NI-Collector solution allowing users to view and manage equipment in the NE that has either been automatically discovered or otherwise datafilled. Using a flexible query capability to search for NEs under its span of control, users can drill down to shelf-level graphics that include circuit pack and port-level detail.
The Inventory Browser is intended for network operators to have quick access of physical and logical inventory data while conducting operations in the field. Via systems integration through the open Nakina framework interface, service providers can feed collected inventory data available in the Nakina northbound interface into best-in-class inventory management system, or a service providers’ in-house developed inventory management system.