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Oracle® Communications Network Intelligence Concepts
Release 7.2.2

E17891-03
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3 Understanding Network Elements

This chapter describes the network elements supported by Oracle Communications Network Intelligence.

About Network Elements

Network elements in Network Intelligence are generated in one of the following ways:

  • Loaded from the inventory management system (IMS) in which they are modeled.

    See "About Data Capture".

  • Created in the Network Intelligence GUI.

    See "Creating a Network Element".

    You might create NEs to add new entities to a network, or to set up a test environment. For example, consider a Tier 3 CSP undergoing significant network growth (of the order of 15-20% per annum). To accurately represent the current network configuration and perform capacity planning, VC-12 circuits are created and modeled in the network at the rate of 200 per week.

Each network entity offers a tailored set of views and reports that provide useful information about the entity and its interaction with other entities.

Network Intelligence supports the network elements and data types in Table 3-1

Table 3-1 Definition and Depiction of Network Elements and Data Types

Entity Description Icon

Network

A network consists of a series of points or nodes connected by trails and may be made up of some sub-networks.

See "About Networks".

Network icon

Site

A site is any entity that contains equipment in the network.

See "About Sites".

Site icon

Topology

A topology is a structure containing equipment and trails. A ring is a type of topology.

See "About Topologies".

Topology icon

Equipment

An equipment entity is a device that terminates or transits trails.

See "About Equipment".

Equipment icon

Equipment Definition

An equipment definition is a blueprint that specifies how an equipment is created and configured.

See "About Equipment".

Equipment definition icon

Equipment Holder

A generic term that refers to any of the following:

  • Sub-rack

  • Shelf

  • Slot

  • Card

  • Port

See "About Equipment".

N/A

Sub-rack

A sub-rack is a frame into which equipment modules are added. It consists of a configurable number of shelves.

See "About Equipment".

displays part of a sub-rack within an equipment

Shelf

A shelf is part of a sub-rack, into which cards are added. It consists of a configurable number of slots.

See "About Equipment".

displays part of a shelf within a sub-rack

Slot

A slot is part of a shelf, into which a card is added. Each slot can take only one card.

You can configure default, or allowed, cards for each slot.

See "About Equipment".

displays a filled slot

Card

A card is a printed circuit board which is added to a slot.

See "About Equipment".

Card view

Sub-card

A sub-card is a card fitted into a slot on another card. The sub-card icon appears on the parent card, in the bottom-left corner.

See "About Equipment".

Card view with one or more sub-cards

Port

A port is a physical interface through which information transfers in or out.

See "About Equipment".

Port icon

Trail

A trail is a connection between two sites or equipment entities. A trail can transport services or other trails. A trail has a given capacity.

See "About Trails".

Trail icon

Trail Definition

A trail definition is a blueprint that specifies how a trail is created and configured.

See "About Trails".

Trail definition icon

Trail Holder Definition

A trail holder definition provides the blueprint for creating trail holders.

A trail holder is a channel, or timeslot, used to transport a trail between two network sites. Trails that are structured normally have one, or more, child trail holders that are used to channelize lower level trails carrying services.

The trail holder definition specifies how a trail holder is configured and specifies the types of trail definition that it can enable.

See "About Trails".

Trail Holder Definition icon

Route

A route is a collection of one of more trails that have the same start site, end site, capacity and service type.

See "About Routes".

Route icon

Service

A service is a product offering delivered to a customer location through trail entities (for example, Metro Ethernet and IPTV).

See "About Services".

Service icon

Service Definition

A service definition provides the blueprint for creating a service. It specifies how a service is configured.

Each service has an associated service definition. A service definition may have a policy associated with it, which in turn may have rules and other policies associated with it.

See "About Services".

Service Definition icon

Policy

A policy defines a set of routing constraints, or rules, that are applied when looking for a path between two points in the network.

See "About Policies"

Policy icon

Plan

A plan is a collection of network configuration tasks that must be applied to the network.

A plan normally consists of service demands which are requirements for services between two network sites.

Plans can also include new proposed sites, equipment, or links.

Plans are presented in the tree browser as:

  • My Plans: plans created by the current user

  • Other Plans: plans created by other users

See "About Plans".

Plan icon

Configuration Plan

A configuration plan is a collection of network configuration tasks that are recorded for audit purposes, to create a report for senior management, to provide the inputs required to generate a works order for field staff, or for a variety of other uses.

See "About Configuration Planning".

Configuration plan icon

Outage Plan

An outage plan is used to create a report for an outage on a network element, or set of network elements.

See "Managing Network Outages"

Outage Plan icon

Migration Plan

A migration plan is used to generate network requirements changes to your network.

See "Managing Network Migrations".

Migration Plan icon

Forecast Plan

A forecast plan defines a collection of service demands with expected future trail growth counts for one, or more, future time periods.

See "Forecasting Service Demands"

Forecast Plan icon

Customer

A customer is an individual or organization that uses services.

See "About Customers".

Customer icon

Capacity

Capacity is the bit rate in MB per second by which a trail is transmitted.

Capacity also applies to trail holders and ports, to indicate the type of trail carried, or terminated.

See "About Capacities".

Capacity icon

Resource Group

A resource group is a collection of network elements used in outage planning, configuration planning, and bulk updates of trails.

Resource Group icon

Views and reports for each of the entities are outlined in "Views and Reports" for more information.

About Networks

A network consists of a series of points or nodes connected by trails.

About Sites

A site is the part of the network that contains equipment. Sites are grouped by location. A location, in turn, uses an address to configure the geographical placement of sites. For example, the address: location: site: equipment relationship can be understood in the following terms:

Boston: Fenway Park: My_Company_Office: Cisco 3745 Router.

About Topologies

There are two different types of topology in Network Intelligence.

A service topology is used to model multipoint services; it is made up of the interconnection of the links and nodes of one of the following:

  • A point-to-point service.

  • A multipoint-to-multipoint service.

  • A rooted-multipoint service.

A resource topology is typically used to divide a network into logical groupings (for example, to partition a network into nodes and edges).

Each individual topology in the tree browser contains has two subfolders:

  • Links (containing the associated trails of all the topology links)

  • Nodes (containing the associated equipment of all the topology nodes).

Topologies are either created in Network Intelligence, or loaded from the inventory management system:

  • Resource topologies are created in the Network Intelligence GUI.

    See the Network Intelligence Help for instructions about creating resource topologies.

  • Service topologies are loaded from the inventory management system (IMS) in which they are modeled.

About Equipment

An equipment is a device that terminates or transits trails.

The equipment tree browser displays a navigable list of all equipment, card, and port definitions currently modeled in Network Intelligence.

Equipment is ordered in folders denoting equipment type, equipment sub-type, and definition. Card definitions and port definitions are also displayed. Port definitions are grouped by capacity.

Double-click a folder to expand the selection. Sub-entities within folders are populated on selection.

Related Topics

See the Network Intelligence Help for instructions about creating or configuring an equipment, equipment definition, or any element or definition in the equipment hierarchy, such as shelves, slots, cards, or ports.

Refer to "About Equipment Views" and "About Equipment Group Views" for outlines of the equipment and equipment group views and reports offered by Network Intelligence.

About Trails

A trail is a connection between two sites or equipment entities. A trail can transport services or other trails. A trail has a given capacity.

A trail definition provides the blueprint that specifies how a trail is created and configured.

A trail holder definition provides the blueprint for creating trail holders.

A trail holder is a channel, or timeslot, used to transport a trail between two network sites. Trails that are structured normally have one, or more, child trail holders that are used to channelize lower level trails carrying services.

The trail holder definition specifies how a trail holder is configured and specifies the types of trail definition that it can enable.

The trails tree browser displays:

  • All trails in Network Intelligence ordered in hierarchical folders by trail type, trail sub-type, and trail bandwidth.

  • All trail definitions in Network Intelligence, ordered alphabetically.

  • All trail holder definitions in Network Intelligence, ordered alphabetically.

About Protection Trails

Network Intelligence allows you to model protection trails for existing trails. The protection trails can either fully or partially protect an existing trail.

A fully-protected trail is one where the entirety of the trail has an alternate path.

A partially-protected trail is one where only a segment of a working trail has an alternate path.

In the trail view, the Protection field identifies the protection status on the trail:

  • Protected: the selected trail is protected by another trail whose protection status is Protection. Trails with a protection status of Protected are the working trail.

  • Protection: the selected trail protects another trail whose protection status is Protected. Trails with a protection status of Protection are alternate trails to the working trail.

  • Unprotected: the selected trail does not have a protection trail.

You can search for trails using the protection status as filtering criteria.

Protection trails can originate and terminate with a cross connect. Cross connects can have the following protection statuses:

  • Protected: the cross connect is on the working path and is protected by the protection cross connect on the protection trail.

  • Protection: the cross connection is on the protection trail, protecting the protected cross connect on the working trail.

  • Unprotected: the cross connect is not protected.

About Using Trails

Before using trails in the network, you need to create and configure other entities in the system, or load them from inventory as outlined in "About Data Capture".

These entities include:

  • Capacity: Required to specify what bandwidth is available when a trail is created. Capacities can be common for telecom domains (for example, 10Mb) or may be specific to a particular domain (for example, VC4).

  • Trail Definition: Required as a template when creating trails. If a trail is unstructured, its trail definition does not require signal structure data to be created. If a trail is structured its trail definition requires signal structure data to be created.

  • Trail Holder: A modeling object that represents something that holds trails, normally a timeslot or channel.

  • Trail Holder Definition: Defines the name or label to be applied to the trail holder and also its capacity.

  • Service Definition: Required as a template for the specification of a service delivered to a customer over trails.

  • Service: Defines the product offering delivered to a customer location through trails. Services require a policy with a set of rules that defines how the service can be routed when creating trails for the service.

Related Topics

See the Network Intelligence Help for instructions about creating or configuring trails or other entities associated with trails: trail groups, trail definitions, trail holders, and trail holder definitions.

Refer to the Network Intelligence Help for information on the following topics:

  • Assigning trail definitions to enabling trail holders

  • Routing an unrouted trail

  • Upgrading a trail

  • Deleting a trail

  • Protecting an existing trail

Refer to "About Trail Views" and "About Trail Group Views" for outlines of the trail views and reports offered by Network Intelligence.

About Routes

A route is defined as a set of connections with a defined capacity and a carried service between two site entities. Routes are derived from collections of trail entities that share the same start site, end site, service, and capacity.

About Services

A service is a product offering delivered to a customer location through trails.

See "Understanding Services, Policies, and Rules" for more information.

About Policies

A policy is a set of routing constraints, or rules, that are applied when looking for a path between two points in the network. So, for example, policies specify class of service, or quality of service constraints when looking for suitable network resources to satisfy service demand requirements on a service level agreement (SLA).

See "Understanding Services, Policies, and Rules" for more information.

About Plans

A plan is service project in Network Intelligence. Plans are made up of the following types:

About Customers

A customer is a company or individual who currently subscribes, or previously subscribed to, services carried in Network Intelligence. This includes all corporate, other licensed operator (OLO), and internal (core) customers.

About Capacities

A capacity is the bit rate in MB per second by which a trail is transmitted.

Creating a Network Element

To create an instance of a network element:

  1. Select the network element type on the context toolbar (for example, to create a network, click Network on the tree browser).

  2. Click the Create icon to display the New Network Element window. You can generate new instances, either with existing entities, or with planned entities.

  3. Configure the network element using the values defined in the Network Intelligence Help.

  4. Save the new network element instance to the database.

Refer to the Network Intelligence Help for further information on creating network elements.

Most network elements are created in the same way. The exceptions are:

  • Trail.

    Refer to the Network Intelligence Help for further information on creating a trail.

  • Equipment.

    Refer to the Network Intelligence Help for further information on creating an equipment.