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Oracle® Communications Network Intelligence Concepts
Release 7.2.2

E17891-03
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5 Routing Trails

This chapter describes the process of routing trails in a network using Oracle Communications Network Intelligence.

About Routing Trails

You use Trail Routing Manager to find the lowest-cost trail routing solution between two sites in the network. The suggested solutions offer optimal end-to-end trails to assist with network planning, service fulfillment, and service assurance.

To find an optimal route for a new service demand, enter the start and end points of the service and data about its use, such as the customer using it and the capacity required. Using this data, Trail Routing Manager gives a list of possible path routing solutions, and calculates the costs involved in the path provisioning process.

You can configure constraint rules to apply conditions to Trail Routing Manager when looking for path solutions for a service demand. You can also select policies that use sets of constraint rules to apply conditions on particular entities in your network to enforce constraints when finding available paths for routing between the start and end points of the required service.

Trail Routing Manager also identifies possible air-gap solutions, if requested. An air-gap solution recommends a minor network build at a hub site to allow for a more efficient path solution. Air-gaps connect two equipment nodes in the same hub site to help form the end-to-end path. Among the configuration steps that might be recommended are:

  • Card fills (to be added to an existing equipment slot)

  • Physical straps (required to connect two pieces of equipment).

About Trail Routing Manager GUI

To run Trail Routing Manager:

  • Select Tools, then Trail Routing Manager

There are three main parts to the Trail Routing Manager GUI:

  • Service demand details area, where you complete the inputs required for the service demand.

    If used with the Trail Configuration wizard, these details are automatically filled in using the values taken from the service demand input form in the Trail Configuration wizard.

  • Service fulfilment analysis area, which lets you see what policy is set to determine path solutions. You can edit the policy, or select another policy here.

  • Routing solutions area, where you can examine suggested solutions that are suitable for the set of rules specified in the selected policy.

    Figure 5-1 shows the three main parts of the Trail Routing Manager GUI.

    Figure 5-1 Trail Routing Manager GUI

    Description of Figure 5-1 follows
    Description of "Figure 5-1 Trail Routing Manager GUI"

Defining Service Demands

The service demand details area is used to specify data that describes connection requirements for the service, such as the start and end site, and the capacity required.

A service demand is defined as a network requirement to route trails between two network sites. To create a service demand you must supply the following in Table 5-1:

Table 5-1 Service Demand Data Definitions

Entity Description

Start Site (A Site)

The network site where the trail originates.

You can enter the name of the site directly, or select the site using the search button.

End Site (Z Site)

The network site where the trail terminates.

You can enter the name of the site directly, or select the site using the search button.

Service

The service that the trail is transporting.

Capacity

The capacity or bandwidth required for the trail connection.

Customer

The customer that the service is required for.

No. of Trails

The total number of trail connections required.


About the Policy

In Network Intelligence, services can have policies associated with them. Policies contain constraint rules to apply conditions to the Trail Routing Manager's path analysis process when looking for path solutions for service demands.

Policies are not supplied with Network Intelligence. You create your own policies. Policies can only be created for services.

See "Understanding Service Demand Routing Using Rules-Based Analysis" for a full explanation of service policies and rules.

Routing a Service Demand

To route a trail, you open Trail Routing Manager. Trail Routing Manager enables you to determine routes in ”study” mode, that is, to investigate routing possibilities for a particular service demand.

Note:

When invoking Trail Routing Manager without a client like this, you are said to be in ”study” mode because in this mode you can see any available routing solutions but you cannot fulfil the service demand by creating actual trails.

To create routed trails, use the Trail Configuration wizard available in the Tools menu. The Trail Configuration wizard takes you through a full set of simple tasks, including using Trail Routing Manager to find a path.

Enter your service demand by specifying the start and end sites for the service demand, the required service and capacity, the customer to whom the circuit applies, and the number of circuits needed.

If a policy has been set for the service, the name of the policy is set in the policy field. If you have not set a policy for the service required, a No Policy set for Service message is displayed when you try to find path solutions.

You must set a policy with some constraint rules for a service to find path solutions. The policy may be edited at any time.

Note:

Trail Routing Manager is contained in a separate window to the main application. When you view a policy, it is displayed in a new tab in the workbench of the main application.

You must switch context to select the main application to view the policy for editing.

You are now ready to start the path finding process. At this point, the service demand and its corresponding policy are sent to the Trail Routing Manager path analysis service to look for path solutions according to the constraint criteria defined in the rules set in the policy.

Trail Routing Manager displays two separate views of the routing solution in the routing solutions view: one in graphical format, and the other in spreadsheet format.

Choosing the Routing Method

The suggested routing solution may offer options on how to perform the routing. This is denoted by the fact that the service demand is successful, but is marked by Select, as shown in Figure 5-2. In addition, the Accept button is disabled.

Figure 5-2 Selecting the Required Routing Method

Description of Figure 5-2 follows
Description of "Figure 5-2 Selecting the Required Routing Method"

To choose the routing method:

  1. Right-click Select to list the routing methods.

  2. Select from the suggested options:

    • Default configuration as main path

    • Manual configuration as main path

    • Default configuration as standby path

    • Manual configuration as standby path

    Manual configuration for routing over unstructured parent trails is different from that for structured parent trails:

    • When routing over unstructured trails, you do not need to select trail holders, so the trail holder selection dialog box is view only.

    • When routing over structured parent trails, you need to select parent timeslots.

  3. The Select label changes to Configured, and the Accept button at the base of the configuration screen is enabled.

  4. Accept the route solution, and write back the data to the Trail Configuration wizard.

  5. Ensure the Routing Found check box is enabled when using the Trail Configuration wizard.

Applying Costs Using Trail Routing Manager

After you have generated a routing solution, you can use Trail Routing Manager to calculate the costs associated with this solution. The costing component of Trail Routing Manager enables you to set fixed and recurring total costs for the solution.

This section outlines the process of costing a solution by providing sample data:

Creating Tasks and Costs for Each Entity

To generate costs for entities such as trails, connection, and port tasks, you create individual tasks for each network build element in the routing solution. These tasks are referred to in Network Intelligence as build tasks.

For example, to create an equipment build task with the cost name 2Mb Unit Port, enter the task name and equipment supplier, and select the equipment definition. Provide further details about the task: 2Mb Unit Port for name and CapEx for expenditure type. Define the task as a Fixed Cost, and enter the required monetary amount. This task is repeated for each equipment build cost. An equipment build task form maintains and updates all build costs.

Complete the associated task information for all trails and connections.

See the Network Intelligence Help for further information about generating tasks and costs.

Routing the Service Demand

The service demand routing process may take some time, depending on the complexity of the demand. When the process completes, a message is displayed that Trail Routing Manager processing is complete.

Viewing a Routing Solution

A routing solution is displayed in graphical and textual formats. Select the required tab to view the routing solution, or select an individual element from the route solution view (for example, drill down on the trail associated with the graphical solution in Figure 5-3 by double-clicking it). This displays the trail view that enables you to configure the trail or investigate the views associated with it.

Figure 5-3 Trail Routing Manager: Routing Solution Graphical View

Description of Figure 5-3 follows
Description of "Figure 5-3 Trail Routing Manager: Routing Solution Graphical View"

Displaying the Textual View of the Routing Solution

Figure 5-4 displays a textual view of the routing solution shown in Figure 5-3, outlining equipment and trails, the utilization percentage of each, and the number of channels and bandwidth available.

Figure 5-4 Trail Routing Manager: Routing Solution Textual View

Description of Figure 5-4 follows
Description of "Figure 5-4 Trail Routing Manager: Routing Solution Textual View"

Inspecting the Routing Solutions

The routing solution contains a series of tasks, quantities, and descriptions.

Note:

The total cost for the solution (taking all hops into account) should include the trail, connection, and timeslot costs.

You can save the graphical view of the routing solution as an image, analyze the data in a spreadsheet, or view a legend of the solution.