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Release 7.1

E23700-01
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Oracle® Communications Network Integrity

Concepts

Release 7.1

E23700-01

January 2012

This guide provides an overview of Oracle Communications Network Integrity, explaining its functional architecture, and describing its features and components.

Audience

This document is intended for Network Integrity users, planners, system administrators, and system integrators.

About Network Integrity

Network Integrity enables you to keep two data sources (such as an inventory system and a live network) synchronized. This improves data accuracy, which increases your service provisioning success rate. It enables better business planning, based on having an accurate view of your inventory, and supports scheduled or ad-hoc audits to ensure alignment of inventory with your network. Network Integrity can also be used as a convenient way to load initial network data into your inventory system.

How Network Integrity Works

You use Network Integrity to carry out scans to discover, or retrieve inventories of, network elements, resources, and services. You can tailor scan results by defining your own search criteria. Discovered network data is compared with inventory data to generate discrepancies, which are instances where the data for these two sources do not match. Discrepancies are shown for relevant entities of the device or other object. You can select an entity to show a side-by-side comparison of the discovered view and the inventory view. Discrepancy information can also be viewed in reports. You can then resolve individual data discrepancies or multiple data discrepancies.

The following diagram illustrates a typical Network Integrity discovery and data reconciliation process flow.

Figure 1 Network Integrity Typical Process Flow

Depicts a typical process flow

The process flow is as follows:

  1. You import inventory data from an inventory system or other data against which to compare discovered data.

  2. Elements, physical resources, and logical resources in the network are discovered by scanning Network Elements (NEs), Element Management Systems (EMSs), and Network Management Systems (NMSs). For example, you poll an NE to find all ports and to determine whether each port is free or assigned, or you poll an optical EMS to find unused ports.

  3. (Optional) Discovered data is assimilated.

  4. Discovered or assimilated entities are matched with the inventory view of networks and services and generate discrepancies. For example, you match the discovered NE and each port on it with objects in inventory.

    See "Managing Scans and Viewing Scan Results" for more information.

  5. Discrepancies are evaluated using the Network Integrity browser-based UI, or by viewing generated reports, which can be studied to obtain a deeper understanding of the inventory discrepancies.

    For more information, see "About Discrepancy Detection, Review, and Resolution" and "About the Reporting Solution".

    Figure 2 Network Integrity Web UI View of Discrepancies

    Shows a table of discrepancies
  6. Discrepancies are quickly corrected using Network Integrity. You can rapidly make individual or bulk corrections. Network Integrity synchronizes the discovered data with the inventory reference data. You can assign, rank and annotate discrepancies. Using the Web UI to perform synchronization reduces the likelihood of errors, compared to making changes manually, and better supports a multi-user environment.

Benefits of Network Integrity

Network Integrity offers a number of benefits for optimizing resource use and for increasing provisioning efficiency.

Identifying Stranded Assets

Network Integrity allows you to locate stranded network assets. These are resources that you have, but which don't appear in your inventory. You save capital investment by using all existing resources effectively, rather than obtaining new resources prematurely.

Minimizing Fallout in Flow Through Service Fulfillment

Maintaining an accurate representation of your network means that any service fulfillment activities are more likely to complete successfully, and as designed, without going to fallout, or requiring manual intervention. This means that services are delivered more quickly, and less expensively.

Ensuring Inventory Accuracy for Operations And Planning

With an accurate view of your network, you can plan and provision new services effectively and efficiently. Network element issues can be pinpointed faster and resolved more efficiently.

Automating Manual and Error Prone Procedures

Provisioning errors due to incorrectly identified or unavailable network resources are costly to fix, and detrimental to customer satisfaction. Network Integrity allows you to determine where the problems are, and what the root cause is. It then allows you to efficiently resolve these issues (which can be an error-prone activity if performed manually).

Quick Inventory Creation

Network Integrity automates the population of your inventory, reducing potential errors compared to manually discovering and recording this information. This increases efficiency and reduces organizational costs.

About the Network Integrity Architecture

The following diagram outlines the Network Integrity architecture.

Figure 3 Network Integrity Architecture

displays the Network Integrity architecture

Network Integrity runs on Oracle WebLogic Server, and includes the following features and functions:

About the Network Integrity UI

You use the browser-based Web UI to carry out discovery and reconciliation by configuring and scheduling scans, reviewing scan results, and reviewing and resolving data discrepancies.

Features offered by the Network Integrity Web UI include:

Managing Scans and Viewing Scan Results

Management and viewing of discovery scans is carried out using the Network Integrity Web UI. By carrying out scans and viewing and correcting discrepancies, you can keep your inventory synchronized with your network and with other systems. Through cartridge extensibility, Network Integrity can potentially discover any type of network, service, or data source.

Types of Scans

A scan is a set of configurations used to perform a Network Integrity operation. Configurations can include discovery operations, constraints on what parts of the network are discovered, and so on.

Network Integrity supports the following types of scans:

  • Discovery scan: A discovery scan discovers your network. This can include network elements, physical resources, and logical resources. As part of the scan, you can specify network connection information such as name, port, community string, and time-out values. Included discovery scans are:

    • Discover Generic Cisco SNMP: Scans a Cisco device to model its physical and logical tree.

    • Discover Enhanced Cisco SNMP: Scans a Cisco device to model its physical and logical tree which is staged for integration with UIM.

      Cisco scans poll a wide range of MIB II types, plus ATM-MIB, CISCO-CONFIG-MAN-MIB, CISCO-VLAN-MEMBERSHIP-MIB, CISCO-VLAN-IFTABLE-RELATIONSHIP-MIB, and RFC13160-MIB (Frame Relay). They retrieve resources across the physical hierarchy (device, shelf, slot, card, port) including device, name, description, sysObjectID, location, mgmtIpAddress. They also retrieve logical resources such as Layer 2 endpoints.

    • Discover MIB II SNMP: Discovers MIB II RFC1213, IF MIB RFC1573, IP-MIB for IPv6, and uses IANA MIB for support. Retrieves device information (including name, description, sysObjectId, and mgmtIpAddress) and interface details (including name, description, type, speed, status, alias and more) and uses the information to model the logical tree.

    • Discover TL1: Scans one or more TL1 devices to retrieve device information and interface details, modeling the discovered data in the Information Model.

    • Discover Cisco ONS 15454: Discovers the device information and interface details for a Cisco ONS 15454 TL1 device, modeling the discovered data in the Information Model.

    • Discover TMF814: Scans both physical (equipment) and logical (interface) hierarchy details of managed elements using the TMF814 CORBA interface as its discovery protocol and models the physical and logical tree.

    • Discover Alcatel 1359IOO RI: Scans one or more Alcatel 1359IOO RI CSV file instances in a directory, resulting in hierarchical physical device model instances.

    • Discover Ericsson XML: Scans one or more XML device file instances, resulting in multiple hierarchical device model instances

    For more details about the above discovery scans, refer to their respective cartridge guides.

  • Assimilation scan: An assimilation scan produces additional scan results from existing scan results. When configuring an assimilation scan, you can choose additional scans to serve as input to the assimilation scan. Included assimilation scans are:

    • Assimilate Optical Circuits: Scans optical model input files, tracing and modeling end-to-end circuits.

  • Import scan: An import scan imports network data from an inventory system. Included import scans are:

    • Import Cisco from UIM

    • Import MIB II from UIM

    • Import from MSS

Network Integrity supports the simultaneous processing of multiple scans.

See the appropriate cartridge guide for more information about the above mentioned scans.

Creating Scans

Network Integrity uses cartridges to provide support for accessing different types of inventory targets and to specify scan actions for them. A scan typically specifies a scan action and scan action parameters, such as protocol and vendor properties, addresses (scope), and schedules.

You can associate a scan with one or more tags that define or describes the scope of the scan. Tags are customizable, and can relate to geography, ownership, network type, or other references.

Scans support multiple IP address formats, including IPv4, IPv6, wildcards, and ranges. You can enter the IP addresses manually or import them from a file, and multiple IP address specifications can be combined into one scan. For example, you can carry out a discovery scan using a combined IPv4, IPv6, and Domain Name System (DNS) host name configuration.

Setting Scan Schedules and Blackout Periods

The scan schedule determines when a scan executes. You can set a scan to execute immediately, regularly, or on-demand. The frequency with which scans repeat is configurable. For example, you can set scans to repeat at monthly intervals, on the second-last day of the month, or at a set time every night.

A blackout window defines a period of time when a specified scan should not run, or be paused if already running. This can be used to avoid running scans during peak network traffic hours, or during a planned network outage. The scheduling options available for blackout windows are identical to those for scheduling scans.

Viewing Scan Results

When a scan executes, the Scan Results table lists the outcomes for one or more Network Integrity scans. Each scan is defined by scan name and by scan action type associated with the scan - discovery, import, or assimilation. In addition, the table identifies the data source assigned to each scan, the current status of the scan (in progress, completed, completed with errors).

The scan results list the date and duration of the scan run and details of errors in the scan. If selected, the summary of detected discrepancies is presented.

All scan data is presented in one place, and filtering and sorting are supported, so you can get to the key data to identify issues. By selecting individual scan result details, you can drill down to entity details, and to individual entity attributes.

About Discrepancy Detection, Review, and Resolution

When discovery data has been collected, it can then undergo a process of discrepancy detection. Discrepancy detection actions match newly discovered network entities with previously imported inventory entities, detect differences between network and inventory data, and generate discrepancies for data object family types, such as equipment or circuits.

Discrepancy detection is an optional part of a scan run.

After running a discrepancy detection scan, you can then manually review the data discrepancies identified both in the inventory data and the network data. You can edit the details of a discrepancy, ignore the discrepancy, and send details of the data discrepancies to an external system. See "Integrating with Inventory Systems".

Discrepancy review is facilitated by extensive search capabilities, a color-coded severity system, and the ability to assign a priority and owner to each discrepancy. You can also store notes to track progress and to enhance an audit trail.

Discrepancy resolution enables you to carry out in-context correction, multiple corrective actions, or bulk discrepancy correction. You can also choose to ignore certain discrepancies. Design Studio can be used to rapidly create cartridges that extend additional actions from Network Integrity.

Integrating with Inventory Systems

Network Integrity can integrate with external inventory systems, including UIM and MSS, to retrieve inventory details, and send resolution commands.

By default, Network Integrity uses the Oracle Communications Information Model as a common model for reading and writing data to and from an inventory system. The Information Model describes information and data concepts, structures, and patterns, and its use reduces complexity and integration time.

The basic workflow when Network Integrity integrates with an inventory system is as follows:

Integrating with UIM

Network Integrity integrates with UIM using reference cartridges. The cartridges can be extended to meet the particularities of your UIM deployment. Network Integrity can retrieve inventory information from UIM, and communicate actions back to UIM to resolve discrepancies. The Network Integrity download includes UIM reference cartridges and sample technology packs for modeling logical and physical device hierarchies.

Network Integrity and UIM both use Design Studio to design and deploy the cartridges that enable extensibility and integration.

Integrating with MSS

Network Integrity integrates with MSS using reference cartridges. The cartridges can be extended to meet the particularities of your MSS system. Network Integrity can retrieve inventory information from MSS, and communicate actions back to MSS to resolve discrepancies. The Network Integrity download includes one MSS reference cartridge for modeling logical and physical device hierarchies.

Network Integrity uses Design Studio to design and deploy the cartridges that enable extensibility and integration.

Using Design Studio for Network Integrity

Design Studio is a design-time platform and graphical service creation environment that enables you to design, build, and deploy cartridges. Design Studio supports multiple Oracle Communications applications including Network Integrity. You can use the same Design Studio instance for multiple Oracle Communications products.

Design Studio is based on Eclipse, a popular, open-source development environment. Design Studio provides an integrated development environment to support plug-in configuration and customizations.

You use Design Studio for Network Integrity to develop and deploy Network Integrity cartridges that extend Network Integrity for various environments and applications. Network Integrity's cartridge-based architecture promotes cartridge and artifact re-use and extensibility. For example, you can extend Network Integrity with cartridge-based Actions and Address Handlers. Each cartridge is created or customized using Design Studio GUI wizards and editors that:

Although many of the cartridge artifacts are produced automatically, you may have to manually write some Java code to complete the cartridge. Cartridges offered by Network Integrity offer:

Managing Network Integrity Using the Web Service API

You can manage Network Integrity from external applications via the Web Service API. Network Integrity's Web Services are consistent with Oracle's SOA strategy and allow interoperability with Oracle Fusion Middleware Suite. The Network Integrity Web Service API reduces the complexity of integration and supports:

The Network Integrity Web Service API is standards-based. It supports JAX WS over HTTP, uses asynchronous calls, and shares a common security framework with the user interface.

To illustrate the range of Web Service API support, Network Discovery-related API calls include functions to:

For details on all the Web Service API calls, and on working with the samples, see Network Integrity Developer's Guide and Network Integrity UIM Sample Web Service Guide.

About Oracle Fusion Middleware Platform

Network Integrity is built on the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform, an industry-standard, open standards-based suite of services. Components of this platform include Oracle WebLogic Application Server and a range of middleware options such as:

Oracle Fusion Middleware is licensed separately from Network Integrity.

About the Reporting Solution

Network Integrity provides an open reporting interface to support reporting applications and a documented data store for integration with these reports. You use a reporting application to generate, view, and extend reports based on data collected during discovery and reconciliation scans. Reports can be available in various formats such as HTML, PDF, RTF, and Microsoft Excel format.

Network Integrity is pre-integrated with Oracle BI Publisher. Pre-loaded BI Publisher report templates and sample reports which are tailored for use with Network Integrity are provided. These can be further customized to meet your needs. Examples of provided sample BI Publisher report templates are:

Oracle BI Publisher is optional and is separately licensed.

You can use a third-party reporting tool to run reports on Network Integrity.

About Scalability and Reliability

Network Integrity is a scalable solution that can be expanded to accommodate network growth. Oracle RAC is supported, making the database reliable and highly available.

About Managing Network Integrity

You use the following tools to manage Network Integrity:

Network Integrity uses the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console primarily for application server management functions, and optionally for user management (only when the WebLogic Embedded LDAP server is used as the security provider). For complete details on monitoring and managing all aspects of Network Integrity, refer to the Network Integrity System Administrator's Guide.

About User and Identity Management

Any compatible Security Providers can be used for user access and identity management. As a result, Network Integrity can be integrated into an enterprise's existing security infrastructure. Network Integrity is validated with Oracle WebLogic Server Embedded LDAP and Oracle Internet Directory 11g. User access and identity management is supported by:

  • Embedded LDAP, as part of the Oracle WebLogic Administration Management Console

  • Oracle Internet Directory 11g

  • Third-party identity management system

For more information on Oracle Internet Directory, see the documentation for Oracle Identity Management Suite 11g. Oracle Identity Management allows enterprises to manage the end-to-end life cycle of user identities across enterprise resources independently from enterprise applications. This allows you to separate business logic from security and resource management.

About Network Integrity Security

Network Integrity conforms to Oracle security standards. Network Integrity should be installed as securely as possible and configured to listen to, read, and write data as securely as possible, to protect the integrity of the information it accesses.

Network Integrity Security Guide outlines all Network Integrity security features and explains how to install and configure Network Integrity securely.

Documentation Accessibility

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Access to Oracle Support

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Oracle Communications Network Integrity Concepts, Release 7.1

E23700-01

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