When it comes to unifying a network management system (NMS), does less really equal more? This topic has re-emerged since the market downturn, which – as we all know at this point – has led telcos to look for any opportunity to save costs, either capex, opex or both.
So does a unified NMS pass the test, or does it do more damage than good?
To be sure, a unified management system presents certain slam-dunk advantages, like lower TCO (based on a reduction of capex) to service providers, including the amount of servers and software applications, and lower opex, since the operator won’t need as many people to operate the system and there is less equipment to be maintained.
In addition, a consolidated NMS better suits many service providers’ plans to evolve from SONET/SDH to Carrier Ethernet over DWDM. Service providers that own a unified NMS can use its SONET/SDH and DWDM capabilities immediately, and simultaneously activate the Carrier Ethernet capabilities when the market is ready for it.
However, in order to really determine the advantage of a unified NMS, we need to know if it can stand up to the flexibility needed in today’s ever-changing network.
The answer to this question is absolutely.
The converged approach can defer the need to invest in upper-level OSS in order to provide a unified management system. What’s cool is that if integration between an NMS and an OSS is required, a unified NMS makes the integration easier.
In short, service providers who choose implementation of Carrier Ethernet while managing all the equipment by the same NMS would enjoy several benefits, including lower TCO, shorter implementation time, efficient use of operational staff, and lower integration risks.
So what can the operator expect from the user interfaces of a unified NMS? GUI-based Ethernet management provides several advantages over CLI-based user interfaces; operations are faster to complete and staff can use the GUI to easily perform complex tasks. The bottom line for service providers is significant opex savings. And that is music to the ears of every organization.
A truly converged and GUI-based NMS and a rich set of automation tools delivers a consistent look and feel for Ethernet, DWDM, and SONET/SDH, which helps service providers achieve further capex and opex savings and ultimately drive new services to users.
The bottom line: when it comes to unifying an NMS, less is more!