Netcool and GIS — More than eye candy

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The new geographic information system (GIS) capability for Netcool has created positive feedback from Netcool clients. Some communications service providers (CSPs) that I met recently are genuinely interested in looking into it as an important part of their operations. Other clients think of the Google Map-based topology visualization as an ‘eye candy’ feature, only good to show to management or customers visiting their network operations center (NOC).

GIS-based network management offers an alternative to the traditional dependency on the event viewer in the CSP’s NOC. Actionable events are still the critical component for efficient operations; with GIS-based network visibility and monitoring, however, actionable events will be viewed and acted upon from the map-based topology state representation of the network service. GIS topology views give the CSP’s NOC support professionals a transformed user experience for network monitoring and outage management, with real-time visibility of network service status and location-based context for actionable events.

GIS_example screenshot for blog, Netcool

GIS-based network monitoring is of particular importance for CSPs because those running a network operations center will be able to better understand optical fiber outages and the impact on network redundancy and capacity. The GIS-based topology management uses all of the underlying event correlation information, root cause and other analytics to help pinpoint outages and expedite repairs. GIS can also give CSPs a web portal facility for its end users, where each client’s network service can be monitored.

A Netcool client in the Asia-Pacific region has this GIS capability in production in its network operations center. This client has approximately 9,100 devices and 98,000 links rendered and the performance is impressive. The expectation is that this client will eventually reach about 15,000 globally dispersed devices, all of which will be visualized and monitored with this winning Netcool GIS and Google Maps combination. Visit here for more information on deploying GIS with the IBM Netcool solution.

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