Managing Multiprovider Networks
(Article available freely online)
It is widely acknowledged that effective telecommunications management relies critically on the integration of different management functions. However in a liberalised telecommunications market, this integration has to occur over multiple organisational and technological domains. In such a complex, multi-domain situation the key to integration is to ensure the effective flow of information and controlled interaction between the management functions present in order to accomplish the desired management task. This requires that such management functions are designed and implemented in a way that directly supports such information flows, rather than being considered as stand-alone applications as is often the case with existing management applications. By retaining the focus on management information flows that satisfy user requirements, the integrity of solutions spanning different organisational domains and technologies may be more readily assessed. Effective techniques for analysing inter-domain information flows are also required by industry in order for standardising bodies, such as the TMForum, to reach agreements on the inter-domain interfaces needed to make an open telecommunications service market a reality. Management solutions are now being implemented on a widening range of technologies spanning proprietary technologies, network management specific technologies (e.g. SNMP, CMIP) and more general purpose, distributed processing technology (e.g. CORBA). Developers of management systems for multiprovider networks need to understand the appropriate roles for these technologies, interworking issues and migration strategies.