Resource Inventory Management is an important component in Resource Management Domain of Operations Support System (OSS). Resource Inventory applications manage information of all resources used to implement services and products. This application area is typically linked to various element management systems (EMS) (i.e. building inventory for actual server, applications, network and resource assets) and resource inventory database systems.
OSSera Inventory Manager (OSSera IM) is designed and implemented under the general guidance of TMF Frameworx. The main function of OSSera IM is to host all network information/network data correctly and efficiently. OSSera IM has followed TMF SID in the data model definition for the resources to be managed. OSSera IM can accurately describe the state of resources (network elements and their components, IT systems and applications, resources defined within systems etc.). OSSera IM can track status of all resources. OSSera IM also interacts with Resource Activation and Resource Provisioning, and manages under-utilized or “stranded” assets. OSSera IM also allows for client operations support (service assurance and billing systems) to retrieve part or the entire resource inventory.
OSSera Inventory Manager (OSSera IM), like all other inventory management systems, is basically a Configuration Management Database (CMDB). It hosts all information about the network. In order to get the information and keep the information accurate, OSSera IM first needs to load in all configuration information from EMS then periodically synchronize with EMS. Since each EMS may have its own data model by device vendor’s choice, OSSera IM has to first convert the raw data from EMS to OSSera IM data model (designed following TMF SID). Like other OSSera framework products, OSSera IM relies on OSSera Platform’s common data conversion process in handling data as follows:
Step 1: Connect to data source using connecter;
Step 2: Define data mode classes to describe the data;
Step 3: Convert data into instance of defined classes;
Step 4: Pass the data model class instances to application logic engine.
For above Step 1 to 3, the process is very similar to the process in OSSera Fault Manager (OSSera FM) or Performance Manager (OSSera PM). For Step 4, OSSera IM is a repository for other applications to retrieve data. Extensions can be made to provide specialized information for specific applications. For example, service fulfillment application needs IM to be capable of reserving resource in CMDB for a service. The following diagram shows the system architecture of OSSera IM:
Today’s Communication Service Providers (CSP) often operates large networks. Thus it is not practical to input network/device data manually to IM. An automated process must be used to speed up the process. Common practice is to develop ways to load data automatically from EMS. OSSera IM has developed an efficient and effective layer called Gateway to facilitate the automatic data input process. OSSera Gateway can be easily built using tools provided by OSSera IM and by using many pre-built data collectors and data convertors. Using OSSera Gateway, OSSera IM can easily connect to EMS, input data automatically, and convert raw data automatically to IM data model class instances for each EMS.
Once OSSera IM loaded in data, OSSera MO View, MO Property View and Object Viewer (common components of OSSera products such as OSSera FM, OSSera PM) can present the data in many different meaningful ways. For example, MO View presents all MOs (Managed Objects) by class. MO Property View presents details of MO. Object Viewer presents network topology and object relationship diagram.
OSSera IM is mainly consisted of the following components:
• OSSera IM Server – IM server is the back-end process for Inventory Management. It loads in inventory data from data sources such as EMS, file, etc. It provides services to other systems as the CMDB.
• Data Loader – Data Loader connects to EMS or any other data source to load in inventory data. It is part of Gateway in IM.
• Data Converter – Data Converter converts EMS raw data into IM data model class instances for each EMS. It is part of Gateway in IM.
• Report Viewer – The graphic interface to view inventory reports.
• Topology Viewer – The GUI component for user to view MO in graphical view, e.g., network view or service topology view.
• MO View – The tree view for user to see and edit MO attributes as well as relationships to other objects.
• User Management View – A set of GUI components for user authentication and authorization management, such as view, create, update and delete user and related information.
• Search View – A set of GUI components to search and view IM data.
OSSera IM can be deployed in the form of primary-secondary or symmetric distribution.