The Multi-Domain Inventory Challenge
Inventory systems are a critical component of network providers’ Operational Support Systems (OSS) environments. Most network providers have multiple inventory systems in place today to support their various service offerings and lines of business. However, because these traditional inventory systems operate ‘offline,’ and were developed primarily to support circuit-based physical networks, they provide a very static and fragmented view of service and network resources. As a result, key operational processes that rely on these systems, such as service fulfillment and assurance, involve numerous slow, error-prone manual processes that are costly to execute and maintain. With network providers being under increasing pressure to reduce costs and launch more software-centric and on-demand services to meet their customers’ expectations, they need new inventory solutions that provide a real-time view of network resources to support truly dynamic services.
Features and Benefits
- Leverage existing investments to create a dynamic end-to-end view of all network and service resources
- Federate multiple inventory systems in a single user interface to dramatically reduce swivel-chair operations
- Improve customer satisfaction by optimizing key operational processes such as service fulfillment, network planning, and service assurance
- Achieve greater levels of automation in operations environments to deliver truly dynamic networks and services
Ciena’s Blue Planet Inventory (BPI) is a flexible software platform that federates data from network providers’ multiple existing inventory systems, and presents it in a single dynamic view that accurately reflects the current state of network and service resources from end to end. By integrating with these legacy inventory systems, the real-time visibility BPI provides helps network providers simplify and optimize key operational processes such as service fulfillment, network planning, and service assurance. When integrated with systems such as Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO), BPI also helps network providers leverage advancements in Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to achieve greater levels of automation, deliver more dynamic services, and respond more quickly to customers’ rapidly changing requirements.
Blue Planet Inventory supports an extremely flexible and modular architecture:
- Multi-domain Federation is the foundational application within the platform that federates network data from multiple inventory systems and assurance platforms to automate and expedite end-to-end fulfilment and other business-critical operational processes. It also integrates a powerful visualization engine and UI framework that enables customized views of topology, equipment, and more for different environments
- Dynamic Inventory, which supports multi-layer physical and logical service modeling to enable a real-time view of service/resource mapping. Dynamic Inventory also provides data mastering, business rules, and reservation functions as well as full support for Move, Add, Change, or Delete (MACD) operations
- Network Planning for optimizing the reporting, trending, and forecasting of network capacity spanning Layers 0-3 leveraging advanced visualization
- Unified Assurance to federate and visualize data from multiple service assurance systems, ensuring better data integrity, and providing operation staff a single view for faster and more accurate fault resolution and analysis across the network
Software development experts and Ciena services support the Blue Planet Inventory software. These experts evaluate and analyze complex technical issues to help network providers quickly architect, design, and develop solutions that specifically address their needs for tomorrow and beyond. The Blue Planet Inventory software is already field-proven and deployed with customers worldwide. It serves as an essential component for network operators’ transformation to more open, agile, and automated networks.