MTOSI brings OSS integration a step closer
Select vendors at last week’s TeleManagement World conference in Dallas participated in the second demonstration of a working Multi-Technology Operations System Interface for standards-based integration.
The MTOSI standard, which grew from the TeleManagement forum’s Multi-Technology Network Management (MTNM) initiative for defining network management and element management interfaces, manages the same type of interface from these systems to operations support systems (OSSs).
Participating in the demonstration were CEON, Cisco Systems, Cramer Systems, Huawei Technologies, IONA, Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Pantero, Sonic Software, Telcordia and TTI Telecom. British Telecom, Cable & Wireless and TeliaSonera sponsored the project.
While there has been progress over the last several years with OSS-to-OSS integration, including integration with business support systems, the struggle to automate communication between OSSs and network elements has proved formidable.
Phase I of this TMF Catalyst Project demonstration was conducted last May at TMW in Nice, France. There, largely the same group demonstrated the interconnection and communication between various inventory and systems for element management and network management. This year, the group focused on Ethernet and used MTOSI interfaces to provision and ensure service assurance while dealing with the integration and interoperability issues related to working with adjacent telecom domain standards such as OSS/J and IPNM. In the demo, participants used the TMF’s MTOSI XML/Web Services-based integration standard.
“With the advent of the [service-oriented architecture] and Web Services, people were starting to describe interfaces in XML, and we thought it would be a good idea to get a standard view of that before people just made up their own,” said Beau Atwater, chief architect and executive director of OSS at Telcordia. “If everyone has his or her own variant, you'd wind up without interoperability.”
The MTOSI group took the existing object model of the MTNM-defined interfaces and used it as a basis for a new object model that could be used to pass information from a network element to an OSS or BSS. Traditional element-to-element communication is done through a series of transactions that transfer detailed information about the element and its configuration. The MTOSI interface uses what Atwater calls a more coarse-grained (less detailed) set of data about the network element.
“In MTOSI, you can’t deal with managing hundreds of transactions to find out what’s on a piece of equipment--you just get the equipment and in one transaction,” Atwater said.
Being able to use object-oriented interfaces at this level, close to the network, is the last thing you need to get operation support systems to integrate easily,” Atwater said.
Don Gibson, CTO at Cramer, which also was involved in the MTOSI Catalyst project, said he is beginning to see critical mass emerging around MTOSI. “We back it heavily,” he said. “The things we have to model today are more and more complex, but we think we’ve cracked that market.”
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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