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Technical Overview AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview Version 7.0 Author: Neil Davies Date: 13 February 2012 Ref:

Technical Overview

Technical Overview AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview Version 7.0 Author: Neil Davies Date: 13 February 2012 Ref:

AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

Version 7.0

Author:

Neil Davies

Date:

13 February 2012

Ref:

TO-OPT-700-001

Version:

1

Status:

Final

Sec. Class:

Commercial in Confidence

Commercial in Confidence

Commercial in Confidence

Contents

Document Control

  • 1 ......................................................................................................

3

2

1.1 Revision History

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1.2

Reviewers

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3

3

Introduction

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4

  • 3 Product Positioning

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  • 4 Benefits of OPTIMA

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5

6

  • 4.1 High Level Benefits

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  • 4.2 Technical Benefits

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6

6

  • 4.3 Functional Benefits

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6

  • 5 System Architecture

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  • 5.1 Physical Architecture

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  • 5.1.1 Central OPTIMA Database

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8

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  • 5.1.2 OPTIMA Mediation Servers

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  • 5.1.3 OPTIMA Application Servers

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  • 5.1.4 OPTIMA Client Configuration

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  • 5.2 OPTIMA Logical Architecture

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  • 5.2.1 Data Mediation

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  • 5.2.2 Data Aggregation and Busy Hour Calculations

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  • 5.2.3 Data Quality

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  • 5.2.4 Archive and Maintenance

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  • 5.2.5 Architecture Key Features

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  • 5.3 Vendor Interfaces .............................................................................................

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  • 5.4 User Functions

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  • 5.4.1 OPTIMA Inspector

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5.4.2

Reporter

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  • 5.4.3 OPTIMA Work Area

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  • 5.4.4 User Home Tab and Favourites

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  • 5.4.5 KPI Manager

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5.4.6

Filters

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19

  • 5.4.1 Hierarchies ...................................................................................................

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  • 5.4.2 Data Explorer

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5.4.3

User

Management.........................................................................................

  • 5.4.4 OPTIMA Administration

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  • 6 Productivity Packs

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  • 6.1 AIRCOM OPTIMA Alarm Module

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  • 6.1.1 Performance Alarm Management

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  • 6.1.2 OPTIMA Alarm Module Architecture

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  • 6.2 AIRCOM OPTIMA Sandbox

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  • 6.2.1 Sandbox Functionality

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  • 6.2.2 User Functionality

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  • 6.2.3 External Sandbox User Access

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  • 6.2.4 Administrator Functionality

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  • 6.2.5 Sandbox Use Scenarios

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Author: Neil Davies

AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

Page 2 of 34

Date:

13 February 2012

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  • 1 Document Control

1.1

Revision History

 

Revision

Date

Name

Revision

Number

0.1

17/05/2011

Neil Davies

First Draft

0.2

10/08/2011

Neil Davies

Second Draft

1.0

23/08/2011

Neil Davies

Final

1.0

09/02/2012

Gavin Hayhurst

Updated to new template

1.2

Reviewers

 

Reviewer

Date

 

Feedback

Robin Osagie

21/08/2011

Comments to address in document

Gavin Hayhurst

   

Petrit Nahi

   

Author: Neil Davies

AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

Page 3 of 34

Date:

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2

Introduction

With the increasing demand for fixed-mobile convergence and many core networks moving towards IP, monitoring the entire network to assess the end-to-end quality of service is becoming increasingly important. At the same time, operators are under pressure to reduce capital expenditure, yet still improve network quality.

AIRCOM OPTIMA™ helps you get the most out of your network, whether fixed or wireless, IP, MPLS, GSM, 3G/ HSPA, WiMAX, TETRA, or CDMA, legacy or looking toward to LTE. OPTIMA‟s responsive performance management system delivers the most powerful, flexible and user- friendly solution on the market.

OPTIMA will continuously monitor the network and advise what‟s right, what‟s wrong, and what could be improved. With powerful KPI functionality and trend analysis, OPTIMA can detect problems before they affect the network enabling rapid fault resolution and potentially eliminating lost revenue.

OPTIMA provides real value to network operators:

Reduced OPEX relating to optimisation due to a significant reduction in effort to

identify network issues Correctly prioritise network expansion for maximum CAPEX efficiency

Increased revenues due to early detection and resolution of poor performing cells

Companywide visibility (from engineer to exec level) of the entire network‟s statistics

Reduced TCO by maintaining one tool for all your PM needs

Significantly reduced OPEX in terms of PM data processing and administration required

Author: Neil Davies

AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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  • 3 Product Positioning

OPTIMA is a network performance management tool represented on the TM Forum (http://www.tmforum.org), Business Process Framework (eTOM) model under the Resource Performance Management Process.

Commercial in Confidence 3 Product Positioning OPTIMA is a network performance management tool represented on the( http://www.tmforum.org ) , Business Process Framework (eTOM) model under the Resource Performance Management Process. Figure 1: OPTIMA Positioning within the eTOM End-To-End Process Breakdown As telecommunication networks expand in size and complexity, and new technologies are introduced, maintaining control of a network‟s performance can become a costly and difficult task. Since 1999 AIRCOM OPTIMA has been at the forefront of network performance management. Constantly innovating and working with leading vendors, operators and AIRCOM‟s own consultancy division has resulted in a tool which allows a user to quickly and efficiently analyse, troubleshoot, optimise and report on network performance. Noted as the fastest-selling performance management tool in Europe by Analysis Mason (2008) and now included in carrier grade deployments in the US, OPTIMA is both flexible and scalable (benchmark tests on OPTIMA have proven it can scale beyond 1 petabyte of data). Further value is provided by integration to AIRCOM‟s ASSET and DATASAFE products as well as numerous 3rd party tools covering fault management, inventory, reporting and service assurance. OPTIMA is a hardware platform independent and built on an open Oracle database architecture providing ease of administration and maintenance for customers. Author: Neil Davies AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview Page 5 of 34 Date: 13 February 2012 TO-OPT-700-001 Commercial in Confidence " id="pdf-obj-4-22" src="pdf-obj-4-22.jpg">

Figure 1: OPTIMA Positioning within the eTOM End-To-End Process Breakdown

As telecommunication networks expand in size and complexity, and new technologies are introduced, maintaining control of a network‟s performance can become a costly and difficult task. Since 1999 AIRCOM OPTIMA has been at the forefront of network performance management. Constantly innovating and working with leading vendors, operators and

AIRCOM‟s own consultancy division has resulted in a tool which allows a user to quickly and

efficiently analyse, troubleshoot, optimise and report on network performance.

Noted as the fastest-selling performance management tool in Europe by Analysis Mason (2008) and now included in carrier grade deployments in the US, OPTIMA is both flexible and scalable (benchmark tests on OPTIMA have proven it can scale beyond 1 petabyte of data). Further value is provided by integration to AIRCOM‟s ASSET and DATASAFE products as well as numerous 3rd party tools covering fault management, inventory, reporting and service assurance.

OPTIMA is a hardware platform independent and built on an open Oracle database architecture providing ease of administration and maintenance for customers.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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Date:

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  • 4 Benefits of OPTIMA

OPTIMA has unprecedented flexibility, powerful functionality and an ease of use that make it the ultimate tool for any operator looking to improve or enhance the performance of its network.

  • 4.1 High Level Benefits

OPTIMA allows operators to reduce OPEX significantly:

No need for engineers to spend all day monitoring the incoming data to locate

  • 4.2 Technical Benefits

network issues configure alarms for automatic e-mail/SMS distribution, and integrate to your existing fault management system. Significantly improve productivity with the extensive engineering analysis capability

though an intuitive user interface allows engineers to spend less time finding network issues and more time fixing them. No more manual report generation configure reports once and powerful automation

allows stakeholders such as regional managers, marketing and executive management to receive regular updates on their network performance via email or the online web-client. Built on an Oracle database many customers already have the necessary skills to

run and maintain the system. Round the clock, remote network monitoring view PM statistics on your mobile

phone for complete peace of mind.

Scalable Solution; Proven in large tier 1 networks, capable of loading over 5TB of

data per day into a data warehouse totalling in excess for 1PB Fixed and IP assurance; OPTIMA offers fixed/IP network support via a robust and

scalable SNMP solution, giving operators total flexibility. OPTIMA has been deployed by several wireline operators covering multiple network technologies, including PSTN, DSL, ATM, SDH and IP/MPLS Multi-Vendor, Technology and Domain support; Library of 300+ interfaces across 50+

vendors providing broad technology coverage within one solution GSM, UMTS, HSPA, LTE, TETRA, CDMA, WiMAX, IMS, IP, CS-Core, PS-Core, EP-Core, ATM, PSTN, TX and VAS networks. OPTIMA for LTE; Deployed in commercially live LTE environments, OPTIMA has an

extensive library of off the shelf LTE interfaces and an interoperability certification partnership with a major vendor. Integration with the leading radio network planning tool ASSET, as well as AIRCOM‟s

configuration management tool DATASAFE enabling the foundation for the AIRCOM SON solution Robust and scalable IT platform architecture with a choice of PC or UNIX servers to

suit IT policy and existing IT investments. Windows PC based client application requires minimal specialist user training.

True client/server architecture with the ability to support “thick” client and “thin”

(web based) multi concurrent user access. Highly configurable vendor interface architecture allows rapid configuration to specific customer requirements.

  • 4.3 Functional Benefits

Enrich PM data with complete flexibility to mix counter and KPI information from coverage, planning and configuration data, including geographical mapping.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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Ability to query and retrieve PM statistics by selecting network elements on a

geographical map. Complete flexibility for the user to create new KPIs, report templates and modules via

very flexible report and module designers, also provides configurable report scheduling and distribution. Ability to define and generate Performance Alarms. Alarm events can be forwarded

to Fault management systems via SNMP. Engineers are alerted via e-mail and SMS using the OPTIMA alarm handling module. Extensive and intuitive user management scheme, providing the capability to manage access to content and functional areas within OPTIMA. The OPTIMA user profile concept provides a simple way to map user job functions to the appropriate product functionalities.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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  • 5 System Architecture

    • 5.1 Physical Architecture

Commercial in Confidence 5 System Architecture 5.1 Physical Architecture Figure 2: Physical Architecture of an OPTIMA

Figure 2: Physical Architecture of an OPTIMA implementation

An overview of the typical physical architecture of an OPTIMA installation is shown in Figure 2. In general data is collected from the network in one of two ways. Firstly this can be through the collection of files from Element Managers or OMCs and transferring them to an OPTIMA Mediation server where the various proprietary file formats are parsed into a common OPTIMA format. Secondly data is retrieved by periodically interrogating the network devices themselves and storing the results directly as files in the OPTIMA format. These files are then validated and loaded into a central OPTIMA data warehouse and the data is immediately available for end-users.

For some vendor systems, PM data may be available in a network or OMC database. In this case, an OPTIMA database parser is deployed, which regularly accesses the network database to retrieve data. In this case there is no requirement to transfer files.

There may also be links configured from the OPTIMA data warehouse to other databases for data collection. This allows end users to access and combine data from multiple sources in reports. This mechanism may also be used to enrich the PM data, for example a link to a planning or configuration database may be used to retrieve network topology, configuration or planning information.

There are a number of physical elements in the OPTIMA solution as described in the following sections.

  • 5.1.1 Central OPTIMA Database

This is the critical component for the operation of OPTIMA as it has a direct impact on data load, storage and retrieval performance of the system.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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Any type of workstation that supports Oracle 10gR2, 11gR1 or 11gR2 can be used. AIRCOM provides a number of recommended hardware solutions for Windows, LINUX and UNIX (HP and SUN) depending on operator preference and the size of system required. Solutions are always proposed that provide cost effective upgrade options to accommodate the future expansion of the system.

For large installations or where system availability is particularly critical, Oracle RAC can be deployed.

The server would be dimensioned as part of the solution specification depending on the number of network elements, data storage requirements, integration to other systems and the expected use of the system. Memory requirements for the server are calculated based on the number of users and data loading processes that need to be supported, plus an overhead for the database application and the OS. Disk storage requirements will depend on the following factors:

Number and type of performance counters to be stored.

Granularity of counter measurement.

Size of network.

Data retention and archiving requirements.

Summary tables and Indexes.

AIRCOM provides tools that calculate database growth based on the actual database schema to provide specific and exact predictions for an individual customer on the disk space requirements. Generally RAID disk arrays or external SAN solutions are deployed to provide resilience in the case of hard disk failure.

  • 5.1.2 OPTIMA Mediation Servers

The collection and processing of PM data is performed on the OPTIMA Mediation Servers, with the data then presented to the Database for loading. Although it is technically possible to have the Database and mediation processes on the same servers this is not recommended. In the typical OPTIMA architecture, the data mediation is performed on separate servers, with the number of servers dependent on the network data to be processed. This architecture has a number of important advantages:

Performance; separating the acquisition, parsing and loading processing from the

Database server ensures that these activities do not significantly impact the end user performance. Scalability; if required low cost machines can be used for the OPTIMA Mediation

Servers. This provides a very cost effective scalable solution. For example the addition of new interfaces can be added without significant server upgrade requirements. Reliability; this architecture ensures that any problems that may occur on the

Mediation Servers when processing files do not impact the end user. Also additional Mediation Servers can be provided for standby purposes. For example it is possible to split a particular interface across multiple Mediation Servers. In the case of a hardware problem with one machine then the other(s) can continue to load (potentially with reduced performance) whilst the failed machine is repaired. Flexibility; Mediation Servers can be added and removed easily, for example a

temporary machine can be deployed to load backlogged data. Maintenance; it is possible to perform maintenance and upgrade of the Mediation

Servers and Mediation components without impacting the Database and the end users. Windows, LINUX and UNIX (HP and SUN) machines can be used for Mediation Servers. Rack mounted units are recommended where space is a premium.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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Server clustering is commonly implemented for High Availability purposes.

The required specification and number of Mediation Servers will be determined during customer specific solution design.

  • 5.1.3 OPTIMA Application Servers

The OPTIMA Application Servers are Windows based machines and consist of the OPTIMA Citrix TM Servers, WEBWIZARD Servers, Report Servers and Alarm Servers. The number of Servers required and their configuration will depend on the specific customer requirements.

Typically the OPTIMA client is deployed on the Application Servers with on-line access provided through Citrix TM . It is also possible to install the OPTIMA client locally, however a centrally configured solution simplifies the administration and maintenance effort.

AIRCOM also provides a full web based solution called WEBWIZARD, which allows access to key data and reports on-line. This also allows the ability to display performance statistics geographically over a map.

The OPTIMA Report Scheduler and Alarms Module are also deployed on the Application Servers. All reports within OPTIMA can be scheduled to run at a future point or at regular intervals through the OPTIMA client, the Report Scheduler is responsible for the execution and distribution of those reports. Alarms are also configured within the client, and the Alarms Module processes these alarms and sends out the necessary notifications. Again these may be run on any machine, however for regular operation they should be hosted on a dedicated Application Server.

  • 5.1.4 OPTIMA Client Configuration

There are three available options for the implementation of the OPTIMA client; a standalone client, integrated as part of the ENTERPRISE Suite, or online.

OPTIMA Standalone: The OPTIMA client can be run as a fully standalone application. This is typically used where the user only requires access to the OPTIMA functionality.

Integrated with ENTERPRISE: The OPTIMA application is fully integrated in the ENTERPRISE Suite and appears as part of the toolbar. This allows functionality across the Suite to be used in unison. For example, PM data from OPTIMA can be “replayed” on the geographical map overlaying coverage information.

OPTIMA Online: This allows online access to the OPTIMA application. Two options are available:

Access to the full client application can be supported using Citrix TM . This is suitable

for users who require full access to all OPTIMA functionality. AIRCOM‟s WEBWIZARD application can be deployed to provide access to key data and reports. This also allows the ability to display performance statistics geographically over a map. This is useful for more casual users who only need access to specific data or reports

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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  • 5.2 OPTIMA Logical Architecture

The diagram below shows the logical architecture of an OPTIMA installation. As detailed previously the network equipment will output performance data, or OPTIMA will interrogate the network to collect the performance data at regular reporting intervals. This is then automatically processed on the OPTIMA Mediation Servers and loaded into the Database.

Commercial in Confidence 5.2 OPTIMA Logical Architecture The diagram below shows the logical architecture of an

Figure 3: Logical Architecture of an OPTIMA implementation

  • 5.2.1 Data Mediation

The typical process for loading data is illustrated in the figure above and is as follows:

  • 1 The network logs PM data and regularly outputs data in a file into a defined directory on the OMC or network management device. For most network equipment the file creation interval is user configurable and would typically be between 5 and 60 minutes. Each file may typically contain data for a number of different network elements and different types of measurement classes. Alternatively OPTIMA will interrogate the network elements directly at configurable intervals, for example using SNMP data acquisition, with the data requested configurable by the user.

  • 2 The OPTIMA acquisition component will regularly poll the network management device directory. When a new file is detected it will be automatically transferred to the parser input directory on a mediation device. The original file may (optionally) be deleted.

  • 3 An OPTIMA Parser component monitors the parser input directory and parses any files that are detected. Specific parsers are developed to match the file format for a particular interface. The parser converts the PM data in the input file into a common OPTIMA file format; comma separated value (CSV). Where the input file contains a number of different measurement classes, a CSV file may be produced for each class. For direct

Author: Neil Davies

AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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data collection OPTIMA will store the data collected as a CSV file, therefore there is no need for a Parser to be used.

  • 4 If the input file is successfully parsed then it is (optionally) moved to an archive directory or deleted. If there is a problem in the file (for example it is corrupted) then it is moved to an Error directory and the Error details logged.

  • 5 The OPTIMA Loader component monitors its input directory for the arrival of new CSV files. When one is detected this is loaded into the appropriate database table. The Loader component may also combine or apply formulas to individual counters if required during the loading process. Validation of the data typically occurs at this stage to ensure the data loaded is as expected, however validation can also be carried out as part of the Parser process.

  • 6 If the CSV file is successfully loaded then it is deleted or archived. Otherwise, it is moved to an Error directory and the Error details logged.

    • 5.2.2 Data Aggregation and Busy Hour Calculations

The data generated by the Network and parsed and loaded into the OPTIMA database is likely to be of a high granularity, i.e. short intervals between samples. OPTIMA is designed to store this information for any period of time but this can lead to significant storage requirements for the database. For this reason many operators choose to archive old data and store a summary only. For example the operator may be interested in a granularity of 15 minutes for data up to a month old, but any data older than this could be at a lower granularity, typically stored at hourly for 6 months, daily for 2 years, and weekly for 5 years.

The OPTIMA Summary program provides a fully configurable data aggregation mechanism. The Summary program can use pre-aggregated or raw data within the aggregation algorithm, it is also possible to enrich the aggregated data with any other dataset loaded within the OPTIMA system. The Summary program can also be configured to re-summarise data stored in the summary tables if the raw data changes. This is done by monitoring the raw data and identifying if any changes have occurred that affect the summarised data. If changes are detected a re-summary process is executed ensuring data integrity across the system is kept at maximum.

Network planning and performance engineers are commonly interested in the behaviour of the network when it is experiencing its greatest load. This is often termed the busy hour although may cover a busy period or top-n hours. Operators will be interested in keeping a copy of the performance data during this period longer than the other hours of the day. Data can be persisted storing the busiest hours of the day, week or month.

  • 5.2.3 Data Quality

OPTIMA includes a Data Quality program that monitors the quality of the stored raw and aggregated data. It can be configured to collect different statistics at different element levels, based on the type of information required:

Availability the percentage of elements that are completely missing for the time

period. Completeness the percentage of available data for the period loaded.

Last Load Status the last data a table loaded.

Nullness the number of null entries in the table for the time period.

Reports are then provided based on the Data Quality statistics in the OPTIMA client. These include the above information, and details of missing periods of particular elements.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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  • 5.2.4 Archive and Maintenance

A maintenance program handles the deletion of old data, based on the desired retention periods, and maintenance of current data, including storage maintenance, data statistic collection and index maintenance to ensure optimum query performance.

An operator may also want to keep a copy of the data longer than they want to store it in the OPTIMA database. This could be for the purpose of re-investigating previous anomalous behaviour on the network that has re-occurred. This may be achieved by writing the relevant data files to a tape or separate disk. This is achieved using Oracle RMAN or other third party backup and restore solutions.

  • 5.2.5 Architecture Key Features

The OPTIMA architecture and system components are designed to support the exacting system requirements for a PM data collection, storage and analysis system:

The system is designed to load data continuously 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Data is loaded as soon as it is available in the network.

Data is made available to all users as soon as it is in the database.

The system is scalable to cost effectively accommodate increases in network size and

the introduction of new interfaces. The system is designed for very high reliability and is able to operate in an

unsupervised mode. The OPTIMA Process Monitor examines all components via a heartbeat function and automatically restarts any failed process. The system is able to store very large volumes of data without degradation of loading

or end-user performance. The Mediation and Application Server architecture minimises overheads on the

Database Server, ensuring that the maximum resources are available for end-user queries and access. The system automatically handles late arriving and out of sequence data and

provides user friendly system reports on the completeness of data statistics from the monitored network elements. The system automatically diverts data into a holding area during database outages to prevent files flooding the operational areas. The primary data flow is reintroduced automatically once the system returns to normal.

  • 5.3 Vendor Interfaces

OPTIMA supports multi-vendor, multi-technology networks and can provide interfaces for each vendor in an operator‟s network. Each interface is provided with a comprehensive library of KPIs, reports and modules which allows out of the box analysis and reporting functionality.

  • 5.4 User Functions

Figure 4 illustrates the main components of the OPTIMA system. Raw PM counters and configuration data is loaded from the network and stored within the data layer. From this data, Summary Information and KPIs are derived within the Abstraction layer. Data from both of these layers is made available to the user within the Client and Administrator functions.

The following sections detail the functionality provided to the users by OPTIMA. The key functions for presenting the data to the users are the OPTIMA Inspector and OPTIMA Reporter, with the Report Scheduler, Work Areas and Favourites supporting this presentation. These areas are then underpinned by the KPI Manager, Filter Manager and Hierarchies. Data Explorer provides the mechanism for direct data access and for building data queries. Finally

Author: Neil Davies

AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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OPTIMA‟s Administration module allows full User Management and the configuration of preferences depending on the customer‟s needs.

The OPTIMA Alarms module, OPTIMA Sandbox and WEBWIZARD further strengthen

OPTIMA‟s analysis capabilities and are available as productivity packs.

Commercial in Confidence OPTIMA‟s Administration module allows full User Management and the configuration of preferences depending

Figure 4: OPTIMA Software Architecture

  • 5.4.1 OPTIMA Inspector

OPTIMA Inspector provides the main interface for real-time analysis and troubleshooting. It enables users to select analysis Modules from the Module Explorer and create Module Combinations, as required, to display specific information. The Modules allow a user to display KPIs for the date range and network elements they wish to investigate. Data can be displayed in both a data grid, or graphically on a number of user specified chart types.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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Standard Excel-like features are provided for sorting, filtering, grouping and summarising data. Multiple charts can be plotted to allow easy comparison of data across elements and over time.

Commercial in Confidence Standard Excel-like features are provided for sorting, filtering, grouping and summarising data. Multiple

Figure 5: A typical OPTIMA Module

In addition you can link modules to provide powerful drill down functions to pinpoint any problems, both across time and network elements. In this way for example you can click on a problem cell and immediately display the key KPIs for that cell for the time period in question, displayed alongside the original dataset. Any data returned can also be exported into an Excel workbook with a single click for further analysis, storage or presentation.

Using this user friendly method it is possible for users to build up complex specific analysis functions and easily correlate data from different network elements across different vendors and technologies.

With OPTIMA Inspector you can:

Manage Modules and Module Combinations.

Define your own Modules and Module Combinations to display any network data.

Run similar Modules on different levels of aggregation (time and element) to quickly

identify areas requiring further analysis. Drill down, up and across on date and on elements between Modules to pinpoint

issues and perform root cause analysis. Retrieve, filter and chart large volumes of data.

Use filters to select data for specific network elements. For example define filters to

show only problem cells or select a set of cells geographically on a map. Define counter thresholds, e.g. display all MSC‟s with processor load over 90%.

Load data from other ENTERPRISE tools, e.g. ASSET, DATASAFE, RANOPT. Share data Modules with other users or groups of users.

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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The powerful functionality provided by OPTIMA Inspector ensures that users can be confident in their ability to correctly display and view information in a way that will improve problem solving, which will ultimately enhance the performance of the network.

Commercial in Confidence The powerful functionality provided by OPTIMA Inspector ensures that users can be confident

Figure 6: Example of Grid and Graph Functions in Inspector

5.4.2 Reporter

OPTIMA Reporter provides a flexible and user friendly environment for creating, organising and managing the distribution of reports. User friendly wizards and templates are provided to simplify ad-hoc report creation. Advanced features such as sub-reports and cross-tabs provide the functions to accommodate even the most complex reporting requirements.

Commercial in Confidence The powerful functionality provided by OPTIMA Inspector ensures that users can be confident

Figure 7: OPTIMA Reporter

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AIRCOM OPTIMA Technical Overview

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All report templates can be stored within the data warehouse for ease of distribution and access. Users can view or modify (if granted rights to do so) a report by selecting from an explorer based folder structure.

OPTIMA Report Designer provides users full flexibility to analyse the network. With OPTIMA Reporter, users in an organisation have the ability to decide what information will be viewed and in the desired format, a powerful tool for any organisation.

OPTIMA will allow the user to define run time parameters for a report which can be configured using filters and conditions. When the report is run the user is prompted for inputs for these parameters, ensuring only the desired data is generated. For full details on run time parameters please refer to the Data Explorer section.

OPTIMA will also allow users to create Excel based reports where the output is stored in a user defined Excel template. Multiple queries can be created in OPTIMA and visualised within

the Excel template. This option gives the user the ability to use Excel‟s powerful analytical

functionality on data generated directly from the database, ranging from simple formatting and graphing to complex data manipulation and macros.

Users can always rely on having the latest relevant information, knowing that they are saving time and money by automating the complex process of generating quality reports.

A key area of OPTIMA Reporter is the scheduling functionality, which allows for flexible automatic report distribution to different locations, for example via email, to a web-site, file server, laptop or a printer. Run time parameters that have been created within a report can be configured in a schedule, ensuring only the relevant information is selected for each recipient. Multiple schedules with different configurations can be created for one report.

An advanced feature allows the user to provide a condition for the report generation. For example this could be set to generate a report which is triggered when Congestion on particular BSC indicates dropped calls over 4%. The Report Scheduler allows users to set up reports for their areas of interest, then to schedule these reports to run at a convenient time.

  • 5.4.3 OPTIMA Work Area

The OPTIMA Work Area gives users the flexibility to organise their user environment to match the particular activity being undertaken. Inspector Combinations, Reports and external web pages can be docked into a common Working Area and are available as tabbed pages. This means that all relevant information for a particular task can be quickly accessed and correlated greatly increasing working efficiency. These Work Areas can then be saved to allow a user to quickly access all the necessary analysis tools for a particular activity.

The Work Areas provide refreshing and switching functionality, executing data queries, and switching between the selected tabs at a specified interval. In this way a Work Area can be used as a „home page‟ for a user to identify and display information about key aspects of the network. For example it can monitor the values of specified performance counters, such as dropped call rates, call set-up failures and high congestion, regularly switching between set views and refreshing the data to ensure the most up to date network status is displayed.

  • 5.4.4 User Home Tab and Favourites

OPTIMA includes a „Home‟ Tab within the ribbon enabling the customisation of a user‟s view.

On this tab, groups of analysis objects, such as Reports, Module Combinations and Work Areas, can be placed, making them available within one click of launching OPTIMA. These objects can be grouped together and presented in any order. The user can display their own

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personal favourite objects on this tab, or a set of objects defined for the User Group or Groups they belong to.

Commercial in Confidence personal favourite objects on this tab, or a set of objects defined for

Figure 8: OPTIMA Home Tab

By setting up object sets and groups to support certain tasks or job functions, users will be able to perform these tasks without having to navigate through the Explorers or set up any Work Areas or Combinations. A default group can also be allocated to a user, so on their first login they will be presented with the analysis objects for this group.

  • 5.4.5 KPI Manager

OPTIMA stores all raw performance counters generated by the network. However for reporting purposes it is typical to consolidate the raw counters into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), for example Call Setup Success Rate, Traffic, Dropped Calls etc. This approach ensures all reporting objects containing KPIs are consistently presenting the same information. Any changes made to a KPI are immediately reflected in all reporting objects that use that KPI without the need to update the Reports.

The OPTIMA KPI Manager allows Users with the appropriate permission level to define KPIs that are then available for all Users. In addition to this Users may create their own personal KPIs, for custom analysis which can then be made available to all Users if applicable.

Through the OPTIMA KPI Manager it is possible to configure a KPI equation that can be used in any valid query, for example a KPI created on raw data can be used on associated aggregated data, without the need to create a new KPI definition. The KPI definitions may be based upon other KPIs, enabling high level KPIs to be built up simply and quickly, with any changes made to the lower level KPIs immediately reflected.

As part of the definition the KPI aggregation method over time or element can be specified. This aggregation can also be configured for the various parts of an equation, for example if the numerator and denominator within an equation require separate aggregation.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 9: KPI Manager The KPI Manager supports bulk operations on the KPIs,

Figure 9: KPI Manager

The KPI Manager supports bulk operations on the KPIs, making it quick and easy to rollout new KPIs and update existing ones. This includes updating the KPI security, any aggregation options and the export and import of KPIs, including the upload of large volumes of KPI definitions from a file. It is also possible to see which reporting objects are using a KPI through the KPI Manager.

The performance counters and what they measure can be very different across vendors therefore the formula for a KPI for one network may also differ. In addition, a KPI formula may be composed of a very large number of counters and sub counters. It is for this reason that OPTIMA provides a KPI mapping facility between vendors. With this option users can use a single KPI for all elements within a multi-vendor network. This can greatly simplify the creation of reporting objects.

5.4.6 Filters

Filters in OPTIMA allow you to create a list of network elements for filtering data within reporting objects. These can consist of a simple list of elements stored as a Static Filter, or as a Dynamic Filter where the element list can be based on a data query using the underlying data in the Database. In this way Dynamic Filters will automatically be updated if the underlying data changes.

OPTIMA Filters are used throughout the OPTIMA reporting objects to both include or exclude elements in the data returned. This provides a quick and easy way to focus on the elements that are important. For example a Dynamic Filter could be created to return only the worst performing elements based on a KPI. All reporting objects applying this Filter will then only include these elements. Similarly test elements could be excluded by applying the

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appropriate Filter. This approach ensures any changes to these Filters are automatically reflected in the reporting objects without these needing to be updated.

Commercial in Confidence appropriate Filter. This approach ensures any changes to these Filters are automatically reflected

Figure 10: Filters

5.4.1 Hierarchies

Network Element Hierarchies provide visual representation of network element parent child relationships. These Hierarchies are based on the underlying data in the Database in much the same way as Dynamic Filters. Hierarchies are used extensively in OPTIMA whenever a User needs to select elements to interrogate, for example selecting elements in Inspector, or applying run time Filters in Reports.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 11: Hierarchies 5.4.2 Data Explorer The Data Explorer provides a user friendly

Figure 11: Hierarchies

  • 5.4.2 Data Explorer

The Data Explorer provides a user friendly overview of all data within the OPTIMA Database and allows both advanced and occasional users to quickly retrieve any data directly from the Database tables.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 12: Data Explorer The Data Explorer allows a User to browse all

Figure 12: Data Explorer

The Data Explorer allows a User to browse all data in the database using a simple tree structure. Data is organised into Raw Data, Summarised Data, KPIs, Configuration or User Defined categories. A search facility is provided to allow the user to quickly find a counter or KPI. The counter or KPI values can be displayed in a grid and exported to Excel if desired. Database objects that are not available to the users are excluded from the Data Explorer. Other objects can also be hidden from Users to simplify the Data Explorer layout.

The Data Explorer is the mechanism provided within OPTIMA for defining data queries for all reporting objects. This can be done via a user friendly drag and drop interface, selecting the counters and KPIs you wish to see and defining any aggregation, sorting, functions and links between data sets. Alternatively the User can enter SQL statements directly into the Data Explorer supported by the Oracle Explain Plan to ensure the query is efficient. Any required element and date filters are also defined here, along with any run time parameters.

The Data Explorer can also be run standalone for ad-hoc data queries, allowing Users to save and open data queries from their local machine.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 13: Parameter Editor A drag and drop Parameter Editor is also provided

Figure 13: Parameter Editor

A drag and drop Parameter Editor is also provided to simplify the addition of complex expressions within data queries and to simplify the definition of custom counters or KPIs. A similar Expression Editor is used for defining KPI equations. The Parameter Editor provides the following features:

Add counters from a context sensitive list by dragging onto the design area.

Select available functions from categorised lists.

Prompts for function arguments.

Simple entry of mathematical and date functions.

Ability for administrators to add custom functions.

It is possible to define run time parameters and filters in Data Explorer that will prompt the user for inputs and apply these conditions on the query as it is executed. These parameters and filters can be applied in the following ways:

Element filters can be configured on the elements in the query and applied at run

time using Hierarchies, Filters or manual input. Date filters can be configured on date fields and applied using user friendly date

and time input. Parameters Conditions can be configured on any combination of fields in the query using Parameter Editor. Inputs can then be entered at run time for these parameters.

Parameters are created in Data Explorer by first defining the field to apply them to using the Parameter Editor. Parameters enable the user to pinpoint the data they require rather than sift through a large set of data, without having to create multiple reports for each scenario.

At run time the user will be prompted for inputs for all the parameters defined, along with any date and element filters. The option to override the parameter and show all is also available.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 14: Run Time Parameters and Filters For Reports it is possible to

Figure 14: Run Time Parameters and Filters

For Reports it is possible to configure these parameters in the Report Scheduler for automatically generated reports. By configuring multiple schedules using different

parameters one Report can be used to provide different data sets depending on a user‟s

needs.

  • 5.4.3 User Management

OPTIMA provides User Management for the OPTIMA client within the tool. This includes creating and editing users and user groups, and managing the security model. When creating a user the following aspects can be defined:

 

User name and Authentication Type Oracle or Directory users may be created.

Oracle users will be created with the user name and password provided and will connect to the client via the Oracle user. For Directory users the domain user name must be given, no password is required as the user will be authenticated against the Active Directory. Users with Directory authentication can launch the OPTIMA client with Single Sign-On. Contact Details – A user‟s email address and contact number can be added . This

information can be used in Report Schedules and Alarms for sending emails and SMS directly from OPTIMA. Permission Details Select the OPTIMA Profile(s) applicable for the user, and any

additional special permissions specific to that user. Group Membership Allocate the Group(s) that a user is a member of. Object Security is controlled by Group membership.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 15: User Creation Other User Management functions include the ability to lock

Figure 15: User Creation

Other User Management functions include the ability to lock and unlock user accounts, change passwords, if a user has Oracle authentication, clone users, import and export user details, and perform bulk edits. The OPTIMA Security Model can be split into two distinct areas, functional security and object security.

The functional security controls what access a user has to specific areas of the client and the specific functionality, for example Report Explorer or User Management. The functional security model is defined using Role Based Access Control (RBAC). The following diagram shows the entities associated with RBAC and how they relate to one another.

There are five logical entities within the RBAC functionality:

  • 1. Permissions the individual actions a user can perform are controlled by the permission level selected for that functional area.

  • 2. Functional Areas cover the individual functions within OPTIMA, allowing permissions to be set for each one.

  • 3. Roles group together Permissions granted for Functional Areas.

  • 4. Profiles group together Roles. This allows an administrator to create a profile to support a particular job function.

  • 5. Users A user must have at least one profile assigned to them in order to access OPTIMA.

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 16: Role Based Access Control Object security is managed at the user

Figure 16: Role Based Access Control

Object security is managed at the user group level and controls what access a user has to specific objects, for example a Report or Database Table. All objects in the OPTIMA client can have the security defined by selecting the User Group(s) that can access the object, be it a reporting object, folder, KPI, or database table.

Functional Security will always take precedence over Object Security. For example if a user has no access to Report Explorer they cannot run a report, even if they are granted permission to the Report itself. Also if a user is granted administration permissions to a Functional Area then they will have access to all the objects within it, regardless of the Object Security defined for the objects.

  • 5.4.4 OPTIMA Administration

Administration functions are provided within OPTIMA to allow system administrators to configure the application to match the specific customer requirements. The following functions are supported:

Manage System configuration, including WEBWIZARD, Email settings for Report

exports and concurrent sessions per user. Specify Network Events and Holidays; these can be displayed alongside data in

Inspector. Configure links to external databases; these will be accessible through the Data

Explorer for the Users. Configure the retention periods for PM data.

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  • 6 Productivity Packs

In addition to the core functions provided within OPTIMA, and detailed above, it is possible to purchase additional productivity packs. These include:

AIRCOM OPTIMA Alarm Module

AIRCOM OPTIMA Sandbox

WEBWIZARD

The Alarm Module and Sandbox are detailed in the following sections. The WEBWIZARD productivity pack provides a web based reporting interface and GIS for the OPTIMA solution. For details of the WEBWIZARD productivity pack please refer to the WEBWIZARD technical overview.

  • 6.1 AIRCOM OPTIMA Alarm Module

AIRCOM OPTIMA supports the configuration of two types of Alarms; Performance Alarms and System Alarms. Performance Alarms can be based on any data loaded into the Database. These Alarms can be generated either by checking raw data during loading, known as Threshold Crossing Alerts (TCAs) or by querying the loaded data. This approach provides high levels of flexibility allowing Alarms to cover all technologies, vendors and

versions and report on simple raw indicators, single or multiple KPI’s, multiple thresholds and

perform complex analytics, including trending and profiling.

System Alarms are not restricted to the performance data being loaded, but can also be configured to report on system logs, Data Quality statistics or the Alarms themselves thus allowing any issues anywhere in the system to be quickly identified and resolved or areas of high Alarm activity to be escalated appropriately.

Once an Alarm is defined the method of notification can be configured. This can be via email or SMS. It is also possible to configure an Alarm to be forwarded to a fault management system or any IT system via various mechanisms such as file transfer, Database links or more commonly by forwarding SNMP traps from the OPTIMA SNMP Agent. Along with notifications, OPTIMA‟s reporting and analytical tools can be used to report directly on all Alarms raised including an Alarm‟s life-cycle and history.

  • 6.1.1 Performance Alarm Management

The OPTIMA Alarm module provides the ability to define thresholds and conditions on performance data triggering alarm events for internal reporting as well as feeding the data into a fault management system. This provides significant user benefits:

It allows an operator to be proactive rather than reactive to network issues. For

example an alarm can be generated based on a trend in average traffic before hard capacity thresholds are exceeded on a network element. By immediately alerting engineers to problems, performance alarms provide the

opportunity for faster response to potential service affecting performance issues, increasing network quality and customer satisfaction. It provides the ability to automatically monitor many performance KPIs for the whole

network and only respond to the critical issues. This can provide significant cost savings in optimisation and OSS engineers. It allows an operator to have common procedures for performance related and network related alerts, for example in out-of-hours support and trouble-ticketing, resulting in improved efficiency and cost reduction.

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It gives the operator the ability to monitor abnormal behaviour in the network. For

example alarms can be generated when the performance of a KPI on a cell changes significantly from the normal behaviour even though the performance may remain within operational thresholds. It provides the ability to correlate performance related alarms with network

generated alarms to aid in root cause analysis. For example if traffic increases on one cell this may be due to a failure in a neighbouring cell. Provides the operator with the potential to supplement the standard network alarms that a vendor supports and potentially overcomes any limitations in these.

Commercial in Confidence  It gives the operator the ability to monitor abnormal behaviour in the

Figure 17: OPTIMA Alarm Explorer

The OPTIMA Alarm Module has the following key features:

User friendly GUI to specify and manage Alarm definitions.

Complete flexibility to define Alarm thresholds including:

Thresholds on any counters, KPIs or a combination of counters.

Complex thresholds, for example a deviation from the average.

Different thresholds for different time periods, for example at weekends or

out-of-hours. Define different thresholds for set and clear, allowing the ability to provide hysteresis

on Alarm thresholds. Define a ripple count for each Alarm definition

Set thresholds for any granularity of source data with a user defined poling interval per Alarm definition.

 

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A fully scalable architecture with separation of the Alarm definition from the Alarm

processing. For the most demanding requirements there is also the ability to distribute the Alarm processing across multiple Servers. Full flexibility to define which network elements are monitored for each Alarm

definition. Full flexibility to define the Alarm description including user defined options for:

 

Alarm severity

Vendor description

Element type

Technology Type

Alarm description

The Alarm description can also include the element and any counter value or formula.

This allows dynamic messages to be created based on real counter values derived when the Alarm is triggered. This allows for very informative Alarm messages.

  • 6.1.2 OPTIMA Alarm Module Architecture

The implementation of the OPTIMA Alarm module is illustrated in the following figure.

Commercial in Confidence  A fully scalable architecture with separation of the Alarm definition from the

Figure 18: Optima Alarm Module

Alarm definitions are configured within the OPTIMA client and stored in the OPTIMA database. For Performance Alarms based on data queries and System Alarms, an Alarm process interrogates the Performance data and system logs at user defined intervals for all active Alarm definitions. TCAs are raised directly as data is loaded as part of the loading process itself.

All alarm set and clear events are stored in the OPTIMA Database and an Alarm Handling component will send out notifications via Email and SMS as configured. In addition the OPTIMA SNMP Agent will send notifications to a Fault Management System.

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  • 6.2 AIRCOM OPTIMA Sandbox

The Sandbox provides additional Data enrichment functionality that is critical to more mature vendors, and enables their engineers to perform additional analysis on production data without compromising the production environment. It also allows ad-hoc analysis and reporting on available and third party data, and prototyping of potential solutions before promotion to the production environment.

  • 6.2.1 Sandbox Functionality

The Sandbox feature provides a self-contained area within the OPTIMA system for users. Thus allowing an engineer to develop any solutions or perform some ad-hoc analysis within the production system, without the risk of having a detrimental effect on it. This removes the need to copy data to another location, reducing system load and data synchronisation issues.

The Sandbox functions would allow the engineer to create the necessary objects within their area, without having to go through the administrative processes around the production environment. They can then enrich the production data by pulling data from multiple sources, both within the database, from external databases through database links, and

directly importing data from a file. OPTIMA‟s reporting features can then be used on

Sandbox objects alongside existing data objects.

Once the engineer is happy that the solution designed is fit for purpose this can be packaged into a promotion request for an administrator to verify and to roll out to the production system for use by all users. If the user is performing some ad-hoc analysis which has been completed and the data is no longer useful this can then be discarded, or cleaned up automatically following expiry.

Commercial in Confidence 6.2 AIRCOM OPTIMA Sandbox The Sandbox provides additional Data enrichment functionality that is

Figure 19: OPTIMA Sandbox User Interface

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The concept diagram below details the Sandbox feature, the following flow describes how the feature may be used:

  • 1. The Sandbox administrator allocates a user a certain amount of storage within the Sandbox area, known as their quota, and defines the maximum length of time an object can remain in the Sandbox, known as the expiry.

  • 2. The user creates and edits objects within their Sandbox, pulling data from various sources.

  • 3. The user can use existing OPTIMA reporting tools on their Sandbox objects alongside existing production objects.

  • 4. The user can put forward objects for promotion; the administrator would then choose to roll them out into the production environment following current deployment processes, or to reject the request.

Commercial in Confidence The concept diagram below details the Sandbox feature, the following flow describes how

Figure 20: OPTIMA Sandbox Concept Diagram

  • 6.2.2 User Functionality

The following functionality is available through the OPTIMA client to users granted access to the Sandbox area.

 

Create tables based on csv files, and import data

Create tables, materialized views and views based on user defined data queries

Create tables through a drag and drop user interface, including indexes, constraints, column and table comments, and security

Add, edit and delete data in the user‟s Sandbox tables

 

Create private synonyms

Create private database links allowing data in third party systems to be accessed and

 

imported into the user‟s Sandbox as required

 
 

Package Sandbox objects into promotion requests for system administrators to assess and roll out in the production environment

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Commercial in Confidence Figure 21: OPTIMA Sandbox Table Creation and Data Import 6.2.3 External Sandbox User

Figure 21: OPTIMA Sandbox Table Creation and Data Import

6.2.3

External Sandbox User Access

Occasionally engineers prefer a different development environment to enable them to create their Sandbox objects. With the Sandbox it is possible to allow users additional access to their Sandbox area through third party tools, e.g. SQL Plus, SQL Developer or Toad. This access allows the following objects to be created, in addition to those detailed in the previous section.

Create functions, procedures, packages and triggers

Create data types and index types

Create scheduled jobs

Create sequences

6.2.4

Administrator Functionality

The following functionality is available through the OPTIMA client to users granted administrator access to the Sandbox area.

 

Monitor and manage all Sandbox objects created by Sandbox users

Manage storage allocation for all Sandbox users

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  Manage expiry options for Sandbox objects to ensure storage is released from old objects
Manage expiry options for Sandbox objects to ensure storage is released from old
objects and ensure objects in regular use are promoted to the production
environment and managed properly, i.e. monitored, maintained and backed up
Manage user promotion requests; rejecting, accepting and implementing.

Figure 22: Sandbox Administration; Storage Allocation and Object Expiry

  • 6.2.5 Sandbox Use Scenarios

The following scenarios provide examples of how the Sandbox feature could be used in conjunction with the existing functionality. This list is not exhaustive and users are fully expected to explore the Sandbox features to meet their particular needs.

Ad-hoc Data Source Integration

Often engineers are required to analyse the performance data alongside data from other systems. In this example an engineer would like to identify any correlation between worst offending cells and trouble tickets being raised.

The user would acquire the trouble ticket data either through a database link or by importing data from an external file. They would then perform analysis using existing reporting tools in

OPTIMA. Acquisition and analysis could be achieved quickly in the user‟s Sandbox, and the

data discarded if it is no longer useful, without having to put any requests in to an administrator and waiting for the work to be implemented.

Complex Data Analysis

Although OPTIMA provides a detailed reporting solution, engineers are often required to do some more complex data analysis in order to establish the full level of information required. In this example an engineer wants to produce a one page view of the RAN network broken down by region based on the cell co-ordinates. In order to do this they need to pull data

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from multiple interfaces, performing several aggregations using complex data queries. They plan to do this by using several staging tables, supporting functions and procedures, and

Oracle‟s Spatial feature.

The engineer can create these complex objects within their Sandbox area, tuning and updating as they go. By having the permissions needed, but in a self-contained area, they can have the control required to work efficiently without the impact on the production environment and its administration. This would also allow the production data to be used and ensure the objects are in the OPTIMA system, rather than local untracked versions running with ad-hoc data exports.

New Interface Assessment

An engineer may be required to assess a new interface, and decide whether it would be useful. In this example a user may have some sample files that they have parsed, and they

wish to load the data to verify the data and make their assessment.

The Sandbox would allow a user to create tables based on the files and load them, again without having to request this from an administrator. They can then perform their assessment, verifying that the data contained is as expected and useful. This data would be

within the OPTIMA system enabling them to use OPTIMA‟s reporting functionality.

If this interface is found to be useful, a promotion request could then be created to make this available to the full system. The administrator can then proceed with getting the interface implemented and obtaining the necessary licenses. If however it was found to not be useful it could be discarded quickly by the user.

Lookup Table for Filtering Elements

OPTIMA‟s reporting solution allows the use of parameters, element filters, and date and time

filters. These filters and parameters can be derived from the PM data, for example a parent

element. However in this example the engineer wishes to filter the data based on the cell planner responsible for the chosen cells.

This information may be available from third party systems or derived manually. The Sandbox feature would allow this data to be inputted and/or imported, and updated as required in the Sandbox area. This could then be directly used for filtering within the OPTIMA reporting tools.

The Sandbox objects could then be promoted into the full production system and configured to be updated regularly or manually depending on the nature of the required updates.

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