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Standards

Overview

  1. Issues
    Problems of standards.
  2. Priorities
    Priorities for the creation of ITU Information Models.
  3. Conformance
    Some statements on Compliance and Conformance.
  4. Organisations
    List of organisations relevant for network management standardization.
  5. Bibliography
    A list of applicable Network Management standards.

Issues

'The nice thing about standards, is that there are so many of them'.

Standards are very hard to read;  they are meant to be formally correct, abstract to allow various implementations, and open for future applications.  They are not meant to explain things.

Other problems with standards are:

The Standards Panacea:  'If we can get everything in standards the world would be a better place'.  The point is:  What do we expect from standards ?  There will always be mixed technology, which makes it practically impossible to cover with some simple standards.  There will always be multi-vendor which makes standards practical, but not the unambiguous solution.

ITU-T standards typically facilitate interoperability between equipment and management systems, but does not guarantee that.  What they do not address is:


Priorities

For any standardisation in TMN one needs Information Models.  However, it takes time and effort to define those models such that they are practically applicable, i.e. sufficiently general and acceptable to various network- and service types, technologies and implementations.

Obviously, no operator wants to invest in new solutions only because they are 'standard' when there are currently satisfactory (but non-standard) solutions in place;  the benefits are marginal (this may change in future due to interworking).

Recognising that the benefit of standardisations is largest when applied in new areas (no installed base, development needs info models anyway), and the need for Information Models is the greatest with new technologies, ITU has set priorities to:  [M.3180]

SDH transmission equipment
This is complete.
People may claim this has been completed for some time, but that is not correct:  the IM between NEL and EML is complete, but higher level models are hardly available.  And such models are required for correct interworking.
PDH transmission equipment
It is expected that SDH models can be extended for PDH.
Common Channel Signalling nr.7 management
This is a relative new signalling system which requires considerable management, in particular of the routing tables.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
As new switching technology, this was a typical candidate;  however as ATM has not become popular, TMN standardisation is irrelevant.

Conformance

As standards are complex and abstract, it is very difficult to tell whether an implementation actually complies to those standards.  Compliance to standard is a statement without evidence !

Therefore the ITU has defined Protocol Implementation Conformance Statements (PICS) and various Management Conformance Statement proformas (MCS:  Information Conformance Statement (ICS), Managed Object Conformance Statement (MOCS), Management Relationship Conformance Statement (MRCS) proformas).  These can be tested;  when successfully passed one has reached conformance.  See X.29* and X.712.

However, standards commonly allow variants and options.  Even when two systems have passed conformance testing for the same standards, they can be incompatible due to mismatches in variants and options.  So the NMForum has defined 'ensembles' (conformance suites):  a subset of standards with variants and options selected to guarantee inter-operability.


Organisations

There are not only many standards, for network management there are also various organisations issuing applicable standards.
In general these organisations co-operate (some standards are issued by two organisations and carry two numbers), but it doesn't clear the picture.

ANSI
American National Standards Institute inc.
Broadband Forum
Formerly known as ATM Forum (ATMF).
Specifically active on coordination for ATM standards.
Telcordia (Ericsson)
Formerly known as Bellcore:  US company (owned by the RBOCs) concerned with network interoperability and management, and testing of these aspects.
DAVIC
Digital Audio-Visual Interoperability Council.
Consists of delegates from over 100 corporations, in particular concerned with Full Service Networks (FSN).
ECMA
European Computer Manufacturers Association.
ETSI
European Telecommunications Standards Institute.
Standards organisation of EC.
ISO
International Standards Organisation.
Well-known for their Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) standards;  their concepts for managing open systems (data networks) are reused in TMN.  Many NM applicable standards are developed and issued in co-operation.
EURESCOM
Co-operation in research by European telecom carriers.
IAB
Internet Architecture Board (originally: ~ Activities ~).
Consisting of:
IRTF
Internet Reseach Task Force
consisting of many Research Groups, headed by the
IRSG
Internet Research Steering Group
and
IETF
Internet Engineering Task Force
consisting of many areas with various Working Groups, headed by the
IESG
Internet Engineering Steering Group
The resulting 'Request For Comment' will finally become an Internet standard (still called RFC).
IEC
International Electrotechnical Commission.
IEEE
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Standardization on LANs, buses, etc. and their protocols.
ITU-T
International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunications.
Permanent organ of ITU responsible for studying technical, operating and tariff questions and issuing Recommendations on them with a view to standardizing telecommunications on a worldwide basis.
Organisation consists of administrations (PTTs) and suppliers.  For our purposes ITU-T, formerly known as CCITT (Commité Consultatif International de Télégraphique et Téléphonique) is the most important.  Some standards (in particular in the X.7xx-series) are prepared in collaboration with ISO and IEC.
MSAF
Multimedia Service Affiliate Forum
A non-profit organization, brings together network service providers, technology providers and others who share the vision of a communications world with secure, reliable, and easy-to-use services on interoperable network based platforms.
{More concerned with services than telecom.}
TINA-c
Telecommunications Information Network Architecture (consortium).
Definition of architecture for (broadband) IN (using detailed interfaces: APIs).
TMF
TeleManagement Forum, formerly known as Network Management Forum (NMF) .
Open non-profit cooperation for standardization.  Mission statement:  Accelerate availability of interoperable management products and services.  Conforms to (ITU) TMN and IT-standards (defines reduced set to allow interoperability).  Consists of the following major groups:
OMNIPoint
Open Management Interoperability Point.
NMF is not a standards organisation;  by defining subset of standards ('ensembles' for a particular subject) they try to ease implementation and ensure inter-operability.
SMART
Service Management, Automation and Re-engineering Team.
Defines network management business processes and their interworking as a management framework.  Purposes:  re-engineering, and tooling by network management.  Priority determined by 'coompetive' members.
SPIRIT
Service Providers' Integrated Requirements for Information Technology.
Defines IT equipment and system management operations (required for TMN self-management).

Bibliography

The list below contains the most important standards concerning TMN.  The M-series concerns management, the X-series concerns data communication (and their management, paving the way for the M-series).  All documents are ITU (CCITT) recommendations unless explicitly stated otherwise.  The dates supplied are for reference only;  they indicate which version was available at the time.

G.784
Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) management.
Addresses management aspects of the SDH, including the control and monitoring functions relevant to SDH network elements (NE).  The SDH management subnetwork (SMS) architecture, SDH embedded control channel (ECC) functions, and SDH ECC protocols are specified.  Detailed message sets are for further study.  The management of SDH equipment should be seen as a subset of the telecommunications management network described in Rec. M.3010, and reference is made to Rec. G.773 for the specification of protocol suits to be used at external (Q) management interfaces.
M.20
Maintenance philosophy for telecommunications networks. (92/10)
M.60
Maintenance terminology and definitions. (93)
M.3x0
Numbering of (trunk groups/lines/...). (88)
M.3010
Principles for a Telecommunications Management Network. (92/10)
The root document for TMN concepts !  Many concepts are borrowed from OSI management [X.7xx].
M.3020
TMN interface specification methodology. (92/10)
M.3100
Generic network Information Model. (92/10)
Contains the GDMO definition of a generic network.  On its own, this model is not useful;  one should use a (network specific) derived class (as defined in other recommendations).
M.3180
Catalogue of TMN management information. (92/10)
Sounds interesting, but isn't.
M.3200
TMN management service: overview. (92/10)
M.3205
B-ISDN management.
M.3300
TMN management facilities presented at the F-interface. (92/10)
M.3400
TMN Management Functions. (92/10)
Defines the Management Functional Areas FCAPS.
M.360x
Principles for the management of ISDNs... (92/10)
Q.811
Lower layer protocol profiles for the Q3 interface. (93)
Q.812
Upper layer protocol profiles for the Q3 interface. (93)
Q.821
Alarm Surveillance.
Q.822
Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Description for the Q3 Interface Performance Management.
Provides a stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3 description for the Q3 interface in a telecommunication management network.  Its focus is the parameter collection and storage and thresholding aspects of performance management.  Included in this description are specifications of the functions management information services, functional units and protocols related to performance management.  Significant reuse of OSI system management specifications in the ITU-T X.700-series of Recommendations is described.
Q.823
Switched Traffic Management.
Q.824
Switching Service Provisioning.
X.200
Reference Model of OSI for CCITT Applications (88)
X.208
Specification of Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) (88)
X.209
Specification of Basic Encoding Rules (BER) for Abstract Syntax Notation One. (88)
X.220
Use of X.200-Series protocols in CCITT Applications (93)
X.290
OSI conformance testing methodology and framework for protocol.
Recommendations for CCITT applications - General concepts (92/1)
X.291
OSI conformance testing methodology and framework for protocol.
Recommendations for CCITT applications - Abstract test suite specification (92/1)
X.292
OSI conformance testing methodology and framework for protocol.
Recommendations for CCITT applications - The tree and tabular combined notation (TTCN) (92/9)
X.293
OSI conformance testing methodology and framework for protocol.
Recommendations for CCITT applications - Test realization (92/1)
X.294
OSI conformance testing methodology and framework for protocol.
Recommendations for CCITT applications - Requirements on test laboratories and clients for the conformance assessment process (92/1)
X.700
IT-OSI - Management framework for CCITT applications. (92/9)
Defines MIB and FCAPS (for OSI). (ISO/IEC 7498-4)
X.701
IT-OSI - Systems management overview. (92)
Defines the Manager/Agent concepts. (ISO/IEC 10040)
X.710
Common Management Information Service (CMIS) definition. (91/3)
(ISO/IEC 9595)
X.711
Common Management Information Protocol (CMIP) specification. (91/3)
(ISO/IEC 9596-1)
X.712
IT-OSI - CMIP Protocol implementation conformance statement (PICS) proforma.
(92/9) (ISO/IEC 9596-2)
X.720
IT-OSI-SMI - Structure of Management Information (SMI): Management Information Model (IM). (92/1)
(ISO/IEC 10165-1)
X.721
IT-OSI-SMI - Definition of management information. (92/2)
(ISO/IEC 10165-2)
X.722
IT-OSI-SMI - Guidelines for the definition of Managed Objects. (92/1)
(ISO/IEC 10165-4)
X.723
IT-OSI - Generic management information.
Documents management information that is applicable to more than one open system resource by documenting those common structures as generic definitions.  These generic definitions may be used in the specification of managed objects for technology specific use such as OSI layers.  In general, use for OSI layer specific use will require specialization.
X.724
IT-OSI - Requirements and guidelines for implementation Conformance Statement proformas associated with management information.
Provides guidance for the production of Conformance statements for management information including managed objects.  Proformas to document these statements are included.
X.725
IT-OSI - Structure of management information: General Relationship Model
X.730
IT-OSI-SMF: Object management function. (92/1)
(ISO/IEC 10164-1) See chapter SMF 'System Management Functions'.
X.731
IT-OSI-SMF: State management function. (92/1) (ISO/IEC 10164-2)
X.732
IT-OSI-SMF: Attributes for representing relationships. (92/1) (ISO/IEC 10164-3)
X.733
IT-OSI-SMF: Alarm reporting function. (92/2) (ISO/IEC 10164-4)
X.734
IT-OSI-SMF: Event report management function. (92/9)
(ISO/IEC 10164-5) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.735
IT-OSI-SMF: Log control function. (92/9)
(ISO/IEC 10164-6) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.736
IT-OSI-SMF: Security alarm reporting function. (92/1)
(ISO/IEC 10164-7) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.737
IT-OSI-SMF: Confidence and Diagnostic Test Classes Function.
(ISO/IEC 10164-edt) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.738
IT-OSI-SMF: Measurements Summarization Function.
(ISO/IEC 10164-13) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
Specifies methods to observe and report on attribute values for performance related purposes.  Attributes may be of the same or different types.  Results of observations may be provided through notifications as they are collected or 'buffered' and provided en bloc.
X.739
IT-OSI-SMF: Metric objects and attributes.
(ISO/IEC 10164-11) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
Specifies performance tools to observe characteristics of resources either directly within managed objects or through the use of metric objects.  The tools also include provision of statistics, such as mean and percentile calculations, and thresholds to generate notifications.
X.740
IT-OSI-SMF: Security audit trail function. (92/9)
(ISO/IEC 10164-8) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.741
IT-OSI-SMF: Objects and Attributes for Access Control.
(ISO/IEC 10164-9) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.742
IT-OSI-SMF: Accounting metering function.
(ISO/IEC 10164-10) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
Specifies models, protocols and managed objects for accounting meter function.
X.745
IT-OSI-SMF: Test management function.
(ISO/IEC 10164-12) See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
Specifies a model and managed objects for the invocation of tests on remote resources.  Tests may be controlled and subject to monitoring, suspension and resumption during application or uncontrolled and where results are returned until complete.
X.746
IT-OSI-SMF: Scheduling function. (95/4) (ISO/IEC 10164-15)
Specifies a model and management information for the creation and administration by a remote manager of activity schedules for management activity;  this includes such things as schedules for performance data collection and scheduled, or routine test.  This Specification is of generic application and can be used by many different types of application.  It is expected to be adopted for TMN use.
X.749
IT-OSI-SMF: Software management function.
See chapter 'System Management Functions'.
X.790
IT-OSI-SMF: Trouble Management Function. (April 1995) (ISO/IEC 10164-?)
Z.334
Subscriber administration. (88)
Z.335
Routing administration. (88)
Z.336
Traffic measurement administration. (88)
Z.337
Network management administration. (88)
CA
Functional specification of Customer Administration (CA) on the Operations System/Network Element (OS/NE) interface.
(ETSI 300 291)
NA4
Model for cross-connect network. (ETSI)
NA5
Model for cross-connect (node). (ETSI)

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