Vendor lock is a common pitfall in telecom world. Vendors are happy to supply not only equipment and services, but numerous software for configuration and monitoring. Though various EMS and NMS may be excellent by they own, they can pose very serious problem - network management infrastructure and maintenance processes fragmentation.
Suppose vendor Hu provides excellent NMS, dealing its best with their equipment, while vendor Ci provides various EMSes with descent Motif interface for their equipment. We must admit both systems are good, but following aspects will arise quickly:
- Additional license penalty is common. Usually you must pay not only for equipment itself, but for adding its equipment to NMS too.
- Processes fragmentation. All jobs with Hu must be performed via their NMS, all jobs with Ci must be performed via their EMSes. So we must fragment our staff to Hu and Ci experts, or demand the expertise not only in equipment of both vendors, but in various software too
- User interfaces are inconsistent: web in one case, java ui in another, motif on Solaris in third
- Alarms space split. Hu alarms in first system, while Ci alarms in another. No correlation between systems, no proper root-cause analysis. Staff must analyze and correlate alarms between all systems.
- Integration is technically possible, but practically costs alot. Many vendors tend to license NBI interfaces separately. Costs tends to rise quickly with increasing amount of system. And integration itself imposes additional maintenance costs.
NOC, as a vendor-independent project opens another way. Our virtues are:
- NOC has strict sepatation between device-dependent and device-independent parts with strict contract between them. Only hardware integration layer is device-dependent, while all core services is device-independent
- All vendors are equal and must be aligned to common denominator
- NOC tells with equipment using native language. No various protocol gates like SNMP-to-CLI. If equipment provides MML, NOC will speak this dialect of MML
- NOC provides simple and clean API for hardware integration
- As open-source project NOC leverages community cooperation. DevTeam offers cooperation to early adopters of new platforms and helps to integrate then with NOC
To this time NOC supports over 80 vendors and this list is growing quickly