We were recently involved in developing MTOSI interface to a leading Tier-1 equipment manufacturer. The work involved understanding the MTOSI standards APIs, the data model and implementing the components that interact with the EMS system and exposing a SOAP- based Web Services interface to the Northbound.
Multi-Technology Operation System Interface (MTOSI ) is a standard for implementing interfaces between OSSs. The MTOSI specifications are produced by the TMF forum. MTOSI facilitates application-to-application interworking, reduces time to deployment and lowers the cost of ownership of systems.
Typically Element Management systems manage equipment from a single vendor. However, service providers often manage a set of multi-vendor EMS systems and therefore require a standard-based interface that can integrate the various EMS systems into their NMS.
MTOSI provides a way of achieving a standard-based vendor-neutral access to the EMS systems. The illustration below outlines two different ways to handle MTOSI deployments.
- Standalone mode where the individual EMS has a MTOSI layer which can communicate standard-based MTOSI
- Distributed mode where an NMS system can communicate with different EMS systems each having a standard NBI component.
The diagram represents a middleware abstraction. MTOSI interfaces are sufficiently abstract to be middleware neutral. Having an MTOSI API present on top of each EMS and at the NMSlayer allows easy migration from a standalone setup to a fully distributed setup with the NMS managing multi-vendor EMS and at the same time exposing an MTOSI API from its Northbound interface.
The service provider had a broad set of requirements for implementing inventory management APIs adhering to MTOSI. The initial set of requirements were to retrieve inventory data from the network managed by multi-domain EMS systems. In this case we had to implement an MTOSI NBI that communicates with EMS systemsthat managed different types of switches and routers.
The standard has APIs to get inventory data from the following managed entities:
- Managed Element
- Termination Points
- Resource Inventory
The Interfaces for Equipment Inventory allows an OSS user to query for data pertaining to an equipment’s physical inventory. This includes the basic equipment data and the detailed inventory data until the last physically identifiable port. The same applies to the other managed entities.
The analysis involved identifying methods to interact with the underlying EMS systems. Since the different EMS systems that manage different types of devices used different northbound interfaces, we had to arrive at mediation components based on the following analysis points:
- Identifying a data model that is common to EMS systems
- An API layer for interacting with the EMSs
- Arriving at data transformation algorithms
- Analyzing each EMSs existing data models
- Protocol abstraction to the EMS systems
The implementation required us to choose an SOAP- based architecture where the MTOSI interfaces could be deployed on a distributed environment and can work independently without having to co-exist on the same host as the EMS system. This was achieved by deploying the MTOSI interfaces as SOAP implementations deployed in a Web services container.
There was a web service for each of the managed entity that required a retrieval. The operations would return the inventory data for each of the managed entity.
The MTOSI implementation gave the service provider an easy way to seamlessly integrate multi-technology EMS systems to give a common API to access them from their NMS systems. Velankani’s system engineering team helped the customer jump-start the implementation and accelerate the architecture, design and development activities which in turn helped the customer deploy the solution at service provider’s locations.
Author: Venugopal Gangadharan, Technical Manager, Velankani Communications Technologies