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Rapid growth, new customers and leveraging new use from existing network equipment are all strengths - but they also add up to a tremendous network management challenge. Besides the growing number of network sites to manage, EastLink operates a diverse mix of equipment, each of which has its own monitoring and management interface.
"We have an array of different diagnostics and notifications from our Operational Support Systems (OSS)," said Bower."While we know there are a number of things happening on our network, visually it was often difficult to locate the exact problem.
Despite all those multiple systems, EastLink still needed an environmental monitoring system and that is why it turned to DPS Telecom. "Until we starting using the NetGuardian, we didn't have consistent environmental telemetry at our head-end sites. We have approximately 15 main sites and 25 to 30 smaller sites, and we weren't always aware of some small and larger issues like: Is the door open? Is it too hot? Is there power?" Bower said.
Getting that environmental information is crucial because EastLink's remote sites are scattered throughout the Maritimes. Some of the sites are
located six hours away from EastLink's Halifax headquarters, posing significant challenges if or when a problem arises.
That is why tackling the monitoring challenge with the NetGuardian and T/Mon NOC was so important. EastLink first came to DPS Telecom to add environmental monitoring capability and from that point started installing NetGuardian 832A remote telemetry units at their headend sites to monitor power supplies, temperature and door alarms. Working with the NetGuardian led EastLink to see the advantages of the T/Mon NOC Remote Alarm Monitoring System.
"At first we were using an SNMP manager to pick up SNMP traps from the NetGuardians," said Bower."SNMP managers have an extensive programming background and in order to understand the information, you also needed to have this background. We needed a system that could be understood by someone with a basic telephony background."
Bower then compared the awkwardness of the SNMP manager's presentation with the ease-of-use and presentation capabilities of T/Mon NOC.
"Every year I've been to SUPERCOMM, a major telecommunication conference, I've always stopped by the DPS booth and looked at T/Mon. I've seen demos and Rick Dodd, DPS Director of Sales, demonstrated a live T/Mon demo over the Web. We were impressed with T/Mon - someone with a basic telecommunications background could use the technology," Bower said.