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An introduction to Monitoring Fundamentals strictly from the perspective of telecom network alarm management.

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Start Here: Network and Remote Telecom Site Survey Template

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Your first step to get your alarm monitoring upgrade rolling is a complete survey of your current network and remote sites. This survey will document your existing alarm monitoring situation, in order to build a road map for your upgrade.

In your site survey, you're looking for three things:

1. The equipment you need to monitor and the number of alarm points you'll need to monitor it.

2. The currently available data transport between your remote sites and your Network Operations Center (NOC) - the office where your alarm presentation master is located.

3. Any existing alarm collection and presentation equipment you already have. You may be able to save money by incorporating your existing alarm equipment into your new, upgraded alarm system.
(DPS Telecom offers a five-page Remote Site Survey template that will help you organize your network and remote site survey. See box: "DPS Telecom Remote Site Survey.")

Now let's look at what kind of network equipment you should be monitoring.

What Do You Need to Successfully Monitor your Remote Network?


It takes a lot of equipment working together correctly to keep your network running, and you need accurate information about every element involved. You want to make sure that every piece of equipment can be remotely monitored and maintained - at least to a degree.

That means monitoring not only your base telecom equipment, but also all the equipment that supports it and the environmental conditions that all your equipment requires to operate correctly, such as temperature and humidity. The things you need to monitor fall into four categories:

1. Telecom and transport equipment: switches, routers, SONET equipment, fiber optic equipment, microwave radios, etc.

Don't settle for monitoring your revenue-generating equipment with simple summary alarms that just tell you whether the equipment is up or down. Ideally, you want a comprehensive series of alarms that identify problems down to the card level.

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