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An introduction to Monitoring Fundamentals strictly from the perspective of telecom network alarm management.
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Northwest Communication Cooperative (NCC), based in Ray, ND, is a community-based telephone co-op serving a large rural area in northwest North Dakota. NCC offers advanced communications services including cable TV, wireless Internet, modern telephone services, wireless TV (MMDS), and DSL Internet. NCC was faced with the challenge of monitoring all of their equipment. To help them meet this challenge, NCC purchased DPS Telecom T/Mon Remote Alarm Monitoring System equipment.
NCC is committed to providing its customers with the same information access they would be able to receive in metropolitan areas. NCC continues to rapidly expand its services and the improved network alarm monitoring provided by the T/Mon Remote Alarm Monitoring System has resulted in faster troubleshooting, reduced windshield time, and improved uptime and customer service.
In two years, NCC has moved from phone-based monitoring to the T/Mon Remote Alarm Monitoring System. NCC monitors their Siemens EWSD switch, SONET equipment, DACS, DSL equipment, and all of the environmentals at their offices, such as temperature and battery. NCC ties most anything that has a discrete or an analog alarm into the T/Mon.
Instead of distributing keys to contractors, which can create a security issue if the keys are not returned, NCC issues contractors a seven-digit code which is programmed to expire on a designated date.
With the T/Mon and NetGuardians, all monitoring and alarms come into one station which makes troubleshooting a lot easier.
With T/Mon, you get a detailed alarm. It allows you to tell exactly what the situation at the site is, so you know what equipment has the problem and what is required for repairs.
NCC utilizes T/Mon text message capabilities to alarm their tower lights. If the lights go down, a message pops right up on the screen stating: "Call the FAA at this number and here are the coordinates." NCC can then call the FAA to notify them the tower lights are out and then repairs can be made.
By using NCC's LAN over T1's to all the NetGuardians, NCC can telnet through the NetGuardian's proxy server port right into equipment at the remote sites. NCC uses this function to get visibility of their AFC fiber equipment.
Detailed descriptions and T/Mon's record keeping of what's going on at the site inform NCC long before something goes into a critical alarm. Accordingly, NCC has the ability to monitor and evaluate the situation to better determine when and if personnel need to be called out.
NCC received some new ideas on how to improve their network monitoring when Kelly Heier, Network Specialist, attended the October 2004 DPS Telecom Factory Training Event.
Heier said that the DPS training class was extremely helpful. He was impressed that the DPS factory people sat down with them at lunch and supper. They were interested in opinions on how to make the product better.
If anyone is not sure what alarm monitoring system to buy, they should take a trip to DPS, go through the training, and make their own choice but they would have a difficult time finding a better company.
T/Mon NOC will give you better visibility and control over your entire network. Monitor over 20 protocols on one screen. T/Mon's standard pager and email alerts, easy-to-use Web interface, nuisance alarm filtering and multiple remote access options will make your alarm data more useful - reducing both windshield time and the threat of service outages.