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Architecture and Computer-based Implementation for Connecting an External Service Management System to an Internal Service Management System via a CORBA Gateway

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021476D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

The management of telecommunication systems based on TDM (Time Division Multiplexing), IP (Internet Protocol), or optical protocols, or a mixture of those technologies, is typically structured hierarchically. Above the Element Management and the Domain Management Layer, the Service Management Layer is situated. On top of the hierarchy is the Business Management Layer. Generally speaking, the different management layers are separated components, which can be located on different physical machines and may be based on different technologies. This requires interfaces between the different layers. Whereas the interfaces between the Element Management and the Domain Management Layer are usually technology-specific, the interfaces between the Domain Management and the Service Management Layer and especially between the Service Management and the Business Management Layer are usually customized with respect to business process aspects. Considering the common case that the lower three layers of the management pyramid are provided by the vendor of the network elements (NEs), it would be advantageous to have standardized, flexible, and easy-to-handle interfaces in the Service Management Layer, which can be used and implemented by some external OSS (Operations Support System) or BSS (Business Support System).

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Architecture and Computer-based Implementation for Connecting an External Service Management System to an Internal Service Management System via a CORBA Gateway

Idea: Dr. Bernd Plagemann, DE-Munich; Guruprasad Padavu, IN-Bangalore

The management of telecommunication systems based on TDM (Time Division Multiplexing), IP (Internet Protocol), or optical protocols, or a mixture of those technologies, is typically structured hierarchically. Above the Element Management and the Domain Management Layer, the Service Management Layer is situated. On top of the hierarchy is the Business Management Layer. Generally speaking, the different management layers are separated components, which can be located on different physical machines and may be based on different technologies. This requires interfaces between the different layers. Whereas the interfaces between the Element Management and the Domain Management Layer are usually technology-specific, the interfaces between the Domain Management and the Service Management Layer and especially between the Service Management and the Business Management Layer are usually customized with respect to business process aspects. Considering the common case that the lower three layers of the management pyramid are provided by the vendor of the network elements (NEs), it would be advantageous to have standardized, flexible, and easy-to-handle interfaces in the Service Management Layer, which can be used and implemented by some external OSS (Operations Support System) or BSS (Business Support System).

Mainly two approaches have been followed so far in order to provide open northbound interfaces to OSS/BSS systems. One way is to implement northbound CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) Interfaces, but this method has some disadvantages, such as the high implementation and maintenance effort and the low flexibility of such an approach. Another method includes the usage of bridge tools. By using tools for converting interface methods from one technology to another, the implementation of new mapping algorithms can be avoided. It is possible to reuse already existing internal interfaces which may be technology-specific (e.g. based on DCOM, Distributed Component Object Model) and map them to a standardized interface definition like CORBA. Unfortunately, due to the generic nature of such tools, the performance is usually not very good and the resulting CORBA Interface, which is described by a CORBA IDL (Interface Definition Language), may not be adherent to the standards and contain a lot of overhead. One additional disadvantage is that the interface needs to re-compile as soon as any of the content changes.

The above-mentioned disadvantages can be avoided by implementing a thin layered so-called CORBA Gateway. In the specific example given (Figure 1,2), the internally used interface technology is DCOM. However, the CORBA Gateway is not restricted to one underlying technology. The purpose of the CORB...