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Operations support systems (also called operational support systems or OSS) are computer systems used by telecommunications service providers. The term OSS most frequently describes "network systems" dealing with the telecom network itself, supporting processes such as maintaining network inventory, provisioning services, configuring network components, and managing faults. The complementary term business support systems or BSS is a newer term and typically refers to “business systems” dealing with customers, supporting processes such as taking orders, processing bills, and collecting payments. The two systems together are often abbreviated OSS/BSS, BSS/OSS or simply B/OSS.
Different subdivisions of the BSS/OSS systems are made, depending on whether they follow the TM Forum's diagrams and terminology, industry research institutions or BSS/OSS vendors own view. Nevertheless in general, an OSS covers at least the application areas:
A network management system (NMS) is a combination of hardware and software used to monitor and administer a computer network or networks.
Individual network elements (NEs) in a network are managed by an element management system.
An NMS manages the network elements, also called managed devices. Device management includes faults, configuration, accounting, performance, and security (FCAPS) management. Management tasks include discovering network inventory, monitoring device health and status, providing alerts to conditions that impact system performance, and identification of problems, their source(s) and possible solutions.
An NMS employs various protocols to accomplish these tasks. For example, SNMP protocol can be used to gather the information from devices in the network hierarchy.
The NMS collects device statistics and may maintain an archive of previous network statistics including problems and solutions that were successful in the past. If faults recur, the NMS can search the archive for the possible solutions.
Network management refers to the activities, methods, procedures, and tools that pertain to the operation, administration, maintenance, and provisioning of networked systems.
A common way of characterizing network management functions is FCAPS—Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security.
Functions that are performed as part of network management accordingly include controlling, planning, allocating, deploying, coordinating, and monitoring the resources of a network, network planning, frequency allocation, predetermined traffic routing to support load balancing, cryptographic key distribution authorization, configuration management, fault management, security management, performance management, bandwidth management, Route analytics and accounting management.
Data for network management is collected through several mechanisms, including agents installed on infrastructure, synthetic monitoring that simulates transactions, logs of activity, sniffers and real user monitoring. In the past network management mainly consisted of monitoring whether devices were up or down; today performance management has become a crucial part of the IT team's role which brings about a host of challenges—especially for global organizations.
It includes the following topics -