Case Study SGRwin at E.ON

30 Sep 2019

We are delighted to present you an article that talks about SGRwin and our network migration services.

It is our great honour become a reference to the energy industry as well as realize that we really help to achieve the highest level of efficiency in the network management.

Here the full translation of the article, if your language is German scroll down and you will see an original version of the article.

 New NMS for PDH technology

For the first time End-to-End management

Utilities estimate the PDH transmission equipment of Nokia manufacturer for many years as a solid and reliable. The utilities want the existing PDH-installations continue so. However, network management users stuck in a dead end because, in the meantime, individual hardware components are discontinued. The System Engineering at E.ON Netz GmbH has been looking for a suitable alternative, and was surprised at the possibilities found.

E.ON Netz operates along the 22,000 kilometers of 110,000-volt line an extensive network of PDH network with approximately 5,900 network elements.

After the discontinuation of the Mediation Device NMS/10 MF for the Nokia network management technology was the PDH with us first for discussion. For some services, such as the protection of signal transmission, this technique is still essential, ” says Stefan Maier, Head of Network Management at E.ON Netz GmbH

Services such as the protection signal transmission must be absolutely reliable and will be transmitted securely in a defined short period. For these applications included Stefan Maier also another 10 years with the operation of PDH components. Accordingly, they searched for a replacement for the network management Nokia NMS/ 10MF. The replacement of obsolete hardware NMS was discarded as a solution, because the NMS/10-MF-System newer Windows operating systems are no longer supported.

A new network management for the PDH technology

As an increasing challenge for the E.ON Netz GmbH, achieving the most current documentation of the switched lines of communication with more frequent changes in network connection. Since the previous PDH system knew no end-to-end management and has no interface for ConnectMaster documentation system, the effort for the switching of connections and for the documentation increased considerably. While the SDH system provides automatically the necessary documentation information, this must be largely done manually for the level below 2 Mbit/s.

Together with 3M Services, the provider of integration and support of the PDH technique, the network management system SGRwin by the Spanish manufacturer CIC was examined as a possible alternative. The solution is successful in Spanish utilities for alarm management, the Nokia PDH technology has long been in use. Further examination of the solution revealed surprising new ways, because the manufacturer was found together with 3M flexible services to adapt the solution to the needs of utility companies. Even the basic version of SGRwin has previously unknown features for the PDH technologies:

  • Higher design freedom at the graphical network representation.
  • Element management, real-time alarm detection and alarm management.
  • Detailed fault isolation down to the individual functional blocks of network components.
  • Macro capability to control and monitor a network
  • End-to-end management: Automatic generation of a point-to-point connection on a timeslot level (64 kbit / s) with diagnostic capabilities
  • Northbound interfaces for connection to other alarm systems and document management

In addition, the SNMP network management SGRwin also a platform for easy integration of many SNMP-based device technologies. Together with the functionality for the PDH technology can SGRwin be considered as an umbrella network management platform.

Regarded as the most important requirements for a satisfactory solution to network management are three main features: The replacement of the obsolete NMS/10-MF devices with connection to an existing parent alarm management; an interface to the documentation system, and finally the introduction of a single enterprise-wide end-to-end management.

The requirements for a new PDH NMS have been met

“We were initially quite skeptical about what we can expect from the new solution. SGRwin had a Spanish language user interface and had to be adapted for us in the language, nomenclature, and many details. After all, we had the experience that a big manufacturer even after 20 years still could not produce end-to-end management. But in the end it all works surprisingly well and the features have been implemented to our great satisfaction “says the expert head of E.ON ‘s network management

Replacement of NMS/10-MF-Systems: The old NMS/10-MF-Hardware was superseded and replaced by new DCN adapter as concentrators for PDH bus management. The connection to the overall alarm management system (IBM Tivoli Netcool) enables the integration of all alarms to a central alarm management. The SNMP interface has been adjusted. At the request of E.ON Netz GmbH also a new feature was designed to resynchronize the alarms.

Interface to the system documentation: This project has implemented an interface to the central documentation management “Connect Master”. In ConnectMaster all documentation of E.ON communications network is held. With the newly created interface, the information about network elements, such as serial numbers or composition are automatically read from the devices. This information will now be handed over together with the connection data of all 64 Kbps-Trails to the central documentation management. Stefan Maier estimates the resulting savings in labor costs of documentation is around 30 minutes for each trail-connection.

End-to-end management: Another great advantage of efficiency has brought by means of the introduction of enterprise-wide unified end-to-end management. While in the past the operator used a local console to configure individual nodes and each cross-connections at Time Slot level, now a new route can be operated intuitively by selecting the endpoints. Thanks to the end-to-end management is evident which free resources are available on the net and create a simple type of network adjustment.

Improved service quality and expandability: For the connection-related alarms working all employees have now a full access to information. If there is a fault then a view of the channel assignment shows immediately clear which services are affected. Futhermore, the full integration of future PDH network elements is now also assured.

Some barriers to commissioning

“With a project of this magnitude, there are still some challenges to overcome. Quite contrary to our expectation, the major themes like the interface to the system documentation, or the end-to-end management ran surprisingly smooth, “ says the Head of Network Management.

However, there were rather unexpected problems, technical details, such as the cleanup incorrect module firmware, password protection for individual network elements or timeout problems with polling from network elements. This raises Stefan Maier out the use of the project partner: “3M Services has shown a power  and reliable service and they provided a model for communication, scheduling and project management. 3M Services solved the time-out problems on the ground and has improved and adjusted the service buses so that we recover the expected good response times. ”

From the perspective of E.ON Netz GmbH, it was very helpful that the basic database of the PDH network at the start of the SGRwin network management did not need to enter completely new, but could be taken from the existing database of the documentation management “Connect Master”.

As a major barrier to the graphical representation of the network topology presented with more than 5,000 network elements on the same screen window. The display of so many elements would have lasted up to 15 minutes. As an alternative solution was developed by the CIC programmers and 3M Services a new view where irrelevant nodes and multiplexers have been filtered. The significantly lower number of viewed elements are built now in a few seconds.

Conclusion: recomended solution

By combining the powerful network management system solution SGRwin, the unconventional support from the manufacturer CIC and the good support from 3M Services the project have been completed very successfully, Stefan Maier:

“It was one of the smoothest projects that we ever had before, and by the NMS better support, we can now save time, effort and cost”.

This allows the network management center at the site of Dachau simulate realistically more than 500 planned shutdowns of communication paths per year in the central documentation system. The system now provides the information at any time, which services are affected by the shutdowns. Previously this process was very complicated and the data had to be laboriously collected by e-mail. Now all information is currently available in the documentation system.

Thanks to the flexible expandability of the NMS solution already more additional projects are so far planned: the manual backup of network elements is integrated in the surface of the NMS, the restoring can be done by pressing a button. In addition, the search for network elements and the customer information display can be extended. Further plans to E.ON Netz GmbH,together with 3M Services include the involvement of other systems, such as the Actelis and ECI manufacturer in SGRwin network management system.

*Figures and screen captures

Photos NMS control center

“The introduction of a single enterprise-wide end-to-end management for the PDH network has brought us a big advantage in efficiency. A new service at time slot level can now be operated intuitively by selecting the endpoints,” appoints Stefan Maier, E.ON network control manager at E.ON Netz GmbH, as one of the great advantages.

Photo Stefan Maier (E.ON Netz GmbH), Jörg Bornschier (3M Services)

“With the new NMS for the PDH technology we were able to achieve three important goals: the replacement of the obsolete NMS/10-MF devices with a connection to an existing parent alarm management, an interface to the system documentation, and finally the introduction of a single enterprise-wide end -to-end management”, says Stefan Maier, E.ON network control manager at E.ON Netz GmbH

SGRwin Screenshot

The SGRwin NMS provides for the first time an end-to-end management ready for the PDH network by creating a new connection can be switched by selecting the end points at the timeslot level (64 kbit/s)

Anwenderbericht_Ende-zu-Ende-Management_original_PDF 7105_ew17-18_2012.pdf

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