Armada : Multi-Site Management Software

 

Armada is a network application based on the standard ES 202336. This means that the information of any equipment compliant with the standard will come automatically at the right place and can be used and consolidated without any expensive programming. A particular benefit of the application is the extreme flexibility and ease to create different clusters of views in the same environment. For example one can create clusters of sites by geographical areas, type of equipment, operator, alarm severity…

Main functions

Armada offers the following main functions:

  • Centralized and sophisticated alarms management
    Alarms and events are sent instantly by sites (compas) to Armada that centralizes and stores them in its database. Alarm processing can then be extremely sophisticated: from the simple generation of summary reports to clever alarm forwarding. The alarms can be forwarded to a NOC (e.g., IBM Tivoli), by email or SMS. Alarm forwarding can be easily customized :
    • send emails to a specific technicians team only if alarm occurs during a certain time slot (evenings or weekends) and region
    • send sms for some type of alarms
    • ...
  • Cutting edge data reporting : Armada saves historical data from multiple devices, sensors... over a long period. The frequency and sampling precision are configurable by the user. The user can retrieve data by using predefined reports or create himself own reports by using the integrated graphics (wizard)... All saved data can also be exported in Excel
  • Network Manager:
    • Massive change:  Armada allows to easily updating remotely a part or the whole network of compas (software/ firmware update, configuration change).
    • Chirurgical change : Armada allows you to connect remotely to the compas interfaces, address potential problems on a specific compas or specific equipment.
  • Arm@da allows backup and restoring remotely the configuration of each compas.
  • Document management. Armada allows to upload various kinds of documents (Word, PDF ...) and to associate them with a site or a cluster.
  • Fine User Management: Ability to define roles per user ( admin, account manager, region manager, operator, …)
  • Customizable script : To meet specific demands, we offer Armada customers the ability to create and run custom scripts. These custom scripts are a series of commands written in a programming language (PowerShell) that allow interaction with the Arm@da database (detection of new events ...) and perform custom actions (send emails, sms, tweets ...).

Background

With the current exponential growth of active nodes in wireless or wireline networks, major attention should be paid to the adverse consequences this has on operating expenses. Due to the nature of the sites (outdoor and public), cabinet environment and energy management become critical variables requiring control. A good management tool offers opportunities to both raise the reliability of the service (hence customer satisfaction) and to reduce the operational costs. There are numerous opportunities for benefitting from these advances but to do so it is necessary for the right information to be available to the operator in an easily manageable format. Two distinct types of information are available from such management platforms: numerical information (such as temperature and power consumption measures, RFID card details etc.) and change of status reports that characterise alarm monitoring functions. Site monitoring platforms required for remote equipment cabinets in active networks need the capacity to support both these information groups and to manage each item of data in an appropriate manner.

Once this has been recognised it is possible to understand the challenge of supervising tens of thousands of nodes with multiple data collection for each node combined with instantaneous reporting of change of status information.

The management of change of status information needs to be conducted in a highly flexible manner to ensure that each report is identified and prioritised according to the nature of the alarm. This will ensure that a correct and timely response is made to each alarm condition and costs are minimised through the despatch of the appropriate personnel equipped with the correct spare parts to rectify the fault in a single site visit.

As the network grows, among many other possibilities data collection will enable operators to save energy, manage assets, plan and manage maintenance and intervention, control access and develop site sharing activities.

Managing the network

Care should be taken to ensure that relevant information is made available to support and encourage those involved in identification and implementation of operational cost savings. Achievement of this goal can require the addition of new functions which, without the flexible network architecture offered under the new ETSI standard, can be expensive and difficult to implement.

Driving operational cost savings in access network energy and infrastructure must be approached as a project in itself, and the chosen monitoring platform should support the objectives of that project. In other words, the application must offer the user the opportunity to analyse data quickly and easily, to create custom reports and to integrate and manipulate data in other software. Furthermore the management platform, both from a hardware and software point of view, must offer excellent scalability when implementing new equipment or new sensors and actuators.

An application combining alarm management, energy and environmental variables, monitoring of cooling and energy equipment, access control, maintenance scheduling and asset management offers many opportunities to generate operational cost savings in networks. This gives great flexibility and scalability, resulting, in many cases, in a payback period of less than two years.

Standard Open Interface

The ETSI EE (Energy and Environment) working group has defined standard ES 202 336 covering the Monitoring and Control Interface for Infrastructure Equipment (Power, Cooling and Building Environment Systems used in Telecommunication Networks). This standard takes into account the legacy of multiple solutions existing in current networks and it recommends an innovative solution providing the data in a common syntax representation: the eXtensible Markup Language (XML).

As XML documents have a free and open structure, rules are defined within the ETSI standard in order to ensure interoperability. For example the standard defines the order of the elements, the structure of an alarm and the place in which it is placed within the message. Also, equipment and devices present on an energy site are represented in a structured way.

 

Case example:

Leading Italian Telecom Operator: In Italy, Alpha Technologies has delivered the power supplies, the installation of and the network management software for more than 26000 remote sites using embedded Compas for remote powering and Armada. Armada is integrated by Alpha in the operator Network management platform which includes the customers IBM Tivoli NOC system.

Soco :  Internet Service Provider in Germany is using Compas and Armada to monitor their street cabinets.

University of British Columbia: collaboration research agreement on Smart Grid and Energy Management using Armada technologies. The goal is to lower peaks and the resulting demand charges by storing energy at one time of the day (OffPeak) and then discharging at a different time (OnPeak), effectively shifting energy from one time to another.

Major French Telecom Operator : Compas and Armada is used to monitor the water level of the sewers of Paris and alarms are sent to the technicians when thresholds are reached.

OPERA-Net 2: The OPERA-Net 2 project aims to reduce the overall environmental impact of mobile radio networks. Armada is used to study on the long term through its ability to manage a large volume database. Armada allows:

  • Study of productivity of solar panels on a season,
  • Wind Productivity Study on a season,
  • Site Availability Study (Vbatt > Vlvd)
  • Quantification of the energy produced by the gas group,
  • Fixed sizing solar / battery,....

 

 

 

 

Under the umbrella of Armada, enjoy years of experience and the results of major investment programs conducted by Alpha Technologies SA to power, monitor and control access outdoor enclosures located on the curb, poles or underground. You will be supported by a major supplier of solutions for those demanding mission-critical applications and you will benefit from expertise built over years and tens of thousands of sites operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your access network needs are multiple. With Alpha Technologies SA and Armada you will access multiple solutions, environmentally friendly products (e.g. RoHS), high flexibility to meet your specific requirements, superior global supply chain management and total quality management geared to customer satisfaction