Title of Invention

A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM FOR HANDING ALARMS

Abstract The invention relates to a method for handling alerts by means of a management network of a communication system, said management network comprising at least two management devices (NMC, OMC) on different management levels. At least one of the at least two management devices acts as an element manager (OMC) while at least one of the at least two management devices acts as a network manager (NMC) that overrides the element manager (OMC), the at least two management devices (NMC, OMC) storing operator-defined alert advisories which are associated with one or several alerts. According to the inventive method, the alert advisories are matched between the at least one element manager (OMC) and the at least one network manager (NMC) in order to synchronize the data regarding the alarm advisories, which is available to the operators.
Full Text The invention relates to a communication system for handling alarms comprising a management network having at least two management elements (NMC, OMC) placed on different levels.
The principles of a management network, also referred to as TMN (Telecommunications Management Network) principles, define a plurality of management layers for the management of a communication system - for example a mobile communication system - each layer apart from the top and bottom layers having a twin function. In the managing system every level apart from the bottom level executes a manager function for the level below. In the managed system every level apart from the top level is assigned an agent function for the next layer up.
Agents must identify relevant events (e.g. alarms) in the network as quickly as possible and generate event reports and transmit these to the manager to allow efficient network management.
The management network of a communication system therefore comprises at least two management elements on different management levels, at least one of the at least two management elements operating as an element manager and at least one of the at least two management elements operating as a network manager, which overrides the element manager, and at least two management elements storing operator-defined alarm comments assigned to on or plurality of alarms.
Element managers operate as managers in respect of a lower level, for example in respect of the elements of a base station system, and operate as agents in respect of the next management level up, that of the network managers.
The X.73x series ITU-T standards define different system management functions for the management of telecommunication networks and these can be used by application processes in a centralized or decentralized management environment. The handling of alarms or alarm surveillance is one of the most important functions for network monitoring and control and is achieved using management elements (management system), located in particular on the network element management level (e.g. OMC, element manager) or network management level (e.g. NMC, network manager).
On both management levels, those of the element manager and the network manager, operators are able to define alarm comments freely and assign these to specific alarms. These freely definable
texts serve for example to describe the current processing status of an alarm and thus to achieve better coordination of activities for alarm handling in the network as a whole.
One alarm can be assigned a plurality of alarm comments by different operators (even on different management levels). To ensure that all operators have the same information status regarding an alarm, every new or modified alarm comment must be forwarded to all the other management systems.
The standard 3GPP TS 32.111-2 (Fault Management - Alarm Integration Reference Point) for example provides the following two mechanisms for this purpose:
a) setComment (transmission from NMC to OMC).
With this request a network manager (e.g. NMC) informs all the connected element managers (e.g. OMCs) that an alarm comment is to be assigned to one or a plurality of alarms. The request contains the following information:
• Reference list of corresponding alarms
• Operator ID
• System ID (optional)
• Alarm comment.
b) notifyComments (transmission from OMC to NMC)
With this event notification an element manager (e.g. OMC) informs all the connected network managers (e.g. NMCs) that one or a plurality of alarm comments is/are to be assigned to an alarm. The request contains the following information:
• The (unique) alarm reference
• Alarm comment.
(other information, i.e. operator ID and system ID are not provided for notification).
These mechanisms cannot ensure alignment of the alarm comments in all management systems, if the OMC-NMC connections are not operational at the time of the respective creation/modification of an alarm comment.
If for example an OMC operator defines the alarm comment when the OMC-NMC connection is interrupted, the following takes place:
The comment is only assigned to an alarm locally at the OMC (as the notification cannot be sent to the NMC in the absence of a connection).
When the OMC-NMC connection is operational later, the NMC generally starts an alarm synchronization procedure {alarm alignment). Such a procedure is for example described in the document EP 198 01 785. As operator-defined alarm comments are not part of the currently standardized alarm syntax, synchronization of the comments assigned to an alarm cannot be ensured. This means that the NMC operators are not informed of current status until the alarm comment is modified again.
The object of the invention is therefore to demonstrate a method of the type mentioned above and a communication system to implement the method, by means of which the stated disadvantages can be avoided and in particular better information alignment can be achieved.
This object is achieved according to the invention in respect of the method by the features of claim 1 and in respect of the communication system by the features of claim 11. Developments and embodiments of the invention will emerge from the dependent claims.
According to the invention alarm comments are aligned between the at least one element manager (e.g. OMC) and the at least one network manager (NMC) {on the next management level up in the management network} to synchronize the information available to the operators regarding alarm comments. Every element manager is thereby located on one management level and every network manager (e.g. NMC) is located on the next level up in the management network.
This measure provides an improved and in many instances also an optimized synchronization procedure for alarm comments after the setting up or restoration of a connection between the network manager and element manager in a telecommunication network.
The method according to the invention can thereby essentially be used for all telecommunication networks.
Generally a plurality of element managers (OMCs) and a plurality of network managers (NMCs) are present.
In a preferred first variant of the invention alarm comments are aligned during alarm synchronization between the at least two management elements.
Alarm comments can thereby be aligned during alarm synchronization by incorporating the alarm comment information in an event report.
Filtering of unwanted alarm comments can be provided. Event forwarding discriminators, known as EFDs, present in the element manager, can be used to this end. The task of an EFD is to forward or route only those event reports that meet specific filter criteria from the agent to the manager. The manager is able to set up or delete such EFDs in the agent and to determine the filter criteria. As a result every manager can control the information flow according to their individual requirements at any time. The method according to the invention allows optimum filtering of unwanted alarm comments, i.e. the manager only receives alarm comments for the alarms selected with the synchronization request.
The time of creation or modification of an alarm comment can also be recorded in the alarm comment. An additional parameter, showing the time of the respective alarm comment (commentTime), is therefore supported.
With a second variant of the invention alarm comments are aligned between the at least two management elements, in that
- the at least one network manager transmits an alignment request to the at least one element manager and
- the at least one element manager sends alarm comment information to the at least one network manager.
Provision can thereby be made for the at least one network manager to transmit an alignment request for the entire alarm list to the at least one element manager.
As an alternative it is also possible for the at least one network manager to transmit an alignment request just for specific alarms to the at least one element manager.
The at least one element manager can also send alarm comment information synchronously to the at least one network manager.
Finally the at least one element manager can send alarm comment information asynchronously to the at least one network manager.
According to the invention as set out above there are two alternatives for aligning alarm comments between element managers (OMCs) and network managers (NMCs):
a) embedding in the general alarm synchronization procedure, i.e. the alarm comments are also
taken into account in every instance during standard alarm synchronization.
This alternative can ensure uniform synchronization of both ITU-T standardized alarm parameters and operator-defined alarm comments after restoration or setting up of the NMC-OMC connections.
b) a dedicated synchronization procedure, operating according to the following rules:
• The manager (NMC) sends the agent a specific synchronization request {alarm comment alignment request) either for the entire alarm list or just for specific alarms.
The agent (OMC) sends the alarm comments either synchronously (i.e. all the information together as an alarm comment alignment response) or asynchronously (i.e. as a sequence of individual notify Comments notifications, as described above.)
The communication system according to the invention with a management network comprising at least two management elements on different management levels serves to implement the invention. Corresponding means and elements can be provided in the communication system to this end.
According to the present invention, a Communication System for handling alarms comprises a Management Network, having at least two management elements (NMC, OMC) placed on different levels, means for generating alarms provided between atleast one element manager (OMC) and atleast one network manager (NMC), discriminators are provided alongwith the alarm device for filtering unwanted alarm comments wherein atleast one network manager (NMC) transmits an alignment request to atleast one element manager (OMC) and at least one element manager (OMC) sends alarm comment information to atleast one network manager (NMC).
The invention is described in more detail below using exemplary embodiments with reference to the figures, in which:
Figure 1 shows the block circuit diagram of a management network for a mobile
communication system with an agent-manager relationship between operation and maintenance centers and a plurality of network management centers,
Figure 2 shows an outline of an alarm synchronization procedure extended according to
the invention.
Figure 1 shows the block circuit diagram of a management network for a mobile communication system with an agent-manager relationship between operation and maintenance centers OMC and a plurality of network management centers NMC. In this instance figure 1 is restricted to an illustration with two levels NM LEVEL and EM LEVEL. Not shown for example is a management level of the management network, which contains the network element level with a plurality of base station networks.
The management level EM Level indicates the network element management level, on which operation and maintenance centers OMC1, OMC2 to OMCn respectively provide the manufacturer-specific management functionality for individual base station subsystems for example (not shown in Figure. 1). The management level NM LEVEL indicates the network management level, on which network management centers NMC1 NMC2 to NMCk respectively provide an integrated management functionality that is generally independent of the manufacturer. A plurality of network management centers NMC can thereby have access to the same network element on the next
management level down EM LEVEL, in this instance for example the network management centers NMC1 and NMC2 of the next management level up NM LEVEL to the operation and maintenance center OMC2 of the next management level down EM LEVEL. Defined interfaces are provided between the network elements of different management levels for the transmission of information.
Figure 2 shows an outline of an alarm synchronization procedure extended according to the invention.
The exemplary method is described with reference to a Q3 (CMIP-based) interface. The invention can however also be used for other interfaces, e.g. CORBA interfaces.
Event reports from agents (e.g. OMC) are transmitted to managers (e.g. NMC) according to the standard ITU-T X.710 (Common Management Information Service Definition for CCITT Applications) using the so-called notification service M-EVENT-REPORT.
The structure of alarm messages {Alarmlnfo) defined in the standard ITU-T X.721 (Structure of Management Information: Definition of Management Information) includes for example the optional field additionallnformation, which allows the inclusion of additional information (so-called Management Extension) in an event report according to ITU-T X.733 (Systems Management: Alarm Reporting Function).
In the present instance the ManagementExtension corresponds to all comments assigned to an alarm (alarmComments), a respective alarm comment being defined as follows:
• commentText: contains the operator comment
• commentTime: defines the time when the comment was created/modified
• commentUserld: identifies the ID of the operator (author of the alarm comment)
• commentSystemld: identifies the ID of the management system (optional).
The alarm synchronization procedure standardized in the standard 3GPP TS 32.111-4 is extended as in the following example:
Figure 2 shows the message flow between an agent OMC and the manager NMC to align the alarm comments.
The message flow preferably takes place using standardized M-EVENT-REPORT messages, which are sent as a result of an M-ACTION-request request "getAlarmList" [action information "alarmAckState", "destination" and "filter"] initiated at the start.
The agent OMC generates a temporary event forwarding discriminator EFD with the M-ACTION-response response "getAlarmList" [action information "alignmentld" and "status"].
The agent OMC transmits the alarms, the ITU-T X.733 defining the content of a standardized alarm transmission implemented according to the M-EVENT-REPORT services {alarm report 1, alarm report 2, ..., alarm report n):
alarm report 1: Alarm with two alarm comments:
The first alarm comment
- contains the operator comment "TPU #1378-AZ2 defective",
- defines the time of creation/modification of the alarm comment "31.08.02 19:08",
- identifies the ID of the operator as author of the alarm comment "A. Thiel" and
- identifies the ID of the management system "OMC2-Mch".
The second alarm comment
- contains the operator comment "Replacement part ordered",
- defines the time of creation/modification of the alarm comment "02.09.02 8:27",
- identifies the ID of the operator as author of the alarm comment "M. Scheel" and
- identifies the ID of the management system "S IP13-Mch".
alarm report 2: Alarm with one alarm comment:
The alarm comment
contains the operator comment "BTS revision",
- defines the time of creation/modification of the alarm comment "01.09.02 10:22",
- identifies the ID of the operator as author of the alarm comment "K. Schafer"and
- identifies the ID of the management system "NB4-Nrbg".
• •
alarm report n: Last alarm (without alarm comment) which meets the filter criteria.
The agent OMC deletes the temporary event forwarding discriminator EFD.
The structure alarmComments is defined according to the GDMO template as a PARAMETER of the additionallnformation attribute for every alarm. The standard ITU-T X.722 (Guidelines for the Definition of Managed Objects GDMO) specifies specific formats {templates) for this, to allow the standardized transmission of additional management information (for example in notification attributes). The ASN.l syntax (ASN = Abstract Syntax Notification) of the data assigned to an alarm comment must be defined as follows:
AlarmComments:: = SET OF SingleAlarmComment SingleAlarmComment:: = SEQUENCE
commentText Comment, commentTime commentTime, CommentUserld Userld, commentSystemld Systemld OPTIONAL
Comment:: = GraphicString CommentTime:: = GeneralizedTime Userld:: = GraphicString
Systemid:: = GraphicString
The parameters Operatorld and (optional) Systemid, which are not defined in the standardized notifyComments notification, are also taken into account implicitly by the above-mentioned components commentUserld and commentSystemId of the standardized attribute additionallnformation (as part of every alarm) during alarm synchronization.




We claim:-
1. A Communication System for handling alarms comprising a Management Network, having at least two management elements (NMC, OMC) placed on different levels, means for generating alarms provided between at least one element manager (OMC) and atleast one network manager (NMC), discriminators are provided alongwith the alarm device for filtering unwanted alarm comments wherein at least one network manager (NMC) transmits an alignment request to at least one element manager (OMC) and at least one element manager (OMC) sends alarm comment information to at least one network manager (NMC).
2. A Communication System as claimed in claim 1 wherein a synchronizer is provided between at least two management elements for transmitting alarm comments information to at least one network.
3. A Communication System as claimed in claim 1 wherein the alarms are adopted to be aligned at the same time as alarm synchronization between the at least two management elements.
4. A Communication System as claimed in claim 1 comprising the plurality of element manager and plurality of network manager wherein every network management is located at the next level up in the management network.

5. A Communication System as claimed in claim 1 wherein the discriminator is Event Forwarding Discriminator provided in the element manager.
6. A Communication System as claimed in claim 1 wherein the said discriminator is adopted to forward or route only those signals that meets specific filter criteria.
7. A Communication System as claimed in claim 1 wherein said filtering means eliminates the unwanted alarms comment enabling the manager to receive only alarms in synchronization.
8. A Communication System for handling alarms substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Documents:

2271-delnp-2005-abstract.pdf

2271-DELNP-2005-Claims.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-complete specification(as filed).pdf

2271-delnp-2005-complete specification(granted).pdf

2271-delnp-2005-correspondence-others.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-correspondence-po.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-description (complete).pdf

2271-DELNP-2005-Drawings.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-form-1.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-form-13.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-form-18.pdf

2271-DELNP-2005-Form-2.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-form-26.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-form-3.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-form-5.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-pct-210.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-pct-304.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-pct-338.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-pct-409.pdf

2271-delnp-2005-petition-137.pdf


Patent Number 237653
Indian Patent Application Number 2271/DELNP/2005
PG Journal Number 2/2010
Publication Date 08-Jan-2010
Grant Date 31-Dec-2009
Date of Filing 27-May-2005
Name of Patentee SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT
Applicant Address WITTELSBACHERPLATZ 2, 80333, MUNICH, GERMANY.
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 HIRSCH, LUCIAN DRACHENSEESTR. 3, 81373 MUNCHEN, GERMANY.
PCT International Classification Number H04L 12/24
PCT International Application Number PCT/EP2004/000111
PCT International Filing date 2004-01-09
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 03000428.7 2003-01-10 Germany
2 103 00 709.1 2003-01-10 Germany