The existing telephone system in Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) was replaced with a new, IP based system. That meant a significant technological leap for the company. The communication between dispatchers, who have to be available at all mes to give inform on about the state of the power system, was improved. Network Management System (NMS) monitors and manages all network devices that enable voice and data transfers, using different, specific functionalities. This solution also monitors the whole system that currently connects more than 1,500 devices (IP phones, network appliances, phone switchboards and call managers), and can be expanded and improved in the future.

"This project, to successfully implement heterogeneous system of these proportions, represented a great challenge for me as an engineer. On this very complex project I worked with my colleague Gordana Miladinović, and several other Saga's employees. This is the undertaking I will surely remember."

Savo Mandrapa,
System Engineer, Saga

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The requests for the system can be split in three parts:

  • General demands such as adequate OSI, TMN and RFC recommendations and standards.
  • Demands related to the system architecture in terms of safety, reliability and connecting with existing monitoring solutions.
  • Specific demands for data and voice NMS such as Fault, Configuration and Performance Management, as well as So switch, Voice Routers, Gateways and IP Exchange Management functionalities.

Since this is a complex system implemented using equipment by different vendors, with different functionalities, it was needed to create NMS using several components and on multiple levels. The first level is the Element Management System (EMS) with applications that monitor installed Cisco equipment:

  • CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution is a set of applications that enable management, monitoring and finding failures with large number of different Cisco devices. This solution makes it possible for IT department to be more punctual and efficient, which in turn increases total availability of network resources through proactive planning.
  • CiscoWorks Health and Utilization Monitor monitors network elements (like processor, memory, ports, links), their availability and utilization.
  • Cisco Unified Operations Manager (CUOM) serves as a support for all levels of Cisco Unified Communications systems: it provides reports and checks the status of IP phones and devices (SCCP, SIP and third party SIP phones). CUOM enables monitoring the operational status of Cisco Unified Communication system through service-level network overview and provides additional tools to monitor current status, call history, and the influence of system failures on network services. The administrators can utilize different tests to constantly monitor the Unified Communications and network transport infrastructure.
  • Voice Manager provides advanced configuration possibilities and voice port modification, dial plans creation and modification, and calls logging on VoIP subsystem Cisco routers.
  • Cisco QoS Policy Manager is a tool that enables configuring quality of service for data, voice and video subsystems.

Telephone NMS can be presented as a system with two levels. Administrator on the location is in charge of everyday maintenance and configuration of the telephone system, while the administrator in the central location is responsible for monitoring the traffic quality and the state of all components.

Manager of Managers
Cisco Info Center (CIC) is a higher level of management. It is a system that provides consolidated overview of the network. It collects events from different sources and creates unique and consistent overview. It allows the usage of different management platforms, applications and internet protocols, and enables to monitor them from a central location.

It tracks events' status tusing high performance databases and presents the information about the system using specific, customizable templates. The system connects all production capacities (hydroelectric and thermal power plants) and significant parts of the electric power transmission system, 25 locations in total. CIC platform is open for upgrades and can be integrated with existing applications for monitoring other EPS systems (eg. SDH NMS), as well as with any future monitoring systems.

Network Operation Center (NOC)
To establish required reliability of the NMS system, primary and secondary NOC's were installed, where the secondary NOC contains redundant NMS servers. As a part of the solution, a secure link between two NOCs was established using redundant Cisco ASA firewall appliances and switches to connect servers and workstations.

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EPS IT department will have in one place all information about the status and failures of all networked devices (Cisco routers, switches, firewalls, and Avaya switchboards). Whenever any communication device in the network doesn't work, it can be seen using the Cisco Info Center.

IT administrator can see everything on a single screen and, depending on the information, draw conclusion about a network event. Depending on the event, the administrator uses one of the applications and solves the issue. At the annual Cisco Partner Summit in January 2009, Saga received a Solution Innovation Partner of the Year award for results achieved in 2008. Telecommunication system for EPS is one of the biggest projects for Saga in that period, and it certainly had significant contribution for this award.

Summary

01

Overview

Monitoring the IP Communications System in EPS

02

Country

Republic of Serbia

03

Type of business

Utility - Electrical Power

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Customer Profile

EPS employs over 35,800 people and provides electricity for more than 3.5 million users.

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