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Ask Slashdot: Best Software For Tracking Fiber Optic Networks?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the do-you-want-it-as-a-particle-or-as-a-wave? dept.

Networking 75

An anonymous reader writes "We operate a wide area network that has a large amount of fiber optics, and provides service to our various departments in locations across the state. The network is reasonably complex, with splices, patches, and the general type of ad-hoc build that makes knowing where things go difficult. I'd like to implement some type of software to record where the fiber cables run, what pit number they are jointed in, which fiber is spliced to which, and what internal customer is using which fiber path through the system. Knowing what fibers are free for use is also a requirement, and I'd love to record details of what equipment was put in where, for asset and warranty tracking. Extra points if I can give Engineering access to help them design things better!"

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Racktables.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946641)

Hands down, best cabling and equipment tracker.

ESRI's ArcGIS (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | about a year ago | (#43946747)

ArcGIS works *VERY* well for this task, especially when it comes to planning for new runs and forecasting costs.

Re:ESRI's ArcGIS (1)

JRHelgeson (576325) | about a year ago | (#43946911)

Agreed - ArcGIS is what your county government uses to track utilities and maintain them.

Re: ESRI's ArcGIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43949079)

based on autocad map: spatialinfo (my personal favorite)
based on arcgis:telvent
based on bentley: bentley fms
based on smallworld : ge smallword pni
based on mapinfo: seicor opticom
for the poor: google earth +excel

Re: ESRI's ArcGIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43976499)

Intergraph Fiber Optic Works

Frosty Piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946643)

Drink it up, suckas!

Re:Frosty Piss (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43947257)

ping?!

Visio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946647)

First post. Sorry though... Visio is bad.... real bad....

Re:Visio (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43947249)

ping?

Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946659)

Most ISPs use in-house software for that kind of thing

Shaved and shined my ballsack! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946667)

Madam, would you sleep with me for a million dollars?
My goodness, Well, I'd certainly think about it.
Would you sleep with me for a dollar?
Certainly not! What kind of woman do you think I am?!
Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

Network Documentation System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946671)

What you are lookin for is a network documentation system that has a module for the physical layer. Cramer ot the likes.

KISS principle (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43946685)

I'd like to implement some type of software to record where the fiber cables run, what pit number they are jointed in, which fiber is spliced to which, and what internal customer is using which fiber path through the system. Knowing what fibers are free for use is also a requirement, and I'd love to record details of what equipment was put in where, for asset and warranty tracking. Extra points if I can give Engineering access to help them design things better!"

At the risk of appearing less geeky than my peers... use a sketch pad. I'm perfectly serious about this. We've been using building blue prints since the Roman times and they've served humanity pretty well. Expensive software solutions and asset management databases solve the problem too, but they're invariably varying degrees of out of date and did I mention they cost a lot?

Engineers understand blue prints. I know paper is a little 90s, but it works, it's universally understood, and it's cheap. If you were dealing with high level IT people for this, maybe I'd suggest the high priced software solution because they'd be happy to waste hours maintaining it and sending out e-mails reminding people to update the information in it... don't ask me why computer geeks love that kind of overhead, I don't know. I'm guilty of it too.

But these are not those people. They're engineers that block print everything and have marginal computer skills on the best of days. Give them a pencil and tell them to write neatly. You'll save on aspirin.

Re:KISS principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946797)

I'd like to implement some type of software to record where the fiber cables run, what pit number they are jointed in, which fiber is spliced to which, and what internal customer is using which fiber path through the system. Knowing what fibers are free for use is also a requirement, and I'd love to record details of what equipment was put in where, for asset and warranty tracking. Extra points if I can give Engineering access to help them design things better!"

At the risk of appearing less geeky than my peers... use a sketch pad. I'm perfectly serious about this. We've been using building blue prints since the Roman times and they've served humanity pretty well. Expensive software solutions and asset management databases solve the problem too, but they're invariably varying degrees of out of date and did I mention they cost a lot?

Engineers understand blue prints. I know paper is a little 90s, but it works, it's universally understood, and it's cheap. If you were dealing with high level IT people for this, maybe I'd suggest the high priced software solution because they'd be happy to waste hours maintaining it and sending out e-mails reminding people to update the information in it... don't ask me why computer geeks love that kind of overhead, I don't know. I'm guilty of it too.

But these are not those people. They're engineers that block print everything and have marginal computer skills on the best of days. Give them a pencil and tell them to write neatly. You'll save on aspirin.

Gotta agree here. Us network engineers in the biz since the Inet went live use MS Visio and spreadsheets for this. We call them circuit layer records (CLRs) for a low level view. We build higher level circuit maps for the rest.

There is not product that will take care of this issue. This is a documentation skill issue. State govs are like this. Union workers with no brains.

Re:KISS principle (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year ago | (#43948503)

I'd like to implement some type of software to record where the fiber cables run, what pit number they are jointed in, which fiber is spliced to which, and what internal customer is using which fiber path through the system. Knowing what fibers are free for use is also a requirement, and I'd love to record details of what equipment was put in where, for asset and warranty tracking. Extra points if I can give Engineering access to help them design things better!"

At the risk of appearing less geeky than my peers... use a sketch pad. I'm perfectly serious about this. We've been using building blue prints since the Roman times and they've served humanity pretty well. Expensive software solutions and asset management databases solve the problem too, but they're invariably varying degrees of out of date and did I mention they cost a lot?

Engineers understand blue prints. I know paper is a little 90s, but it works, it's universally understood, and it's cheap. If you were dealing with high level IT people for this, maybe I'd suggest the high priced software solution because they'd be happy to waste hours maintaining it and sending out e-mails reminding people to update the information in it... don't ask me why computer geeks love that kind of overhead, I don't know. I'm guilty of it too.

But these are not those people. They're engineers that block print everything and have marginal computer skills on the best of days. Give them a pencil and tell them to write neatly. You'll save on aspirin.

Gotta agree here. Us network engineers in the biz since the Inet went live use MS Visio and spreadsheets for this. We call them circuit layer records (CLRs) for a low level view. We build higher level circuit maps for the rest.

There is not product that will take care of this issue. This is a documentation skill issue. State govs are like this. Union workers with no brains.

Yes and if you do not give the crew a page to mark up so you can correct it you are missing the most important bit.

Blue print technology lets you keep a ink an pencil master and print copies as needed. The printing equipment and material costs for modest sheet sizes is much less than you might expect.

It is not just union workers with no brains. It is workers and managers that need glasses. It is working in places where things break.

Combine with well considered spread sheets (Excel) and you are a well on your way. Supplement with new iPad or iPhone camera images for stand up show and tell content and Bob's your Uncle.

The #1 criteria is the ability to correct and annotate.

Too many managers put themselves first in the requirement list.
They should however facilitate getting the job done correctly above all.

Re:KISS principle (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about a year ago | (#43967451)

The one problem with this is that you have to make sure that the master is periodically updated with the changes from all the blueprints out on the floor! I once saw a new maintenance Foreman, throw away a dirty, ragged marked up print and order a new one from the office, only to find none of the changes had been entered on the master! This entailed ~16 hours of work by the Electricians tracing and documenting were and what all the wiring in 3 Large panels went to and did. this was for one small part of an Automotive assembly plant, just lines for the Paint Department, less the controls for the ovens and paint booths which had separate panels! Today it would be easier for the Electricians to take a picture of the changes and send them to the front office to be entered!

Re:KISS principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43949675)

My story on this...

Me and my coworker maintain various SAN systems around our company. Nothing that large but maybe 15-20 different EMC and HP SANs. He goes through many many many hours of making Visio diagrams of the SAN layout, making sure he has all the correct stencils for the specific models of shelves, controllers, fiber switches, lines going to different servers and what ports they are plugged into etc. He populates and colors different groups of disks for each raid group and so one. He updates these diagrams about once a quarter and when someone asks for some information about the SAN so he is sure to be giving them accurate information. I can duplicate his work by taking a few picture of the various racks with my cell phone and printing out the fiber switch and the SAN configuration files. I can easy spend about 1/30 of the time and have much more information like the WWN, the firmware level of each HBA, the connection speed etc...

His Visio diagrams look nice to the PHB types but they are not really useful for anything.

Re:KISS principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43952473)

Bridge the two. Grab data from SAN configuration files and pictures, process that into Visio. There are software packages that will do this automatically, but $$$$.

Re:KISS principle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43960189)

Nice story, but...

1) Blueprints allow anyone to connect a Single-Mode fiber to a power outlet. If someone's in a hurry, they may overlook that this is Multi-Mode, instead. Computers are good at automated verification.

2) And as soon as you run cables with 192 fibers and more and start to use CWDM & DWDM on top, your breakout fills a whole new sheet of paper. Computers are good at hiding details you don't want to see right now.

3) Try and make a change to that paper and keep the paper in sync with all other copies. Computers are good at synching up stuff.

4) Try to create a new paper. Print it, you say? Print the scan of your blueprint? No? So what _creates_ that blueprint and sends it to the printer? A program, you say?

Unless you run a tiny network, not using something computer-backed is madness. And yes, all the solutions on the market suck and/or cost an arm and two legs.

All that being said, i-doit seems to suck a bit less.

4)

Graph editor? (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#43946695)

How about a graph editor, such as yEd [yworks.com] ?

Take a map image of your state and overlay it with a yEd diagram, click on nodes to bring you to a more detailed (but localized) sub-mapof the local graph.

(If you do this, consider using a dedicated huge, transparent display (such as this one [bridgat.com] ) just for the awesome factor.)

Re:Graph editor? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43947103)

Thanks for that. I don't think I had run into yEd before. I now plan to use it for ERDs.

I've tried other tools for the job, and I'm just not terribly happy with them.

PRISM (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946701)

Muahahaha.

Used to work here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946721)

http://www.byers.com/
They have a solution that many telcos use or ETL from, plus they're a contractor for many installations/plant planning.

Oh really? (2)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43946727)

Nice try, NSA! Still can't get enough snooping around?

I used to use TGIF for that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946741)

It even has the ability to link diagrams together to expand/combine multiple charts.

StellarRAD MAPi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946761)

http://www.stellarrad.com/stellarmapi.html

It's a discipline thing (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43946773)

There are packages for this, like UltiCam. But the real problem is numbering and labeling. Telcos have been doing this for a century. Everything has a number. There are pair numbers, cable numbers, rack numbers, tray numbers, terminal numbers... Everything has labels or color coding. So there's an ID string for everything, and an end to end connection is a sequence of ID strings. Each change is tied to a work order. Since many people are constantly modifying a telco's cable plant, this is essential.

Cable databases are a revision control system. Each change has a work order, and all the history is retained. Some systems let you extract a drawing of selected connections, but giant wiring diagrams are not too useful.

Re:It's a discipline thing (1)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a year ago | (#43948527)

Yes what he said. "Cable databases are a revision control system. Each change has a work order, and all the history is retained. Some systems let you extract a drawing of selected connections, but giant wiring diagrams are not too useful."
Combine with audit and check... errors slip in and corrections are critical. Think inventory cycle count.

Lucky if you find something nice & cheap.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946779)

Just look at what the DTAG in Germany uses: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/KONTES-ORKA . If you read this article you might see that depending on the size of your company plain old paper plans (maybe created via GIS) might be the simplest solution (especially for workers in the field).

Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946781)

...you just need to develop an internal db and web interface. My $0.02. I build stuff to do what you're talking about all the time. First, you need to document everything so you know what structure you need then build out from there keeping data portability and extensibility in mind. If you don't know DBs well find someone who does or learn. Sounds like you have plenty of time while you document the network.

GLPI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946783)

GLPI can do this.
http://www.glpi-project.org/?lang=en

Ask Slashdot (2)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year ago | (#43946807)

Why do we even have an "ask slashdot" section if none of the editors are ever going to post a story there? Of course the story is relevant in other sections or it wouldn't be posted here at all. That's not a reason to post it to a different section ough. Either post question type stories to the "ask slashdot" section or get rid of it. And no, putting "ask slashdot" in the title or adding it as a tag is not an acceptable alternative. It's a section for a reason.

/me steps down from the soapbox

Re:Ask Slashdot (1)

loosescrews (1916996) | about a year ago | (#43950597)

If you look in the Ask Slashdot [slashdot.org] section, you will see that *some* of the new Ask Slashdot articles are there. It is clearly being used, just not all of the time. I agree that this is a problem.

DYI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946809)

Just create a simple database that tracks all the info you need. Then in your spare time make a pretty gui if you want it.

Cable Tracking Is a Pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946863)

I built a hash up once using OpenLayers and Wikipedia. Although its not ideal as data entry takes forever, as long as your cables and junction boxes are labled well (another complete PITA) its realy easy to navigate once complete :)

Take a page from the MBA handbook (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#43946889)

Excel and email.

Those guys know what they're doing. That's why they get the big bucks.

Facilities: learn from the telcos (4, Informative)

vinn (4370) | about a year ago | (#43946893)

I've worked in the IT industry for 20 years, 7 of which were in telecom.

I find it so damn amusing that all the computer geeks still struggle with basic things the telecom world figured out 30 - 50 years ago. There's a lot to be learned from the old school carriers, and this is one of them.

Most of the bigger carriers have their own stuff that'll track everything from pairs/strands to binding posts, etc. You need to know sizes of entrance protectors and all kinds of other things. Sizes of splice cases and the number of trays are nice to know. Everything needs to go into GIS, and that used to mean a second system that references locations. These days there are integrated packages. The exact system we used was purchased by NEC and no longer exists. And actually, I wouldn't recommend it, we used it primarily because the work order system was quite robust and we were willing to sacrifice some of the documentation features for that.

Would something like this work?
http://www.bentley.com/en-US/Products/Bentley+Fiber [bentley.com]

Re:Facilities: learn from the telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947125)

The Smallworld suite of Telco products for managing Physical and Logical Network Inventories are used by some of the largest Comms providers in the world.

http://www.gedigitalenergy.com/geospatial/catalog/smallworld_network.htm

Key features include the ability to model both inside and outside plant facilities, integration between Physical and Logical Networks, scalability, and Fiber specific out of the box data models and applications (such as Engineering Design).

Re:Facilities: learn from the telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947735)

In other words, get off my lawn?

NEC destroyed the equipment ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43948645)

The exact system we used was purchased by NEC and no longer exists

You mean, after NEC bought the company that made the system they (NEC) decided to NOT sell the system anymore ?

Man, them Japs can't be trusted, can they ?

Re:Facilities: learn from the telcos (1)

jafo (11982) | about a year ago | (#43949807)

I used to work doing IT for the ILEC and the more I worked with their systems the more surprised that I was able to pick up the phone and get a dial-tone. A friend of mine worked on the systems that managed the in-the-ground cables, he's the one that said the previous sentence. I worked mostly on the billing and ordering systems. They were not the most robust systems.

Hard to find (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43946915)

I too have searched for just this type of software for the DC's I'm in charge of. Brady Netdoc comes close to being what is needed. There are others out there, but they all fail in some regards, mainly being, they don't scale well to the number of sites and network interconnects my company has. I would really like to learn how the telcos do it, but alas the people I interact with at them have generally told me they use custom built software.

dpCom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947019)

You probably want to look at this one: dpCom [digpro.com]

Let your tax dollars do this for you (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43947043)

Why bother, you are already paying for this, just call NSA guys and ask them for the schematics, I am sure you'll get them in a short order.

Honestly.... (1)

buttfuckinpimpnugget (662332) | about a year ago | (#43947049)

If you have to ask slashdot, you are in the wrong job. Seriously. These kind of questions are really starting to annoy me. What ever happened to figuring something out for yourself? There are plenty of commercial products for this, which btw I didn't know until I googled it 10 seconds ago. Or, roll your own spreadsheet or database setup. I'm sick of these lazy assholes who won't even do basic research before asking others to do their job for them. How the fuck is this on the front page?

Re: Honestly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947163)

Amen my brother! When did IT become the realm of useless retards who find it easier to "ask slashdot" than spend a few minutes researching their question with google? We're desperate to hire people and I've had to interview countless morons with a decade or more of experience and degrees and certs coming out of their asses who have not managed to learn jack shit about anything. It makes me sick.

Re: Honestly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43948159)

Feeding trolls perhaps but I see this attitude a lot on /. and it's a huge disappointment. These kinds of questions are trying to leverage the community's collective experience. Googling this kind of information is useless. You can't squeeze a quick survey of experiential data from a search engine. I want to know the REAL feedback from people who have tried solutions, not the marketing gibberish from a number of software offerings.

Oh? And cut the nerd rage. It's unbecoming.

Re:Honestly.... (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43948581)

So 10 seconds of Googling made you an industry expert, with years of virtual experience discovering the shortcomings and valuable features of each product? You read only the honest reviews that weren't salted by salespeople and SEO trolls? You know all the cool features of the custom implementations? And it only took you 10 seconds?

You must be the awesomest Googler ever.

Try Maximo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947083)

Maximo from IBM is flexible to do what you want.

Time for an audit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947143)

Sounds to me like you need to get someone in your NOC to audit the network. You should have a nice Network Map with all your devices then have someone log into the devices and start putting good port descriptions. Depending on the situation, you should be able to figure out if the ports are Ethernet or fibre (then you can get more detailed there too)

Did it on a smaller/different scale.. (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | about a year ago | (#43947213)

I was rented out to a local TV station for a few years from my IT shop.. they had a jillion wires and connects to track and keep track of for the engineers.. not exactly the same.. but in the ballpark..

I got the basic specs of what they were trying to do and within a few weeks had whipped up a db app which was a local network only kinda thing.

Maybe Im too old now and no one actually does this kinda thing for themselves any more or maybe the job is too big for someone to whip up the db.. its always the data entry that is a pain.. always the data entry..

In any case.. under the right circumstances and at the right scale to balance the cost/benefit ratio.. maybe a simple db app is really what you might need...

Best tracking software! (2)

Alsee (515537) | about a year ago | (#43947235)

Best Software For Tracking Fiber Optic Networks?

I believe NORAD has the best available tracking software. That might be a bit overkill though, considering the typically zero velocity of fiber optic networks.

-

Gnumeric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947317)

A spreadsheet would be a good way to get started.

Cocon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947325)

Cocon is pretty nice - see http://www.speerit.nl/demo.asp?lng=en

MetaSolv? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947477)

MetaSolv?

Excel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43947589)

Our local Community College offers courses if anyone is interested.

Lode Data (1)

apenzott (821513) | about a year ago | (#43947617)

Although this product [lodedata.com] is part of a larger selection of CATV design software [lodedata.com] , it is well written for the lifecycle installed metro fiber with the ability to pre-allocate either fiber or individual lambdas based upon anticipated needs and stakeholders. In addition, it incorporates storage of OTDR results and allows some extrapolation for expected signal strength should future cuts and splices be needed in the future. Their traditional copper plant design tools are nice to have should this be part of a campus network design with a traditional (institution owned) CATV plant.

Results are linked through AutoCAD files for both the metro fiber map out in the field as well as documenting terminations inside the (head-end and distro) facilities as well.

Disclaimer: I have taken their Lode Data training as part of college campus CATV upgrade and have been please with what I saw on their fiber plant software.

Network inventory with GIS features (1)

boogiewonder (2946373) | about a year ago | (#43947963)

The thing you're looking for is a network inventory system. There are many companies offering these products, for example Amdocs (Resource Manager product, old company name Cramer, lacks GIS features but otherwise one of the best products), Smallworld (including top-notch GIS, but less elegant when it comes to logical network), Ericsson (old company name Telcordia, including GIS and better logical network inventory support than Smallworld), and Comptel (a bunch of products). These products are not cheap. See TeleManagement Forum for lots of information on this, http://tmforum.org/ [tmforum.org] In the long run, you will need all of the stuff, and it's not an easy thing. GIS features only tie your network elements to the geography (the Earth), and then you want to know all the components you have, as objects in a database. Stupid drawings will only get you so far, and you really want everything to be completely automatic, i.e. computer-understandable. If you have to look at "paper drawings" to figure out what's wrong, ... welcome to 1980s telco management, you're about 30 years late. You also want to know all the stuff that's dependent on each component. You must be able to do "impact analysis", i.e. if I now cut this fibre, which services and which customers might be affected. That's "customer impact of resource", but then you also want to know "resource impact of customer", i.e. top-down. As the organization grows and you get more customers and a more heterogeneous network, this problem becomes less and less trivial. There are companies like OSI (Objective Systems Integrators, not the "OSI model" thing) and Ontology Systems who have products for importing stuff about the network and the services (from a big mess of multiple legacy databases) to try and figure out the relationships. Oh, and then you'll want to have a fully automatic order-delivery process. Automatic alert filtering. How do you do trouble-ticketing and resolution tracking? Your products will have to be described as objects in a database, and they'll have to connect to your customer data. And not only the "things", but the "doings" like orders and deliveries, fixing of faults, etc. You'll notice things like... the customer, product, service, resource layers. OSS and BSS. You'll want to use external contractors/suppliers/partners. You'll get data quality issues. You'll have regulatory issues. You want to let external partners access your data in a controlled fashion. You might say, you just want to do something simple at first. Good luck. Eventually, when you've had enough of the real-world stupidity of operating a physical cable network, a bigger telco will buy your assets and (hopefully) try and migrate your mess of documentation into a proper (i.e. very expensive) inventory system with all the other needed systems around it.

CVC is what you need (1)

hallkbrdz (896248) | about a year ago | (#43948239)

Request from the USAF (hey - if you are in the US, you paid for it's development) a program called CVC (CIPS Visualization Component) from the 38 EIG. It is used to track copper and fiber outside plant world-wide and can easily do what you want. If is all FOSS (beyond requiring Oracle). Supports multiple fiber types, ducts, innerducts, fabric ducts, etc. Supports raster tile backgrounds - supply your own or use Bing or ESRI's online. Supports as many users as you want, but is highly tuned to require very modest server specs.

Requirements:

Oracle database (just needs basic Oracle with locator)
Java server (take your pick) - we last used Weblogic
Java on the desktop - It uses Java Web-Start to create an ArcGIS like full desktop client for fast multiuser editing.

DAD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43948393)

I work in a whole fibre optic telecommunications company and I have a good answer for you: try DAD http://www.dad.net.au/v10.0/

We use it to document POI network and FDH information, addresses of customers, if they are connected or not and type of equipment installed with serial / MAC address recorded.

We can easily record information and trace any network pretty fast. We can also clone components easily, so we do not have to recreate them constantly.

The system is Windows based with a per seat licensing model.They even have a demo for you to try.

DigPro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43948679)

This is a fairly lightweight software commonly used by the municipal and commercial fiber networks in Sweden

http://www.digpro.se/index.php/en/

AND Solution, been around for 15 years or so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43948795)

AND [and-solution.com] is a software specialized on distribution networks. Can go from central office to customer outlet easily.

The main advantages are all-in-one package (fiber, twisted pair [ethernet, phone...], coax, hybrid, microduct technologies with GIS in one client), extremely powerful inhouse functionality (you want that to document e.g. server rooms), full simulation of the physical network including calculation of optical budget as well as RF levels/spectra on coax, and you do planning->documentation->service in one go without having to redraw.

Has (amongst other stuff) a HTML5 viewer application (nice for techies/service personnel) that includes searching, redlining and basic editing. Interfaces, open database model (including fiber owners, equipment age, full logical net structure in plain database tables).

Very competetive pricing, easy customization, and you are not working with abstract heaps of tables or functionless vector graphics but rather graphical representations of your actual network equipment with their simulated behavior.

Has a SOAP interface, a WMS client and server, can work with DXF/DWG and raster maps and floorplans etc etc.

Private owned german company, product in eight languages or so (developed in english). Way over 16 million homes passed all over the world (the biggest german triple play provider plans and documents purely in AND).

Disclaimer: I work for the company (8th year now), sorry if above sounded like marketing drivel. Sales support + consulting is infectious...
P.S. If you buy and want training I may get to fly to you! :-)

Australian NBN (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43949011)

I believe the design/deployment by the main company (Opticomm) involved in the Australian NBN (nationwide fibre network) is using DAD for exactly the purpose you mention. http://www.dad.net.au/ [dad.net.au]

Last time I checked they had a free Fibre network trial model you could browse online.

Re:Australian NBN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43957043)

OptiComm are the NBN now? News to me..

3GIS (1)

TBC (11250) | about a year ago | (#43949149)

We're migrating spreadsheets and Visio drawings to 3GIS (www.3-gis.com) for the ability to track fiber paths, etc. We evaluated a number of systems. It's based on ESRI, so it's standards based.

Use a GIS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43949413)

The utility I work at uses a GIS (Geographical Information System) tool for this. Ours was developed by GE but I'm sure there are other vendors.
http://www.gedigitalenergy.com/geospatial/catalog/smallworld_network.htm

just ask NSA (1)

kharchenko (303729) | about a year ago | (#43951977)

I hear PRISM [poorrichardsnews.com] works pretty well ...

You were doing so well (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | about a year ago | (#43952307)

Until you told us you weren't in engineering. My advice, let them deal with it instead of trying to force a solution on them.

use GIS (1)

uncwjason (723431) | about a year ago | (#43953655)

I'd suggest using GIS as a facilities maintenance type of application. Points can be your equipment/connections/appliances and lines can be your fiber. You can attach as many fields as you need to a feature, and you can do calcuations and reports on them. You can overlay these on any basemap you like. I use ESRI's ArcGIS products personally, but you can find other ones, especially open source (free) ones that will do the job just the same.

Some Fibre Management Tools ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43959945)

What you are looking for are Fibre Management tools. And there are hundreds on the market, some of them are only used locally, some of them are used and supported worldwide. They go from cheap to expensive, so it all boils down to what is your budget, and what do you require.

We, at Comsof, have a planning tool for FTTx: FiberPlanIT (http://www.comsof.com/fiberplanit). Automated and optimized designing of an FTTx to-build plan, so your planning becomes easier, faster and cheaper than if you would do it manually. As FiberPlanIT is only about "planning FTTx", we integrate with many fibre management tools that handle the job of "post-planning": project-management of the roll-out, "to-build/as-built", operation, troubleshooting, CRM, ...

If you contact me with your requirements (through the website: www.comsof.com/contact) , I can guide you towards the right partners. As of today, we work closely with: SpatialNET (Synchronoss), Bentley, GE Smallworld, TKI NET, NETGEO2 (GISSmartware) ... and the number of tools keeps increasing.

We are very good in planning, they are the best in the "post-planning phase".

Luc

Cablescout, Pathfinder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43959947)

We're facing the same challenges, so I checked the market the last few months.
We have the following products on our list:
CableScout: http://www.josoftware.de/en/home/home.php?lan=en
Pathfinder: http://tripunkt.de
AND: http://www.and-solution.com/index.php?id=95&L=1#c235

APEX inventory tool (1)

Carlos Bock (2953341) | about a year ago | (#44024549)

We have developed a GIS-based tool to inventory and manage fiber networks. It is inexpensive and easy to use We have several relevant references that we are prepared to share. You can find more details at: http://apex.apfutura.net/ [apfutura.net] Please, contact me privately if you need any further information. Regards, Carlos
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