OSS Naming Conventions

Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors.”
Jim Morrison.

1.1        Overarching Principles

Each Operations Support System (OSS) relies on standard names for the data in the database. These standard formats are usually called “Naming Conventions.” These are important because they make sure that all users create data that is consistent in the OSS database.

Please note that the naming conventions discussed in this document only refer to the naming of the objects in the OSS database. Using the concept of alternate names it is possible that the “EMS name” of an object (eg a network element) is actually different to the “OSS name” in the OSS database. This is only applicable if alternate name functionality is supported by a vendor’s OSS tools. Most tools do support this functionality.

Your organisation may need to make some changes to the “EMS Names” in the various NMS (Network Management Systems), EMS (Element Management Systems) or directly on the elements to ensure that it is compatible with the OSS and consistent in the OSS. One example will be to ensure that all Equipment Names are globally unique throughout the network, otherwise the OSS will not be able to differentiate between any network elements with the same name. Previously, each NMS or EMS only required locally unique names, but now that all NMS and EMS are consolidated under the OSS, global uniqueness is essential.


1.2        Naming Convention Levels

It was stated earlier that this document only refers to the OSS Level naming conventions. The following two diagrams show more about what this means.

Before Implementing the OSS
Before Implementing the OSS

After Implementing the OSS
After Implementing the OSS

There are some objects, such as Equipment name, that must be globally unique after the OSS is in place. Similarly, the operators of the OSS must be able to easily determine what type of equipment is used.

In the current situation (before OSS), “Equipment Name” (for example) only needs to be unique within the realm of the EMS that controls it. If we use the NE’s shown above, it is currently possible for the EMS1/NE1 and EMS2/NE1 to both have a device called NE1 without causing conflicts. However, after the OSS is added, every network element must have a unique name, so one of these devices must be changed from NE1 to something else that is globally unique.

Similarly, the OSS operators are now responsible for all of the equipment in figure 2 so it may sometimes be important for the naming convention to contain a greater level of detail. Before the OSS, it was suitable for the operators of EMS1 to call a device HNI01 and for EMS3 to call a device HCM01 because the operators automatically knew which type of equipment these related to (eg a PABX).

However, after implementation the OSS operators will manage devices under all EMS, so an equipment name like HNI01 may not contain enough information because it doesn’t identify what type of device it is. It would be better for the OSS operators to have an “OSS naming convention” that shows the type of device they are looking at (eg HNI-PABX-01 and HCM-MD110-01).

If your Organisation wants to have an OSS name that is in the format HNI-PABX-01, but also keep the current EMS name HNI01, this is possible because the OSS software should have a field that allows the Organisation to store an “OSS name” and an “EMS name” that are different. Ideally the “OSS name” and “EMS name” would be equal, so it would be better if the EMS name could also be changed to HNI-EWSD-01. However, this means manually changing the names in many devices and can take an inordinate amount of time.

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