Maintenance mode

I’m high maintenance, but I’m worth it.”
Lara Logan

Funny. Does this ring true for OSS too? 😀

Network and equipment maintenance causes quite a few dilemmas for OSS products and their operators too. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Performing maintenance or network topology change often causes an alarm storm for the operators to deal with. Having the ability to mark devices with a status of “Maintenance” and correlating that too your fault/alarm management solution could allow you to suppress alarms coming from any devices that are listed as being in maintenance status. You may still have to think carefully about alarms that cascade to adjacent devices in the network that are still listed as being “in service”
  • Consider your life-cycle / workflows when setting up asset statuses because you may have statuses such as InService, Maintenance, Spare, Missing, Reserved, Repair, Transfer, Deleted, etc that can be used to track a device as it is tracked through different phases of the life-cycle to ensure stock returns to service
  • Analytics of time spent in the different life-cycle phases can be used to monitor reliability and maintainability when cross-referenced by vendor / product
  • Depending on how you manage the life-cycle of in-service dates, this field can be used to cross-reference asset management data such as end-of-support, end-of-life, maintenance upgrades and other tasks that your financial teams will be quite interested in (eg for use with their Fixed Asset Register or FAR)
  • You may need to interface (or reconcile) with external asset management tools, which are often a BSS function, as they may be the master source of asset truth in your organisation
  • It is sometimes difficult to track all devices when you have them in various maintenance states (eg in repair, spares, transferring, etc) so rather than buying separate asset management tools that need integrating into your OSS, I often just create a dummy location (which may correspond to your warehouses or other nominal location) and put your in-maintenance devices there until they are re-purposed into the production network
  • I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of other important pointers regarding maintenance states in OSS, so feel free to jog my memory or call out any other great tips you use

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