Managing the resources like Information Technology, Telecommunications and Network Management is same as like building a home. The more work you take part and the more work you have to be finished. The people who are destroying cannot fix the works of plumbing and electrical works. So you should go for contractor to direct, watch and manage the whole project.
The above condition is same for the IT Organizations. So, the Organization must have a contractor or supervisor to manage all its management functions within it. The contractors or supervisors to manage the network management functions within Organization are FCAPS and ITIL (Information Technology Management).
This paper mainly explains about the frameworks or models FCAPS and ITIL, their Life cycles and also their reliable services and also explained briefly about the TMN Model. The Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance and Security managements are commonly known as FCAPS. FCAPS is a model but not a product and it is developed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and FCAPS is migrating it’s managements from reactive state to proactive state. And also explains detailed description about Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and their reliable services. ITIL provided services for the IT organisations to meet their business requirement needs and goals and it has set of best practices for managing IT Service Management. IT plays very important role in the organization’s business processes. ITIL put the organisation’s business process goals in a place and providing measurement process for those goals.
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However there are lot of confusions in the IT Organizations about these frameworks (FCAPS and ITIL). Some of the professional think that they are alternate approaches to reach the same goal. But some other professionals think that they are mutually exclusive. There are lot more confusions and comparisons about these frameworks. But now many of the IT Organizations are adopting ITIL because of greater flexibilities of their services.
FCAPS, ITIL, ITIL Services and Information Technology Service Management (ITSM), TMN, ITU.
The network management is used to maintain the large number of networks, and those are often in the areas such as telecommunications and computers. The network management is mainly executes the functions such as security, deployment, monitoring, controlling, allocating, coordination and planning.
Why Network Management Models?
The network management is very complicate to implement. So, in order to work the total network management perfectly we are breaking down network functions into the smaller chunks. By implementing these smaller chunks we can get the total management of the networks. For implementing all the network management functions we are using the network models. Those are
TMN (Telecommunications Management Network)
FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, Security Management)
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
All these models mainly involved in the business management in IT (Information Technology) organization and providing reliable or robust information infrastructure services to it is a main criteria of the network models. Many multinational companies considering these network models in top 10 position but they are not giving top position. But the interesting thing is that some of the companies are not giving priority for these network Models for their business management. So, by this effect the companies are providing their services to customers below 20% and also the delivered products also not working more than 3 years. So the companies need to follow the Network Models for providing robust and reliable services to the clients and employees.
FCAPS Model is running efficiently with TMN layer but more is needed from this or extra version of this model. And below explained more details about the network models.
TMN (Telecommunications Management Network) Model:
TMN is Telecommunication Management Network. The standard model was first developed by ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union- Telecommunications) in the year of 1993 and was updated in the year 1996. ITU-T recommended this model as a framework where service providers provide their services to deliver to the networks. It has provided layered architecture for different levels of abstraction. The layered architecture as below
BML-Business Management Layer
SML-Service Management Layer
NML-Network Management Layer
EML-Element Management Layer
The above layered architecture is the TMN logical layered architecture. By using this layered model architecture we can understand clearly how the IT Services depend on the network layers for their business needs and for better performance.
FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, Security) Model:
FCAPS was developed by the ITU-T in addition to the TMN layered architecture in the year of 1997. FCAPS is a model but not a product. The ITU-T initially developed this model for assisting how to manage telecommunication networks. It was also an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) model for the network management. The FCAPS framework is also called as Open System Interconnect (OSI) Network Management Model for network management implementations. This works based on TMN Layer and performs their functionality at each and every stage of TMN architecture layer.
FCAPS Management: The Standard Model
FCAPS management depends on OSI (Open System Interconnect). The OSI specifies five key areas which are under the FCAPS model. Those are Fault Management, Configuration Management, Accounting Management, Performance Management, and Security Management.
C- Configuration Management
A- Accounting Management
P- Performance Management
S- Security Management
Fault Management (F):
In this functional area it is used as analysis of alarms and faults in the network. The network has ability to identify and isolate problems and providing information to appropriate person whom to deal with the problems. In this the network is always in a running status and the downtime is minimized. The Fault management is the well known area of the network management.
More Functionalities of Fault Management are: Fault detection, clear correction, fault correction, network recovery, fault isolation, alarm handling, alarm filtering, alarm generation, diagnostic test, error logging, error handling and error statistics.
EX: CiscoWorks LMS (LAN Management Solution) – Device Fault Manager (DFM).
CiscoWorks LMS (LAN Management Solution) — Device Centre for troubleshooting.
Configuration Management (C):
In the configuration management functional area the network is controlled and monitored and maintaining the status of the networks. Installing new components against the old components and maintained carefully by managing, recording and performing. In this area the main operations are routing tables, Service set identifier assignment, IP addressing scheme and maintain the information on the devices. One of the most important things a network manager can maintain a good network health by managing the device configurations.
More functionalities of Configuration Management are: Resource initialization, network provisioning, auto discovery, backup and restore, resource shut down, change management, pre-provisioning, inventory management, copy configuration, remote configuration, job initiation and automated software distribution.
EX: CiscoWorks LMS (LAN Management Solution) – Resource Manager Essential (RME).
LMS – Campus Manager.
LMS – Cisco View.
Accounting Management (A):
The accounting management level is also called as allocation level. In this the network manager gathers the user usage statistics and allocation of costs associated with the bills per time and providing services by the devices. One more privilege of accounting management is that allows actions of users and better use of available resources.
More functionalities of accounting management are: supporting for different modes of accounting, audits, set quotes for usage, tracking the service, cost of the service, accounting limit, combine cost for more devices, fraud reporting.
EX: Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) combined with LMS (LAN Management Solution) and NCM (Network Configuration Management).
Performance Management (P):
The performance of the networks depends upon the quality of networks and system statistics (Configurations). For better performance, the network collects the data, maintaining the proper utilization of data, free from errors, maintaining the response time when the data is tracked and finally availability of data. Performance management is as simple as monitoring CPU and also as complex as end to end application monitoring.
More functionalities of Performance Management are: consistent performance level, performance data generation, and problem reporting, performance data collection, and static collection, performance data analysis, capacity planning and examining historical logs.
EX: CiscoWorks LMS (LAN Management Solution) – Internet Performance Monitor (IPM).
LMS: Device Fault Manager (DFM).
Security Management (S):
The Security Management functional area defines the process and procedures for network security by protecting the network from hackers and unauthorised users. We should have to hide the information to the unknown users possibly. The network administrator can control individual user what he can do and what he cannot do with the system.
More functionalities of Security Management are: resource access, data privacy, access logs, enable NE functions, user access rights checking, security alarm for event reporting, takes care of security, security audit trail log and security related information distribution.
EX: Cisco Access Control Server (ACS). LMS depends on the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and other security Audits.
Where does FCAPS fit?
All the managements under the FCAPS are applicable to manage the applications. But managing the application is not same that managing a network. The applications have a set of problems that are affected by the network.
EX: VoIP Management using FCAPS
FCAPS model is applicable for the life cycle of VoIP / IPT (Voice over Internet Protocol / information Protocol Telephony). But don’t think this model is only applicable for the VoIP. VoIP is a application but not a network. This is also applicable in four stages of IT project life cycle. Those are planning, designing, deployment and in operational.
FCAPS on other IT Services:
For all key factors of FCAPS framework has provided extended functionalities. The extended functionalities of FCAPS also called as ITEF (Information Technology Extended Framework). The functionalities provided in the FCAPS are developed independent of operating system and any application type. Those functionalities can work in any operating system, any applications types and support for different types of IT services.
The extended functionalities for FCAPS on IT services are like a tree view structure so the consumer easily navigate to detailed level if he needed. The structure of FCAPS functionalities are given below.
The extended functionalities provided by the FCAPS are used in different types of organizations particularly for the IT Services. The IT service document mainly describes the category of coverage and individual services described in the IT management.
EX: Change Management in Configuration Management:
The change management is the extended functionality under the configuration management. It is for the authorizing, recording, monitoring and reporting all the services to the Open System environment. The primary responsibilities provided in the change management system are
Auditable mechanism for handling all changes within the integrated management system.
Review process for all authorising changes.
Process for all changes tested and validated.
Creating a mechanism for review change for not authorised from the change management process.
ITSM (Information Technology Service Model):
The IT Service Model is providing very important roles for the ITEF (Information Technology Extended Framework). The main structure of IT Service Model as below
Backup & Recovery
User data restoration
Chargeback Service Levels
Escalation Service Request
This ITSM (Information Technology Service Model) can be implemented in all the platforms to create the Service Level descriptions and to create SLAs (Service Level Agreements) between the IT resource provider organizations and the end-user consumer organizations.
The below example explains the sample Service Level Description of IT Service user data backup can be used as a guideline and should be modified and compatible to local data centre policies and conventions.
Service Name: User data backup
Schedule of the Service: Maintenance Window Task.
Mission Critical Level:
The user data will be stored in the central management backup system where data will be stored in daily based services. So, we can get the data backup from the central management system. They will be charge you for getting the user data to back.
Charge for backup data in Mission Critical level
The cost will be 1000$ + 8$ per 100 GB capacity of data per one month.
Business Critical Level:
In the business critical level the user data will be stored in to the central management backup system on weekly basis and daily incremental services. The cost will be quite less when compared to the mission critical level.
Charge for backup data in Business critical level
The cost will be 500£ + 60$ per 100GB capacity of data per a one month.
Business Support Level:
In the business support level the user data will be store in to the local attached file system on weekly basis and daily incremental basis. The cost will be very low compared to the mission critical and business critical levels.
Charge for backup data in Business Support level
The cost will be 200$ + 40$ per 100GB capacity of data per a one month.
Applying ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library):
While FCAPS is a great model to defining and understanding of the Network Management objectives, and another framework come in for giving best services for network management with the alignment of current IT organization structure and expands to the FCAPS framework Model. That is ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
The Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) from United Kingdom created the ITIL in the year of 1978 to grown up the Information Technology to meet the business needs and goals. This is developed by the experienced and talented people in the UK and by the practitioners in worldwide. The IBM Company is using the ITIL libraries for the best practices and then the official versions of the ITIL beginning to release. The latest version is ITIL v3 which was released in the year of 2007. This ITIL is customizable framework for giving quality services and avoiding some faults in the current Information Technology. The ITIL can be used for better IT Service independent of type and size of the organization, multinational or Region Company, centralised or decentralised IT provision, an IT company with only one employee.
The ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) has seven steps to implement. Those are Service Support, Service Delivery, and Planning to implement Service Management, Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Management, Application Management, Security Management and the business prospective. The main component of ITSM (Information Technology Service Management) is divided into following different sections. Those are
ITIL Service Delivery
ITIL Service Support
ITIL Security Management
ITIL Information Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Management
ITIL Application Management
ITIL Software Asset Management
The Business Prospective.
ITIL Service Delivery:
The Service Delivery is the key factor in providing the services over the network and should be able to deliver consistently. And it is also used for managing the IT Services and involvement of number of IT Service management practices agreed between the service provider and the customer.
Service Delivery has 5 disciplines. Those are
Service Level Management
IT Financial Management
The Service Level Management is mainly concentrates on the monitoring and identification of IT services provided in the SLAs (Service Level Agreements). It is also used to provide arrangements with the external service suppliers and the internal service providers in the form of an OLAs (Operational Level Agreements).
Responsibility of Service Level Management is to take care of agreed IT services to supply to the appropriate persons or organizations within the time management.
The Capacity Management is defending the cost effective and the best IT services by helping the organizations in order to match their business needs.
The activities of Capacity Management are Workload Management, Capacity Planning, Resource Management, Performance Management, Modelling, Demand Managements and Application Size.
The Continuity Management is supports the proactive measurement of IT Service. It easily identifies the error before get to process so that makes the IT Service can in continuous way.
The Responsibility of Continuity Management is performing the risk management to identify threats, assets for each IT Service and also able to give options of the recovering the IT Service.
The Availability Management is targets the industries or organizations should check out the availability of IT Services with low cost to run the organization in a perfect way.
The activity of the Availability Management is mainly concentrates on reliability, Serviceability, Resilience, Security and maintainability of the IT Services.
The Finance Management is ensuring that the infrastructure of the IT Organization is cost effective. We used to calculating the cost of the IT services often so that we can estimate the cost of the IT services in the organization. We can recover the costs by providing the customer services to the customers.
ITIL Service Support:
ITIL Service Support is the most typical Network Operation Centre (NOC) in all organizations. This is mainly concentrates on applications those are required by the end users. The operations are troubleshooting, supporting new applications over the network and help desk. The best practice of those Service Delivery disciplines that is used to enable the IT services to work effectively. ITIL Service Support has 6 disciplines. Those are
Service / Help Desk
In the above disciplines the Problem Management identifying the applications which have some faults and giving troubleshooting speciality of those applications to run perfectly and also solves performance problems in the environment. To solve the problems in the network environment by troubleshooting you will be having good understanding of networks and their configurations are required. We can get those configurations by using another discipline using configuration management for this we have to refer configuration management database. The change management is involves with the both problem management and configuration management. If the management has made problems with the infrastructure so definitely there will be changes with the ‘configuration then some problem raised with the configuration. The service will be help full in implementing other factors like PC to client PC installations and implementation and designing of networks and some other duties.
The total 11 ITIL disciplines are used for reducing the costs, to work operations effectively, and for better alignment of IT and business needs and goals.
ITIL Security Management:
The most important key role for the network management is the security. The external hackers or threats access data through firewalls and based on access permissions. We can gain the security by using proper configuration of network rights and permissions to the users that make the unauthorised users cannot access the data from end users.
ITIL Infrastructure Management:
The Infrastructure Management is concentrates on installations and configurations of network designs in the organizations. Generally in the big organizations the designing and troubleshooting of networks are treated as separate entity than the installation equipment. So that is the reason for IT organizations required accurate configurations.
ITIL Application Management:
The application management is mainly concentrated on whether the application is able to configure and design to implement in the organization environment or not. Some applications are giving late signals and not providing some other links in it. So this maintains the proper application providing suitable services delivered to the end users.
ITIL Software Asset Management:
The ITIL Software Asset Management is essential for every organization. This is mainly deals with the installation steps for software, their license periods and also giving some partial configuration of that particular software. It gives so much information before going to install software and also providing in how many instances a software can install in a drive. This is essential for a big or small organization to run IT operations. So, this is very important for the network management.
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In the version ITIL v2 only two developed modules of Service support for IT Services and Service Delivery of IT Services are included. But in the next and the latest version ITIL v3 has included lot of modules which will help to increase the efficiency of IT Services and their business needs. Even though it has included lot of services to increase the IT standards to the top level but some disadvantages are there to decrease the services.
Comparisons of FCAPS and ITIL frameworks:
If we understand both FCPAS and ITIL frameworks that are overlapped with some concepts while addressing. In both the frameworks, they have completed their stages which are not associated with the specific instance. Initially the FCAPS model is mainly concentrates on the different types of management levels with the help of TMN layered network model. But another important framework ITIL is mainly concentrates on the IT Organization to run efficiently with the help of their suitable services.
There are lot of advantages and inconsiderable disadvantages in both of the frameworks. Still the professionals have confusion about what to start? And which framework is suitable for their organization? Now International Organizations are adopting the ITIL frameworks within the organization for great success of their services and much more savings of money while operating it.
Why ITIL and Why not FCAPS:
Initially all the international organizations using the FCAPS model and later on it was dominated and get down by the latest model that is ITIL.
Now every Organization looking to implement the new things within the money management, and they have observed that ITIL is the better option to reduce their expenses when compared to FCAPS model. So, this is one of the key successes of ITIL.
One more factor supports the ITIL, ITIL is used to manage and organize different IT deportments of problems at a time with one comprehensive volume. Where as in FCAPS we have consider the deportment separately and recovered from the problems.
Another factor that let down the FCAPS service is that in the traditional environment of FCAPS model is a wired network with clear description of hierarchical architecture with deterministic behaviour of end points. Unlike WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks), there are some factors effecting the wired network environment. But on the other side wireless networks which rules the world and many factors effect on it. By using wireless based networks they can change dynamically IP (Internet Protocol) address, location and status of their connectivity. But the dynamic nature of Clients connectivity is not a fault there is no client specific management in the FCAPS. FCAPS is a useful tool and this can be used in the traditional environment but cannot be used in the wireless related networks.
Another beef of FCAPS that will tells you if there is a problem raised in the services of network management but it won’t tell the address of the problem, how to repair it and how to resolve complex situation at the same time.
ITIL has gained the tremendous success when it was executed in different organisations under different circumstances in different parts of the world.
Even though ITIL has lot of advantages for IT Management but there are some inconsiderable disadvantages that are raised by the IT professionals. ITIL is comprehensive to implement the IT Management. The publications of ITIL are also saying that it is not holistic to implement IT.
Another disadvantage raised by the IT Professionals that is even though ITIL is mostly accepted by the IT Managers for business needs this led to skip some of the pragmatic solutions for their business needs and this is unacceptable.
The FCAPS model can handle fault and configuration management perfectly but the organizations depend on other tools to implement security related issues. The ITIL deals total managements including security clearly.
NMRU is Network Management ‘R’ Us is prestigious company in the UK. All Network Management companies must follow the network management models like TMN, FCAPS and ITIL for better performance, security, identifying and solving future network problems. The company currently NMRU using the FCAPS model and this model usually layered with TMN. There are new features arrived in the UK Public Sector and now wanted to migrate to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
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