Asentria Site Manager: Tackling Advanced Telecom Software Tasks
When discussing telecom site automation solutions, we often begin by focusing on the challenges of a single SiteBoss unit gathering data at a remote telecom site. Asentria has developed a range of different hardware devices due to the wide range of possible applications possible at a remote site. You would potentially want data from, or control of, power, security, and environmental systems at your sites.
Similar and Different Hardware Characteristics at Telecom Sites
A hardware solution at a remote telecom site that managed diesel generators might outwardly have many overlapping characteristics with a solution for managing IP cameras but would still have many underlying differences. There are many complexities to the integration at remote sites that we’ve discussed in previous posts related to all the different types, makes, and models of equipment found in a typical telecom network. The conclusion that we’ve reached from years of doing telecom site automation is that telecom managers need to be concerned about choosing an ongoing toolset rather than thinking that a single “out-of-the-box” solution is needed for each problem faced at remote sites.
What Telecom Operators Need to Manage an Evolving Network
It is more realistic to view telecom site automation as an ongoing and evolving part of your network. If tools are what is needed, what about once you’ve successfully integrated SiteBoss devices into a large number of your sites? What tools will you need to manage a large number of these devices? There are management tasks that can be handled centrally.
Upgrading the firmware or settings keys of large numbers of field devices is a task that is necessary regardless of the application that field units are being used for.
There is also a critical task of ensuring that units are operating correctly in the field and successfully communicating data back to a central site. There are specialized tasks that any existing software might not easily handle within an organization. There is a similar challenge to the integration necessary at the sites, where the data collected needs to be gathered centrally and then integrated northbound with other systems or existing processes. Just as telecom operator’s networks have a variety of different existing sites and equipment, it is also necessary to integrate data gathered from the sites to various northbound existing systems at an operator.
To address this need, we’ve added a centralized management software to our toolkit to manage a large number of our SiteBoss devices. Asentria Site Manager (ASM) software has existed for several years as a tool used by specific customers to handle particular needs. ASM has evolved from being a specialized utility tool for specific deployments to a tool that can be used by anyone with SiteBoss units.
Benefits of Asentria Site Manager (ASM)
ASM can manage many underlying tasks you could expect when managing large numbers of units:
- User access rights
- Mass firmware and settings updates
- Alarm management
- Customizable views and more
Beyond just a utility to simplify management of SiteBoss units, there are also optional specialized functions like determining access rights for onsite physical access via RFID card badges, northbound API, and the ability to control functions southbound to large numbers of units. In addition to just simple alarming, ASM can manage large sets of telemetry data, storing and making available the data for integration to other systems.
Alarming and Telemetry Data at Telecom Sites
For years there has been a focus on alarming sites. This is a critical function, but it has the drawback of primarily indicating that a problem has already occurred at a site. Telemetry data allows you to view data from a site that is performing as “normal” or at least hasn’t yet reached a state where it is in an alarm state. Telemetry data allows you to do things like compare sites with one another. Even if none of your sites are in alarm, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have sites that are performing sub-optimally. If alarming is primarily focused on network resilience and reducing network downtime, telemetry data allows for vast improvements in network performance and efficiency.
ASM is a tool that can be used to take advantage of these efficiencies. We’ve updated the product page on our website to give more information on ASM here. We’re happy to make ASM available to everyone and are proud of the work that has gone into it. It has proven itself in the past couple of years as a very valuable tool within a comprehensive Asentria toolkit that includes site hardware and in-depth telecom expertise. Please contact us for more information about tools to run your network.