Spinning a new Spectrum

Spinning a new Spectrum – Product Announcement

Chris Bucholtz

Latest version of Cabletron’s customer support system boosts alarm management

A new version of Cabletron’s Spectrum customer service system to be released this spring will focus on providing improved alarm management features and tools to better suit Internet service providers’ needs.

Tentatively called Spectrum version 5.0, the system will build on the existing version by adding an improved enterprise alarm management component, customer network management features and data warehousing features. It also will be more closely based on the Telecommunications Management Network model.

The Spectrum system will be available in a modular form for carriers seeking to implement specific parts of the system or introduce it gradually, according to Chris Crowell, director of Spectrum core development at Cabletron.

“We sat down with our ISP customers and worked with them to develop a system that fit in better with their needs,” said Crowell. “Features like the service level agreement management tool and the extension of the network view of frame relay down to the circuit level are results of these discussions.”

The new version handles alarms in three ways. Basic exception processing will allow alarms to be correlated to help diagnose the source of problems more quickly. A service level management tool will guide network managers through the process of setting up their system to process SLA-related alarms. Alarms also can be compared with a “probable cause list,” which automatically evaluates symptoms of network troubles and presents a likely cause of the alarms.

The system is in beta testing with 120 customers, Crowell said, adding that the transition from the previous version of Spectrum has proved to be relatively seamless.

“The tools have changed, but for users familiar with version 4.0, those changes can be understood fairly intuitively,” Crowell said.

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