PLM program lineup manager provides a powerful tool for the central management of program and transport changes while monitoring a video network delivery system. Used in conjunction with IneoQuest's award-winning iVMS® video management system, PLM provides the comprehensive infrastructure including database engine, simple user interface, and automation API (application programming interface) to make the change management of alias and alarm templates a simple and seamless process.
From Headend to customer premise, iVMS provides a real-time, view into the health of the entire video distribution network. It detects customer impacting events, sends alerts, and rapidly isolates faults while providing the correct tools for remote troubleshooting. Reporting to iVMS, IneoQuest's versatile, low-cost probes deployed at critical points in the network monitor all aspects of video delivery including the program/channel, the transport/flow that carries the program, and the lineup that includes multiple transports.
To alert network operations of problems, the probes must be configured with the appropriate alarm templates. For example, the bit rate threshold for a standard-definition (SD) program differs from the bit rate threshold for a high-definition (HD) channel and requires a different alarm template for SD and HD programs. At the same time, the program and transport need to be identified by a common name (for example, the program/channel name instead of "MPEG program number 10" and "IP_transport_Headend_to_Boston" instead of "flow1_10.10.100.1") across the network so that alerts are easily understood by operations. This is achieved by assigning a program and a transport alias name to the programs and flows that are monitored on the probe. By configuring the proper program and transport alias names and alarm templates, network operations receives the maximum benefit from the video service assurance solution.
Nevertheless, the operational challenges of maintaining proper alias and alarm templates are daunting. This is due to the fact that the network is dynamic, the lineups (the channel offerings to customers) in certain markets vary dramatically and change on a regular basis, the program groupings (muxes) change, and the transports that carry these muxes change.
By installing the PLM software, service providers can reduce the hundreds of man hours required to manage the changes. PLM has the necessary API to integrate with third party database systems (typically, video delivery equipment vendors' products) and the service provider's operational system which makes the entire change management process a touchless operation. The systems that manage the video delivery network ranging from the encoders to the set-top boxes are the change agents. PLM interfaces with these change agents and makes appropriate changes to the alias and alarm templates. The updated and correct information is downloaded to the probes, so that the network alerts are correct and meaningful.
- PLM addresses the constant program lineup changes required for the continuous configuration changes to the video service assurance solution
- Integrates with third party systems such as Motorola DAC or Cisco/SA DNCS shadow databases to create a touch less operational environment
- Dramatically reduces the number of man hours spent on change management to match the service delivery network attributes to the service monitoring parameters
User Interface: Workflow
Easy Change Management
- Simple change management procedure can be put in place by NOC operations
- Headend Engineers update NOC operations upon a change in flows/programs on the network devices
- NOC operations can use PLM to update the monitoring probes
- Changes in one or two programs or flow in a mux now require only a few clicks and edits
- Simply Add/Delete a program in a MUX
- Automatically lineup changes are performed and new alias files are generated
- Standalone software to manage Alias and Alarm templates
- Installable on a separate server other than the iVMS video management system
- Login, user security, and auditing capabilities
- Imports existing alias and alarm templates and has other import capabilities
- Supports scheduling of alias and alarm template downloading to probes
- Integration with Motorola DAC, SA/Cisco DNCS
- Program lineup changes on DAC/DNCSs will trigger an event on PLM
- PLM will extract the changes from DAC/DNCS shadow databases
- Adapts the changes automatically and generates new alias files for the probes
Different Sections of PLM
The PLM Home provides a central interface for managing alias and alarm templates for:
- Alarm Templates
Security provides user management and the management of different levels of access to PLM. The system can direct users to exactly the tools that they need based on the user privileges assigned.