Healthy VoIP Nets�Part LVI�Network Management Architectures: Mitel

Telecom giant Mitel offers monitoring solutions both for enterprise deployments, and for multiple remote customer networks.

By Mark A. Miller | Posted Dec 16, 2008
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Mitel Networks Corp., headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, is an industry veteran, having developed business telecommunications systems since 1972.

In addition to providing communications systems solutions, Mitel’s operations includes five business divisions that serve the specialized requirements of its customers: CommSource, which distributes peripheral telecommunications products developed by third parties; DataNet, which designs, installs, and supports integrated networks; NetSolutions, which resells local communications services, domestic and international long-distance services, dedicated data, and other services; Professional Services, which provides multi-tiered support for advanced VoIP systems implementations; and National and Government Accounts, which services the federal government and its agencies, plus local, municipal and state governments throughout the United States.

Through these various divisions, Mitel endeavors to offer its customers a broad choice of solutions, from basic business communications to sophisticated unified communications. In August 2007, Mitel merged with Inter-Tel, Inc., and now operates from over 100 locations in over 90 countries, servicing their customers through a network of over 1,500 value-added resellers and partners. Inter-Tel’s former Arizona headquarters is now the center of the combined U.S. operations. The company claims to have held the number one position in the U.S. for the IP SMB market (up to 500 employees) in 2006, the number one position for the U.K. enterprise communications market in 2007, and the number two position for the Western Europe market for IP extensions shipped in 2007.

The combined Mitel and Inter-Tel product lines include several network management solutions.

The Mitel Enterprise Manager is an integrated suite of management tools that provide for configuration, control and management of Mitel’s enterprise product portfolio. The system features the ability to access multiple sites and systems from a single interface—which supports a more centralized administration—and allowing for the automation of many standard processes.

These centralized capabilities include: user provisioning, directory management, voice quality management, report generation, audio file management, network health monitoring and notification, network inventory, IP phone analysis, and software installation.

Voice quality statistics collected from end-user desktops can be passively monitored by an external network management system or software agent through a secure interface with Enterprise Manager. Enterprise Manager can also forward standard Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) trap messages to local or remote network management systems for monitoring the health of the Mitel systems within the context of the larger enterprise. For example, the support for SNMP within all the Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platforms allow those systems to report to the Enterprise Manager or to a third-party system, such as Hewlett Packard’s OpenView.

The Mitel Management Access Point is a gateway for remotely accessing, monitoring, and servicing Mitel IP Communications Platforms (ICPs) and traditional PBX systems over public broadband and PSTN connections.

The Management Access Point is a 19 inch rack-mounted unit that is installed on a customer’s LAN to provide service technicians with an access point into remote customer networks and maintenance and diagnostic ports (both serial and IP)—as well as continuous alarm monitoring that provides proactive alerts of network problems.

The system can automatically forward alarms to a specific service provider, which speeds up the fault reporting and troubleshooting processes. The unit offers both dial-up and VPN access with security, and also offers a firewall that restricts access to customer-specified IP addresses and access ports. The system is configured using a menu-based interface, with scripts that can be created to cut down on installation time and reduce manually induced errors.

The Management Access Point includes integrated alarm-monitoring capabilities for the Mitel 3300 ICP and the SX-2000 LIGHT, with continuous monitoring of both system and relay alarm conditions via SNMP, dial-up, or email to one or two destinations. When it receives an alarm, the Management Access Point automatically interrogates the device to obtain details, and thus is able to provide information within the alert that specifies the urgency of the situation. A single Management Access Point can monitor up to 16 systems, depending on model and configuration.

The Inter-Tel System Manager provides a solution to monitor, program, manage, and diagnose the Inter-Tel 5000 or Inter-Tel Axxess system through a single web-based interface. The centralized management architecture allows for management support of a number of systems, including views of the entire network, including T1/E1 WAN links, IP connections, network servers, and end user devices. Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring for phone communication is also provided.

Further details on the Mitel architecture and products can be found at http://www.mitel.com/. Our next tutorial will continue our examination of vendors’ network management architectures.

Copyright Acknowledgement: © 2008 DigiNet Corporation ®, All Rights Reserved


Author's Biography
Mark A. Miller, P.E., is President of DigiNet Corporation®, a Denver-based consulting engineering firm. He is the author of many books on networking technologies, including Voice over IP Technologies, and Internet Technologies Handbook, both published by John Wiley & Sons.

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