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Introduction to Alarms

Why do we need alarms? To efficiently locate and identify the problem source on the network What do alarms do? They identify the source of a fault without the need for difficult on-site maintenance Where can the faults be viewed? Faults can be located on the NE (OM4100 & OM4200), INM, EC-1, CAT terminal. The OM4000 series NE also has failure indicator lamps on the hardware. There is also the rack alarm unit (RAU) indicator Alarm reporting Alarms are also logged into reports which can be viewed on both the NE and the EC-1.

Anomalies, defects & alarms

Anomaly: A single occurrence of a condition e.g. bit error. This should not interrupt the the NE to
perform a required function. Used to monitor the performance of the traffic on the NE (P.M.s)

Defect: Repeated occurrence or persistence of an anomaly. Interrupts the ability of the NE to perform
a required function

Alarm: Reports to the user the nature of the defect and the severity of the fault
An anomaly can lead to a defect which in turn can lead to an alarm

Bit error Detection

Normal operation - BER of 10-10 Like a clock losing 1 second every 320 years Like listing the forename and surname of every living person and only getting one forename or one surname wrong

Degraded operation (DEG alarm) - BER of 10-9 Like a clock losing 1 second every 32 years Like knowing the circumference of the Earth to 4cm

Excessively errored (EXC alarm) BER of 10-4 Like a clock losing 8 seconds per day

As the signal is deteriorating and gets weaker, noise gets more significant. You pass first through DEG, then EXC, then LOF and finally LOS.

Bit Error Interactions

Defect Naming
Example A defect type e.g. LP-EXC has two parts (1) function point Low order Path Termination point & (2) alarm category EXCessive bit errors The function point refers to the point where the defect is detected and not the traffic rate

Points to remember Defects derived from path overheads begin LP, HP, LPOM, HPOM Defects derived from section overheads begin RS or MS Defects related to conditions affecting a whole VC and its pointer begin with either AU (AU-4s) or TU (TU-3, TU-2, TU-12) The distinction between LP and LPOM is that the LP function point terminates traffic (removes the path overhead) and the LPOM simply looks at the overhead. The same for HP and HPOM.

DEFECT name = Function point + DEFECT category

E.g. RS + TIM = RS-TIM E.g. RS + LOF = RS-LOF E.g. RS + EXC = RS-EXC

Each defect signal is filtered to prevent transient signals causing multiple alarm indications being raised. This filtering is achieved by using two persistence timers during which a change to the state of the defect signal does not affect the alarm indication. The Present Persistence Time is the time that the defect signal must be present before an alarm is raised. This time is set to zero and cannot be changed by the user, therefore there is no delay between the appearance of a defect signal and the raising of the associated alarm. The Clear Persistence Time is the time during which the defect signal must be continuously clear before the alarm indication is dropped. This time is set to 15 seconds and cannot be changed by the user.

Correlation (Masking)

When a defect occurs and is recognized by the NE alarm handling hardware and software, often more than one alarm will be potentially reported. More than one alarm

Masking reduces the quantity of related alarms which are reported to the user by presenting only the alarm closest to the source of the fault. Reduces quantity

The correlation process examines each alarm in the Present state to establish if it belongs to a cause and effect chain for the fault. Correlation process

If another alarm is present, correlation of the alarms occurs. The alarm lower in the chain is masked (not reported). Masked alarms cannot be displayed. Masking begins

For any card in a slot, equipment or card alarms will mask any other alarms raised within that card masking hierarchy

Alarm Severity

Critical alarm
A failure which disables or decreases the quality of services provided by the network. Optical failures and service affecting card failures are examples of critical alarms

Major alarm
A failure which decreases the quality of services provided by the network, but not to the same degree as a Critical failure. RS-TIM is an example of a major alarm

Minor alarm
A failure that does not decrease the quality of the service provided by the network. AIS and protected card failures are examples of this

Consequent actions

C.A.s are events which occur as a result of a traffic or BER alarm to indicate the condition of the received signal. There are three main C.A.s

1. AIS indication (internal to the multiplexer) 2. RDI or REI inserted on the return path overhead 3. Path protection switch

The operator can configure C.A.s on or off for the complete NE or for each alarm type. For a C.A. to be enabled all the following conditions must be true.

The feature is enabled (e.g. Path Trace) Alarm report set to ON or Monitor C.A.s are enabled on the NE The C.A. is enabled for the alarm type

The multiplex section is terminated at NE B. An MS-EXC alarm is raised due to the excessive errors on the signal.

The MS-EXC alarm causes the following C.A.s. a) MS-RDI is inserted on the return path overhead b) AIS is inserted on the path overhead of unterminated (through) connections c) AIS is inserted on terminated (add-drop) connections.

The MS-RDI consequent action causes the MS-RDI alarm to be raised at NE A.

AIS on the path overhead cause the AU-AIS or TU-AIS alarms. HP-RDI is inserted in the overhead of the return path.

AIS is not understood very well. When it is seen it is an implication that something is wrong upstream. It does not indicate that the failure is on that NE! You therefore need to work upstream to find the source of the problem. Need to distinguish between AIS signal (Signal of all 1s) and the AIS alarm where AIS is raised. Purpose of AIS is to reduce the number of alarms in the network. (Standards) For example if an RS-TIM was raised on an NE, the alarm would be reported on all NEs downstream potentially. However AIS passes downstream and the NEs do not report it except on the NEs which have protected connections.

Trace Identifier Mismatch (TIM)

Important when provisioning or changing a network setup In SONET TIM needs to be detected for 30 mins for this reason Only likely to be seen when connecting fibers and setting up connections. NOT AFTER unless the network is being reconfigured Purpose TIM- a message is put in the header to identify the VC. It will travel with the VC throughout the network until the path is terminated. If the J0 byte is reported incorrectly over a sequence of 16 frames, the alarm is raised. Default values: TX-unallocated RX-unallocated Therefore the alarm will be raised and it urges the user to set up the Trace Identifier NOTE: It can be used to detect LOS alarm on Single Fibre Working due to the reflection of the laser Energis)

Payload Mismatch (PLM)

PLM - Located in the V5 byte PLM purpose - is to report that the payload received is not what the NE was expecting Low Order VC-12 Payload = 2 Low Order VC-3 Payload = 4 High Order VC-4 Payload = 2 The alarm is not that useful as the start and end of the path automatically configure themselves. The trib card that creates the VC will configure the label Possible that something else might be reported I.e. from a vendors equipment. If the C2 byte = 0, then there is no payload and is unequipped with a payload and the UNEQUIP alarm is raised.

Remote Monitoring
Remote Monitoring allows the original sender of the data to observe that the quality of the data has been sent correctly. Used mainly when data is travelling across various vendors equipment How is this done? - G1 byte The G1 byte in the overhead in the return VC-4 will have 110 in it which means RDI If HP-EXC arrives at Deutsch Telecom terminating NE expect REI but actually both are sent back. However RDI masks REI. RDI EXC alarm & REI - DEG alarm different thresholds

RDI (Remote Defect Indication)

Used to communicate back to sender how well their signal is being received Example application: Signal originates in network A. OperatorA wants to know if signal is arriving safely. But A has no jurisdiction over B - wont see DEFECTs detected in B. Solution = remote monitoring - RDI and REI.