When Conrad Hilton was asked about the three most important issues to be considered when building a new hotel, his response was, “Location, location, location.” With regards to data networks, the importance and value of location data is equally as important.

For years, network management systems were able to discover IP devices on the network and display the logical interconnections. This proved to be a useful tool; however, its capabilities were limited because of an inability to determine the actual physical location of the various IP assets on the network. For example, the network management system may report a fault on an IP device, but it could not tell you which desk or floor the problem was located. Similarly, if the wireless management system detected a rogue access point, you would know which switch it is connected to, but not the physical location. The lack of good location data adds considerably to cost and gives rise to inefficiency within the IT support team.

In data centers, problems reported by the network management system can only be isolated to their logical location; it does not tell you the room, row or cabinet where the fault resides. In mission-critical facilities, consider how much additional time is required to locate such problems.

Fortunately, infrastructure management solutions, such as CommScope’s imVision® Intelligent Management Solution, can provide the missing data you seek. The imVision solution provides a complete management platform for the passive layer infrastructure—improving asset utilization, streamlining work orders and automating documentation and auditing all while providing complete physical network security. The system has a record of every physical outlet on the network and, through device discovery, has visibility of the IP devices and their logical interconnections. It also identifies the physical location of any faulty IP device, greatly improving the time-to-repair ratio.

The location data is also proving useful to a range of other applications such as those used to monitor and improve building efficiency. Applications designed to monitor building occupancy, power management, heating and ventilation management, and others are historically pulling on data such as swipe cards and building sensors to determine the correct action. The imVision solution can provide these systems with real-time accurate data regarding which desks are occupied, thus improving the accuracy and effectiveness of these applications.

Although first thought of as a by-product of the infrastructure management system, the location data has the potential to be as valuable an asset to the business as a whole as imVision is to the IT network. Improving the accuracy of any building management systems, even by a few percentage points, can result in large energy cost reductions, improved real estate utilization, and improved support efficiency and security.

During the upcoming Cisco Live! show inLondon, the imVision solution will be on display at our stand (G16). I encourage you to stop by for a demonstration or watch my colleague, Niall McAndrew, give a presentation—Energy, Intelligence and the Data Center—on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 1:45 p.m. in the Gold Theatre. Niall’s presentation will highlight the imVision solution.

Isn’t it time you gained visibility of the physical layer, putting you in control?

About the Author

William O'Connell

Willie O’Connell is the managing director, Northern Europe, for the CommScope Enterprise Solutions Division. Willie has overall responsibility for driving technical support for enterprise customers throughout Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), ensuring that CommScope customers’ gain the optimum benefit from the full range of CommScope’s Enterprise portfolio, maximizing productivity and efficiency while minimizing cost and maximizing the return on investment Willie has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunication and data industry, having worked with AT&T, Lucent Technologies, OFS and before joining CommScope in 2012, spent eight years working with a CommScope Value Added Reseller. While working with AT&T and Lucent Technologies Willie was Program Manager for multiple projects in Kenya, South Africa, Poland, and spent 5 years in Germany managing the roll-out of the fixed wireless network for one of the early GSM operators. On returning to Ireland in 1995 Willie joined the Lucent Global Commercial Markets group as Technical Manager responsible for the technical support of SDH and ATM sales through indirect channels in EMEA. In 1998 Willie assumed the role of Sales Director for Lucent’s fibre optic sales in EMEA, which in 2001 became OFS. In 2003 Willie joined a Systimax Value Added Reseller based in Ireland with responsibility for business development. Willie studied electronic engineering at the Dundalk Institute of Technologies, has a Certified Diploma in Accounting and Financing with the ACCA and a Masters Certificate in International Contract Management from the George Washington University Washington DC.

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