ISO/IEC 18598 Standard Brings AIM Benefits to Network Infrastructure Managers

New_TC_Tan_headshot T. C. Tan May 13, 2016

AIM_FeatureThe ISO/IEC 18598 document for automated infrastructure management (AIM) systems has been in development for several years. This document has now reached its Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) stage which implies that it is technically a stable document. With its imminent publication (probably by the third quarter of 2016), network infrastructure managers should seriously consider deploying an AIM system, such as CommScope’s imVision or Quareo systems, in their data centers and offices.

So what does the pending ISO/IEC 18598 standard entail?

The standard is technology agnostic and covers an integrated hardware and software system that:

  • Automatically detects the insertion or removal of cords;
  • Documents the cabling infrastructure including connected equipment; and
  • Enables management of the infrastructure and data exchange with other systems.

The document also provides the business benefits of deploying an AIM system in one of its clauses. These benefits are classified into two groups, namely, intrinsic benefits and extrinsic benefits.

The intrinsic benefits include:

  • Accurate documentation: auto-documentation of physical layer connectivity.
  • Change/Incident/Capacity management: monitoring and management of connectivity changes.
  • Asset management: discovery of devices connected to the network and location information for connected devices.

The extrinsic benefits cover either application program interfaces (APIs) or data exchange between an AIM system and other business information or network management systems that can provide enhanced functionality to both systems. It addresses data exchange format, protocols and commands, and defines a common data model describing elements and assets contained within an AIM system. These include, data exchange format and protocols according to SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) or RESTful based web services, and a basic set of commands.

The extrinsic benefit will be of particular interest to the construction industry and building owners as Building Information Modeling (BIM) is being mandated by several governments such as the United Kingdom, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Singapore. The AIM system will enhance the functionality of BIM in the areas of asset information management, space utilization and location-based energy management policies. This is definitely ‘food for thought’ since the physical network infrastructure (for information) can be considered as a fourth utility in the office environment, along with piping (for water), mains cabling (for power) and ducting (for HVAC).

See how LMG is using the imVision AIM system to augment their managed services offering in buildings and data centers.

About the Author


T. C. Tan

Dr. T. C. Tan is the Building Solution Architect for Europe. Based in the UK, Dr. Tan has worked with CommScope for 15 years bringing a depth of experience and knowledge unique to the industry. He holds a PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Imperial College, London and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a Chartered Engineer. Prior to CommScope, Dr. Tan joined AT&T in 1988 where he filled various EMEA technical roles at AT&T, Lucent and Avaya, and was a member of Bell Laboratories.

Dr. Tan has more than 30 years of experience in the telecommunications and networking industry and is a recognized expert on cabling systems, LANs, EMC, BAS and cable fire safety. He has published numerous articles and papers on these subjects. In 2002, Dr. Tan was nominated by NCN (Network Cabling News) magazine as one of the key “Movers and Shakers” for the UK network cabling industry.