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

After being in development for several years, the ISO/IEC 18598 document for automated infrastructure management (AIM) systems 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.

Overview of the ISO/IEC 18598 Standard

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: intrinsic benefits and extrinsic benefits.

The intrinsic benefits include: 

  • Accurate documentation such as auto-documentation of physical layer connectivity.
  • Change, incident and capacity management, including monitoring and management of connectivity changes.
  • Asset management such as 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 that describes 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 because 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).