Wideband (Epicentre) to SEP (Strategic
Ethernet Platform) migration and optical “clean-up”
Telstra, like many telecommunications carriers today, operate sophisticated enterprise grade ethernet networks. As an early entrant and innovator in the Australian marketplace, Telstra operate several network platforms to facilitate the services for their enterprise and commercial customers.
The initial network, known as Epicenter, was developed some years back and is “showing the signs of age”. Knowing this, Telstra constructed a new network known as SEP (Strategic Ethernet Platform). Whilst all new connections have been associated with the SEP network for some time, older connections remain on the legacy Epicenter network. TPS was tasked with the requirement to develop a end-end migration approach enabling customers on the legacy platform to be “shifted” to the new SEP platform, providing them with greater reliability and making faster and additional services available. TPS took up the challenge and operated a trial program in Oakleigh, Victoria to migrate a sample of ~40 services from EPI to SEP networks.
The program was challenging, it required staff to work during normal business hours to “prepare” for outage works, by pre-running fibers, identifying fibers to be spliced, loading appropriate and compatible optics into new switch ports and pre-loading configuration information into Telstar databases and systems.
Out of business hours (12AM – 6:00AM) during timeframes pre-booked with customers, the links were successfully migrated. Pleasingly, pre-planning and identification of any issues prevented any loss of service and ensured that all migrations occurred in a very short timeframe. Typically, the service interruption for any single customer did not exceed ~15 minutes. Following the outage works during the next business day, TPS office staff completed database amendments to Telstra systems such as Multiman, Cramer-LI, MITS & TPD. The deployment approach was proven successful. However, the works related to scenarios where services from the Cisco based Epicenter network could be migrated, but not the much earlier Fibrolan technology based proprietary optical network. The challenge with the Fibrolan equipment was that a proprietary ONT has been used at the customer premises, instead of a more modern Cisco router.
TPS took up the challenge, developed and trialed a solution whereby the proprietary FibroLAN ONT’s could be connected to the Cisco SEP network devices, without the need to visit a customer premises (which is exceedingly difficult for non-premises locations and standard locations outside of normal business hours).