Do you have fiber management headaches such as: not knowing how much capacity you’ve got, how much capacity you need, where everything is, or not knowing what you need to take with you to fix an issue? Need a tool that will help you easily document and manage your fiber plant? Are you sick of relying on static drawings and spreadsheets like it’s 1999?

Good news: there are fiber plant tools out there that make it simple for you to create detailed maps with lat/long coordinates and share them across your organizations.

Many of the organizations with whom I’ve spoken over the past 14 years since my company, Graphical Networks launched our first software netTerrain, have been using various methods of documenting the fiber: maps, pieces of paper (seriously!), static drawings, and spreadsheets of connectivity data, and Google Earth diagrams…and they’re ready for a change. If you’re sick of not having the information you need, keep reading.

What Details are Usually in a Fiber Plant Diagram?

Because fiber managers need to be able to visualize all components of their fiber networks, anywhere from LIU patch panels (even inside buildings (wall jacks, telecom rooms, ducts to floors), splice and fiber enclosures, manholes, poles, and all the fiber conduits down to each individual fiber strand, fiber maps can be incredibly detailed.

Fiber maps can, for example, contain data about every cable, where it originates and terminates, and its splice points. Overall, fiber maps can be used for any sized network — from smaller campuses like hospitals, to universities, and cities, and even states that have over hundreds of thousands of end points!

To read more about fiber plant maps, click here.

The Problem with Traditional GIS Tools

When they’re designing fiber networks, engineers typically use GIS tools like Google Earth and ESRI to create maps that show where the fiber cables go. These maps have information about each fiber such as location and various properties. However, these maps only show a general overview of the network and don’t give detailed information about each fiber splice.
To get more details about each fiber splice, some engineers use spreadsheets to document information about the fiber circuits, conduit, splices, and connections. But managing this information can become difficult as the network grows, and it can take a long time to find the information needed to fix any issues that arise.

OSP software like netTerrain makes it simple to get detailed views of your fiber plant

A Better Alternative: Fiber Mapping Software

OSP diagrams, or Outside Plant diagrams, are a big step up from basic GIS diagrams. OSP software, aka fiber mapping software, helps engineers create and manage fiber optic, cable, and wireless networks on GIS maps like OpenStreetMap or Google maps satellite. In addition to powerful visualization, it also has extra features that help organizations manage capacity and plan for future growth.

OpenStreetMap in netTerrain OSP

Google Satellite in netTerrain OSP

With OSP software in place, engineers can run queries on the data they’ve collected, which can help them make decisions about their network. For example, they can determine which areas of the network are close to reaching capacity, and plan to upgrade those areas before they become overloaded. This can help prevent network outages and keep everything running smoothly.

With OSP software like netTerrain, it’s easy to:

  1. Create new circuits using existing fiber infrastructure: Instead of adding new cables, an OSP system can help you identify available paths between buildings using your existing infrastructure. Click here to learn more.
  2. Generate a Bill of Materials report: When you provision a new circuit, your OSP tool can automatically create a Bill of Materials report that you can share with cable installers.
  3. Use Work Order to manage changes: Software like netTerrain OSP makes it easy to use work orders Whether you use ServiceNow, Remedy, or the OSP software’s built-in work order tasks, you can use this feature to make updates to the network more efficiently.
  4. Gain a comprehensive view of your fiber network: With an OSP solution, managing your fiber infrastructure goes beyond just seeing a geographical map. It lets you see all the components of the network in an easy-to-understand way, so you can make informed decisions about the network’s management.

Creating new circuits is easy-peasy in software like netTerrain OSP

If a business needs to keep track of their fiber network, OSP tools are a great choice. They help with decision-making, managing capacity and growth, and troubleshooting. An OSP solution like netTerrain goes beyond just showing a map of the network’s geography: it lets you see all the components of the network in an easy-to-understand way, so they can make informed decisions about the network’s management.

Are you ready to take the next step and try out software like netTerrain OSP for free? Click here to get started.

About Fred Koh

As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.