Cisco ONS 15300 Series

Optical Transport Applications with the Cisco Data Comm.


Table Of Contents

Application Note



Voltage Monitoring and High-Count Contact-Closure Solution

The Cisco NM-AIC-64



Application Note

Optical Transport Applications with the
Cisco Data Communications Network Solution:
Contact Closure Alarm and Power Monitoring Cisco ONS 15454 and 15327
Optical Transport Systems


This document provides information on a Cisco solution for providing additional alarm contact closures and power-monitoring capabilities for Cisco ONS 15454 and 15327 Optical Network System installation sites.


The Alarm Interface Controller [AIC] card on the Cisco ONS 15454 is an optional card that expands system-management functions for customer-defined alarm input/output capability. Up to four input and four output contacts can be defined on the card using the Cisco Transport Controller (CTC). The Cisco ONS 15327 provides six discrete contact-closure inputs and two discrete control outputs.

In sites where multiple Cisco ONS 15454 units are deployed, the customers could fulfill their demand for additional contact closures by taking advantage of the increased number of contact closures brought about by aggregating multiple AIC card-equipped systems. But, when deploying at remote sites with just a single Cisco ONS 15454 or 15327 shelf in each site, the customers may require additional contact-closure capacity. In addition, the customers may also require power-monitoring capabilities in sites where the Cisco ONS 15454 or 15327 units are deployed.

To fulfill the need for power monitoring and high-count alarm contact closure at the remote sites, Cisco offers a Network Module as a hardware feature in its DCN solution (Data Communications Network). This Cisco 2600/3600 Network Module: NM-AIC-64, provides up to 64 discrete input contact closures of which 8 of the last 64 are software configurable to also accept analog alarms. Further, 16 additional output relays controls are standard on the AIC. These 16 control points can be utilized to remotely turn on or shut off a device; such as in the case of flooding—an emergency sump pump, or to remotely turn on or shut off an access modem (security).The eight analog inputs can be used for A- and B-side power input monitoring of the Cisco ONS 15454 and 15327 units.

Voltage Monitoring and High-Count Contact-Closure Solution

The Cisco solution involves the use of a Cisco NM-AIC-641 Network Module-Alarm Interface Controller-64 in locations where power monitoring or additional contact closures are required.

The Cisco NM-AIC-64 is an optional card in the Cisco 2600/3600 Router that expands the capabilities of the Cisco ONS 15454 and 15327 for customer-defined alarms and voltage monitoring. The Cisco NM-AIC-64 has its own CPU and its own IP address, and it communicates with the Cisco 2600 Router and external media through serial communication channels. The Cisco NM-AIC-64 provides up to 64 discrete alarm inputs, of which the last 8 can be configured for analog alarm inputs, and standard 16 control relay outputs. The analog alarm inputs can be configured to monitor DC voltage. The control relay can be operated to turn on or turn off an external device.

The Cisco NM-AIC-64

The Cisco NM-AIC-64 provides the following functionality:

64 ports of ground or voltage sense inputs

8 of 64 ports are software configurable to receive analog differential inputs

DC voltage and current monitoring

16 relay output controls (to remotely control devices)

CiscoView support

CiscoWorks support

Command-line interface (CLI) support

Transaction Language One (TL-1) or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) support

The Cisco 2600 Router with the Cisco NM-AIC-64 is one rack unit (RU) high, and it fits into a 19-inch rack.

The physical connections from the Cisco NM-AIC-64 are via a small-computer-serial-interface (SCSI) connector that cables to a patch panel. The alarms are user definable to meet the customer-specific needs. The Cisco NM-AIC-64's 64 contact alarm points facilitate monitoring of power and the detection and reporting of alarms from open doors, temperature sensors, flood sensors, and other environmental conditions. The 16 available output contacts can typically be used to drive visual or audible devices such as bells, lights, and pagers or even to control generators, heaters, fans, and so on.

Each of the 64 alarm contacts can be programmed separately. They are configured to be set to alarm on closure or alarm on open. Alarm severity (critical, major, minor, info, or not report) and service-level grade (service affecting or non-service affecting) is associated with each input contact trigger (open or close). An input contact point could be set up to close an output contact on the Cisco NM-AIC-64 to activate a remote device as well.

The Cisco NM-AIC-64 provides 16 output contact-closure points that can be programmed separately. The outputs may be triggered by the input(s) or manually, locally, or remotely. They default to be normally open and close when the specified alarm condition is triggered. The triggering condition can be either the occurrence of an alarm of a specified severity level or a triggering of an external condition or when a Network Operations Center (NOC) operator has manually closed the contact via a TL-1 command.

When an event such as a drop in voltage below the predefined threshold occurs in a Cisco ONS 15454 remote location, the Cisco NM-AIC-64 in that location maps the simple analog alarms to preprogrammed intelligent messages and transports the messages in either TL-1 or SNMP format over the section data communications channel (SDCC) of the Cisco ONS 15454 to the management Operations Support System (OSS) in the NOC. The Cisco 2600 Router with the Cisco NM-AIC-64 sends TL-1 or SNMP messages to the OSS autonomously or in response to TL-1 or SNMP commands from the OSS.


We can now examine two sample applications that show how customers could use the Cisco DCN NM-AIC-64 solution in their network to derive increased contact-closure capacity and power-monitoring capabilities in remote locations with Cisco ONS 15454 units. Figure 1 shows the configuration for a sample application that provides additional contact-closure capacity at a remote site with a single Cisco ONS 15454 shelf. Figure 2 shows the configuration for a sample application that provides power-monitoring capability at a remote site with four Cisco ONS 15454 shelves in a 7-foot bay.

Figure 1 A Sample Application for Increasing Contact-Closure Capacity with the Cisco NM-AIC-64

Figure 2 A Sample Application for Power Monitoring with the Cisco DCN: NM-AIC-64

The Cisco NM-AIC-64 is connected via the LAN connection on the Cisco 2600 Router to the Cisco ONS 15454, through either the rear-panel LAN pins or the front RJ-45 LAN connection on the Timing, Communication and Control (TCC) card in the remote location. Four SCSI cables are used to wire the Cisco NM-AIC-64 to a one-RU patch panel with amphenol connectors. The cables from the patch panel could then be wired into a 66 block, if desired, to connect to the alarms or perform power monitoring.

Configuring the Cisco NM-AIC-64 involves assigning an IP address to the Cisco NM-AIC-64 unit using the Cisco IOS® commands. The unit is configured to be on the same subnet as the Cisco ONS 15454 node to which it is attached. A static route is then built between the Cisco NM-AIC-64 unit and the corresponding Cisco ONS 15454 node. A TL-1 session is established from the management OSS in the NOC to the Cisco NM-AIC-64 unit in the remote location by performing a Telnet to the unit IP address and specifying the appropriate port. The management OSS in the NOC is connected to the network via the Cisco Gateway ONS 15454 node. The TL-1 messages are transported between the OSS and the Cisco NM-AIC-64 over the SDCC of the Cisco ONS 15454 nodes. The Cisco ONS 15454 SDCC can be used for this telemetry-monitoring application in addition to the regular provisioning- and performance-monitoring routines conducted through it. By utilizing the SDCC for these purposes, the customer deploying the Cisco NM-AIC-64 solution can do so without the need for a dedicated LAN connection to each remote-monitor site.

Alarm- and power-monitoring configurations for the Cisco NM-AIC-64 are set up with either TL-1 or the AIC CLI. The flexible TL-1 and AIC CLI permit a broad range of alarm configuration scenarios. Thus, configuring the Cisco NM-AIC-64 input and output alarms, retrieving input alarms, monitoring DC voltage and current, and activating out put contact closures can all be done by the management OSS over this TL-1 session.

When supporting a 7-foot bay with four Cisco ONS 15454 shelves, the 8 analog input alarm contacts of a single Cisco NM-AIC-64 can be programmed to perform A- and B-side power input monitoring for each of the four shelves in the bay.


To fulfill customers' demand for increased contact-closure capacity in remote locations with a single Cisco ONS 15454 shelf, Cisco offers a high-count contact-closure solution designed around the use of a Cisco 2600 Alarm Interface Module. When used with the Cisco ONS 15454 Optical Transport System, the Cisco NM-AIC-64 provides 56 discrete alarm inputs, 8 analog alarm inputs, and 16 control relay output contacts, a setup that significantly increases the number of contact closures that can be supported through one Cisco ONS 15454 shelf today. Furthermore, the Cisco NM-AIC-64 provides a robust solution to address such areas as A- and B-side power input monitoring to the Cisco ONS 15454, as well as numerous logging and reporting capabilities. In fact, a single Cisco NM-AIC-64 at a remote site can provide power-monitoring capability for four Cisco ONS 15454 shelves placed in a 7-foot bay. The Cisco NM-AIC-64 has been tested, and it fully interoperates with the Cisco ONS 15454, providing a convenient method for additional external-alarm input and output points for remote-office sites.
1 The Cisco NM-AIC-64 Network Module is targeted for availability in July 2001.