July 1, 2017 | by Wayne Smith

What is the Granite/XNG Database?

The XNG Database is an out of the box relational database currently owned by Ericsson.

XNG is used by many telecommunication companies including some of Vertex Innovations’ biggest customers. These companies use it for planning, designing, documenting, rearranging, maintenance and provisioning of their telecommunication networks.

There are five main object classes used in the XNG database: Sites, Equipment, Segment, Cables and Paths. The Site object class stores valuable information about the location, building, and grounds. It is a location within the database that lists equipment and where circuits are terminated. The Equipment object class is used to store network or building elements. It is any piece of equipment that has a managed port and follows the following hierarchy: containers, shelves, cards and ports. Segments can be leased or owned telecommunications circuits and are used to connect two locations together. They are typically outside plant facilities and can terminate on equipment ports. Cables can be used to connect equipment port or connect privately owned outside plant cables to sites. Finally, Paths are end to end transmission links of the same bandwidth which brings all the object classes together.

XNG history

XNG is a network configuration and inventory management system designed by Granite Systems back in the 1990s for the telecommunications industry. Over the years it has been known as Xpercom, XNG (Xpercom Next Generation), Granite Inventory and now Ericsson Adaptive Inventory. Most people just call it XNG.

Before XNG, people used spreadsheets, common database programss and note books. This often resulted in poor data management and limited the exchange of information. Most teams usually had multiple copies of outdated documents and this resulted in inaccurate network configuration records.

XNG enables customers to maintain current inventories of network resources to port and channel levels, track current assets, schedule future resources, develop complex network configurations and store circuit layout records. Users can also utilize work orders to schedule task driven project. Through the years XNG really has not changed much and is an excellent system if managed properly.

What it offers

Ericsson’s Adaptive Inventory system (XNG) is an Oracle relational database that provides users with a centralized storage system, manages company inventories, has multiple layers of security, provides effective user data management, provides an unlimited exchange of information and has dedicated servers with full redundancy.

XNG provides both qualitative and quantitative benefits. XNG’s qualitative benefits provide efficient use of resources without duplication. Additionally, the system ensures future network enhancements and modifications are properly documented, and facilitates coordination of resources across multiple organizations. XNG interfaces with other Enterprise systems to facilitate network optimization. XNG’s quantitative benefits include decreases in down time, maximization of testing efficiency and improvement of network element utilization.

What network operators need to know about using it

XNG is an excellent tool for network organizations when managed properly. XNG, like any inventory system, is not only dependent on the quality of the data entered into it, but also the motivations of the individual inputting that data. If you have an individual who is not committed to quality engineering standards, then substandard data may be entered. Stringent standards are an absolute necessity in any inventory system, XNG being no different. Strict data entry standards provide a consistent data format, efficient data entry, data reuse, and roll up reporting; they also preserve data integrity.

Some companies have become relaxed when it comes to XNG standards. Often a non-willing individual is appointed as the XNG SME (Subject Matter Expert), or is someone who has been designated with more responsibilities then their counterparts. Frequently these individuals have never been trained in industry standards and standards may not be a priority for them; the system suffers.

Knowledge of telecommunications standards comes from training and years of experience. Some of Vertex Innovations’ top engineers have been working with XNG since the latter part of the 1990s. They have been trained in industry equipment and data standards; these individuals have implemented XNG in markets across the country, developed teams that monitor standard compliance, developed XNG equipment models per vendor specifications, developed XNG user guides, provided training and much more.

Poor XNG Management

As stated in the above paragraph strict data standards are a necessity. Network organizations’ teams across the country depend on accurate data in whatever system they use. Vertex Transport engineers have witnessed what goes wrong when standards are not followed, but have provided their skills, knowledge and support to companies across the US to help correct substandard data. When data is not standardized, it causes many problems; increased down time in network outages, poor customer satisfaction, confusion in E911 notification, billing problems, site location issues, incorrect access information, repeated audits, inaccurate equipment utilization, and so on. All of these issues can lead to loss of revenue and employee production.

Proper XNG Management

The good news is that XNG can be managed properly. Vertex engineers know that having the proper XNG organizational structure is a start. Companies that structure their XNG system at a national level, with the expectation that regionalized operations follow the same structure, are creating a system of structure. This kind of structure discourages variances in each region. Hardware is an area where variance may not be a material concern. For example, a XNG router in one region is not going to be the exact same XNG router in another region, even though in reality, it is an exact duplicate. The database isn’t negatively affected by this variance.

A properly structured XNG organization has overall compliance responsibilities and does not report to a network or engineering regional organization. It is a centralized team with members across the country that work with all regions and organizations to assure data integrity. Vertex senior engineers understand that when XNG is managed properly, all data is standardized, allowing for new process to be developed insuring network and operational integrity. Database reliability decreases network outages, increases customer satisfaction and saves companies money. With their skills, knowledge and experience to help your company succeed, find out how the Vertex Innovations’ team of engineers can help you manage your XNG database needs.