Infrastructure Verification as a Service (IVaaS)
IVaaS is an innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure lifecycle management solution which provides enterprises with continuous infrastructure inventory, documentation, asset, and resource management.
Depending on the desired granularity of the infrastructure documentation and maintenance needs of the End User, the IVaaS service provider can customize the enterprise’s IVaaS program approach, allowing for target elements and resultant data sets to vary from site to site while still maintaining the standardization of the overall processes. Thanks to this adaptable, modular program design, IVaaS service providers can develop customized lifecycle management service offerings which, in each case, produce datasets representing the infrastructure elements most important to the End User.
The IVaaS model is well-suited to multi-building facilities (campuses) or multi-site enterprises which operate as part of a larger nationwide enterprise network, as well as organizations with multiple departments all responsible for contracting service work. One of the common features of each of these scenarios is that the siloed nature of the contracting can facilitate an environment of miscommunication, or no communication, regarding the work being performed – this often leads to such issues as redundant installations and lack of documentation upkeep.
Benefits of the IVaaS model
From basic assessment, survey, and documentation work, to controlling access to critical spaces and active management of infrastructure maintenance and equipment installs, enterprise network owners have unique infrastructure requirements which can be seriously impacted on a year-to-year basis by the inability to standardize and maintain a method of reliable infrastructure documentation.
Possibly the most important benefit of the IVaaS service model lies in its structured framework, which provides a customized approach to the infrastructure, ensuring the solution melds with the existing environment as well as the present and future needs of the End User; this approach allows for the resultant data to be “actionable” for the End User – meaning the End User can utilize it to make active, real-time decisions for the infrastructure, rather than being forced to contract repeat surveys to fuel decisions.
Additionally, this approach minimizes overall risk for telecommunications infrastructure investment planning, allowing for the planned, coordinated delivery of maintenance services over the lifecycle of the organization’s facilities. Some typical points enterprises may seek to address with an IVaaS solution are:
- Long term infrastructure integrability
- Timeframe reductions for discovery requirements and development of RFPs
- Access control of critical infrastructure spaces
- Increased disaster recovery efficiency
- Improved regulatory compliance
- Improved inventory control and risk management
- Minimized life-cycle costs
Adoption of IVaaS
The IVaaS service model offers organizations a range of customized solutions to increase the operational efficiency of actively managing a required level of service for an organization’s telecommunications infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner.
In the first phase of the IVaaS solution, the IVaaS service provider works with the End User to define the scope of the lifecycle management solution and identify the target elements for data collection, from both a site level and an enterprise level.
These can range from spaces, pathways, and passive equipment only, to a broader, more inclusive scope including active equipment and power; additionally, the enterprise may choose to focus only on Inside Plant (ISP) elements, or Outside Plant (OSP) elements, or may elect to include the entirety of their infrastructure.
Some examples of target infrastructure elements include:
- Any/All transmission media, including fiber, copper, and coaxial cabling
- Wireless systems, including supporting media and devices
- Passive equipment, such as fiber or copper patch panels
- Pathways, including locations, contents, and capacity
- Active equipment, such as switches, routers, and firewalls
- Power availability, such as UPSs, PDUs, etc.
- Life/Safety requirements and existing systems
- Historical requirements
- General site and access information, such as POC details and access restrictions
The IVaaS service provider performs a preliminary infrastructure assessment to collect as much basic information as possible; this includes gathering existing floor plans, telecommunications inventories, site POC contact information, and other basic site documentation, as well as capturing 360° images of all spaces included in the scope, and working with the Building Engineer to establish basic equipment identification and locations and documenting the findings.
The End User may elect to utilize the Assessment data as-is, may use it to develop Requirements, or may proceed directly to the Verification phase.
Once foundational site data is collected, the Verification Phase begins. Project requirements form the task list for a “deep dive” survey. This survey follows strict, standardized procedures for the systematic verification of the target elements.
The resulting documentation acts as the infrastructure baseline: all blueprints, images, cable and equipment lists, and other collected site data are evaluated, managed, and organized onto a secure online portal where the enterprise can access space, pathway, and inventory-specific information at any time.
Ongoing Maintenance Phase
In order to ensure solution success, the IVaaS solution requires submission of upcoming infrastructure changes (moves-adds-changes, etc.) and strict observation of acceptable processes and methodologies throughout the infrastructure lifecycle – this ensures the established infrastructure baseline (and its accuracy) is maintained as the site infrastructure undergoes typical evolutionary changes.
Without implementing Ongoing Maintenance, all documentation and verification efforts up to this point would become obsolete in short order. The Ongoing Maintenance phase ensures all future MAC work is recorded and maintained in the infrastructure database throughout the infrastructure’s lifecycle.
Information cross-checks and data verification are performed during future site visits, protecting the life and stability of the infrastructure, and ensuring the continued integrity of the foundational data collected during the preceding phases.
Not only does the Ongoing Maintenance phase give the end user the opportunity to relieve themselves and their limited resources from the uphill battle of infrastructure documentation and maintenance, it also gives them the ability to regularly plan for future projects based on up-to-date, actionable data, thereby minimizing the risk of network disruptions, overblown budgets, and protracted timelines.