Tampere University of Technology

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Service Availability Standards for Carrier-Grade Platforms: Creation and Deployment in Mobile Networks

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages111
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-2158-4
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-2134-8
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2009
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


The rapid development of the mobile network industry has raised considerably the expectations and requirements of the whole chain of stakeholders, from the end users through the mobile network operators and ultimately to the network equipment providers. A key expectation from an end user is service availability, which is a perception that services are continuously operational even in the presence of failures in the mobile network. Network equipment providers have been using carrier-grade platforms to provide various support functions including high availability as reusable assets for products creation. The term carrier-grade refers to a class of systems used in public telecommunications network that deliver up to five nines or six nines (99.999% or 99.9999%) availability. The convergence of communications and information technology in the industry has led to more competition and pressure to reduce development efforts. By creating a service availability standard, Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software can be bought and integrated into a carrier-grade platform, enabling a company to focus on the core business and concentrate the resource investment onto new innovations. This thesis explores the kind of service availability support needed for a carrier-grade platform and captures the essential ones for standardisation. It also aims at investigating the impact of using standards-based service availability software in the platform on the overall product development life cycle. The main result of this research is reflected in having the proposed solutions of availability management and online software upgrade standardized by the Service Availability Forum. All the current network equipment providers have effectively endorsed them as the service availability standards in the mobile network industry. It has also created a set of robustness test suites and experimented on three standards-compliant implementations. The thesis has contributed to the development of concepts, programming and administrative interfaces, and mechanisms related to supporting availability management and online software upgrade in a carrier-grade platform. It has also contributed to a testing methodology that addresses the often neglected robustness factor in the selection process for COTS availability management middleware.

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