Telus this week is planning to put into production a tool designed to help the carrier keep better track of the thousands of IP addresses it assigns to its customers.

The company Tuesday said it had installed MetaSolv Software Inc.’s Policy Services release 5.1. Right now carriers are required to e-mail the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) each time IP addresses are assigned. Following a 91 per cent boost in its ADSL services last year, Telus says it has seen growth of 232,000 Internet subscribers (both high speed and dial up), which was one of the business drivers behind the MetaSolv installation.

“”Too many spreadsheets,”” summed up David Poch, Telus’s capacity manager. “”That’s really the issue: keeping track of our growth and our utilization of IP addresses on various different tools is very difficult. Having them all on one centralized system? I’m looking very forward to it.””

Poch said ARIN will be able to directly access the Policy Services RWHOIS server, which automatically synchronizes with the Policy Services directory that contains current customer IP address assignment information. Telus had already gained a tool to automate some of this process through its acquisition of the Canadian operations of PSINet, but the MetaSolv product architecture includes a Java-based API that will allow the company to write programs to interface the IP addressing system with other systems. “”We could have done that internally, but our strategic direction is to use vendor-based products to do that,”” he said.

MetaSolv product marketing manager Alex Damas said the Policy Service product is used by more than 40 carriers around the world. Besides the IP address management capabilities, he said CDMA 1X service providers adding data services to wireless offerings are tapping into its subscriber authentication features.

Damas said the kind of ADSL services Telus is offering could increase the IP management needs of similar customers.

“”Any of those services will drive the need for a commercial tool rather than an in-house development process,”” he said. “”Some of the smaller ISPs can do this by spreadsheets. They have no need for a commercial tool because they’re dealing with a small number of customers. Any of the ISPs who are growing and offering services have to move beyond that.””

Poch said Telus has also purchased the product’s DNS functionality, which will allow it to track domain names associated to IP addresses. “”The system automatically populates reverse-zone lookups,”” he said. “”If we’re allocating hosts out of the system, it would be a cost savings to Telus to use the DNS functionality at the same time. It just eliminates another step to input information into a separate system.””

Telus selected MetaSolv in part because its API “”cartridge”” development kit allowed it to customize the product to enter data specific to its needs. It will be able to take service ID fields associated to an IP address allocation, for example, and automatically associate it to the system where it’s entered in Telus’s customer records.


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