Facts About MIZAR by The "Q" MIZAR is a Bell system used by the RCMAC (Recent Change Memory Administration Center), also known as the CIC in some areas. Its purpose is to process Recent Change Messages. Before we go into more detail, we will need to familiarize you with some terms. First off, ever Central Office (Wire Center, End Office, whatever) houses one or more switches, whether electromechanical, electronic (analog), or digital. Each switch is responsible for controlling various aspects of telephone service for one or more (usually more) exchanges. Switches in general can be classified into two main types: mechanical and SPCS. Thusly, SCC's (Switching Control Centers) are divided into separate branches. There are the E&M SCC (electromechanical) and the SPC SCC, which handle Stored Program Control Switches. The latter are computer controlled by software, whether they are older versions such as the 1 or 1A ESS (which use crossbars to complete calls) or digital switches such as the 5ESS or DMS100. Henceforth in this article, we will refer to SPCS switches as "electronic" switches, whether analog or digital. Basically speaking, a switch's memory can be thought of in three main parts: Call Store (CS), Program Store, and Recent Change. In general, a Recent Change Message is a batch of commands which tell the switch to perform an action on a facility (a TN, an OE, TRKGRP, etc.) The Program Store can be thought of as "ROM" memory. This program controls things behind the scenes such as interpreting and processing your commands, etc. Usually at the end of the day, Recent Changes which were processed that day are copied into the Call Store, which is a permanent memory storage area, somewhat "finalizing" the Recent Changes (although they could always be changed again). The 5ESS is similar to this, though it has many operational differences in processing Recent Changes, and Recent Changes are called "SERVORD's" on DMS machines and go into tables when processed. Now that you are somewhat familiarized with some basic terminology, we will proceed in describing the operation of the MIZAR system. Like we said earlier, MIZAR processes Recent Change Messages (orders), which can be computer-generated (by COSMOS, FACS flow-thru, etc.) or manually entered by the CIC. CIMAP (Circuit Installation Maintenance Assist Package) is a sub- system used by both the frame technicians and CIC. "CIMAPs" are primarily generated for new connection (NC) type orders. At the CIC there are three main types of orders processed: changes on a facility, snips, and restorals. Changes could be, for instance, modifications of line attributes. Snips are complete disconnects (CD's) which must be carried out on a switch in order to complete a CD type order. "Snip" is a term referring to what was done at the frame, i.e. a cable and pair's termination at the CO was "snipped" from the frame, hence a disconnect. "Restoral" is just the opposite of a snip. A cable and pair is being "restored," i.e. reconnected to the frame, and must now be activated at the switch and will hence be in-service once again. One the average, a single MIZAR system handles Recent Change processing for about 20 switches (and it can handle more than that). Ever day, MIZAR logs into COSMOS automatically, usually at the end of the day, to retrieve Recent Change Messages which must be carried out in order to complete a pending service order. COSMOS takes a service order, and based on what is required, is able to generate an RCM from its tables in /usr/rcmap (on PDP-11's) or /cosmos/rcmap (on 3B20's or Amdahl's) which provides COSMOS with information concerning what type of switching equipment is associated with the wire center in effect and uses these tables to create the RCM accordingly. There are four main commands on COSMOS associated with Recent Changes. They are: RCS (to obtain a Recent Change Summary), RCR (to obtain a Recent Change Report), which would allow you to display an RCM if one was associated with a specific service order (all based on the filter options you specify for the search), RED (Recent Change EDitor), which allows you to edit a Recent Change Message pending, and lastly, RCP (Recent Change Packager), which generates an RCM for one or more service orders to be processed by MIZAR. After MIZAR retrieves RCM's from COSMOS, etc. it connects to the desired switch's recent change channel and the message is processed on the switch. MIZAR can connect to switches in various ways, depending upon its configuration. Switches may be accessed on dialup lines, X.25, or by dedicated hardwired connections. Switches can be accessed for the purpose of manually processing service orders with the ONS command. Once on the desired switch, it would be proper to utilize the RCM processing service provided through the MIZAR software, which will cause the service order to be properly logged to MIZAR's switch log (located in /tmp/swXX.out, where XX is the numerical code assigned to that switch), so that all will be up to date and accurate. However, if the RCM is entered straight onto the switch without letting MIZAR's log know, then an "unaccounted for" RC will be processed without ever being logged (except of course on the switch's roll-back). COSMOS can be manually accessed with the ONC command. Orders can be queued and have their statuses checked with the ORI/ORS/VFY/etc. commands. When one first logs into MIZAR it should be noted that the login would be RCxx or RSxx, where xx represents the account number belonging to that specific RCMAC (CIC). For example, RC01, RS02, etc. Passwords, of course, could be anything within the standard Unix eight character limit. After receiving a login message, you will be prompted with an "SW?" and a "UID?". SW stands for what switch you wish to be logged in as (i.e. once logged in, any transactions would be reflected upon that actual switch). Hitting "?" will provide you with the list of switch identifiers available. They can be two letters (like on COSMOS) or more (which is usually the case, as part of the identifier indicates the type of electronic switch). The UID must be a valid three letter code which would authorize that particular user to perform transactions with the desired switch. Typical UID's to be aware of are "all" and "any" which usually will work in conjunction with any switch you try to log in under. SW and UID must be provided for the purpose of setting up environment variables used by the MIZAR software. This is done in your .profile. The typical MIZAR user's commands are located in the path /mms/mms (and are all three letters long). It should be noted that CFS on MIZAR is meant to be accurate and up to date with COSMOS'. Some useful MIZAR commands are: MAR, which lists a MIZAR Activity Report, telling you what MIZAR's up to. MAB, Manually Adjust Blackout periods, is an important command. In some areas, MIZAR classifies switches as being in a "blackout period" at a certain time late in the day (usually the evening), as probably no one would be one that late, or possibly work is being done on the switch. Establishing a blackout period disables normal users from accessing a particular switch from MIZAR. One the other hand, MAB can be used to ENABLE a switch, and remove it from the blackout state. However, the CIC usually closes at 6PM (sometimes staying open as late as 9PM), and logins at such a late time would be foolish as you may jeopardize your future access. SDR, for Switch Data Report, allows you to list out useful information about the switches you specify - for instance, the NPA and exchanges this particular switch handles (including thousands of groups of DID and IBN blocks), its WC name on COSMOS, its configuration as a FACS/SOAC machine, MIZAR's times to call COSMOS, any preset blackout periods, whether AIS or E911 is available to the switch, all valid UID's for login to MIZAR, and usernames and/or passwords for switches that require them (such as the 5ESS or DMS100), as well as other useful information. WCH (Wire center CHange) allows you to change to another wire center (hence, further transactions apply to that wire center). As you may have noticed from this article, MIZAR is a very useful system indeed. It's a fortress containing a wealth of resources. The coupled power of COSMOS and a small army of switches to do your bidding is a treasure worth its weight in gold. This article was meant to familiarize the reader with the MIZAR management system. We welcome any questions you may have, and we will take pride in providing further articles on similar Bell systems and subjects, so as to better inform the curious mind. Bart Simpson is one rad dude.