Difference between NorthBound Interface and SouthBound Interface

In network management, usually SouthBound Interface refers to the interface exposed to lower layers and the NorthBound interface refers to the interface exposed to the higher layers.

For an EMS, lower layer is NE and upper layer is NMS. Similarly for NMS, lower layer is EMS and upper layer is service management or OSS. According to TMN Layer Model, the hierarchy of network management layers from bottom to top is as follows:

Network Element -> Element Management -> Network Management Layer -> Service Management -> Business Management

Let’s explain it using an example. The NMS interface exposed to communicate with Network Elements (via EMS) is considered as SouthBound Interface whereas the NMS interface exposed to Service Level Management or Operation Support System (OSS) is considered as NorthBound Interface. Below diagram depicts this very clearly:

NorthBound SouthBound Interface

An easy way to remember which is northbound interface and which is southbound interface is to refer the standard direction map given below:NorthBound SouthBound Direction Map
Hope you find this information useful. Please leave your footprints in comments section below for any feedback, queries or suggestions…!!

  1. Here is a intresting site in NMS field, but to refer to it’s informationit’s better to mention the reference in your explanation or it’s standard.
    Thanks.

    • Thank you for positive feedback. I will try to incorporate references as and when required. These are standards with respect to network management.
      Thank you for visiting VerticalHorizons. Please let us know for any queries :)

  2. Hi,
    I have an exlpanation, NB and SB interfaces is defined for every two side block including NMS, MD. is it correct?

  3. Well that’s right. I tried to provide an explanation for the terms used industry wide :)
    I am sorry but I couldn’t figure out what is MD? I understand it to be mediation devices.

    • Thank you for visiting Vertical Horizons and giving great feedback above. I appreciate that :)

      For an EMS, lower layer is NE and upper layer is NMS. Similarly for NMS, lower layer is EMS and upper layer is service management or OSS. According to TMN Layer Model, the hierarchy of network management layers from bottom to top is as follows:

      Network Element -> Element Management -> Network Management Layer -> Service Management -> Business Management

      I hope this clarifies the explanation given above. Please let us know for further queries.

  4. Dear Sir,
    Thanks for your good information, Here I have a question, for an OPtical Network(NG-SDH) as infrastructure, it seems that it contains 3 Networs: 1-NG-SDH, 2- RFTS(Remote Fiber Test System) and 3- Router and switches. To manage these networks what should we do? I mean which caracteristic every EMS’s should or must have? and for NMS which parameter we must consider?
    Thanks for your attention.

    • Hi,

      Thank you for positive feedback, it is good to hear such words from our readers.

      Now coming to your question, it seems to be very much specific to your environment, and it is slightly difficult for me to suggest which parameters need to be considered. However, each layer of TMN model (as described in the article above) implements FCAPS (Fault, Configuration, Administration/Account, Performance, Security). You can look here for more details about FCAPS.
      I hope that helps you to some extent. Please feel free to ask any further questions.

    • Thanks Santhana. Please do let us know if there is any other information that you are looking forward to see on Vertical Horizons. Happy Reading..!! :)

    • Well thank you for such a great feedback. Feel free to let us know if you are looking for any particular information. We will try our best to provide the required information.

  5. How about if NMS interacts with BSS(Business Service)? Do we call this as well as Northbound interface or EastBound interface? :-)

  6. Thanks for the providing information on EMS.
    if south bound interfaces are SNMP,TL1..etc..what about North bound interfaces..please let me know some interfaces names..how it will pass the parameters from EMS to NMS means which format.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>