Networks are becoming more complex. Software-defined networks, network functions virtualization, network slicing combined with customer managed services through portals to allow the addition, modification and deletion of services means it’s becoming harder and harder for operations teams to stay on top of things.
More than that, customers are becoming more sophisticated and demanding with regards to the services they purchase—especially when it comes to quality. Virtualization makes it easier for them to change service providers, so quality absolutely matters.
Detecting and fixing issues before the customer even notices—this is no longer just a wish.
By leveraging big data and analytics, operations teams can now proactively see potential service impacting issues as they arise, develop prioritized plans of attack to address them, execute corrective actions and verify fixes without any customer complaints.
Are you ready to take your customers’ quality of experience to the next level?
EXFO has the expertise and solutions you need to become a data-driven, customer-focused operations team.
Modern networks need to rely heavily on automation due to scale and complexity concerns. Automation, in turn relies heavily on analytics that can sort through a sea of data to find the hidden trends and issues that are causing unwanted behavior in the network: congestion, dropped calls, even equipment failures. And in a virtual network, some of these issues are only detectable by correlating many small changes in seemingly unrelated performance indicators.
Having the right data and understanding the full impact will be critical to effective operations in the transformed network.
Networks are in transition. SDN and NFV will completely change the way networks are planned, built and managed. At the same time, carriers continue to experience attrition in their pool of skilled, experienced personnel and for some carriers, many of these positions may not be backfilled.
Data-driven operations allow carriers to change their operation paradigm, enabling their shrinking, younger workforce to ‘do more with less’.
Having the right data combined with actionable, policy-driven insight is critical to successfully managing this transformation.
Operations teams are being driven to cut expenses, make better decisions, shorten the time taken to identify and resolve issues—basically, do more with less. And at the same time, they need to make sure customer satisfaction remains high. Data-driven operations are essential to meeting these goals. Having the right information, at the right time to make the right decision will drive efficiencies throughout the organization. Do you have the right systems in place to be a data-driven operations team?
For data-driven operations to be successful you need data. Specifically you need a broad range of key performance indicators for services, networks and customers. Active probing solutions are the best way to derive end-to-end service KPIs while passive methods such as SNMP polling are good for getting equipment and network KPIs. Derived KPI metrics, such as a mean opinion score (MOS), provide good insight into the customer’s experience.
When deriving service metrics using active probing, it is becoming more and more critical to have one-way metrics which provide an independent view of the transmit and receive directions. Many services are highly asymmetric in nature and therefore may not experience the same delay in both directions. Additionally, in SDN networks, there’s no guarantee that the transmit and receive direction will follow the same path.
EXFO has an extensive portfolio of active probing solutions, both physical and virtual, as well as the tools and systems to gather, correlate and analyze network, service and customer KPIs from many sources, including 3rd party devices.
By instrumenting every service and extracting indicators from the network, carriers will have all the data they need to understand how the network and services are performing. The problem is, most of this detail is simply unstructured data and virtually impossible to work with. What’s really needed is a filtered view of the data which highlights trends and out-of-specification performance, and shows any possible correlation between unrelated events. Having this allows operations teams to see the bigger picture and understand how many subtle, otherwise undetected changes may be adding up to cause a service impacting event. And by working on real-time KPI data, the time to detect, determine a root cause, and repair are minimized.
EXFO has KPI correlation and analytics tools, including real-time topology mapping to address the ever changing SDN environment, to enable your operations team to see the big picture and find that proverbial needle in the haystack.
A critical part of any network operations function is an accurate view of the network infrastructure and service topology. Keeping this view up-to-date and accurate has long been an issue, even in traditional physical networks. The transformation of the network towards one that is hybrid or fully virtualized which leverages SDN and NFV, will make this task even harder. SDN, by its very nature, will continuously optimize the network to address performance issues and failures. At the same time, the orchestration system may create new virtual elements, such as routers, to address capacity issues. Since much of this is expected to happen autonomously, keeping an up-to-date view becomes even more difficult.
Real-time, automated topology mapping provides an ideal solution to this problem by constantly ‘discovering’ changes in the service topology and providing the live topology as a service to applications that may need it for critical activities like fault correlation or capacity reservation.
EXFO has the analytics and topology discovery tools needed to enable operations teams to keep the network running flawlessly.
In the end, data-driven operations is all about actionable insight. Having the data, correlating and analyzing it is all good, but what’s most important is answering the question - “what needs to be done next?” Of course, the answer to this question depends on many factors, each of which needs to be considered in an unbiased, policy driven way to minimize risk to the company and maximize efficiency.
Data-driven operations addresses this question. By having visibility into the ‘big picture’ and consistently applying policy rules, a prioritized plan of attack can be quickly developed and updated as conditions change, ensuring the best use of operations personnel and least impact on customers.
EXFO has the analytics and topology discovery tools needed to allow a carrier’s operations team to keep the network running flawlessly.