Showing posts with label Service Assurance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Service Assurance. Show all posts

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Blueprint: To Unlock the 5G Future, Service Providers Need to Get Active

by Steve Douglas, Head of Market Strategy, Spirent Communications

Imagine a big storm just passed through your neighborhood, and you’re worried it might have damaged your roof. Do you:

a. Go investigate how the roof is holding up 

b. Wait until the next storm to see if water starts dripping into your bedroom

Most of us would choose option A. It just makes sense to try to determine if something is broken ahead of time, before it fails and creates a bigger, more expensive problem. And yet, that’s not the approach most service providers use today when monitoring their networks.

Modern active monitoring technologies let operators poke and prod their networks in a variety of ways to spot potential problems before they affect customers. But only a fraction of service providers actually use them across the end-to-end network. Instead, most rely on the same techniques they’ve used for years: passively collecting telemetry data, analyzing it over time, detecting many problems only when someone calls to complain. 

This has never been an ideal situation, but in the near future, it will be an impossible one. As service providers progress with 5G rollouts, passive monitoring strategies fall apart. Which means, active testing and assurance is no longer optional. It’s becoming a mission-critical requirement. 

 Problems with Traditional Testing

Historically, most operators have relied on passive monitoring to assess network health, isolate faults, and ensure they live up to their service-level agreements (SLAs). That is, they deploy passive probes throughout their environment to capture network traffic data, dump that data into huge data lakes, and run analytics on it to identify anomalies. Active monitoring takes a more proactive approach. Instead of waiting for statistical analysis to reveal issues over weeks or months, it continually injects synthetic traffic into the network to measure performance in real time. 

Active monitoring is not a new concept. Many operators use it today in transport networks, where they’ve been seeking to introduce self-healing and automation capabilities. In the heart of most networks though, the passive approach still dominates. Now, that’s starting to change in response to five big trends:

  • Cloudification: To enable more agility and automation, operators are implementing more of the network as software, hosted in cloud environments. As a result, network elements are no longer static, rigid functions. They’re dynamic pieces of software that can be continually spun up and moved across cloud environments.  
  • Openness: The 5G specification mandates open interfaces. This allows operators to work with new vendors and open-source technologies in ways that weren’t possible before. But it also means that, instead of getting software updates a couple times a year from one or two well-known suppliers, you can now expect constant updates from dozens of vendors. 
  • Automation: Legacy manual approaches can’t keep up with the volume and velocity of change in cloudified networks. As complexity and costs grow, operators need to automate more of their operations and enable self-healing, self-optimizing networks. 
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): To enable true “self-driving networks,” you can’t stop and wait for human beings to make decisions. So, AI is playing play a larger role in network operations. 
  • Shift to work from home: Businesses were already seeing their workforces get more distributed, but COVID-19 kicked this trend into overdrive. Suddenly, operators need to deliver business-quality network experiences anywhere and everywhere.
As these trends converge, network traffic patterns become incredibly dynamic, elastic, and hard to predict. Just understanding what’s happening out there, much less isolating the source of issues, gets enormously difficult—especially if you’re relying on passive probes in static locations. 

Getting Active 

To navigate these issues and position themselves to succeed in the 5G marketplace, service providers are now extending active testing and assurance across more of their networks. Active monitoring involves three basic components: 

  • Active test agents—lightweight software probes that can run on any cloud compute platform and be spun up anywhere in the network, even on end-user devices
  • Large testing libraries to cover a variety of simulations—voice calls, video sessions, web browsing, low-latency services, and more
  • Intelligent automation, so the environment can not only run tests in the background continuously but can make smart decisions about which tests to run and where, without human input 

By adopting active testing and assurance, you can:

  • Monitor more proactively: With active testing always working in the background, you can continually probe your environment and spot most problems before they affect customers or SLAs. 
  • Accelerate change management: Active testing can become a default step when provisioning new services or network functions (NFs), immediately validating their performance as soon as they’re deployed. But it’s also valuable for contending with nonstop multivendor software updates. Now, you can rapidly test and validate updates in the live network, instead of having to wait weeks or months for lab testing. 
  • Assure SLAs: A growing number of services use hybrid environments, where parts of the service depend on cloud providers or other third parties. How do you guarantee that enterprise customers get the performance they’re paying for when you don’t fully own the service delivery infrastructure? The only way is to continually test the end-to-end service. 
  • Reduce mean time to repair (MTTR): If you’re relying on passive monitoring, you have to capture enough statistical data to feel confident that an anomaly signifies a real problem. Getting to that point takes time—especially if you’re waiting for organic traffic to recreate the conditions that caused the issue. Too often, while you’re waiting, customers are already calling to complain. With active monitoring, you can recreate any network conditions synthetically. And when you identify issues, you can isolate their source more quickly. 

In early active testing deployments, we’ve seen operators reduce MTTR by close to 75% through rapid fault isolation. Just as important, they’re seeing trouble tickets fall by nearly 90% through proactive monitoring—meaning they’re fixing most issues before they ever impact customers.

Preparing for the Future

Active testing can be enormously useful in today’s telecommunications networks. But if you want to achieve your business objectives in the coming years for 5G, it’s absolutely essential. Whether you’re embracing DevOps software methodologies to accelerate innovation, offering low-latency enterprise services under SLAs, or driving down costs and complexity with self-driving networks, you can’t do any of it with passive monitoring. It’s time for active assurance. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Why Service Assurance is Vital to our Multi-Cloud Future

Going forward, service assurance is vital for personal and business communications, says Chet Patel, BT's Chief Commercial Officer and President, BT Americas.  Continuous investment is needed, especially in AI, automation, and analytics, to ensure the best customer experience.  Here is a 1-minute perspective from San Francisco.

Download the 2021 Service Assurance Report here:

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Nokia's first deployment of Digital Operations software on AWS globally

Lightstorm, India’s first carrier-neutral network infrastructure platform, will deploy Nokia's Digital Operations software to automate service fulfilment and service assurance processes, enabling the company to create new revenue streams by offering Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions to their enterprise customers.

The deployment represents the first publically-announced implementation of Nokia's Digital Operations software on Amazon Web Services (AWS) globally. Specifically, Nokia’s Digital Operations software is being deployed on AWS by Cloud Kinetics, a Singapore-based AWS Premier Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Service provider for AWS globally. 

Amajit Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, at Lightstorm, said: "Lightstorm is building a resilient and future-ready telecom network designed to support the ever-growing demand for data and low-latency applications in India. We are confident that Nokia's Digital Operations software on AWS will help us realize our vision of building a software-defined programmable and automated network. We look forward to working with Nokia in our journey to provide a world-class digital experience through our platform."

Vinish Bawa, Head of Emerging Markets, India at Nokia, said: “This deployment builds on Nokia’s relationship with AWS, which supports the development and deployment of telecom-specific cloud-native solutions for communication service providers. With Nokia’s Digital Operations software and the reliability and scalability of AWS, Lightstorm is positioning itself as a next-generation service provider capable of delivering NaaS services rapidly and efficiently.”


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Colt implements Ciena's Blue Planet for Service Assurance

Colt Technology Services' IQ Network is using Ciena's Blue Planet fault management software to proactively anticipate – and even act upon – potential network issues before they occur. Blue Planet Route Optimization and Analysis (ROA) provides visibility and control of Colt's multi-layer network to correct service delivery issues, accelerating time to market for new services. 

Colt's 100Gbps-optimised, high-bandwidth and low-latency IQ Network connects over 900 data centres and more than 29,000 on-net buildings globally. 

“Deploying UAA for fault management enables us to leverage automation and AI to rapidly analyse and resolve network issues, as well as to proactively identify opportunities to enhance the reliability of our network,” said Shane Sura, Colt’s Vice President of Network Operations. “This is a key enabler in providing the fastest detection and resolution of network issues for exceptional customer service.”

“Networks today are incredibly complex and require automation so network providers can deliver the best digital experiences possible,” said Rick Hamilton, Senior Vice President, Blue Planet. “With Blue Planet, Colt is creating a network that can adapt to support the next wave of connectivity demands while further reinforcing its goal of putting customers first.”

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Service Assurance: Why is my Network Performance Inconsistent?

Our 2021 Service Assurance Report, which looks at top CSP service initiatives (5G, fiber build-out, edge, SD-WAN, SASE) and examines the importance of service assurance to the success of these initiatives. We provide strategies on building future-ready service assurance for business and technology leaders at CSPs, networking vendors, and system integrators.

In this video, Jim Carroll and Roy Chua discuss highlights of the report.

Download the 2021 Service Assurance Report here:

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Video: The Importance of Application Experience

It’s all about the application experience. 

In this video, Mehul Patel, Head of Marketing at Prosimo, discusses the important factors in delivering application experience with today’s infrastructure, including application security, speed, and the overall cost. 

Prosimo targets secure app delivery with multi-cloud networking

Prosimo, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, emerged from stealth to unveil its Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform for secure application delivery in multi-cloud environments. The platform is positioned for multi-cloud networking, Zero Trust with Identity Aware Proxy, app micro-segmentation, access to lift-and-shift VMware on AWS, Azure or GCP, app-infrastructure modernization for Kubernetes and service mesh apps, and etc.  Promiso,...

Who is Prosimo? CTO presentation, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California,  has launched its Application eXperience Infrastructure (AXI) platform for ensuring secure application experiences across multi-cloud environments.In this 40-minute presentation, Nehal Bhau, Co-founder & CTO, Prosimo, shares his insights on the SD-WAN market, Prosimo's vertically integrated stack and its method to leverage the global infrastructure of the top...

Video: Service Assurance Must Evolve to Observability

Service assurance must evolve to expand visibility, understand context, and encompass SD-WAN and SASE. 

In this video, Angelique Medina, Director, Product Marketing of Cisco ThousandEyes, discusses how service assurance is evolving and why it needs to progress from monitoring to observability.

Cisco to acquire ThousandEyes for real-time Internet visibility

Cisco agreed to acquire privately-held ThousandEyes, a provider of real-time visibility tools for the delivery of applications and services over the Internet. Financial terms were not disclosed. ThousandEyes, which is headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 2010 by Mohit Lad and Ricardo Oliveira who had worked together during grad school in the UCLA Internet Research Lab to visualize Autonomous System topologies. T ThousandEyes vantage points...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

How Service Providers are addressing Service Assurance

What’s the boundary of where managed service providers and carriers start and stop with respect to cloud services? In this video, Jeff Lewis, Vice President, Software Defined Networking – Products, Solutions and Operations at Comcast Business, discusses the complexity of interacting with services in the cloud.

Download the 2021 Service Assurance Report here:

Active vs Passive Monitoring for Service Assurance

5G is changing the landscape for service assurance. Historically, the telco industry has relied on passive monitoring to fulfill service assurance needs. In this video, Mikael Grill, CEO of Emblasoft, talks about the advantages of introducing active monitoring for more precise measurement of network service KPIs and QoS.

Announcement: Emblasoft provides end-to-end validation for world’s first cloud-native 5G SA Core deployment with Telenor -

T-Mobile Case Study: Validating migration to virtual EPC - 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Video: Service Assurance for Cybersecurity

With large amounts of data, endpoints and interactions taking place on a network, the focus on service assurance becomes even more important. In this video, Rupesh Chokshi, Vice President of AT&T Cybersecurity, discusses why service assurance and cybersecurity are critical in the ongoing management of the network.

Video: Deliver End-to-end Network Quality with Active Assurance

The requirements around network quality are drastically increasing for both business and home use cases. SLAs are promising network quality with network KPIs, but how can we measure this? Meet active assurance. In this video, Stefan Vallin, Senior Product Manager at Juniper Networks, discusses how active assurance manages SLAs to ensure network quality.