In the Telco world, everyone wants an “end-to-end, cross domain view of the network”, but does anyone actually have it?
There’s a lot of talk about E2E network visibility, but most organisations have a lot of point solutions being used to manage networks and then try and merge the disparate outputs. Rather than this approach the real need is complete solutions architected from the ground up. Without E2E systems in place, it seems unlikely E2E visibility is really available.
The idea of using so many point solutions to aggregate data is fundamentally flawed, and as an approach to network management it’s neither reliable nor flexible. Networks are already struggling to deal with multiple data inputs, data types, frequencies, latencies, and data aggregation proliferation is a big challenge – trying to get an end-to-end view across multiple systems from different design perspective is, in most instances, implausible. It’s like building a house room by room with materials you happen to have, and no plan.
Case in point, take the example of a network fault. The name of the game is obviously in reducing the amount of time it takes to find and address the root cause. Typically, an operational user may have to access three, four, five or more applications to triage the problem and then, potentially send an engineer to provide local feedback. This is the operating model of point solutions working on one technology rather than a network-wide data driven system, built from an architectural perspective.
It’s obvious which camp we’re in. Our customers are coming to us to use our Zen Unified Service Assurance Solutions because they provide a fully integrated framework of modern database, visualisation and low latency automation techniques. This empowers Telcos to service the high user expectations of today’s increasingly sophisticated customers.
The benefit of the Zen approach is that customers can use one system to manage all of the following:
• Performance Management: Zen is able to collect and analyse terabytes of network and service platform performance data in the raw format delivered by each network element; to visualise, manage and optimise the performance of all domains of the networks real-time.
• Fault Management: Zen collects and stores all information in an analytics database. This information is filtered, aggregated and analysed in real-time before being forwarded to users and other applications only when manual intervention is necessary. This enables us to present all the underlying data regarding a root cause, and allows the data to be queried for the purpose of analysing underlying problems, past incident or trends, in real-time.
• Service Management: ‘Customer Experience’ is the buzz phrase of today. How do you get a great customer experience? Self-evidently, by providing a great quality of network, but most importantly, by being able to respond swiftly and precisely to any problems on the network that influence the delivery of the Service. In the world of complex multi-domain networks, this has to be driven from the data flow across the whole network.
With reliability and performance at the forefront of user expectations, Telcos are all aspiring for true end-to-end network visibility, but our guess is that those using various point solutions to manage their networks are not yet close to achieving it. As Telcos race towards implementing 4G, the networks themselves have become complex enough. We stand behind one solution, built from a proper architectural perspective, used to monitor and address all technologies and performance issues within a network.