TM Forum: Tektronix tool lets telco teams guarantee IP performance
No longer just about chasing down alarms, network monitoring is evolving even beyond service assurance to help providers monitor and guarantee service performance.
Need proof just how much IP technology changes telco operations? The network monitoring and alarming platforms that used to be bought and used by the wonkiest of network admins are now being evaluated and approved by a much broader range of teams, up to and including the office of the CFO.
That underlying sea change, described courtesy of Keith Tobler of Tektronix, is a good indication of the shift by service providers from monitoring networks to assuring IP service performance. To address those needs, Tektronix this week introduced its Iris Performance Intelligence (IPI) solution, adding new tools like a key performance indicator (KPI) modeling engine and reporting- and action-oriented dashboard to its Iris monitoring platform.
The IPI solution is designed for teams – spanning traditional operations to product management groups – that have responsibility not only for keeping IP networks and services running, but guaranteeing specific levels of service on a customer-by-customer basis, Tobler said. Service providers can use the platform to both monitor services in real-time as well as access historic KPI data, dealing with issues at a high level or drilling down to determine root cause issues to cut off ongoing problems before they impact customers, he added.
“More than anything, operators want to make sure they are optimizing all the traffic through the network that is revenue-generating, and when there are problems they want to make sure they don’t impact the quality of those revenue-generating services,” Tobler said.
That urgency even changes who gets involved with network monitoring. “In the past, [such systems] were entirely purchased by network operations,” he said. “Now we’re seeing multiple departments get involved; many times it comes down to a CFO decision. There is just so much information to be gleaned from the network,” data that can aid not only operations but marketing, sales, finance and other departments.
Tektronix has been adding service assurance capabilities to its monitoring toolset for a long time, though of late it has been reworking its approach to the realities of today’s IP networks and services, Tobler said, in particular collapsing network and service assurance onto a single platform. It’s also been adding support for new types of services, in April, for instance, it added a roaming and interconnect assurance solution.
The new performance intelligence platform takes service assurance to the next level by focusing on even higher-level KPI analysis.
“Networks are evolving such that operations wants to manage the network at a higher level and not get involved in details at Layer 2, 3 or 4,” Tobler said. “They see the need to collapse the distance between the services and the network while keeping the ability to drill down to the element or protocol level when they need to."
The new performance KPI engines and dashboards are built on the core elements of Tektronix’s Iris platform, including its GeoProbe G10 high-density 10GE probes; Iris Analyzer toolset, including protocol, session and traffic analyzers; and IrisView software framework. Service providers can use the performance analysis tools to capture and monitor a range of network activities, including quality of service baselining, application user experience, handset usage and performance, and more.
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© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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