EchoVault as SDN Enabler
Welcome to the latest issue of Creanord EchoNEWS, focusing on EchoVault - the leading Mobile Backhaul and Wholesale performance management and SLA reporting platform. Creanord helps Service Providers align the network with business targets to enable differentiation and improve customer satisfaction. This edition looks at the role of Service Assurance in SDN and upcoming events.
The road to SDN holds many promises, including more efficient use of assets, more intelligent applications and self-provisioning portals. In short, a more agile network, for instance with the possibility to utilize a certain attributes for all services of a particular customer automatically. Before we reach this goal, there are a couple of challenges along the way to address and a couple of bumps in the road to smooth out.
Any practical SDN application will consist of three steps. Measure, compare and execute. Network conditions shall be measured, a comparison against preset criteria shall be made and changes shall be executed. The first two parts of measuring and comparing relate to performance assurance and SLA management. There are a several challenges in the area of performance assurance that need to be addressed in order to have a robust SDN implementation. In particular, the network monitoring must have sufficient reach, flexibility, timeliness and accuracy.
With respect to reach or scalability, contrary to common misconception, it should not be necessary to deploy and manage an abundance of expensive monitoring probes.
Accuracy should be non-negotiable. Because there may be for instance rerouting decisions made based on measurement data such as delay, any measurement inaccuracy will lead to suboptimal resource allocation. Hardware time-stamping provides utmost accuracy, many times better than any software-based solution and should be seen as a requirement in SDN. Because one of the purposes of SDN is the possibility to use commodity hardware and networks anyway have components from different vendors, there needs to be a method to ensure measurement accuracy at any point in the network.
Creanord can help to smooth out the ride towards SDN. Because one CreaNODE 3000 Advanced Probe alone scales to tens of thousands of targets, only a few are required even for a sizeable network. And we have yet to see the limits of its' scalability. With service perspective and flexible interfaces built-in, EchoVault smoothly integrates into the SDN framework and supports SDN use cases. The simplest way to ensure ultra-high precision accuracy at endpoints is to introduce a Smart SFP instead of a conventional SFP module. This brings hardware time stamping and to any device at microsecond accuracy. The Smart SFP is also the best and easiest way to upgrade your network to support TWAMP, to provide visibility and consistency rather than the siloed approaches of yesteryear.
CreaNODE 3000 Advanced Probe launched last year is the most powerful network monitoring probe in the world. It is continuing to gain traction with several new customers deploying the product. These include a Tier 1 operator deploying it with a new service. Another deployment includes a country-wide monitoring setup with several classes of service and thousands of base stations from a few central locations. With the ample monitoring power available, many installations are not even close to utilizing the measurement capabilities available. Stay tuned as there are exciting new innovations coming soon to the CreaNODE.
Network visibility is not merely the act of monitoring. EchoVault is the prime multi-vendor performance assurance and service reporting solution and it is about to take a major leap forward. Release 7.0 introduces many new important features. Site Browser is a powerful map-based network-viewing tool. This release introduces event-based color-coding of locations along with a whole set of powerful functionality for efficient management of probes and test targets.
EchoVault introduces support for Cisco ASR 901 Y.1731 metric collection. This lets service providers utilize the full Performance Management and SLA Reporting framework that comes with EchoVault. The solution includes versatile operations functionality as well as end-to-end reporting reaching all the way to the client user via a customer portal. The following functionalities come with EchoVault integration:
- Unified end-to-end network visibility
- SLA lifecycle management and measurement automation
- Real-time and monthly SLA compliance reporting
- Provider branded customer portal
Support for the Calix E5 Ethernet Service Access Node series has been extended with the support of E5-306. Highlights of E5-306 include:
- Service OAM element (MEP, MEG, MD) discovery from Calix CMS through MTOSI. The support includes notification subscription with configuration pull.
- NETCONF interface
There will be some game changing news to share at Mobile World Congress next week! Please book a meeting now to hear the latest developments!