Multi-Vendor Ethernet SLA - The Connector Story

Welcome to July 2012 issue of Creanord EchoNEWS, keeping you informed of developments at Creanord and in the fields of SLA assurance, automated Ethernet service delivery and OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance).

EchoVault is the leading Ethernet SLA management platform, focusing on helping Service Providers add value, differentiate their services and reduce cost. This allows carriers to sell Ethernet Services more creatively and reduce CapEx and OpEx. This edition of EchoNEWS focuses on how to extend the Multi-Vendor functionality of EchoVault to provide Ethernet SLA for equipment from different Network Equipment Manufacturers using the EchoConnector.

Performance Against Business Objectives At A Glance

Service Providers are constantly looking for possibilities to broaden their portfolio of Ethernet services with SLAs. In some cases they may want to use networking equipment from different vendors for various applications, for instance one provider's equipment for Business Ethernet an another's for Mobile Backhaul. Different equipment may also be used interchangeably for a particular service to minimize risk in case one vendor cannot deliver quickly enough. Sometimes service providers even have equipment from two vendors going to each location, one primary and another for backup. Where equipment from multiple vendors is used, it makes sense to have one central SLA repository in order to streamline operations and SLA reporting. Creanord EchoVault goes beyond a single-vendor solution limitations and lets you collect Key Performance Indicator data from equipment from different vendors, crunch the numbers and show SLA status in real time.

Many vendors, such as Adtran and Ciena among others provide performance data in XML format. EchoVault has a Connector solution, that can be used to retrieve XML-based performance data from 3rd party Element Management Systems. This data is used as input to SLA Management providing analytics, threshold alerts as well as provide visibility into the service using the SLA Portal. The portal view provides each customer a flexibly customizable view to the services they have purchased.

Figure 1. The NOC dashboard shows circuits with equipment from different vendors used for different services (Business Ethernet, Mobile Backhaul and Low Latency). Color-coding shows the performance of the circuit against the SLA. If needed, this view can be accessed through the SLA Portal for instance by account management or even executive team.

Benefits of EchoConnector:

  • One SLA repository for multiple vendor provided services
  • Improved service differentiation and visibility into the service for customers through an interactive SLA portal
  • Better visibility into service performance for internal interest groups such as sales
  • Improved trouble ticket prioritization with information on which services are close to being breached

EchoVault EchoConnector

Service providers want to provide differentiated services to support applications with varying requirements. Creanord provides a Multi-Vendor SLA management solution adding value to equipment from many different vendors. EchoVault can provide performance data from many different sources:

  • EchoVault Connector retrieving XML-based data from the EMS
  • EchoAgent embedded on the node
  • L2 or L3 loopback measurements against 3rd party from nodes with embedded EchoAgent
  • SNMP-based performance data polling

Figure 2. EchoVault Connector overview.

The EchoVault Connector is a component that connects the EMS of an equipment vendor and retrieves the XML-based key performance indicator data to the EchoVault. The data is then processed in real time to calculate standard deviations, percentiles and service availability. The service availability performance is contrasted against business objectives, typically a monthly availability commitment, for instance five nines. The status is shown in clear dashboards for use internally and by customers through the SLA Portal. Visibility into service SLA compliance provides a platform for premium services, with very granular bandwidth utilization data per class of service, advanced customer care and MTTR with more up-to-date information about service performance.


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