Welcome to the latest issue of Creanord EchoNEWS. EchoNEWS aims to keep you informed of developments at Creanord and in the fields of SLA assurance, automated Ethernet service delivery and OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance).
This January issue answers the question "Why legacy Traffic Lights are not enough for demanding Enterprises" anymore. We also take a look at an integration project between EchoVault and BMC Software's Event and Impact Management system. Creanord is participating in Ethernet Wholesale Summit 2010 taking place in Paris 9 - 12 February, please come and see us at the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Why legacy Traffic Lights are not enough for demanding Enterprises
Traditional network management revolves around network element status indicators that are represented by "traffic lights". During the last decade industry realized that component status monitoring alone is not enough and the term Service Availability (SA) was introduced. Again the traffic lights were used to illustrate whether the service or network connection is working or not. But the tools to measure SA were still pretty coarse. It's fair to say that the majority of SA measurements were still made with a simple ping or similar method that did not have any relation to the actual service.
For today's complicated service infrastructures and services demanding high quality networks better focused approach is needed.
Trading and financial sector is one good example of a requirement for more sophisticated and detailed Service Availability information. Infrastructure can be up and running 100%, but still you might be losing packets because of high traffic peaks. Re-transmission means delay and within financial trading any delay in transactions can easily mean losing money. This yields to opportunities for offering networking services coupled with monitoring and reporting that are able to quickly identify degraded performance, the shades of gray.
Toolbox for measuring and assuring Service Availability
Today more advanced tools to identify service performance degradation are needed. A good starting point is to implement continuous delay, jitter and packet loss measurements for all prioritized traffic flows. However overlooking network utilization measurements may lead to situation where packet loss is identified but the cause of it stays as a mystery. With per-second flow monitoring in place the network professionals are equipped to identify micro-burst, a momentary overbooking of the network capacity, which may well be the reason for the previously mentioned packet loss event.
Also the precision of the measurements is imperative. For example the accuracy of the clock synchronization has a great effect for one-way delay measurement outcome. This all may sound bit much but systems like the Creanord EchoVault are designed with all the above and the ease of use in mind.
Let's not forget that the measurements with hardware based time-stamping, optimized time synchronization setup and per-second network utilization monitoring translates to accurate Key Performance Indicators (KPI) meeting the requirements of demanding Enterprises.
Defining Service Level Objectives
Measurement methods and accuracy are important but somewhat useless without reporting that matches the customers Service Level Objectives (SLO). For example the book Foundations of Service Level Management (2000) outlines that SLO should be attainable, repeatable, measurable, understandable, meaningful, controllable, affordable and mutually acceptable between customer and Service Provider. This means that the SLO's within networking services should be specified in terms of desired service level, a target measurement, a measurement period, and where and how the SLO should be measured. Results can be reported by the percent of time that the objective has been met compared to the desired service level.
The percentage based SLO monitoring has many advantages. For example while a latency of 150ms might mean a lot for a network engineer it may have little or no meaning for a CIO who is responsible for the complete IT infrastructure quality. The percentage based Service Availability can be used to interpret the individual KPI's of various measurements, illustrating the service compliance against the SLO, and establishing mutual language between the CIO and the network professional.
As an example a company may have set a SLO for corporate Network Service Availability for Real Time data as 99.9%, tracked on a monthly basis. The 99.9% comprises of delay, packet loss, jitter and bandwidth availability. Each of these KPI's has an acceptable minimum performance level. If that level is violated it affects on the Service Availability percentage calculation. Now the goal of acceptable quality is clearly understood by all parties.
Case Study - EchoVault Plug-in integration with BMC Software's Service Impact Manager and Atrium Configuration Management Database
Integration between Creanord EchoVault and BMC Software's Service Impact Manager (SIM) and Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) was another success story planned and executed by Creanord Professional Services team.
One of the EchoVault customers is using BMC's systems in Network Operations Center (NOC) to create overview of network wide health and for managing events and workflow efficiently. While rolling out new Managed Ethernet service they wanted to integrate Performance and Service Availability information produced and monitored by EchoVault to this framework.
After studying various integration possibilities the Creanord Professional Services team provided system integrator services using BMC's Master Rule Language and HTTP based Web Services API. Now the developed EchoVault Plug-in connects the EchoVault into BMC Software's BMC Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB) and BMC Service Impact Manager (SIM).
Benefits of EchoVault BMC Plug-in
The EchoVault BMC Plug-in automatically creates the BMC Service Model for EchoVault Spotlights and measurement topologies. Furthermore the Plug-in maps EchoVault Events to BMC Impact Manager and BMC Portal views integrating EchoVault events and Service Availability details with business impact and the service desk managed by BMC along with other third-party solution supported by BMC. The EchoVault BMC plug-in also reforms the BMC Service Model automatically when the EchoVault Spotlight is modified. Alerts and notifications are mapped directly into corresponding attributes in BMC Service Model.
If you have any needs or questions for integrating EchoVault environment into your OSS/BSS platforms please don't hesitate to contact us.
Event - Ethernet Wholesale Summit 2010, Paris
Creanord, together with its partner Tucana Telecom will be participating in the Ethernet Wholesale Summit 2010 in Paris February 9 - 12. The summit is held along with the MPLS & Ethernet World Congress and the Carrier Ethernet Workshop. The venue is Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center. You can find us from stand #229. Please come to visit us and see a live demo of Creanord EchoVault solution for SLA and Performance Management of Mobile Backhaul and Ethernet/IP networks.