3 Operational Challenges that Drive Operators Crazy

    Posted by Matt Mariani on Nov 30, 2016 9:26:45 AM

    In the digital age, both people and businesses have become dependent on reliable voice and data services in order to keep them connected to the world. As a result, it has never been more important for a service provider to maintain high quality network performance.

    iStock_000033599554_XXXLarge.jpgHowever, as data services continue to explode and network operations centers (NOC) become inundated with more and more information, operational complexities become a concern. Some of the issues impacting network operations are:

    • Inventory inaccuracy
    • Inability to resolve network faults quickly
    • Lengthy circuit turn-up time
    • Unreliable performance of high value services and applications, such as video streaming and VoIP

     It is through pulling back the curtain on some of these challenges, that we can begin to remedy the situation.

    1. So much data, so little time

    One of the biggest challenges for people working in the NOC is having to sift through the mind-numbing amount of data when an inevitable fault appears in the network. Operators, who often have dozens of windows in front of them, must correlate alarms from several systems in order to pinpoint the root cause, all while working within a limited timeframe.

    This daunting task of attempting to untangle what can feel like a web of analytics, can take minutes, to hours, to even sometimes days. Also, in order to be successful at their job, network operators must have the network and its intricacies memorized to be able to locate, diagnose, and fix a problem when one arises.

    1. Action without vision gets you nowhere

    Another issue faced by network operators has been the inability to visualize the end-to-end network. The development of next-gen services, such IoT, have driven data traffic through the roof and has caused networks to expand in size and complexity.

    In order to quickly diagnose a problem and avoid costly downtime, operators must have the capability to establish a comprehensive view of service topology and underlying physical and virtual network infrastructure across the network.

    Consider, for example, you are a driver assigned to bring a shipment to an unfamiliar location. In order to ensure the delivery makes it to the designated location on time the best tool to use would be a GPS, which highlights the best route to take. The same mentality can be applied to network operations. It is important to develop a trusted model of the network to correlate quickly and drill down into the network.  

    1. Develop and maintain the capacity to meet demand

    As the rate of data consumption continues to increase amongst customers, network capacity must increase in parallel to keep up with demand. With this being the case, network capacity planning has become an essential aspect of operations as it ensures services are delivered to customers efficiently and effectively.

    growth_graphic-1.jpgTypically, service providers have taken a just-in-case approach to capacity management, where network traffic is analyzed and once a utilization target is met, an upgrade is made to the area of the network which has reached its capacity limit.

    Through this approach, networks are over engineered in order to satisfy customer needs based on long-term forecasts. This quickly becomes inefficient as the upgrades are carried out based on “what ifs”, and often when the specific segment of the network is already near capacity, instead of thoroughly understanding network usage and better targeting capacity upgrades.

    So, is all this complexity regarding network operations giving you a headache? CENX has the prescription for you and your team!

    CENX’s Exanova solution transforms network big data into real-time actionable intelligence helping multi-vendor and multi-domain networks to run like a well oiled machine. Learn more about Exanova’s ability to help address the challenges above in our service assurance white paper.


    Topics: Analytics, Capacity Management, Service Assurance, Fault Management

    Big Data Analytics Tops the Asian Agenda in Year of the Horse

    Posted by Administrator on Feb 3, 2014 7:49:00 AM

    While visiting customers in Asia last week, we celebrated the start of the Chinese New Year. As we listened to service providers discuss their key pain points, big data analytics was foremost on their minds as the remedy. All totaled, five key “wants and needs” consistently entered our conversations. 

    Big Data Analytics

    For service providers in Asia, big data analytics will be a key enabling technology in the Year of the Horse. Service providers need big data analytics to aggregate data from multiple sources, continually audit services data, and compare and reconcile it. The benefit is trusted intelligence they can apply to services enhancements, cost cutting and innovation.

    Circuit Monitoring

    If service providers were able to monitor and visualize end-to-end Ethernet circuits—especially off-net—with global partners, they could improve cross-department communication, improve fault management and shorten MTTR, which would ultimately lead to improved performance and reduced costs.


    Automation will play a key role in 2014. Blending automation with human action into workflows such as ordering, provisioning, data audit, and data reconciliation functions streamlines operations and eliminates manual error-prone processes.

    Migration to Software-Defined Networks (SDN)

    Recognizing that SDN will deliver incremental value for imminent investment, service providers are planning SDN migration strategies.

    Competitive Differentiation

    Global Ethernet service providers are looking to differentiate product from static connections, rack space, etc.

    Jumping back to the big data analytics conversation for a moment—we should note that big data analytics is a global conversation. Heavy Reading recently published that “the market for big data technology and services … is set to grow by more than 400% in the next 7 years.” And, “that the expected growth is driven by the need for communications service providers of all types (fixed, mobile, cable) to harness the massive volumes of network, service, and subscriber data at their disposal and put it to good use, including generating new business.” 

    Learn more about CENX’s approach to big data analytics and Lifecycle Service Orchestrationread the free White Paper “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Analytics