Communication service providers have an unprecedented opportunity in front of them as the programmability of SDN and opex savings of NFV are transforming their ability to deliver on-demand services and tap into new revenue opportunities. But navigating the world of virtualization requires them to harness the power of network big data.The practice of capturing information about network performance and customer statistics has been around for years, but until recently, much of this data has been squandered because it was expensive and difficult to tap into. Now, operators have the opportunity to use this data to optimize network performance.
Supporting the demand of virtual networks will require an automated closed-loop process. Emerging technologies, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, aim to improve operational efficiency of routine processes within this new infrastructure through harnessing the power of network big data.
Advanced analytics is the key to obtaining a much deeper understanding of the network, and help tune operations to keep pace with growing user demands. Much like a doctor takes vital signs to diagnose and remedy a patient, network analytics can be gathered and analyzed with a similar goal in mind.
Network analytics is key
As usage explodes and data passes through the network, there is a significant amount of information available for operators to tap into to provide insight into network trends and patterns. Network data can be categorized in three ways:
- What: The actual raw information being generated that is available to processes.
- Where: Where information is coming from and when.
- How: Making use of the information we have and transforming raw data into something that’s actionable.
By capturing and harnessing this information, service providers can gain an edge over the competition. This data can be used to enable telco business transformation by automating network and service changes. As a result, operational benefits can be realized such as optimized network performance, improved customer quality of experience, and reduced opex.
Getting the whole picture
Find and fix problems in the network before customer services are impacted through enhanced fault isolation. Tune the network to customer demand and utilization with enhanced capacity forecasting. This is all made possible through ingesting and correlating network analytics in real time.
Conversely, by not extracting value from network data, there is the potential to see business be negatively impacted. For example, if customers continually experience problems like slow network speeds or outages, this could see high churn rates and, therefore, decreased revenue.
Having this insight allows operators to make better operational decisions during a time when new technologies are changing the telco landscape. Given the high velocity of data in networks, it's time service providers leveraged this information to unlock their network.