Best Ideas in Cable IT Service Assurance
Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the CIO.IT | Competition 2011 at The Cable Show, in Chicago. The session was titled, "Innovate IT Session 2: Best Ideas in Cable IT Service Assurance.”
This session was different than others I participated in before. It consisted of a panel of cable industry IT leaders evaluating presentations that highlight innovative new approaches to designing, provisioning, and managing advanced services over cable networks. At the same time paying special attention to wireless and IP video networks, and new geo-spatial information analysis tools.
- New approaches for performance visibility into 4G/LTE networks
- Maintaining high-quality video experiences as network and device options multiply
- Supporting and managing home networks and connected devices
My presentation, Monitoring IMS/LTE Networks at Scale, was based on our recent webinar, Key Factors for Managing 4G LTE and IMS Performance at Scale. I was excited to not only present my topic, but also listen to the other three companies, Affinegy, ESRI and NDS present about their unique and compelling solutions. Some of these solutions included, Geo-Spatial technology, home-based content management, and subscriber connectivity management. I also found it interesting that the panel of cable industry IT leaders, mostly company CIOs, selected our presentation on LTE network performance monitoring - I wonder what they found compelling, the quadruple play, or new backhaul service opportunity, or maybe providing differentiated services to the over-the-top providers.
My presentation explored current management challenges. The exponential rise in network elements creates new challenges in obtaining end-to-end availability and performance visibility for 4G IMS/LTE networks and services. I also talked about the challenge of using multiple vendor technologies. Most significantly, the number of network elements and interfaces continue to increase by an order of magnitude. Highly distributed, the elements are also given regional variations in subscriber numbers, traffic volumes, and cell-site loading.
These challenges of distribution and scale are even more pronounced because the LTE/IMS architecture collapses what were previously two or more separate networks of different generations (voice and data) into a single all-IP system. It includes five core, multi-vendor systems: radio access network, aggregation and backhaul, Ethernet packet core, MPLS transport/backbone, and the IMS core.
Bottom line, cable networks require a next-generation performance management solution like SevOne that provides real-time, end-to-end views of the infrastructure, independent of EMS and equipment type, and performance metric collection methods.
I presented SevOne's innovative distributed peer-to-peer architecture where each appliance is both a distributed collector and a centralized reporter. A web-based interface provides reporting and alerting on the data collected by all of the appliances, using the distributed process power of all the appliances for report generation. As the LTE/IMS network and services grow, additional appliances can be added to the distributed cluster to linearly scale the monitoring solution. We received many interesting questions regarding data collection of new technologies. Some topics include: IPDR, legacy data and incorporating it with existing systems, and performance management data integrating into broader BSS/OSS systems for cohesive visibility. I'll discuss these topics in future blogs so please stay tuned!
We were very excited and honored to be selected by the CIO.IT committee. I want to thank the panel of judges, the NCTA, and my fellow presenters for a great afternoon of informative discussion and cool new technologies.