For the first several years as an IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) customer, this firm primarily used SevOne NPM to monitor its physical infrastructure, looking mainly at routers, switches, and other networking hardware in its on-premise data centers and other physical locations.
As the firm grew and delivered more entertainment products to more customers in more countries, it needed a larger network to accommodate that growth. To manage its more expansive network, the firm needed more performance monitoring capabilities. As they scaled their network, they also scaled their monitoring deployment, and SevOne NPM was always up to the task.
The Challenge – Monitoring a Growing and Changing Network
As times changed and new technologies came on the scene, the firm looked to incorporate many of those technological advances in its operations. Over the past few years, the Network Assurance team has steadily incorporated several next-generation networking architectures and resources in its operations support systems (OSS) strategies. Those changes centered on a gradual but sustained shift away from the company’s prior, legacy approach – which relied heavily on physical network gear – to next-generation virtualized networking and cloud infrastructure.
As always, the firm ensured that they had the performance monitoring capabilities they needed for watching over and managing the new and dynamic infrastructure elements they were implementing.
To meet these new network performance monitoring requirements, they once again looked to SevOne NPM.
Rising to Meet New Challenges
“Reducing our hardware footprint, with all the financial and operational benefits that brings, was a big goal of ours. However, our primary concern during all of these transitions was to make them without creating any negative impacts on our customers, internal users, or partners,” said OSS Solution Architect and a leader of the firm's Network Assurance team. “With a network as large as ours, any new service usually requires a large-scale roll-out, and directly affects many users and customers. That’s where performance monitoring becomes even more important than in regular, day-to-day operations. It’s also where SevOne NPM really shines.”
In addition to improving operational agility and helping to accelerate the time-to-market for new entertainment services, the Network Assurance team had to protect user and customer experiences during and after several major roll-outs.
Among the firm’s larger projects was adopting and transitioning to software-defined networking (SDN) using Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Deployed in its data centers, the team's Cisco ACI deployment enabled the company to define its network infrastructure dynamically based on network policies. The intent was to use this Cisco SDN technology to simplify, optimize, and accelerate the application deployment lifecycle. However, the firm recognized a key gap.
While Cisco ACI comes with an embedded management system, it primarily focuses on the initial configuration and on-going management of network policies. However, the performance data in Cisco ACI offers details only about Cisco ACI managed entities, creating an island of performance data with a limited historical perspective.
The firm closed this monitoring gap with SevOne NPM, which gave them complete, modern SDN monitoring and analytics integrated directly with the management APIs of Cisco ACI. As a result, their Network Assurance team now has complete, end-to-end visibility across its entire Cisco ACI infrastructure – and the rest of the firm's network it is connected to.
The Network Assurance team also used SevOne NPM's powerful NetFlow analytics capabilities to monitor traffic flow data generated by the firm's physical and virtual NetFlow-enabled routers, switches, and other networking gear from vendors such as Nokia.
Another innovative way that they are using SevOne NPM is streaming real-time network performance data to Google Cloud for sophisticated analysis and reporting. This enables them to extend the value of its performance data beyond operational silos and organizational boundaries.
In all, this firm is presently using SevOne NPM to monitor more than 55,000 of its network devices.
As the firm's network continues to grow organically and through any potential acquisitions, and the transition of its IT operations continues to move to the cloud, the team’s plan is simply to adapt and further scale its SevOne NPM deployment to meet monitoring challenges as they arise. And given the latency-sensitive nature of streamed content, and media products in general, the firm will continue counting on the power and speed of SevOne NPM to spot network problems before they impact users or end customers.
In short, the Network Assurance team continues to rely on SevOne NPM's fast, flexible, and scalable monitoring capabilities to help them meet their operational requirements today – and to adapt easily to meet whatever monitoring challenges that the future may bring.
“SevOne NPM is a great tool that helps me and my team to be more effective and efficient at our jobs. As new technologies continue to become available to us, and the network continues to grow and change, we can count on SevOne NPM to help us deploy those technologies effectively. That confidence is worth its weight in gold.”
OSS Solution Architect and Network Assurance Team Lead
Major Broadcaster and Telecommunications Firm