Combining Performance and Innovation for a Better Wireless Experience

A major North American wireless provider had clear business goals to achieve. Its first priority is to continue growing market share by delivering dependable, high-quality network services, especially to its 5G subscribers who demand high-speed, low-latency performance across all of their mobile devices. It is also hyper-focused on continuous innovation to bring new services to market faster than its competitors.

To achieve these goals, the carrier required full, real-time visibility of the operational status of all of its networks and services. But given the complexity of its environment, the carrier realized it would never gain the visibility it needed using its legacy network management tools.

That’s when this major wireless services provider turned to IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM) for help.

Growing Complexity

The complexity of its environment was the overarching issue for the carrier. Beginning at the outer edge, it included the radio access network (RAN) with devices for handling data translation and signaling from the wireless infrastructure, and high-capacity cell site routers. In the backhaul segment there are many large, point-to-point routers. Next is the packet core where items such as packet gateways, and authentication and authorization systems are located. Continuing inward, the carrier’s data centers house resources such as firewalls, load balancers, and internal LAN switches. Lastly, there’s the IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) core, where newer services like streaming video and visual voice mail reside on large, strategically located server clusters.

With data collection and analysis becoming increasingly difficult, visibility gaps became more common. The lack of full, real-time visibility complicated the network operations team’s efforts to locate, diagnose and fix performance and availability problems.

Top Objectives

To tackle its network complexity challenge and reduce the service problems it was causing, the company partnered with SevOne NPM. Working together, the project team quickly focused on three top-priority goals:

  • Ensure the wireless provider has end-to-end, real-time performance visibility across its complex architectures.
  • Be able to monitor its large, multi-vendor environment using a single platform.
  • Generate insightful dashboards and reports, and intelligent alerts with speed at scale.

With SevOne NPM, the carrier has been able to achieve each of these goals. By providing unique views of precisely what’s happening, where, and why, infrastructure, SevOne NPM gives the carrier’s network operations teams the insights they need to consistently deliver best-in-class services.

Following are brief descriptions of some of the improvements the carrier was able to make using SevOne NPM.

Massively Scalable and Extensible Data Collection

With SevOne NPM’s ability to collect any time-series data metrics. and network flows from any vendor and any type of device, the carrier was able to:

  • Leverage diverse extensibility in data collection for the complex mix of vendors and functions that support its IMS and LTE services.
  • Gain the extreme scalability required to handle its very large packet core and RAN networks.
  • Use agile delivery methods to support expedited testing and launches of new commercial services.
  • Automate the aggregation and normalization of data gathered with dislike collection technologies, bridging the current (SNMP) and next generation (API-based) approaches.
  • Enable fast and easy exports of raw data to feed strategic tools and purpose-built solutions.

Deep Analytics into Traffic Flow Properties

SevOne NPM seamlessly integrates the industry’s highest capacity flow collection, analytics and reporting with parallel metrics, and 3rd party log data. With significantly enhanced flow analytics, the carrier can now quickly:

  • Identify rogue applications and sources of bandwidth congestion.
  • Prioritize and optimize traffic optimization and plan capacity expansions.
  • Understand how applications are behaving which ones are driving the most network usage.
  • Alert on changes in behavior to key flows such as diameter authentication.

Intuitive Dashboards and Reports on Real-Time Operational Status

With SevOne NPM’s high-performance yet easy-to-use reporting and dashboarding capabilities, both technical and business staff can quickly produce customized visualizations of the carrier’s operational status. With these capabilities, the carrier has gained:

  • A ‘single pane of glass’ view of the operational state of the network-wide MPLS and SD-WAN backbone.
  • Advanced analytics to detect site redundancy status and identify simplex conditions.
  • Interactive animations showing the state of its MSC EPC footprint.
  • Focused coverage of high-value POPs including ISP, MPN and roaming.

Operational Insights with Speed at Scale

This premier wireless provider now uses SevOne NPM to fill critical visibility gaps that its legacy network management tools simply could not address. With SevOne NPM, the company now benefits from having complete infrastructure visibility, including data collection and flow analytics capabilities that are unmatched in the industry.

With the complete, real-time visibility delivered by SevOne NPM, this carrier’s teams have exactly the kind of interactive, operational intelligence they need in order to consistently deliver high-quality services and win in its markets.