US-based MSO Comcast Cable offers a variety of business-class services based on Carrier and Metro Ethernet. These include EPL and EVPL services, Ethernet Network Services (ENS) and Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI), as well as cellular backhaul services for MNOs.
Comcast has seen significant growth in data volumes across its network, driven by mobile, gaming, IPTV and voice (VoIP) services. And with growing adoption of its Carrier and Metro Ethernet offerings, Comcast required a better solution for managing its network performance end-to-end. It needed the tools to evaluate its network operations, determine overall service quality, and improve capacity planning, as well as the ability to monitor, manage and provision Ethernet services. Most importantly for backhaul, it had to be able to demonstrate that SLA commitments with customers were being met.
“We had a number of legacy nodal-centric tools that were inflexible, manual and slow, and needed to augment these significantly to allow a service-centric approach,” states Ziaur Rahman, Chief Program Architect, Comcast. “This is particularly important with Ethernet backhaul, because customers are not interested in whether a specific node has failed, they just want guaranteed bandwidth with consistent performance.”
Using IBM SevOne Network Performance Management (NPM), Comcast is managing and monitoring some 2.2 million elements across 40,000 devices, and has integrated SevOne NPM with its service management, data warehouse and customer self-service portal. Combining universal data collection across key service infrastructures with proactive, conditional-based alerting and a full year’s history of baseline trends, SevOne NPM delivers real-time performance information to the appropriate Comcast personnel within a matter of seconds. As well as ensuring that SLAs are being met, SevOne NPM has delivered a number of key benefits for Comcast, including:
- Proactive prediction of call quality during peak times.
- Reduced truck rolls and customer complaints.
- Ability to correlate weather data with performance data to alert on bad weather zones (e.g., power outage potential).
- Consolidation of EMS performance metrics for voice quality, UNI, cell site routers, and CMTS.
“We are now able to proactively monitor the network to predict call quality and alert on issues to avoid any impact on trunked calls,” says Rahman. “This saves quite a bit of cost in terms of reducing the number of customer complaints we receive. We are also able to consolidate the EMS performance matrix into one tool. Ultimately, our goal is to give our customers total transparency of their services, and SevOne NPM is proving tremendously practical in delivering both internal and external visibility.”