|B/OSS Insider Blog|
Assuring Carrier Ethernet: What's All the Fuss?
By Anand Gonuguntla
With the rising demand for Ethernet services, operators need to take a good, hard look at how they are assuring these services. Large enterprise customers will expect the same level of service and guarantees with Ethernet services as they do for dedicated services. For operators to compete effectively, they will need to guarantee the quality, bandwidth and availability as well as provide visibility to the real-time status of these Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Since Ethernet is a shared bandwidth service, service providers are faced with new challenges to guarantee customer SLAs and back it up with reports and access to real-time service analytics and metrics. Competition is too fierce to rely on traditional, reactive monitoring tools to ensure SLA conformance. Enterprise customers are smarter than ever, and they want metrics to monitor and track their SLAs.
In order for Service Assurance solutions to effectively monitor next generation services such as Carrier Ethernet, they must offer service specific, configurable dashboards and reports available to both network operations as well as customers through a web portal. Assurance of Ethernet services needs to focus on providing a new level of service transparency to ensure long-term customer loyalty and enable service providers to deliver the finest overall experience for customers.
Without assurance tools specifically designed for these next generation services and the underlying transport technologies, it will not be possible for service providers to effectively compete and ensure a quality customer experience.
In addition, with the right tools and information, providers can leverage usage information to upsell customers to higher levels of service. An effective Ethernet Assurance solution should have the following capabilities:
- Multi-vendor Support
- Asset Discovery
- Multi-layer Correlation and Visualization
- SLA Management
- Advanced Reports and Trending
- Configurable Dashboards
- Customer Portals
- Test & Measurement
Industry standards are adopted to simplify the delivery and support of multi-vendor networks. Carrier Ethernet services give providers much more bandwidth for much less cost. Enterprise customers want more bandwidth, more flexibility, and more visibility for the same or lower cost. Providing an end-to-end solution that enables providers to offer customers Ethernet service dashboards and reports, in order to adhere to SLAs will be necessary to compete in this market.
The benefits of Carrier Ethernet to service providers are significant. The highly competitive landscape that service providers face on a daily basis requires them to dramatically improve customer experience associated with service performance. At the end of the day, service providers can offer more flexible solutions while increasing overall profit, but they must invest in Assurance solutions that provide Service Specific visualization and monitoring in order to retain and grow the customer base.
With more than 15 years' experience in the telecom industry, Anand co-founded Centina Systems. Prior to his current role, Anand was the Director of Systems and Software Engineering at Xtera. Anand also held management positions in software and program management at Fujitsu where he worked on FLM and FLASHWAVE product lines.