Modern IP/MPLS networks are complex and dynamic, and a high percentage of service interruptions are not caused by obvious component failures but instead by routing anomalies that may be transient or intermittent in nature. Traditional monitoring tools that rely on aggregated data are incapable of detecting them; utilization metrics may indicate a problem but offer no insight to the cause. Periodic snapshots of network health miss the hundreds or thousands of events that occur between polling intervals and provide little help when users complain of service degradation, even though the NMS/OSS dashboard is “green.” Engineers are left with few troubleshooting options other than issuing ping and CLI diagnostic commands based on guesswork, poring through log files in the hope of finding a clue, or deploying probes in case the condition happens again. In the meantime, customer confidence is eroded.
The Packet Design approach, widely adopted globally, offers unique insight to service delivery even as the rate of network change accelerates. By capturing every routing event in real time and correlating traffic flow and performance metrics, the Explorer products miss nothing and provide both the current and historical insights needed to isolate, diagnose, and remediate otherwise hard-to-find problems. With intuitive dashboards and workflows, including a unique service path lookup capability, NOC teams can quickly triage customer issues. For transient problems, the “network DVR” rewind and replay feature enables users to go back to any point in time to observe precisely how the network was behaving. They can view the hop-by-hop path(s) of a service across the network at the time a problem occurred to see if routing changed, and isolate the links where applications or classes of service were breaching volume, latency, jitter, or other baselines. If there was congestion, they can determine whether a routing issue caused traffic to shift, or if unexpected traffic was present, where it originated, its destination, and the route that included the problem link.
As network operators begin implementing SDN in the wide area network, there are important service assurance considerations. When network changes are made without human involvement, operations teams can be left flying blind. If service delivery issues occur, how do they know what changed? To detect, triage, diagnose, and remediate service delivery issues in dynamic networks, next-generation management technology is needed. The Explorer Suite’s real-time telemetry and sophisticated analytics are SDN-ready, future-proofing customer investments.