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Route Explorer for VPNs

Route Explorer's VPN module overcomes a critical operational blind spot in service provider and mobile operator MPLS VPN networks by providing Layer 2 Virtual Leased Line (VLL) and Layer 3 VPN routing analysis, network-wide. It uniquely monitors, baselines, and analyzes VPN services, issuing real-time alerts on abnormal site-to-site reachability and inter-VPN privacy conditions. Network operators can immediately detect any changes in a customer’s VPN service enabling them to respond quickly, maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, and avoid SLA penalties.

The VPN module provides analysis of Layer 3 VPNs and reveals the properties and paths of transported Layer 2 VPN traffic, providing real-time operational views and forensics for troubleshooting problems. Mobile service providers and other network operators have the flexibility to deploy whatever technology makes sense in their core and backhaul networks, including SDN-enabled infrastructure, while retaining end-to-end management visibility.

Route Explorer offers highly scalable and responsive operations, administration and management (OA&M) capabilities for VPN services without the overhead or delays associated with traditional tools.

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Key Benefits

  • Differentiate services with continuous analysis and optimization of Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN routing
  • Avoid unplanned outages and SLA penalties by simulating network changes before they are made to ensure proper operation
  • Determine immediately who is responsible for site-to-site reachability problems to eliminate finger-pointing
  • Avoid privacy issues by assuring that PE router configurations do not cause “route leakage” between customers
  • Know when links will need to be upgraded and Quality of Service configurations modified, avoiding guesswork and service disruptions
  • Elect the backhaul network infrastructure that makes most sense without losing management visibility

Product Capabilities


  • Route Explorer's VPN module passively monitors and records the MP-BGP and IGP routing protocols in the service provider’s network to compute real-time and historical routed topologies for each VPN. For Layer 2 VPNs, the VLLs are collected from the routers using SNMP, NETCONF, and CLI commands.

    Adaptive baselines are automatically generated across multiple data attributes, including:

    • Provider edge (PE) routers participating in each customer’s VPN
    • Network prefixes advertised by each customer VPN site
    • Availability of each VPN’s VLLs

    With continuous real-time monitoring, alerts and reports are generated showing deviations from these baselines, network-wide. Instead of having to manually “hunt and peck” for this information by logging into multiple routers, users can easily visualize the status of each customer or service VPN.

    Summary topology views and dashboards provide at-a-glance visibility into the availability and performance of all VLLs and VPN services. Operations staff can drill in to a specific customer or service VPN and view a mini-map of that portion of the network, including the associated PE routers. Contextual analytics are displayed with the mini-map, including the prefixes advertised, reachability of routes, device/link metrics, and a complete list of all associated routing events. Potential VPN “hot spots” are pinpointed, along with a list of customers and services whose VPNs have potential problems, as indicated by an unusually high percentage of change in their VPN status.

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Route Explorer for VPNs Deployment