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Publicado el febrero 3, 2011

Implementing service assurance across multiple carrier-ethernet networks

This article examines a case in point in which the CENX and EXFO partnership has created an end-to-end, service-assurance solution that provides visibility to the end user over multiple networks.

The Requirement

“GenericTel” is a major global service provider that has been providing services to end users for a number of years. Recently, their customers started deploying Ethernet networks at an increasing rate, and often required connectivity to locations beyond the on-net reach of GenericTel. This created the need for not only interconnecting multiple networks, but also for matching the different and multiple service-level agreements (SLAs), in order to provide a consistent level of quality for the end-user. GenericTel was placed in a position where they needed to be able to assure end-to-end service quality across the entire combined network—in order to ensure the user quality of experience (QoE), both on-net and off-net.
Ensuring the user QoE, both on-net and off-net

Option 1: NIDs at Every Access Point

Meeting these requirements raised a number of significant issues for GenericTel. The initial solution proposed, consisted of implementing a complex and costly new service monitoring and test system. This would entail that they then be required to deploy expensive network interface devices (NIDs) at each customer premises, in order to monitor network activity. It was immediately apparent that the costs of the test-system license and the investment required to deploy the NIDs would put significant pressure on GenericTel’s Carrier Ethernet services revenue. Also, with this solution came a number of inescapable logistical problems related to deploying the NIDs.

Furthermore, with the deployment of NIDs, the cost of shipping would quickly escalate as there is the risk that the equipment shipped directly to the end-user customers could potentially be lost after delivery or even delayed by customs. In this case, GenericTel would have to rely on the customers to perform basic installations, and any difficulties would be exacerbated by a lack of trained technical staff.

These delays would result in increased provisioning intervals that would further delay GenericTel’s revenue stream. More importantly, this proposed solution would not be cost-effective to scale, especially with GenericTel’s anticipated rapid growth. Consequently, additional NIDs at each new location would not only require an increasingly complex distribution and implementation program, but would also cause significant network-management issues and further reduce productivity and profitability.

Single CENX ENNI reaches multiple domestic/regional service providers

Integrating these NIDs into GenericTel’s existing OSS would be difficult enough, but managing the resulting data they provide would be even more challenging. The integration of each NID’s output into the new service-monitoring system would strain the technical resources of GenericTel, even if the number of NIDs (and their maintenance requirements) were not constantly changing. Add the need to provide real-time information (i.e., alerts, historical details, outage statistics, executive reports, etc.) to network operators and executives, and the task becomes insurmountable.

The Answer: End-to-End SLA Monitoring with a Solution from CENX and EXFO

Option 2 – A Single ENNI Connecting GenericTel to CENX

The CENX/EXFO partnership provides a better approach to solving the problem of supporting SLAs at off-net locations. A single connection to the CENX Exchange provides GenericTel with an efficient means to expand its reach through multiple service-provider networks. There are currently over 10 million Ethernet service locations (ESLs) available through the CENX Marketplace. CENX matches SLAs with off-net providers, so GenericTel does not have to worry about exactly how their customer’s SLAs compare with SLAs offered by other providers. This single external network-to-network interface (ENNI) also enables GenericTel to take advantage of CENX’s service monitoring and management capabilities.

In order to provide a comprehensive service-assurance solution to their end users, CENX has partnered with EXFO. By integrating EXFO’s scalable and flexible BrixNGN Next-Generation Service Assurance Software solution, CENX can proactively monitor each Ethernet virtual connection (EVC) from the CENX exchange to off-net ESLs. This proprietary technology partnership allows CENX to provide edge-to-edge performance data without deploying additional hardware, bringing visibility and service-level assurance to off-net services. Service is monitored from CENX to the off-net ESLs, providing edge-to-edge visibility for GenericTel.

Carrier Ethernet virtual cross-connect

This revolutionary new functionality eliminates any need for GenericTel to invest in, deploy or maintain a multiple-network, service-assurance solution. EXFO’s market-leading BrixNGN solution is deployed completely within CENX’s system and is entirely transparent to end-users. All hardware, software and maintenance expenses are eliminated for GenericTel. EXFO provides a world-class, service-assurance solution with active and passive monitoring capabilities that deliver a wealth of information on real-time network health, historical monitoring details, outage alerts, troubleshooting and even executive-level reports on usage trends and fault statistics. Fault and performance monitoring occurs at the EVC level. Frame delay, frame-delay variation, frame loss ratio, availability and QoS are monitored per MEF Carrier Ethernet definitions. Most importantly, EXFO’s solutions are vendor-agnostic and can readily integrate with any OSS and any network device, making it simple for EXFO’s BrixNGN solution to access data from third-party devices via standards-based monitoring. The result is infinitely scalable service-assurance visibility at all points in the network–without the need for NIDs at every access point.

Total edge-to-edge visibility

Implementation requires no special actions on the part of GenericTel, their service provider vendors or their end-user customers. EXFO’s BrixNGN solution is fully integrated into the CENX system for simple, web-based, single-source reporting. Alerts, alarms and reports generated can be made available to GenericTel’s NOC via the CENX Portal in the form of customizable reports. This information provides the end-user with an unprecedented view of service status across their EVC regardless of how many partner networks are involved. The result is better service-assurance monitoring implemented more easily across larger networks at a drastically lower cost.

Providing the end-user with an unprecedented view of service status across their EVC regardless of how many partner networks are involved

Comparing the Options

Option 1: NIDs at All Access Points

GenericTel establishes ENNIs with each service provider they use to serve off-net locations

Each ENNI can take 90 to 120 days to implement at a cost of $1500 to $2000 per ENNI per month, creating pressure on the project’s margin

Future customer requirements drive the need to supplement the original ENNIs with connections to additional service providers

Additional ENNIs require the same 90 to 120 day provisioning cycle, each adding $1500 to $2000 in recurring costs

Coordinating the rationalization of the services offered by the service provider partners required to serve all customer locations is frustrating and time consuming

Each service provider has deployed Ethernet in a manner best suited to meet its own needs; this creates challenges when interconnecting between providers

GenericTel’s customers are requiring proof of end-to-end availability and service performance; however its service-provider partners cannot supply the required information

GenericTel has to deploy and maintain measuring devices in all off-net locations; this adds logistic challenges, increases capital costs and delays service provisioning and revenue realization

The Result

GenericTel spends sales, engineering, operational and capital resources on off-net opportunities; this could have been avoided by using the CENX Exchange–the integrated service monitoring and management available through CENX’s partnership with EXFO.

Integrated service monitoring and management available through CENX’s partnership with EXFO

Option 2: The CENX/EXFO Service-Assurance Solution

GenericTel needs to establish ENNIs with off-net service providers in order to serve off-net locations

A single redundant connection to the CENX Exchange provides access to multiple service providers serving 10 million Ethernet service locations (ESLs)

Future customer requirements drive the need to supplement the original ENNIs with connections to additional domestic/regional service providers

The existing ENNI with CENX can be used to serve future customer locations by adding additional operator virtual connections (OVCs)

Coordinating the rationalization of the services offered by the domestic/regional service providers required to serve all customer locations is quick and easy

CENX provides complete VLAN tag translation. CENX maps GenericTel’s three classes of service to the classes of service supported by each partner service provider; CENX shapes the traffi c to enable loss-free transfer between the providers

GenericTel’s customers are demanding, requiring proof of end-to-end availability and service performance; however, its service-provider partners cannot supply the required information

GenericTel has to deploy and maintain measuring devices in all off-net locations; this adds logistic challenges, increases capital costs and delays service provisioning and revenue realization

CENX executes MEF standards-based integration tests, providing the proof of end-to-end availability and service performance GenericTel’s customer demanded

Problem solved with no effort by GenericTel

GenericTel and the domestic/regional service providers implement CENX’s unique advanced monitoring system, delivering fault and performance information for each Ethernet virtual connection (EVC)

Service monitoring ensures customer satisfaction; the problem is solved with no effort on GenericTel’s behalf

One connection

Simple effective, low-cost, scalable

The Result

The search for service providers capable of serving the required off-net locations was greatly simplified by using CENX Marketplace. Key operational challenges were addressed by CENX service mapping, and CENX‘s unique partnership with EXFO provided an advanced service-monitoring system and delivered fault and performance information for all off-net locations. A single ENNI with the CENX Exchange replaced the need for multiple connections, thus reducing monthly recurring costs. With one connection, over 10 million Ethernet service locations can be reached with dramatically reduced costs and an equally dramatic reduction in time (3 to 10 times faster).

Conclusion

Implementing the CENX/EXFO solution allowed both GenericTel and its customer to achieve highly profitable revenue and to reduce delivery intervals, save resources and gain new business opportunities. GenericTel was able to source the Carrier-Ethernet services its customer required through the CENX Marketplace. CENX service monitoring allowed the off-net locations to perform with the same look and feel as on-net locations, negating the need to deploy assets and saving capital. CENX accelerated time to revenue by three to ten times by eliminating most of the lengthy, complex and costly process tasks that are frequently barriers to profitable growth.