Draining the data lake: EXFO claims it has the right approach for next gen assurance
Previously published on Telecom.TV
Author: Ian Scales
February 14, 2020
EXFO claims its Nova A|SA automatically provides the right data at the right time. Sweeping technological changes mean there is an absolute need to re-think service assurance. The EXFO platform integrates the relevant layers, domains and data sources.
One of the companies that was going to be exhibiting at Mobile World Congress (but now, obviously won’t be), is Canadian telecom assurance specialist EXFO. In common with many providers, EXFO sees service assurance as a major potential pain-point for CSPs as they gallop towards next generation networks. These are set to support network slicing, open source, cloud native and of course 5G, which is ultimately going to require all those things to be in place if it’s to meet customer expectations around agility, flexibility, cost and of course assurance.
According to EXFO CEO, Philippe Morin, those sweeping technological changes mean there is an absolute need to re-think service assurance. EXFOs ‘adaptive service assurance’ is naturally getting all that under control, he claims.
EXFO claims its Nova A|SA automatically provides the right data at the right time to make sense of big data swamps. Philippe claims the EXFO offering can reveal previously invisible “little data” on individual user experience. Unique in the industry, the EXFO platform integrates the relevant layers, domains and data sources, including from third parties and EXFO’s own portfolio of service assurance solutions.
Philippe says research shows that first stage NFV, where it’s been deployed, appears to be responsible for more outages that the systems it’s been replacing. But as things stand operators are relatively blind to the way virtualized services are operating.
With the added complexity in the network that everyone can see is coming, automation must be developed to provide better visibility into the network in real time.
XFO claims most of a telco’s customers score their brand experience on network performance, so there is enormous commercial opportunity for operators who successfully deliver on the promise of 5G and win customer loyalty. However, they are facing unprecedented challenges:
- Operators are currently 98.7% blind to subscriber-impacting events, despite their best efforts. They are provided only with performance averages and aggregates, rather than per-subscriber problems with unique service experiences. It is only an approximate view of the health of their networks and how well they are performing.
- 91% of operators say they need service assurance automation to maintain control. As networks continue to virtualize, outages have escalated by 46% in the last three years alone, 65% of which originate in virtualized domains.
- Operations teams are stretched to the limit: On average, operator teams spend 67% of their time fixing network and service issues. Resolution effort and complexity of outages are increasing: it typically takes 12 people from three different teams over three hours to identify the root cause of each outage.
So no more time-wasting while wading about in data lakes trying to discern patterns. Improved visibility and automation must go together to give real-time visibility of a problem and an automatic - where possible - way of solving it.