With networks getting more complex by the day, maintaining high visibility and compliance with a number of emerging standards is becoming challenging for carriers and operators, especially when it comes to containing cost. Hence, “the need to scale and offer new services, while maintaining compliance and security are at the forefront of their requirements,” wrote Andy Huckridge (News - Alert), senior director of telecom marketing and strategy at network packet broker provider VSS Monitoring (News - Alert), in a recent article.
As subscribers demand new mobile services, operators must employ many new network analysis tools to ensure performance and visibility, which in turn will drive capital and operating expenditures very high. “What is needed is a ‘layer of intelligence’ to provide scalable visibility and control of packet brokering. This is called network packet brokering, which is the ability to intelligently optimize (capturing, reviewing, evaluating and reporting) what is going on within the network,” explains Huckridge in his Reader Forum column.
In fact, network packet brokers is a term coined by research firm Gartner (News - Alert), which was introduced in a network monitoring report in April. According to Huckridge, this important additional layer reduces both capex and opex and provides complete visibility across the network.
By proactively copying, forwarding and redirecting captured traffic in real-time, network operators can achieve higher service availability, lower labor costs for network analysis, and reduce analysis costs overall as well as offer greater subscriber and revenue protection.
Network packet brokers “are needed to optimize and secure the flow of network analysis to any operations center, on any network, anywhere – helping the operator fuel a sustainable competitive advantage and providing for future operating success,” he added.
The telecom expert suggests evaluating ROI when thinking of deploying a network packet broker layer. For that, the operator must compare the estimated total cost of ownership over three years between the current monitoring environment and a proposed network packet broker layer. With this kind of information, the operator can then estimate the potential direct and indirect savings that ramp up productivity as subscriber experience, service performance and network maintainability are all simultaneously improved.
In essence, Huckridge’s column indicates that deploying network packet brokers will reduce current levels of capex and opex, thereby extending the life of existing tools even as the network capacity is upgraded, visibility of the network is increased system-wide, future tool expenses are better managed/predicted, and a centralized monitoring system is realized.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein