Telecom operators need new network monitoring tools. Although mobile core networks are increasingly virtualized—through powerful and flexible technologies such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) —network monitoring and analytics functions have only recently started to be virtualized. Stand-alone virtual probes still require mirroring of all the traffic which in turn impacts performance of the virtual function being probed. That limits the value that operators can get out of their new virtualized architectures. And it’s a losing proposition for telecom as over-the-top (OTT) competitors experience rapid growth and the industry moves toward 5G.
A recent white paper published by Dell EMC and Affirmed Networks—“Bringing Virtual Probes and Analytics Together for the Next-Generation Mobile Network”—discusses the need for dynamic probing techniques with a focus on next-generation mobile networks. The ultimate goal is to deploy an effective probe and monitoring strategy that gathers network data while implementing a real-time data analytics solution. By doing so, operators will be able to improve customer experience, discover new revenue opportunities, reduce costs, and enhance network optimization and efficiency.
Affirmed Networks and Dell EMC have combined Affirmed Networks’ Virtual Probe (vProbe) with Dell EMC’s Telecom Data Analytics technologies to provide telecom operators with a way to gain new insight into network performance and customer behavior. The solution uniquely embeds probe/tap functions into Affirmed Networks’ virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and virtual WiFi Gateway, making it possible to probe Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) in a scalable, cost-effective manner without impacting performance
The solution’s “intelligence-first” approach to managing core networks allows it to provide real-time visibility of the entire network without the need to mirror all traffic. The real-time streaming of intelligent data records from Affirmed Networks’ vEPC into Dell EMC’s Telecom Data Analytics platform allows operators to eliminate data silos, rapidly develop valuable reporting tools, and make informed business decisions.
An analyst report from Appledore Research Group—“Applying Real-Time Analytics in the Virtualized Mobile Core Network”—predicts that CSPs will cap investments in the mobile core network and target new investments in virtualizing the EPC to gain efficiency. CSPs also have the opportunity to deploy new services more rapidly and at a lower OpEx ratio compared with existing legacy physical EPC deployments.
Download the Dell EMC White Paper, “Bringing Virtual Probes and Analytics Together for the Next-Generation Mobile Network”.