Assuring Ethernet Backhaul Performance

White Paper


The evolution from legacy circuit-switched technologies to packet-switched technology brings a significant rise in the number of technologies and devices carriers must support, increasing the number of potential network failure points and performance bottlenecks. With both fixed and wireless customers demanding a full range of multimedia services without network degradation or outages, carriers need new levels of scalability and end-to-end performance visibility if they are to deliver consistently on service level agreements (SLA) and brand protection.

SevOne Mobile Backhaul Graph

The Ethernet Backhaul Challenge

The increase in technology options offered by major vendors in the Carrier Ethernet market poses a significant challenge. Although Ethernet and packetswitched technologies are standardized, Ethernet can now be carried over a variety of media. At the same time, there is still a need to support circuit-switched devices and services within the network and customer end points.

As a result, carriers providing Ethernet backhaul must be able to understand the performance of their backhaul links and backhaul service providers, easily segment the network and isolate troublesome spots, optimize performance and increase customer quality of experience.

Managing Services, Not Just Devices

A vendor-specific Element Management System (EMS) allow carriers to configure and monitor network devices for each specific section of the infrastructure (i.e. core/distribution, access, backhaul or edge) and to generate synthetic tests such as ITU Y.1731 and IEEE 802.1ag across them. However, this often delivers disjointed data as EMSs lack a consolidated view of network performance and service delivery end-to-end.

Today’s performance management challenge is about managing multi-service IP infrastructures that encompass tens of thousands of devices, as a system -- not just as individual devices. It is about gathering performance data from multiple EMS tools, devices and elements within the network, and understanding how a specific application or service is performing, where and why spikes in traffic are occurring, and how they impact the performance of other applications (whether voice, video or data). For carriers offering Ethernet backhaul, it is about being able to provide transparency to customers – whether they are mobile network operators, cable multi-system operators or end users. In addition, they should be able to prove their SLA commitments are being met.

A New Approach

What if carriers could have proactive and historical baselines from the demarcation devices and site routers at each end of their circuits, with results from probe-based synthetic test systems (e.g. Y.1731 and IEEE 802.1ag message tests) correlated into a single infrastructure performance monitoring platform?

What if they could automatically compute key performance indicators for all these circuits – including frame delay variation, frame loss, and throughput – that then could be displayed on a single management dashboard, providing continuous visibility and ensuring they have the data needed to understand current and historical network performance and service quality?

Automated monitoring of default baseline levels with dynamic thresholds where alarms are triggered when thresholds are breached enables carriers to proactively monitor and trend future service levels. Moreover, combining proactive visibility with granular historical network performance for normal traffic levels (including peaks and troughs) enables carriers to identify whether an incident is transient or consistent and provides a fast and timely resolution of performance problems.

A Solution to the Problem

SevOne’s scalable performance management solution allows carriers to effectively collect performance data from multiple sources and get one aggregated view of key performance metrics. It baselines, alerts and reports on this data to help them manage and optimize network capacity. With proactive notification of pending problems, carriers can also improve customer satisfaction and reduce customer churn.

With SevOne, carriers can:

  • Proactively monitor network performance to ensure their infrastructure meets current service level agreements
  • Optimize Ethernet backhaul infrastructure to support increased multi-media traffic levels, markets and geographies
  • Isolate and alert on performance issues ahead of service impacting events to meet and exceed customer expectations

SevOne Assuring Ethernet Backhaul Graph

It's a Multivendor World

SevOne can collect performance statistics supplied by EMSs for backhaul equipment providers including Accedian, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, EXFO/Brix Networks, Juniper, NSN (Nokia Siemens Networks), RAD and more. With support for more than fifteen different performance metric collection methodologies including SNMP, NetFlow, J-Flow, sFlow, IPSLA, ICMP, and XML, carriers can report on their entire infrastructure and gain a real-time view of performance data from a single web-based SevOne console.

Dealing with the Scale of Today's Carrier Networks

Regardless of an infrastructure’s size, SevOne delivers real-time, systemwide visibility without sacrificing the speed required to effectively troubleshoot service-impacting events. In other words, users get ‘speed at scale’ with the patented SevOne ClusterTM Architecture. A single SevOne appliance monitors up to 200,000 objects. As appliances are added to a cluster, monitoring capacity increases. Each appliance collects, stores and reports data from only the devices assigned to it. There is no known limit to the number of objects a SevOne Cluster can monitor.