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Route Optimization and Assurance

Assure the delivery of critical services

Route Optimization and Assurance is used by the world’s leading network operators, enterprises and government entities to assure the delivery of critical services

The Blue Planet Route Optimization and Assurance (ROA) products fills a key management gap in IP/MPLS networks. While SNMP, log, NetFlow, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Application Performance Monitoring (APM) and other tools are ubiquitous, only the ROA products provide real-time visibility into how routing behavior affects service delivery. ROA captures real-time telemetry from network devices as well as from domain controllers and service orchestrators such as Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO).

By providing visibility into the IP/MPLS network control plane, users can see exactly how specific traffic traverses the Layer 3 network and precisely where performance is abnormal. Sub-optimal conditions missed by traditional tools can quickly be identified to correct possible service delivery issues and use network resources more efficiently.

Engineered for network automation, ROA provides powerful analytics and orchestration capabilities and integration with Blue Planet Multi Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO) to accelerate the transition to a self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing Adaptive Network.

Blue Planet ROA technology has been field-proven for more than a decade. The people responsible for managing the largest, most complex networks in the world depend on the ROA products to ensure critical services are delivered optimally and reliably. When their NMS and OSS dashboards are green but customers are complaining of poor service quality, Blue Planet ROA tells them why.

 
Full diagram of Route Optimization Assurance

Blue Planet Route Optimization and Assurance comprises five products:

Key Benefits

  • Understand how network routing paths affect SLAs
  • Resolve transient and intermittent IP/MPLS network performance problems much faster
  • Avoid unintended service impacts from network changes
  • Make more informed infrastructure investments
  • Accelerate the design and provisioning of new, differentiated services
  • Simplify the journey to closed-loop automation using a single analytics and orchestration platform

Product Capabilities

Operational Monitoring
The ROA products capture real-time network telemetry from the devices in IP/MPLS networks as well as from network orchestrators and SDN controllers. All routing events are captured by passively monitoring the IGP and BGP routing protocols to maintain an always-current Layer 3 topology model. Traffic flow records and performance metrics are collected and mapped to the routing data to provide path-aware visibility into service delivery. The ROA data can be used to establish historical baselines for alert triggers, to generate traffic matrices for different times and workloads, and for forensic analysis.

With the Blue Planet ROA products, operations teams are empowered to triage problems faster and troubleshoot many that previously had to be escalated to level 2/3 engineering staff. With customizable dashboards for at-a-glance views into overall network health, the performance of certain network segments, critical customer VPNs, etc., technicians can be more proactive in managing service delivery than ever before.

Real – Time & Historical Analytics
Blue Planet ROA records routing telemetry in real time to maintain current and historical models of the network control plane. Using these models, powerful analytics help operations teams detect, diagnose and adapt quickly to unforeseen events in the network. Engineering and NOC teams gain unmatched visibility into control plane issues that degrade services, such as a link failure that causes congestion or a routing flap that impacts a customer VPN. And Blue Planet ROA’s unique 'network DVR' feature, that allows users to “rewind and replay” the network’s behavior at the point in time when a problem occurred, provides a forensics solution for resolving the transient and intermittent problems that frustrate customers.

Predictive Analytics
For planning changes and automating the provisioning of services, the future state of the network must be known. For example, if a large amount of data must be moved across the network, a time slot must be identified when the network will have available capacity. ROA products models the desired change or new service using its routing analytics, traffic matrices and performance baselines and, using its unique path computation engine, calculates the best path as well as the impact on other services. With Blue Planet ROA, network paths can be computed and configured without risk, either manually or programmatically.

Path Computation & Optimization
ROA’s path computation and optimization engine uses routing, traffic and performance analytics with policy inputs to calculate the shortest as well as constraint-based paths in the network. It employs multiple algorithms depending on the service’s requirements. For instance, for a premium service requiring low latency, it may use an algorithm to find shortest delay paths. For streaming video, it may use an algorithm that minimizes jitter. When network capacity reaches a low threshold, it may spread the network traffic to under-utilized links using an AI-based algorithm.

Policy
The policy component is used to create business policies for governing network automation. This is particularly important in multi-service networks for establishing priorities when different services vie for same network resources. Policy also is used to shape path characteristics that may be recommended under normal and exceptional network conditions. For example, the policy for a streaming video service might be to allow a percentage of under-provisioning during heavy load periods, because streaming video is adaptive and the video quality may still be acceptable. Policy is also used to specify subscribers' service requirements, such as path latency, bandwidth, diversity, protection, and so on.

Network Automation
Blue Planet ROA is a powerful service assurance solution for dynamic IP/MPLS networks and enables closed-loop network automation in networks.. Its real-time telemetry, historical and predictive analytics, optimization algorithms, and policy engine enable engineering teams to automate network changes and service provisioning. Using analytics-driven recommendations and, optionally, human verification and authorization, the automation component instructs SDN controllers and service orchestrators including Blue Planet MDSO via their northbound APIs to provision paths and services. Blue Planet products are designed to be vendor and SDN controller agnostic.

Application Services
Applications interact with the ROA components using open, REST APIs. These APIs, which use JSON for ease of development, effectively create plug-and-play analytics and automation services that may be accessed and used with third party components, giving service providers, enterprises and other vendors maximum flexibility when creating network automation applications. Examples of automation applications that create agile networks and are built on the ROA include the Explorer Traffic Engineering and Explorer Path Provisioning applications.

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