Trouble-to-Resolve: Assure Layer 3 Service Performance in Minutes
Service provider networks have come a long way from the flat networks of yesteryear. Today, they are highly complex with multiple hierarchies and layers, while running a plethora of services and technologies. Providers use the same underlying network to cater to different applications, ranging from financial applications to streaming video, each with its own unique performance and fault-tolerance requirements.
In this complex scenario, how can service providers assure performance of their Layer 3 services, to verify that services are being delivered and ensure customer satisfaction? Take the case of a service provider who’s providing MPLS services to hundreds of customers. Let us look at how the network engineer managing a service provider network handles a routing issue without a routing analytics solution.
Trouble to Resolve without Routing Analytics
Today, when a customer raises a ticket for a reachability or service delivery problem, the provider manually analyzes the issue, making their trouble-to-resolve process long and time consuming.
To start with, if the customer raises the trouble ticket while a connectivity issue is in progress, the first thing the provider needs to know is the routing path taken by the service. This requires the network engineer finding the source router and then running a traceroute from that router to determine all the hops along the path. Once the routers along the path have been identified, they would then log into each router to understand its performance.
When a network engineer logs into a router after the issue has resolved, the routing table or a traceroute shows the current path and not the previous path. This leads to trouble tickets being closed with “No Problem Found”, an answer that leaves customers confused and dissatisfied.
This process is repeated on all routers along the path until the problematic router or link is identified. Even with a performance monitoring tool in place, this process still requires independently analyzing each router along the path. While this may sound straightforward, imagine doing this in a large provider network with multiple routers along the path. That is time consuming!
Troubleshooting becomes even more challenging if the customer complains about a reachability issue that occurred in the past. The dynamic nature of routing allows it to automatically reroute traffic over a different path if an existing path is unavailable. Thus, when a destination IP is not reachable, traffic is sent over a new path which may also be a less-optimal path.
So when a network engineer logs into a router after the issue has resolved, the routing table or a traceroute shows the current path and not the previous path. This leads to trouble tickets being closed with “No Problem Found”, an answer that leaves customers confused and dissatisfied.
Assure Layer 3 Service Performance in Minutes
This is where our Layer 3 Service Assurance solution can help. With this solution based on the Blue Planet Route Optimization and Assurance (ROA) software, all routing path information and topology changes, as well as traffic and performance data, are collected in real-time from the service provider’s L3 network. The collected data is then correlated, and path-aware performance reports are generated.
Using this, a network engineer can see the current and historical path used for a service, and how the path change impacted the overall network performance and service delivery.
Path-aware performance reports for Layer 3 Service Assurance
Coming back to our MPLS service provider, using this solution, when a service delivery or reachability issue is reported by a customer in their MPLS network, the network engineer can easily trace the current path from the source to destination. They can then drill into the path and use what we call the ‘DVR playback’ feature to understand how a path changed when the issue occurred. The path lookup feature displays the path from source to destination, along with the routers along the path. It also correlates this path with performance metrics collected from the routers, making it easier for the network engineer to quickly understand the “what” and “where” of a network problem, even if the routing issue occurred in the past.
The Layer 3 Service Assurance solution and Blue Planet ROA provide an out-of-the-box, vendor-agnostic solution that is ready within a few hours of installation. Because performance and traffic is automatically correlated with the routing path, engineers do not have to spend hours manually correlating and analyzing performance data with routing information, thus speeding up the trouble-to-resolve process for service delivery issues and more importantly, they do not have to close trouble tickets with “No Problem Found”.
To see a live demo and learn more about the Layer 3 Service Assurance solution, visit: https://www.blueplanet.com/solutions/Layer3-Service-Assurance.html
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