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Explorer Traffic Engineering

Automated network optimization to avoid congestion

Assure services with intelligent network optimization

The Explorer Traffic Engineering (TE) application, part of Blue Planet® Route Optimization and Analysis (ROA) Provisioning and Optimization Explorer, helps network operators and service providers identify network congestion and alleviate it automatically by shifting traffic to new traffic engineering tunnels over less utilized links.

Explorer Traffic Engineering Screenshot

Explorer Traffic Engineering application provides tunnel recommendations and predicted impact to automatically optimize the network.

Key benefits

No. 1

Automate network optimization and enable balanced use of resources by redistributing traffic loads

No. 2

Increase network efficiency and maximize the return on infrastructure investments

No. 3

Quickly resolve service slowdowns caused by congested links

No. 4

Eliminate the risks of service impacts from traffic engineering miscalculations with analytics-driven traffic engineering recommendations

No. 5

Avoid unplanned service interruptions with error-free, automated traffic engineering

No. 6

Accommodate multiple requirements for multiple services by generating traffic matrices for different times and workload profiles

Assessing the opportunity for optimization

The Explorer TE application assesses the current network state to determine if optimization is needed and possible. It summarizes overall network performance in a single display for the current set of paths and traffic demands, and graphically shows the maximum link utilization, maximum delay, and the maximum number of hops. It also charts the number of links that are uncongested, moderately congested, and heavily congested. The goal of the TE application is to reduce the utilization of these overly congested links.

Traffic matrices

The TE application’s traffic demand matrices show traffic volume between each ingress and egress router and highlight the most congested links along the path for each ingress-egress pair. The specific path for any pair can be displayed simply by right-clicking on that cell in the traffic matrix and clicking “Show Map”. The TE application supports full-mesh traffic engineering as well as tactical traffic engineering to remediate isolated congestion.

Traffic Matrices Screenshot

Assess the opportunity for optimization using traffic matrices.

The user may select daily, weekly, monthly, or a specific time period for the traffic engineering calculations and use either maximum, minimum or the 95th percentile traffic utilization levels. By specifying a “Maximum Utilization per Link” value, any link with utilization above this threshold is selected and its ingress and egress routers are automatically inferred. The user can also manually select router groups for the traffic matrix.

For full-mesh traffic engineering, all edge routers are selected; for specific sections of the network, just the associated routers are selected. Multiple traffic demand matrices can be created simultaneously, and they can either be optimized for the same time or for different times of the day to satisfy the needs of the multiple services running on the network. If desired, traffic matrices may be imported and used in place of those generated by Blue Planet ROA. Similarly, third party optimization algorithms may be invoked. This plug-and-play capability is made possible by the REST APIs.

Policy-based path computation and optimization

The Explorer TE application user can set policies to define allowable tunnel characteristics. Policy determines which path optimization algorithm to use, either a fast, global constraint-based optimization algorithm, or a capacity optimization algorithm. Policy settings also determine whether or not traffic may be split among multiple paths between ingress and egress routers based on bandwidth rate. Splitting the traffic into multiple paths is useful when no single path has sufficient capacity to satisfy the demand.

The policies support even more options for optimization, including creating diverse paths, under- or over-provisioning of TE tunnels, and balancing traffic based on load or bandwidth.

Intelligent orchestration

With a click of the mouse, the path computation and optimization engine calculates the optimal RSVP-TE or Segment Routing tunnel configurations and presents them as recommendations to the user. The Explorer TE application presents before-and-after measures for maximum link utilization, delay, and number of hops, as well as the link utilization distribution. These metrics provide an at-a-glance view of the impact that the computed new paths will have on network utilization.

The user may override any or all of the recommendations, and when satisfied that the new TE tunnel configurations will have the desired impact, another click of the mouse signals the Blue Planet ROA Explorer Suite to communicate these paths to Blue Planet MDSO or any third-party orchestrator via its northbound API. The controller uses a southbound protocol to configure the paths in the network devices and ensures the paths are persistent. When the new tunnels are signaled by the routers, they are immediately detected and appear in ROA’s real-time routing topology model, to facilitate automation of the service lifecycle management process. The user may update or de-provision the tunnels at any time using the Explorer TE application.

ROA’s RESTful APIs enable integration with third-party orchestration and OSS/BSS solutions. This means that the ROA Explorer Suite with the TE application may be implemented as a standalone solution or as part of a multi-vendor, multi-domain, and even multi-layer orchestration ecosystem.

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