What is Network Analytics?
Networks are at the center of today’s world, so understanding how the network is performing is critical—not just for technical peace of mind, but for the operation of the business itself. Now, in pursuit of serving customers more effectively and looking for every possible competitive edge, network operators are utilizing analytics to gain a deeper understanding of the network. As a result, they are able to make smarter, data-driven decisions about their operations that help them achieve their desired business outcomes.
Network analytics, in its simplest definition, involves the analysis of network data and statistics to identify trends and patterns. Once identified, operators take the next step of ‘acting’ on this data—which typically involves a network operation or a set of operations. For example, if a network operator finds that there may be a congestion problem in a certain area of the of the network, traffic can be routed through a different part of the network to meet service performance objectives. Typically, this type of operation has been a manual process. But now, vendors are augmenting traditional analytics with automation and artificial intelligence technologies to enable the next generation of highly intelligent networks—a network capable of dynamically self-configuring or self-optimizing based on changing network conditions. At Ciena, we call this the Adaptive Network.
Utilizing artificial intelligence and automation technologies, network analytics helps operators make smarter, data-driven operational and business decisions.
As networks become increasingly complex and intertwined with user experiences, ever-present devices, and critical applications—each requiring a share of the network resources—the ability to dynamically adapt is crucial for maintaining and improving quality of service. Using network analytics, providers can act before service disruptions occur and penalties start accruing. This kind of intelligence—anticipating a disruption before it even happens—not only improves quality of service, an important metric by itself, it also results in higher net promoter scores, which help providers understand their customers’ loyalty.
Some other key benefits of network analytics include:
- Optimized use of network resources: Analytics can help you understand your network, and balance and utilize resources in the best way possible so you can optimize network performance and lower cost structures.
- New revenue streams: Analytics plays a critical role in mining insights that can identify new revenue streams and build data-driven business cases for quick action.
- Accelerated time to market: Analytics can help make capacity planning easier for new services. As a result, the resources required for a new or expanded service can be calculated and then provisioned well in advance of going live, ensuring products get to market on time.
How Ciena Helps
Ciena offers a breadth of analytics solutions that enable network providers to gradually adopt analytics. They can start with basic analytics insights by using Ciena’s Analytics-as-a-Service solution then gradually move on to incorporate automated network control toward the more advanced implementation of adaptive networking.
Our Analytics-as-a-Service solution, Ciena Insights Service, provides hosted analytics for customers that need deeper visibility into their network operations and health. It focuses on Layer 0 through Layer 2 network functionality, with the goal of providing better visibility into the transport network. It then translates this raw data into actionable insights. These insights drive predictions derived from Ciena’s machine learning and AI analytical platforms. Fulfillment of these predictive optimizations can be carried out by human intervention or platform automation.
Blue Planet Analytics (BPA) and Ciena’s AI-powered applications provide closed-loop automation capabilities to solve a wide range of network analytics use cases. Using today’s best-of-breed technologies, BPA helps unleash the true power of big data and enable network providers to offer superior customer experiences in services.
BPA ensures customers reap the benefits of the five Vs required of advanced network analytics (volume, velocity, variety, value, and visualization) through an advanced big data processing engine and a two-tier architecture that enables operators to focus on solving problems at hand versus spending time on data management. It provides an open and extensible architecture optimized for adaptive networking when combined with the Blue Planet policy engine, and actionable systems like Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO) and Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) to enable end-to-end intelligent, closed-loop automation across any type of physical and/or virtual network.
Learn more about Blue Planet Analytics.