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Making Cloud-Native Service Assurance the 'IZE' of the Virtualized Network

Partner Perspectives

As operators start the migration to NFV through a hybrid transition to a fully virtualized network, operators must make sure they are keeping their eyes firmly on the service they deliver end-to-end. This is not just essential in the final virtualized state, but operators should be equally concerned about their service quality during the complexed transition process. A full cloud-native service assurance solution is the only way to ensure end-to-end service visibility. As such it is critical service assurance is deployed as the first step in the transition to NFV.

The primary purpose of any service assurance solution is to offer end-to-end visibility for the operator on the network performance, so that if there is an issue, it is resolved as quickly as possible. In a migration to NFV, if the service assurance solution is not entirely cloud-native it will not be able to monitor the virtual areas of the network and therefore will create “blind spots” for the operator. Only cloud-native solutions can monitor all areas of the network including “East-West” traffic as well as “North-South” traffic, i.e. what runs between two virtual points in the network (East-West), as opposed to traffic which goes between two boxes (North-South). Service assurance solutions for virtualized networks must offer end-to-end visibility, without this element they are not assuring the entire network.

Having agility in the network means the cloud-native service assurance continually adjusts itself while still providing full network visibility. The most effective way to ensure this type of agility in the network is to ensure cloud-native service assurance is built using a microservices architecture. Building up the overall service through a series of smaller independent services makes it easier to update individual elements and scale up as the needs of the network grow. The microservices work together to create an agile and dynamic network, ready for NFV and 5G. Also, embedding this kind of solution into the network increases efficiency, reliability and elastic scalability allowing for individual elements to horizontally and vertically scale.

As the industry starts deploying 5G and creates a more sophisticated virtual environment, the network will need to be optimized to be able to handle this new agile and dynamic system. These cloud-based environments require effective monitoring, and for this, on-demand probing is a significant feature. In the past probes were launched in a manual process which took days to execute. With on-demand probing, probes can be launched or removed at the click of a mouse, to monitor new services as they are launched. In addition, cloud-native visibility allows the operator to dynamically manage the traffic that is distributed between the probes to assure high priority traffic is continually monitored. With these capabilities operators can optimize the way they monitor the network, effectively giving them end-to-end visibility with the ability to pinpoint problems in the network and act accordingly, maintaining the highest levels of service for the end user.

Operators are moving towards a new level of customer experience they need to deliver whereby the user has access to a more personalized and accessible network. For this type of customer experience to happen an advanced service and orchestration needs to be implemented and work together in an automated fashion. A high-level of automation is key to agile service creation, delivery, and scaling. As opposed to legacy assurance, cloud-native service assurance automates processes of problem identification and fixes as well as recommendations to the NFV orchestration. Having assurance and orchestration syncing continuously means that the network management layer receives constant updates about end-to-end service quality and where issues are located. In turn, assurance keeps up to date with new services or elements being added to the network. By automating this process, resolution times are significantly reduced, and customers receive better service quality.

For the highest possible quality of service for customers, operators need cloud-native service assurance which provides real-time contextual network intelligence. Using this intelligence for customer support teams enables problems to be solved or escalated much faster. By using real-time data and unified business analytics operators can convert this information into actionable intelligence and be proactive in providing an enhanced quality of experience for their customers.

This is especially important when it comes to managing and monitoring VIP customers. To perform as the customer expects, operators must take a proactive stance in assuring, and continuously improve, the service levels and overall QoE. This is not just about keeping a constant eye on the network, but monitoring which apps and services receive the most substantial usage and require the most attention. With clear network intelligence operators can locate and resolve any performance issues as quickly as possible, pinpointing the root cause and drilling down to fix the problem, before the customer is even aware there is an issue.

Deploying cloud-native service assurance is the critical first step in NFV transformation. The end goal is to assure the transition and customer experience from day one. By deploying cloud-native service assurance early, operators can deliver a closed loop network that provides a centralized service level agreement with actionable network intelligence and insights, thereby creating a new and improved experience customer across the network.

Learn how by RADCOMizing your network with RADCOM’s cloud-native service assurance, MaveriQ, you can gain full network visibility and insights in real-time starting today.

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