Standardization activities have made significant progress for accomplishing end-to-end visibility for Carrier Ethernet services. The IEEE 802.1ag and 802.3-2005 Clause 57 (formerly 802.3ah), ITU-T Y.1731, RFC2544 and MEF 17 specifications are just some of the standardized OA&M methodologies. Recent trends in the industry have led to the adoption of field-hardened, TDM-era methodologies leveraged into standard Ethernet OA&M-based tools that are integrated within network elements-empowering IT managers to monitor and manage networks on an end-to-end basis.
Since many Carrier Ethernet service networks are still best effort and may not provide detailed network metrics reports, the motivation behind adding monitoring capabilities became clearly visible through customer-reported data, indicating significant savings and rapid ROI when implementing advanced OA&M SLA monitoring:
1. Proactive network monitoring can result in up to 35 percent reduction in trouble tickets, 50 percent reduction in truck rolls and 70 percent reduction in on-site repair labor costs.
2. Integrated testing capabilities enable up to 50 percent reduction in external test setups and services.
3. In-field network equipment upgradeability to add end-to-end network visibility and OA&M into any network; eliminates network overhauling via forklift upgrades to add OA&M.
4. Integrated threshold-crossing alarms, switchover and other self-healing events enable 99.999% ("five nines") network and service reliability.
Carrier Ethernet has come a long way to become the de facto technology of broadband networks, and related monitoring systems have also improved over time. Real-time Ethernet WAN monitoring and optimization capabilities can provide up to 300 percent service performance improvement and up to 50 percent bandwidth efficiency uplifts.
While IT managers expand complex IP applications to their clients, regardless of the geographic location, technical challenges and cost-cutting pressures have prompted adding visibility into network health, service performance and verification of SLAs to ensure that precious OPEX and CAPEX are being appropriately managed. Since many Carrier Ethernet services are still best effort services, IT managers need reliable solutions to maintain network visibility, as well as higher layer services in real-time to ensure high levels of user satisfaction.
Further, using Ethernet monitoring tools saves precious OPEX and enables IT to proactively manage WAN connections (and their service providers' SLA guarantees) more efficiently and with less IT intervention through integrated testing capabilities.
The good news is that IT managers finally have new tools that provide the necessary WAN SLA network metrics to directly manage service provider-based Ethernet services. This ensures that user applications are reliably transported across the WAN.
Greg Gum is the Chief Marketing Officer at ANDA Networks. Greg brings over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and networking industry, having served in various product management, marketing, corporate investment and business development roles at both startup and Fortune 500 companies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.