3 Steps to Server Virtualization Visibility

Network Instruments- 3 Steps to Server Virtualization

Each enterprise has its own reasons for moving to virtual infrastructure, but it all boils down to the demand for better and more efficient server utilization. Ensure comprehensive visibility with three practical steps.

Virtualization is a money-saving technology that allows the enterprise to stretch its IT budget much further by better utilizing server assets. Consider the immediate reduction in data center footprint, maintenance, and capital and operating expense overhead. Then add the promise to dynamically adjust server workloads and service delivery to achieve optimal user experience—the vision of true orchestration. It’s easy to see why server virtualization is key to many organizations’ operational strategy.

But, what if something goes wrong? With network infrastructure, you can usually north/south track the root cause back to one location via careful instrumentation of the resources. Troubleshooting is then facilitated with any number of free and commercialware monitoring tools. How can you get the same visibility you need to validate service health within the virtual server hypervisor and vSwitch east/west traffic?

3 Steps to Virtual Visibility Cheat Sheet

Step One:

Get status of host and virtualization components

  • Use polling technologies such as SNMP, WSD, and WMI to provide performance metrics like CPU utilization, memory usage, and virtualized variables like individual VM instance status to find the real cause of service issues.
  • Do your homework. Poor application response time and other service issues can be tied to unexpected sources.

Step Two:

Monitor vSwitch east/west traffic

  • To the network engineer, everything disappears once it hits the virtual server. To combat this “black box effect,” there are two methods to maintain visibility:

1. Inside Virtual Monitoring Model

a. Create a dedicated VM “monitoring instance”.
b. Transmit relevant data to this instance for analysis.
c. Analyze traffic locally with a monitoring solution.
d. Transmit summary or packet data to an external central analysis solution.

2. Outside Virtual Monitoring Model

a. Push copies of raw, unprocessed vSwitch east/west traffic out of the virtualized server.

Step Three:

Inspect perimeter and client north/south conversations

  • Instrument highly-saturated Application Access Layer links with a packet capture device like Observer GigaStor™ to record conversations and rewind for back in time analysis.

To learn more, dowload the white paper here:

Network Instruments- 3 Steps to Server Virtualization

Have You Considered Using a Network Discovery Software Solution

When you have a network discovery software solution it allows your computer to see another network computers and devices and allows people on other network computers to see your computer. This makes it easier to share files and printers etc, but that’s not all.

Have you Considered Using a Network Discovery Software Solution?You may be asking why is this even important to me? The primary reasons why it is vital for your business to use network discovery is as follows:

  • If you don’t know what you have, you cannot hope to monitor and manage it.
  • You can’t track down interconnected problems.
  • You don’t know when something new comes on the network.
  • You don’t know when you need upgrades.
  • You may be paying too much for maintenance.

Most of the time in network management you’re trying to track down potential issues within your network and how you’re going to resolve these issues. This is a very hard task especially if you’re dealing with a large scale network. If one thing goes down within the network it starts a trickle effect and then more aspects of the network will in return start to go down.

All of these problems are easily fixed. A lot of network discovery capabilities have powerful and flexible tools allowing you to determine what exactly is subject to monitoring.

These elements can be automatically labeled and grouped. This makes automatic data collection possible, as well as threshold monitoring and reporting on already discovered elements.

Another aspect of network discovery software is that it can perform a network topology discovery in the managed network. The discovery process probes each device to determine its configuration and relation to other managed elements.

This information can be then used to create instances as a dependency model. This simplifies event correlation, i.e. no rules programming and the subsystem guarantees identification of critical problems. The discovery detects network devices and topology automatically.

As a result of this we can access critical details like IP address, MAC address, OS, firmware, Services, Memory, Serial Numbers, Interface Information, Routing Information, Neighbor data, these are all available at the click of a button or as a scheduled report.

If you would like to find out more about how we can benefit your enterprise greatly then schedule a technical discussion with one of our experienced engineers.

Contact Us for Live Demo

 

Thanks to NMSaaS for the article.

Mobilicity Secures Funding for AWS-3 Auction from Debtholders

Indebted Canadian cellco Mobilicity has secured the necessary CAD62 million (USD50 million) funding from debtholders to place a deposit by the end-January deadline for entering the upcoming AWS-3 wireless spectrum auction scheduled for 3 March. The Globe & Mail reports that Mobilicity placed an application before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to approve the ‘second debtor-in-possession (DIP)’ financing arrangement, structured off an earlier CAD30 million DIP financing arrangement the company entered into when it first filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Mobilicity plans to form a wholly owned subsidiary called Mobilicity SpectrumCo for the sole purpose of participating in the AWS-3 auction, in which it may compete against Wind Mobile for leftover 1700MHz/2100MHz spectrum set aside for second-tier mobile operators. The company is waiting to receive court approval for its latest requested extension of creditor protection from 30 January to 8 May.

Thanks to TeleGeography for the article.

Multichannel and Multimodal Contact Centres: How Do You Know It All works Together?

IQ Services- Contact Centre Testing & MonitoringThe convergence of voice, web, social media and video means that solution providers are coming up with exciting and sophisticated ways to allow users to take more control of their customer service experience. Customers want to decide how they communicate with your company, and how your company communicates with them.

Two of the challenges facing contact centres today are “multichannel” and “multimodal” technologies. This article will explore these terms and introduce some ways to ensure that the performance of these capabilities can be maintained and optimized.

In addition to speaking with an agent, today’s customers have access to a variety of self-service options; they can schedule a service call via the Web or an IVR by logging in with an account number, or they can send an email or chat with an online representative. The availability of multiple touch-points by which a customer can access your company is a multi-channel contact centre solution, with each transaction utilizing just a single channel at a time.

Even a chat session that results in a callback or click-to-call event uses only one channel at a time, even though the contact centre offers up multiple channels.

Enter Multimodal.

Now with SmartPhones and WebRTC, consumers have access to a much richer and potentially more powerful user interface. Add a Bluetooth headset to the SmartPhone and now the user can access the rest of the phone’s features while carrying on a conversation. Consumers are already tapping multimodal capabilities through features like Amazon’s Kindle Fire “Mayday” button and click-to-call interactions with insurance agents that allow the policy holder to take a video of damage to their car and submit it to the agent for an estimate – all while still talking to the agent.

But what about the contact centre side of that multimodal experience?

With SIP pipes into the centre and WebRTC extended to the agents wherever they may be, this multimodal scenario is possible today. But now, in addition to the communications pipes being converged, the content (previously segregated and siloed), must be integrated as well. These are new frontiers for contact centre architectures and just like the technologies that emerged previously (IVR and web self-service, speech reco, CTI, IPT), they will run into some bumps in the road.

And that’s where IQ Services comes in.

IQ Services offers testing and monitoring services that determine whether all your customer facing solutions work as desired under load and continue to be available 24/7 in production.

  • Do you know if an increase in voice traffic adversely affects response time of your web self-service solution?
  • Can your SIP pipes handle the same sudden increase in incoming traffic your old-fashioned TDM boxes handled sitting down?
  • Are you concerned about your process for logging-in remote agents via the web and delivering calls to them?
  • How about proving that your converged queuing process properly elevates high-profile chat customers over lower priority voice customers?

Our systems can easily be configured to interact with your multichannel or multimodal contact centre solutions to ensure it all works together, whether it’s one channel at a time or across multiple channels. The insight we provide will give you confidence that the experience your customers have is the one you intend – one that delivers on your company’s brand promise. Contact us to learn more.

Thanks to IQ Services for the article.

Mobilicity Needs to Source Funding this Week or Miss AWS-3 Auction

Financially-stricken Canadian cellco Mobilicity has confirmed that it is still searching for funding to meet the deposit deadline of 30 January in order to participate in the upcoming AWS-3 mobile frequency auction in March, a report from Ernst & Young disclosed on Friday. Mobilicity, which is under court protection from its creditors, needs to secure a CAD62 million (USD50 million) refundable deposit by the end of the month to bid in the auction of unallocated 3G/4G spectrum in the regions where it already operates, Reuters reports. As a relatively recent entrant to Canada’s mobile sector, Mobilicity would get preferential bidding rights on the additional 1700MHz/2100MHz band frequencies, which would increase its attractiveness to a potential buyer.

The report added that Mobilicity is continuing talks on a possible takeover, having discussed selling itself with several parties, including one of its noteholders, whilst it has asked the court to extend its protection from creditors once again, to 8 May from a looming expiry date of 30 January. It was also disclosed that Mobilicity had 158,600 active subscribers at the end of 2014 – down from 175,000 twelve months earlier according to TeleGeography – while customer churn was 4.9% in December.

The Ernst & Young report also confirmed that Mobilicity does not plan to participate in Canada’s auction of 2500MHz-2600MHz 4G frequencies scheduled for April.

Thanks to TeleGeography for the article.

Mobile Network Optimization

Visibility Into Quality

What happens when we offload voice traffic to Wi-Fi? As user demand for high-quality anytime, anywhere communications continues growing exponentially, mobile providers are evolving core networks to higher capacity technologies such as 4G LTE. As they do so, mobile network optimization increasingly relies on detecting and preventing potential performance issues. Accomplishing this detection becomes even more challenging, given the expanding mix of tools, probes, interfaces, processes, functions, and servers involved in network monitoring and optimization.

Ixia’s network visibility solutions provide the ongoing data needed for mobile network optimization. They deliver a high-quality subscriber experience reliably and cost-effectively, despite the growing diversity of network technologies, user devices, and security threats. As operational complexity increases, network engineers at leading mobile service providers can leverage Ixia’s suite of network monitoring switches to ensure the end-to-end visibility needed to minimize OPX, sustain profitability, and safeguard quality and user satisfaction.

Ixia’s mobile network visibility solutions deliver:

  • Traffic optimized for monitoring
  • Automated troubleshooting to reduce MTTR
  • A breakthrough “drag and drop” GUI management interface that streamlines configuration
  • Expanded network monitoring capacity

Carrier-grade Mobile Network Capabilities

Ixia’s expanding suite of network visibility solutions offer a host of new capabilities that equip network engineers at telecommunications providers to achieve end-to-end network visibility—simply and efficiently. NEBS-compliant and suitable for 4G LTE packet cores, these solutions can enable such essential functions as connection of multiple network monitoring tools to a large number of 40GbE, 10GbE, and 1GbE interfaces (up to 16 40GbE ports or up to 64 10GbE ports) in an efficient form factor. Reflecting Ixia’s globally renowned monitoring innovation, these carrier-grade solutions offer such innovative features as:

  • MPLS and GTP filtering
  • Custom dynamic filtering to allow visibility into the first 128 bytes of packets
  • Uninterrupted access for high-availability network monitoring
  • NEBS certification that ensures robustness
  • Redundant, hot-swappable power supplies and fan modules
  • Local and remote alarm relay support
  • Emergency out-of-band reset
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop control panel
  • Aggregation of data from multiple network access points

Ixia provides telecommunications providers easy access to view end-to-end analyses of architected networks, validate field applications, and improve customer loyalty and support. They deliver the actionable insights needed to dynamically detect, avoid and address issues, Overall, Ixia’s robust end-to-end network visibility solutions allow engineers to evaluate and optimize network and application performance under diverse conditions, maximizing ROI and the quality of the user experience.

 

Ixia Anue NTO 7300 Ixia Anue GTP Session Controller
Net Tool Optimizers
Out-of-band traffic aggregation, filtering, dedup, load balancing
GTP Session Controller
Intelligent distribution and control of mobile network traffic

 

Thanks to Ixia for the article.

Think About Network Device Backup & Compliance Policy Checking System

One of the most underrated and most vital pieces to any organization no matter the size of the business is network device backup.

Think about Network Device Backup & Compliance Policy Checking systemThe reason why you should have a backup device solution in place is as follows:

  1. Quick reestablishment of device configs.
  2. Reduced downtime due to failed devices.
  3. Disaster recovery and business continuity.
  4. Network compliance.

These are all key components to the success of your organization.

Another aspect which should not be ignored is Policy checking. A policy checking system uses an advanced “Snippet” based rules engine, with advanced regular expression based rules and filters to quickly create policies that range from the simple, to the very complex.

These rules can be based on simple text ‘strings’ to finding items present or missing in configuration files; powerful configuration snippets with ‘section’ matching and ‘regular expression’ searching; or advanced scripting languages, (i.e. XML, Perl).

Webinar: Cloud Based Network Device Backup and Compliance Policy Checking

Our CTO John Olson will educate you on why organizations are turning to NMSaaS to capture their network device configurations and then use that information to run detailed compliance checks.

In this technical webinar he will show you how to leverage the power of the NMSaaS Configuration and Change (NCCM) Module to both protect and report on your critical network device configurations.

Examples of automated functions include:

  1. Backup the running configuration of devices.
  2. Compare older configurations to the current one.
  3. Restore configurations from previous backups.
  4. Use logging to watch for device changes and then automatically backup the new configuration.
  5. Run Policy checks against those stored configurations for compliance audits.

Contact Us for Live Demo

Thanks to NMSaaS for the article.