User Experience is Too critical to LEAVE to Chance
Mobile is no longer simple. End users are utilzing video, audio, and VoIP more than ever. That puts pressure on mobile providers to deliver superior quality of service (QoS) and constant connectivity. But that's not all. Architecture changes are driving operators to perform critical revenue-generating voice services over the same data network with voice over Long-Term Evolution (LTE / VoLTE).
As users demand better performance and minimal latency, mobile operators need to maintain QoS and quality of experience (QoE) — and that requires specialized, packet-level monitoring. CloudLens, Ixia's platform for public, private, and hybrid cloud monitoring, enables mobile carriers to address these unique challenges. By capturing hard-to-reach information and delivering optimized data to specialized monitoring probes, CloudLens ensures positive user experiences and superior QoS.
Avoid costly backhauls by scaling out monitoring for your subscribers' Evolved Packet Core (EPC).
Subscriber-aware filtering and load balancing enable you to isolate high-value customers with whitelist capabilities.
Monitor physical, virtual, and hybrid transitional deployments — lowering cost per packet and total cost of ownership.
The Data Explosion
According to Cisco, the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) will help drive global mobile traffic levels to 49 exabytes per month in 2021. Mobile networks are already supporting phones, tablets, watches, and more — and must now also support cars, medical devices, manufacturing equipment, and everything in between.
But beyond devices, the consumption of newer media and services is also driving data growth. Technologies like 4K video, as well as applications like YouTube, Skype, WhatsApp, and WeChat, are making video streaming the dominant consumer of mobile data — causing overall data use to increase exponentially.
A Higher Bar
As mobile devices evolve, users are expecting more than ever from mobile carriers. Not only do they want to stream video and make calls over data connections, they also expect seamless connectivity no matter where they are. In fact, some countries in Southeast Asia exceed 100% mobile connection penetration — meaning subscribers are utilizing multiple operators to meet their demands. When coupled with current usage trends, such as nearly 11 hours of screen time a day for U.S. users (per a 2016 survey), subscribers have no patience for disruption of service or quality gaps from mobile carriers.
To meet subscribers' demands, mobile carriers need 24x7 visibility and monitoring, so they can scale with their growing needs.
How CloudLens Enables 24x7 Network Monitoring For Mobile Carriers
- Virtualizing the Moble Core
- A Unique Challenge
- MobileStack Capabilities in CloudLens
Earlier this decade, mobile carriers began virtualizing their networks, including the EPC, to meet the extended needs of IoT and reduce the costs of dedicated hardware. Most deployments began small, with simple services like Domain Name Servers (DNS), but carriers are now migrating to virtualize the entire Evolved Packet Core (vEPC).
Deploying network function virtualization enables a smoother move to 5G, as virtualization serves as the foundation for further advancement. Virtualization is growing so quickly that ABI Research forecasts spending for vEPC "will exceed that of physical network functions by 2019, topping $8 billion by 2021."
To gain visibility into this new environment, network operators need a solution that enables specialized subscriber-aware monitoring in both virtual and physical deployments. That's no easy task.
As traffic continues to grow exponentially year over year, network operators cannot cost-effectively manage QoS and QoE just by scaling out their existing monitoring probe infrastructure. If a standard network packet broker load-balances the traffic, virtual or physical monitoring probes must communicate among themselves to correlate control and data plane packets to successfully capture traffic from individual subscribers across their network. This creates problems, because an individual subscriber's experience is difficult to assess as they move between cell towers.
Using a standard packet broker requires every probe to be aware of all sessions from a control plane perspective. That significantly impacts performance, as up to 50% of a probe's capacity is used to correlate packets between probes. This proves a significant cost to operators because it limits resources for network monitoring and visibility into user experience and QoS.
Ixia's GTP Session Controller (GSC) is the first dedicated solution to deliver subscriber-aware visibility for physical environments with MobileStack capabilities. However, CloudLens with MobileStack goes a step further and extends these capabilities to monitor traditional, virtual, or hybrid EPC.
MobileStack capabilities are designed to meet the unique, specialized visibility needs of EPC, providing a virtual solution for the virtual and hybrid network. Subscriber-aware capabilities for CloudLens include GTP session correlation, GTP load balancing, and subscriber-aware filtering. Additional support, including device-aware filtering, location-aware filtering, EPC parameter-based filtering, and subscriber sampling, is expected to roll out soon.
With CloudLens, mobile operators keep their subscribers satisfied by scaling out their virtual probe infrastructure to monitor both QoS and QoE with better visibility.
Ixia offers specialized visibility intelligence for physical and virtual environments, tailored for the mobile-operator EPC through its CloudLens platform. The solution is scalable, subscriber-aware, and multi-platform capable — meeting the needs of mobile carriers' physical, virtual, and hybrid deployments.
CloudLens also offers virtual tapping, virtual packet processing, and Layer-7-based application filtering for applications like Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD).
Discover how Ixia’s leading visibility intelligence features can optimize your traffic analysis and security tool performance in physical and cloud environments. To learn more, click on each stack.
Context-aware, signature-based application layer filtering
- Application identification
- Geolocation & tagging
- Optional RegEx filtering
- IxFlow (NetFlow + metadata)
- Packet capture
- Real-time dashboard
TradeStack capabilities are not available for this network packet broker or this platform at this time — visit the page to learn more.
Marked data feed monitoring
- Gap detection
- Feed and channel health
- High-resolution traffic statistics
- Microburst detection
- Subscription for feed updates
- Simplified feed management