CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center) enables service providers to utilize SDN, cloud, and edge computing by augmenting proprietary hardware and software with open source and other software-based approaches running on commodity hardware.

This fundamental shift brings considerable advantage in terms of scale, elasticity, and agility — but not without new challenges. Traditional approaches to monitoring and visibility are often insufficient. Without packet data to feed your security and network performance monitoring tools, it is easy to find yourself exposed to potential problems, or unaware of their existence.

When security and performance matter most, Ixia CloudLens provides comprehensive visibility — even in virtualized, cloud, or CORD environments.

How CORD works

How CORD Works

CORD combines commodity servers, white-box switches, and disaggregated access technologies with open source software to provide an extensible service delivery platform — enabling network operators to configure, control, and meet their operational and business objectives. Additionally, CORD enables the delivery of a wide range of innovative services, including fiber-to-the-home, trusted operator-provided services, and untrusted third-party services.

The Need for CORD Monitoring

No matter the network, cloud, or application, your security and performance tools depend on real-time access to packet data and metadata. Otherwise, blind spots can undermine their ability to identify security breaches and pinpoint performance problems. Your CORD network is no exception. Without end-to-end monitoring, your security, application performance monitoring, and network performance monitoring tools will be similarly impacted.


However, monitoring your CORD environment is no trivial task. You need a monitoring service that captures information from different CORD network elements and consolidates it into one or more analytics applications running on top of the platform itself. This monitoring service is known as A-CORD, which stands for "Analytics for CORD."

CORD Analytics
CORD Model

The A-CORD Platform

A-CORD reference architecture delivers comprehensive visibility based on a three-tier model, including programmable virtual probes, XOS Monitoring-as-a-Service, and analytics engines. By continuously monitoring and analyzing probe data to enable control decisions, the analytics engines ultimately make your central office network more autonomous — enabling programmable monitoring through closed-loop-control.

As A-CORD spins up virtual data collectors, it dynamically associates data collectors with virtual probes, coordinates among data collectors, and maintains the health and availability of the CORD environment overall. In doing so, the platform provides programmatic interfaces to control your level of monitoring while decoupling analytics applications from underlying probes — enabling true multi-vendor environments.

A-CORD Monitoring with CloudLens

  • XOS Analytics Application
  • Programmable virtual data collector

    CloudLens' virtual tapping (vTap) capabilities provide a virtual programmable data collector for A-CORD, enabling breakthrough monitoring and control of traffic between CORD virtual services for greater security, compliance, and network performance. With CloudLens' vTap collecting subscriber packet data between CORD virtual services (for example, vSG and vCDN), you can easily filter and publish metadata or packet data to XOS analytics engines for further analysis.

  • Monitoring-as-a-Service

    XOS Monitoring-as-a-Service supports real-time network monitoring for fixed SDN and mobile networks in a telco central office. By decoupling analytics engines from underlying targets, it provides a unified interface to program and observe virtual probes. And by leveraging OpenStack Ceilometer, an open source framework, you get both notification- and polling-based measurement collection mechanisms on the southbound side (interfacing to the underlying services and devices), as well as query- or publish/subscribe-based interfaces toward analytic applications on the northbound side. 

    With CloudLens, you can further enhance XOS Monitoring with PacketStream, developed by Ixia for CORD structures. PacketStream, in addition to currently-defined s-Flow models, enables XOS analytics applications to receive packet data and enriched NetFlow meta data from subscribers, along with subscriber device information, user geo-location, browser data, and much more. 

  • XOS Analytics Application

    Analytics engines in A-CORD perform both real-time and batch analytic computing of collected data. Anomaly, congestion, and resource overload detection enable predictive analytics through resource capacity planning and fault prediction. CloudLens' virtual programmable collector, CloudLens XOS analytics application, turns packets into insights — performing deep packet inspection, application classification, and geolocation, all while generating user-device details. These insights identify applications or users that generate excessive traffic or security threats.

    Armed with reliable and accurate information, your central office administrators can isolate and remove unwanted behavior while improving service reliability, performance, and security overall.