Network analytics will play a key role for future networks

Network Analytics

In just a few years’ time, the Internet has changed significantly. Starting as a hierarchical Tier-1, Tier-2 and Tier-3 topology, it is evolving more and more towards a mashup of directly interconnected networks, thus increasing its complexity both physically and logically. Driven by higher quality demands and lower transit network cost, content providers have been working on increasing the content to user speed by shortening the path, which positions the content as close to the consumer as possible. Content delivery networks (CDNs) started to develop enhanced algorithms to choose the “best” – or at least a better path – to the user in order to make the connection faster.

Every participant of the internet supply chain, which goes from the content, to the CDN, to the upstream provider, to the transit provider, to the ISP, to the end user and vice versa, has an influence on quality, reachability, and security of content. To ensure quality and detect risks, the ISPs monitor and record different sources of data by utilizing various tools.

We at BENOCS seek to leverage these information sources in a completely new way based on the principles of completeness, transparency, and simplicity. We have developed the BENOCS collector, a multi-dimensional collector that stores all the different sources in a single place and, with our analytics, correlates them to gain new and deeper insights of one’s network.

Using analytics to understand what is happening in a network is not a new concept. The current tools on the market are used for specific questions pertaining to the current state of the internet; some of them are often misappropriated to gain “deeper” insights in a foreign domain (accepting the inherent risks of the constraints and misleading assumptions). However, in the past, two major problems prevailed: the first was the amount of data and different systems, and the second refers to processing and correlation. The BENOCS collector solves the first problem by gathering information of the different kinds of protocols (e.g. IS-IS, OSPF, SNMP, BGP, DNS, NetFlow, ect.) in real-time. The second issue is resolved by BENOCS Analytics, which are driven by real-world cases of departments of network operators, quality assurance, planning & forecasting, and sales & support. In fact, we believe the effectiveness of analytics will be so rapid and dramatic that many network professionals will wonder how they functioned without these capabilities.

Being able to answer the following questions in real-time will be the USP of next generation ISPs:

“Are subscribers having trouble with video services like YouTube, Netflix or Amazon? Which users in what locations are affected? Is it caused by an internal or external network? What could be done to solve it?”

Using the power of network analytics and developing a sophisticated intelligence are mandatory to deal with the above more-variables-than-equations types of problems. Thus, analytics will generate revenue and thus pay for itself – both from the cost savings and the increasing quality stand points.

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