January 19, 2016
ACTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA, Jan. 19, 2016– Affirmed Networks, the leader in virtualized mobile networks, today announced the industry’s first native, virtualized probe and analytics solution for mobile networks. The solution combines Affirmed Networks Active Intelligent Virtualized Probe (vProbe) and monitoring capabilities with EMC’s Real Time Analytics, to provide mobile operators with greater overall visibility into and across their virtualized networks, improving service levels and the overall customer experience.
Access to real-time, granular information related to the overall security and performance of a network is critical for mobile operators. According to many operators, however, traditional hardware-based architectures are cost-prohibitive and lack the necessary intelligence for effectively scaling their network analytics and monitoring infrastructure to support the increased demands of the growing number of services, applications and devices on today’s networks.
As the evolution toward NFV-based architectures continues, the ability to probe geographically distributed virtualized network functions has become a challenge. By combining the once-separate Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and probe/packet brokering functions together “natively” in one location, Affirmed Networks and EMC have made it possible for operators to achieve significant cost savings and improvements related to the overall performance and utilization of their virtualized networks.
“This new approach allows Communication Service Providers(CSPs) to monitor both control plane and data plane sessions in a virtualized EPC network at substantially reduced monitoring cost”, said Patrick Kelly, Founder and Principal Analyst at Appledore Research Group. “Additionally, this approach also solves the problem of dynamic instances of VNFs which require monitoring for end-to-end service assurance where existing probe solutions have a blind spot.”
Co-location is Critical
The native location of the vProbe with the Affirmed vEPC is estimated to produce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) savings of as much as 50% over traditional hardware-based approaches. Operators will achieve these savings through the co-location of the probe natively with Affirmed Networks’ Mobile Content Cloud ™ virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) and WiFi solutions. By collapsing the once-separate functions, the new offering eliminates the need for separate appliances for probe and packet brokering functions which are required with traditional architectures.
Co-location also eliminates the need for duplicating functions such as correlation of control plane and user plane packets and Deep Packet Inspection. These functions are native to the Affirmed Mobile Content Cloud so they only take place once. This differs greatly from traditional approaches that require all the traffic to be mirrored to separate appliances where these functions must be done again. As a result, operators virtualizing this function will also experience additional benefits in the areas of overall network performance and utilization.
Intelligent & Open
An essential component of Affirmed Networks’ Active Intelligent vProbe and Analytics solution is the “intelligence first” approach, which provides service providers with per-flow and per-transaction data sets (Intelligent Event Data Records) that delivers a real-time overview of the entire network capable of identifying potential issues that require attention (mirroring). As a result, this approach requires a much smaller percentage of traffic to be mirrored, providing significant savings in infrastructure costs. (Traditional approaches mirror all traffic first before doing a granular analysis which is quickly becoming cost prohibitive for operators).
Most network probing and analytics solutions that exist in the market today provide restricted access to rich signaling and data plane sessions. As CSPs look to harness new use cases in their environment a key requirement for data scientist and developers is open access to data sets. Together, the EMC RTI and the Affirmed vProbe capability provides open access via APIs for rapid development of intelligence reporting tools that yields actionable business insight.
EMC RTI is designed to add crucial real-time capabilities that enable organizations to democratize data by breaking down silos between data sources and applications, continuously stream data from multiple event data sources, make decisions across the full time spectrum (past, present, future), and unlock value by monetizing the insights generated by real-time event data. And with a rich SDK, the real power of RTI comes from its programmability.
“Operators are realizing that the same factors related to traffic growth that drove them to virtualize network functions are now justifying the need for applying a virtualized, software-centric approach to their network monitoring and analytics infrastructure,” said Angela Whiteford, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Affirmed Networks. “Our collaboration with EMC to deliver a new, integrated and intelligent approach to network monitoring and analytics offers operators a wealth of powerful savings, new capabilities and is squarely in line with the needs of our customers in this area.”
“A new digital era is being driven by mobile devices and new user behaviors, which together give rise to new business opportunities affecting every market and industry, said David Hudson, Senior Director, Technology, Office of the CTO, EMC Corporation. “For Communication Service Providers this means that real-time analytics is essential to manage their network infrastructure, improve the customer experience — and rapidly discover and implement new ways to generate revenue. The new Affirmed Networks Active Intelligent vProbe and Analytics solution, enabled by EMC Real-Time Intelligence, provides customers with a powerful solution as they evolve to NFV-based architectures and position themselves for growth.”
With more than 28 customers, and 40 trials underway, Affirmed Networks continues to lead the industry in the deployment of virtualized mobile networks. Affirmed Network’s Mobile Content Cloud solution is currently deployed in some of the world’s largest mobile service provider networks including LGU+, Telus, Saudi Telecom, Transatel, Elephant Talk and TNS, to name a few.
Affirmed Networks and EMC will be demonstrating the native virtualized probe and analytics solution at Mobile World Congress, stand 3K10, Hall 3, February 22–25, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.