Fact or Fiction—Can You Really Have a Self-Maintained Network?
Dreaming of a Self-Maintained Network?
Every network operations center (NOC) manager dreams of the day when he or she can relax on the beach without worrying about monitoring or maintaining their network. Or, more realistically, NOC managers are waiting for the day that they can put the network on autopilot, freeing up their time and resources for more ‘meaningful’ tasks.
The dream of a self-maintained network has been just that up to this point—a dream. Instead, NOC managers have been left struggling with too much information, coming from too many systems, in too many different formats. All of which they are expected to maintain manually.
In an effort to increase network efficiency, NOC managers spend hours manually collecting data and building reports to compile all the necessary information; but even this can quickly become overwhelming. As networks become increasingly complex, NOC managers need a self-maintained network more than ever—and now we’re getting close to making it a reality.
How the Self-Maintained Network Makes You Truly Efficient
We’ve spent the last several months publishing a series of blogs about enhancing network efficiency. Whether we’re discussing tapping unused resources with SDN, reducing power consumption, implementing NFV, or putting underground assets to better use, one thing remains the same—NOC managers have too many tasks to finish to actually execute all of these recommendations.
The perfect solution to the common NOC problems is a self-maintained network. A self-maintained network is one that can gather information, analyze it/make recommendations, and then perform those recommendations without manual intervention.
This self-maintained process can simplify the day-to-day operations of any NOC operator and shorten the time spent on troubleshooting, new service introduction, network expansion and more. There is still work to be done to make self-maintained networks a reality, but the LightAPPS™ suite is pushing toward a future in which WAN network will require almost no manual intervention.
How LightAPPS Pushes Us Closer to a Self-Maintained Network Reality
The LightAPPS suite is a cornerstone of ECI’s ELASTIC Network vision to enable customers to scale and operate more efficiently using open, secure and vendor-agnostic technology. LightINSIGHT™, LightCARE™, and LightACTION™, in particular, are fueling the shift toward self-maintained networks.
These three apps can work together to map the majority of routine network operations into a “Gather & Analyze, Predict & Recommend, Automate & Improve” workflow:
- “Gather and Analyze” with LightINSIGHT: The LightINSIGHT app can gather, analyze and visualize network resource utilization and performance. This automatic collection and visualization of information, in and of itself saves quite a bit of time, as these tasks can require hours of manual calculations.
- “Predict & Recommend” with LightCARE: The LightCARE is a proactive network health app which can predict and recommend changes required to correct issues. This app, can help prioritize and pre-empt issues by flagging them in advance. All of this saves you time, and can actually improve network availability.
- Finally, you can “Automate and Optimize” network performance with LightACTION: Once NOC managers understand what should be done, they can then use LightACTION to automate these tasks across the network. The new LightACTION app is a user friendly tool that comes with a rich set of pre-defined actions, fully configurable to adapt to customer needs. This means that there are no programming skill requirements as the GUI-based tool lets NOC operators define event-triggered actions.
Achieving this automated workflow will help companies realize the true potential of a self-maintained network, turning this dream into a reality. If you want to learn more about how the LightAPPS suite of SDN applications can make self-maintained networks a reality for you, contact ECI today for more information. Or better yet, reach out to ECI to set up your 30 day LightAPPS free trial.