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How signaling spikes affect networks: 3 real-world examples

By: Josee Loudiadis, Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent

Data and signaling growth are usually good news for network operators, since growth often translates into higher revenues. But when growth is averaged over a month or quarter, the daily highs and lows of network activity are smoothed out. And signaling spikes remain hidden within the averages. These spikes can overwhelm available signaling capacity, which impairs the customer experience, as well as the operator’s reputation.

What happens when a spike occurs? Typically, a CPU Overload alarm appears on various mobile nodes. And the Network Operations Center (NOC) immediately starts praying that the burst is short-lived and doesn’t go over maximum peak-rate capacity. Because when that happens, all consumers are denied service access. Then, the process of identifying the source of the problem begins. This can be arduous, because it often involves applications completely out of NOC control. And the issue can’t be resolved easily without solid network analytics that enables engagement with application and device developers.

That’s the reason signaling information is a crucial part of the Alcatel-Lucent Mobile Apps Rankings report and why LTE World 2014 devotes an entire pre-conference day to the topic. It’s also why this blog offers a closer look at how some real-world disruptive signaling spikes got started — and were finally resolved.

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The Expanding Channel Programs

Not only do I see more cloud service providers looking to the channel for sales, I see other channel programs expanding....

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When Does WebRTC Need a Media Server? Reason #6

In a recent blog about the current state of WebRTC, I mentioned that readers should check out an excellent white paper...

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The Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation: It's Not All About Data- Mobile Voice and Messaging Share Plans Offer Plenty of Appeal

Alcatel-Lucent’s Rich Crowe continues the Six Degrees of Mobile Data Plan Innovation blog series by examining the degree to which consumers are interested in share plans that include unlimited voice and messaging but don’t include data.

The last Six Degrees blog explored consumer attitudes toward two different mobile share plan options: sharing data only and sharing voice, messaging and data. This blog will explore attitudes toward a 3rd option: sharing unlimited voice and messaging — but not data — across multiple devices or subscribers.

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200G Optical Networks: What you need to know

By: Earl Kennedy, IP Transport Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

Optical network operators have already made the move to 100G. But skyrocketing bandwidth demand means many are already pondering what’s next. With a 200G optical solution hitting the market, you probably have questions about when to move to 200G optical – and what you need to know when you make that move.

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Zocalo: Amazon Just Fired a Gun at Microsoft, Oracle and Dropbox

Amazon has made its name in ecommerce and cloud but its next frontier may be productivity applications and in the process, they...

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Alcatel-Lucent in Action: a year of progress and look to the future

Sustainability, Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent in Action” is the story of one year of action to transform our company and position it for innovation and growth.

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Another Great Reason To Truly (No Sprawl) Go Green: Your Health and Healthcare

August 29, 2008

"Just go out for a breath of air/And you'll be ready for Medicare"--Tom Lehrer

The Canadian Medical Association released a literally devastating report earlier this month titled: "No Breathing Room: National Illness Costs of Air Pollution" that bears out the brilliance, prescience, and unfortunate timelessness of Mr. Lehrer's musical satire.

The contents should make you gasp, think about saving energy, think again about locating in car-oriented 'greenfields' no matter 'green' the buildings are, ...and consider instead strategies like teleworking and situating offices and homes in higher-density, walkable, transit-accessible, and healthier truly green communities.

Among the key and very disturbing data:

SoundBite's Sensible 'Coupons On Demand'

August 18, 2008

SoundBite Communications has a 'greensmart' solution that saves trees, which convert CO2 to oxygen among other life-providing benefits, which is reminding consumers or businesses of coupons or other rewards they are entitled to by receiving the coupon or reminder through e-mail, text messages or an automated phone call. 

By simply showing the text message, the reward could be activated at their next purchase. If someone doesn't want the promotional offer, they simply delete it. It doesn't get any easier than that, and all while reducing the consumption of paper.

Those savings are significant. According to SoundBite's PR, one tree can make almost 17 reams of paper, with a significant portion of it ending up as direct mail or bills.



APC's new Data Center Carbon Calculator

August 11, 2008

 American Power Conversion has devised an excellent tool, the Data Center Carbon Calculator, to help you changes in data center efficiency on energy consumption and carbon output. This handy measurement is part of a series of Trade-Off Tools (TM) developed by APC to help organizations examine virtualization, efficiency, power sizing, capital costs, and other key design issues.

The Data Center Carbon Calculator gives you valuable information on energy costs, broken down even to the state level in the US though alas not to the state level in Australia or by province in Canada. It presents two scenarios that you can adjust that will give you differing results, and in local currencies. This provides you with a general indication of how "green" your data center is today and how "green" it could be.

The APC kit does need a little refinement, such as the aforementioned need to granulate to different subjurisdiction, plus the ability to easily trackback or jump to other countries. Even so, I highly recommend looking at it and at the other toolkits that APC offers.



To go green, avoid greenfields for offices and homes

July 28, 2008


There have been a lot of articles lately about green buildings and homes. So when I find out about the ones located in 'office parks' and low-density subdivisions on what had just been open space i.e. 'greenfield development' I just shake my head.

A 'green' building surrounded by a huge car-packed parking lot and a 'green house' on a cul-de-sac with a couple of SUVs in the driveway are the environmental equivalent of the fitness fanatic who jogs to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes.

To Go Green, Go Dumb (as in computing)

July 21, 2008

The smartest computing solution environment-wise for organizations is to go dumb, as in dumb terminals.  

Richard 'Zippy' Grigonis, executive editor, Internet Telephony reports that network computing either with purpose-built thin-client systems or even 'lobotomized' PCs connected to a network server use less power than 'intelligent' PCs. 

Let's look at the numbers. Assuming flat panel LCD monitors (FPMs) at each workstation, and 300 watts (W) for a router, hubs, and firewall appliances for all scenarios: 

'Smart System' --120W for typical PC  

'Dumb' Systems: --100W for dumb PC 

Or --43.5W (40W alone for the FPMs) for fanless thin-client dumb terminals 

Plus 1000 W for fat server, off two load-sharing power supplies, to support dumb PCs and terminals 

Based on this it only takes 9 to 10 dumb units: thin-clients or dumb PCs connected to a fat server to equal the power consumption of 11 smart PCs. Beyond that you are 'green computing'. 

There are also other advantages of going dumb. These are lower IT support costs and improved security because employees cannot knowingly or unknowingly load sniffer software or 'bot' the system or download and walk off with data. Theft risk is less because who wants a computer that is 'stupid'? 

There are thin-client computers such as by , but by no means exclusive to Devon IT, Netvoyager, and Sun:  

http://www.devonit.com/thin_client_computing/thin_clients_101.php 
http://www.netvoyager.co.uk/ 
http://www.sun.com/sunray/sunray2/ 
 






















Telework: the ultimate green commute

July 14, 2008


The greenest, fastest, and safest commute, one that requires the lowest investment from your pocket and from your tax dollars (compared with mass transit and HOV lanes) is from wherever you are in your home to your home office. The same goes for your employees.

Facet/Teletrips reports that each person teleworked or telecommuted just 1 to 2 days per week then each year they would save 100 - 200 gallons of fuel and 1.5 to 5 metric tonnes of CO2 / employee / year (equates to 7.5 percent -25 percent of an individual's annual carbon footprint). 

Teleworking is like giving your staff a pay raise and a cut in hours for free. Facet/Teletrips reports that it saves them each $2,000 - $10,000 in after tax dollars and frees up 160 hours of their time from commuting every year.

Your organization also benefits from teleworking as it can gain $2,000 - $10,000 real estate and other cost savings / employee / year, and greater staff retention and recruiting. 

https://www.teletrips.com/public/learn.php

The rising gas prices are already reportedly making organizations think about teleworking. Employees, especially lower-paid ones like contact center agents are less willing to travel the same distances to work because they have to pay more out of their pockets.

Telework is also a proven disaster response strategy by distributing the workforce that makes operations less vulnerable to threats and 'events'. Telework ties into the Internet, which was conceived of and created by the US government to withstand and respond to an enemy attack by distributing computers over a network. 

And on 9-11-01 both telework and the Internet delivered.













Getting rid of the EW! (E-Waste)

July 11, 2008

Today is garbage and recycling day in my neighborhood. As I sort out the plastics, paper, and metals from the blue bin under our kitchen sink I am reminded why producer/seller-pay e-waste recycling programs like that just announced by the Province of Ontario http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/news/2008/071001.php can and will work: by assigning costs to waste. 

My community charges for trash pickup. You have to buy garbage tickets. The way to minimize the number of tickets you need to purchase is by recycling.

If you pollute, you should pay

July 9, 2008


The carbon tax brought in by the Canadian province of British Columbia that came into effect on Canada Day, July 1, and which is being advocated at the federal level by the Liberal Party of Canada led by former environment minister Stephane Dion, recognizes if you want people, and organizations, to curb their pollution then they should pay for polluting. If they, and we, want to pay less then they, and we can pollute less. It's that simple. 

The hard fact is that pollution costs all of us. The environment is not a "free lunch".

For example, a study by the Ontario Medical Association, The Illness Cost of Air Pollution, estimates that in the province of Ontario in 2005 "overall economic losses associated with air pollution exposure are expected to be in the order of $7.8 billion. This total is expected to increase to over $12.9 billion by 2026."

Such losses are borne by all taxpayers.






MyFax Offers Fax Users a Choice

April 16, 2008

Tandberg Data Offers Recycling Rebate Program

April 16, 2008

Tandberg Data has announced a new program called Rebates for Recycling, a “green” initiative that helps IT managers save money as they help save the planet by reducing energy consumption.   Called Rebates for Recycling, the program provides incentives from $50 to $600 for those who sign up to recycle old, inefficient tape storage devices and replace them with new, high-efficiency tape storage products.   The offer is valid through June 30, 2008 and offers a variety of green discounts, starting with $150 toward the purchase of any Tandberg Data StorageLoader and $300 toward the purchase of any Tandberg Data tape library.   Existing customers of select Tandberg Data or Exabyte legacy products are getting a bigger incentive to purchase new energy efficient solutions with twice the discount: up to $600 on any Tandberg Data tape library.  
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