By Mae Kowalke
In recent years, wireless broadband data demand has grown exponentially, driven largely by the introduction of new, smart devices and applications. All this demand is putting a lot of stress on wireless networks – so much so that monitoring and analytics tools designed for legacy systems are not longer suitable.
Advanced tools are needed for intelligent traffic management in an end-to-end wireless IP environment where rogue traffic can be a big issue and where subscriber quality of experience (QoE) is vitally important.
To address the need for more sophisticated tools, Alcatel-Lucent put together a solution using its 9900 WNG (Wireless Network Guardian) and 5780 DSC (Dynamic Services Controller) products. This solution goes far beyond traditional radio management tools, which can only indicate when problems occur but do not get to root causes.
“Today, service providers do have the visibility into segments of their network but it is not correlated to the subscribers and their applications,” Alcatel-Lucent said in an application note about the solution, Intelligent Traffic Management: Protecting the Subscriber’s QoE while Securing the Integrity of the Wireless Network. “It is difficult to identify and characterize the impact that specific sources have on network capacity, performance, and security.”
Filling in this blind spot is what Alcatel-Lucent’s solution is all about. It uses the 9900 WNG to monitor and analyze, the 5780 DSC to process and trigger, and then enforces and delivers via the wireless networks and its various elements which provide enforcement and delivery functions.
The 9900 WNG provides insight into real-time capacity of network links and element. It does this by correlating each application flow to a specific device, element or link in the RAN, backhaul network and packet core. End-to-end packet flow is followed to and from the subscriber’s device.
“This approach allows the 9900 WNG to passively monitor, in real-time, every subscriber’s data experience while automatically analyzing and identifying the root-cause issues such as anomalous events (e.g., heavy users, signaling overloading, security threats, etc.) that are contributing to a subscriber’s degraded experience,” Alcatel-Lucent explained in the application note.
Further enhancing this solution, the 5780 DSC allows providers to map business demands and constraints using easily managed network policy rules. It’s a decision engine that uses a set of pre-defined policies combined with network, subscriber and application information dynamically obtained from standard interfaces.
“Once policy decisions are dynamically synthesized by the decision engine, they are formulated into network consumable rules and sent to the network where they are instantiated and enforced for per-device per-application data plane treatment,” Alcatel-Lucent explained in its application note. “Wireless network intelligence is a new breed of data that can be used by the 5780 DSC to further enhance the operational capabilities of the service provider.”
Alcatel-Lucent’s application-aware, wireless network intelligence solution, designed for scalable services delivered via converged networks, addresses a new breed of unwanted data traffic and other anomalies. In today’s wireless networks, such “rogue traffic” comes from a variety of sources, including peer-to-peer services, always active airtime, port scanning, and signaling attacks, to name just a few.
“Intelligent traffic management identifies unwanted or rogue traffic in the wireless network through proactive real-time network measurement and analytics,” Alcatel-Lucent said in its application note. “It then de-prioritizes, throttles, or removes this traffic, for a period of time, through policy decisions allowing service providers to protect subscriber’s QoE while better using their network resources.”
For much more detail about Alcatel Lucent’s intelligent traffic management solution, read the full application note.
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