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NETSCOUT Continues to Redefine IP Service Assurance for Mobile Operators

October 20, 2010

Enhancements for the nGenius Service Assurance Solution enable operators to predict emerging performance issues, visualize end-to-end services, support LTE deployments and increase intelligent packet storage capacity to address the challenges of growing multimedia subscriber traffic

CHICAGO, Oct 20, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- NetScout(R) Systems, Inc., today announced the further extension of its unified service delivery management framework with new capabilities for Long Term Evolution/System Architecture Evolution (LTE/SAE) and Evolved Packet Core (EPC), UMTS and CDMA2000 networks to better enable mobile operators to manage service delivery and the user experience from a single unified IP service assurance platform. These enhancements include the nGenius(R) Service Delivery Manager, an advanced early warning dashboard that closes the gap between the user, network and delivered services providing timely and actionable management insight to effectively manage and assure user service levels; support for new LTE/EPC protocols and interfaces enabling operators unified and consistent visibility across 2.5G, 3G and LTE/EPC networks; and the nGenius InfiniStream(R) 7900 series 10 Gigabit Ethernet appliance providing a 3X increase in packet storage capacity, with increased performance and scale to support subscriber growth and exploding data and multimedia traffic.

 

As mobile operators continue their journey to all-IP networks, the scope and complexity of IP services, combined with the continued growth of media rich services and data traffic creates significant challenges to meeting the expectations of today's sophisticated and demanding users. For most mobile operators, monitoring and managing the "moving parts" of IP services remains profoundly difficult and many still lack the critically needed visibility into all delivered services and actual user experiences. Managing IP services are different than managing voice and short message services (SMS) traffic on legacy networks. IP services are more complex, and operators need a more sophisticated view into how subscribers consume IP data services to efficiently deliver consistently high-quality service levels. Yet, as mobile operators plan for and begin LTE roll-outs, many still struggle with meeting user demand and expectations on their current 2.5G and 3G networks. The reality is that these existing networks will remain the primary revenue foundation for years to come. As LTE is turned up, these new networks will co-exist alongside existing 2.5G and 3G networks for many years. Consequently, mobile operators need a single, common strategy for managing IP-based service delivery over existing 2.5G, 3G and future LTE networks to protect today's revenue base, achieve operational synergies and benefit from the operational efficiencies promised by next generation technologies.

"Smartphones, netbooks, tablets and data cards are driving unprecedented mobile broadband data traffic growth on existing 3G networks and fueling backhaul network investments. For current networks and new network roll outs like LTE, service assurance is an increasingly critical issue for all service providers," said Elisabeth Rainge, director, next generation networks operations at IDC. "We believe that most mobile operators have underinvested in service assurance technologies resulting in poor visibility into network services and blind spots. Addressing service quality issues is already a top concern, but for service providers planning and deploying new LTE networks, new technologies and architectures require a more thorough approach to understand user experience and proactive service quality."

End-to End Service Visualization with nGenius Service Delivery Manager

nGenius Service Delivery Manager is a comprehensive real-time service management dashboard providing unified visibility into end-to-end services in context with how they are delivered and consumed to more effectively manage the user experience. As an integral module of the nGenius Service Assurance Solution, the nGenius Service Delivery Manager models and reports on services in operational context with how they are hosted, their interrelationships, dependencies, and how they are consumed by subscribers. Flexible, user-defined "service domains" enable customized views aligned with how services are delivered across physical and virtual infrastructure. Domains are constructed based upon physical and logical attributes, such as applications, services, physical sites, logical groups, geographic regions or business units to provide dynamic representation of service elements correlated with user experience. The result is a comprehensive view into end-to-end service performance and delivery across 2.5G, 3G and LTE/EPC networks. The nGenius Service Assurance Solution automatically recognizes most applications, protocols and enabling technology to quickly construct a logical service view by associating the interrelated elements and service components with a few mouse-clicks. Operations staff can quickly visualize a top-level representation of critical services in context with how the service is deployed.

Comprehensive intelligent early warning capabilities automate and simplify the identification and reporting of service and network anomalies and potential cyberthreats. Leveraging distributed network-based anomaly detection engines resident in each of the nGenius Intelligent Data Sources, the solution continuously monitors and analyzes application and service traffic flowing across the network. The nGenius Service Delivery Manager auto-learns behavior patterns and then identifies deviations in "normal" traffic, application and server usage to identify emerging service degradations before they have widespread subscriber impact. Consequently, the task of managing complex service delivery environments is dramatically simplified and automated, empowering first-level staff to proactively identify, triage and identify root cause, to resolve more issues independently, and when required, make rapid, more-effective next step decisions to forward or escalate the incident.

The Future is Now, With Support for LTE

NetScout also revealed support for new LTE/SAE and EPC protocols, extending the nGenius Service Assurance Solution's ability to support all-IP mobile deployments ranging from 2.5G to 3G and now LTE and EPC environments. Demonstrating the company's commitment to deliver the industry's highest possible level of investment leverage through in-place upgradeability, these new capabilities are available to all existing nGenius solution deployments. As part of a phased roll-out strategy, initial protocol support includes packet-flow-based Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for critical LTE interfaces, and remote packet capture and protocol analysis and IPv6-based (Internet Protocol version 6) traffic. These new protocols enable visibility into strategic points across the LTE and EPC networks to analyze and assure service enablers, services, applications and elements. Operators can validate and assure 3G to LTE inter-domain activities, LTE device authentication, user authorization, charging and service policy validation. Consequently, mobile operators can now cost-effectively manage multi-generation IP networks ranging from 2.5G, to 3G and LTE from a single unified platform. This provides operators with consistent views into performance metrics, allows them to maximize their service assurance investments and better assure inter-domain subscriber experiences.

nGenius InfiniStream 7900 Series - Optimized for Service Provider Environments

Purpose-built for service providers, the nGenius InfiniStream 7900 series appliance is a high performance, high capacity and highly available intelligent data capture device for 2.5G, 3G and LTE/EPC networks. Optimized for deployment at the highest capacity aggregation points, the nGenius InfiniStream 7900 series appliance offers up to four ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet and delivers up to 96 terabytes (TB) of storage in just nine (9) rack units (RUs) at full capacity. The appliance's modular design allows in-place expansion in 32TB increments to 96TB, enabling operators to add incremental storage capacity as needed, conserving already strained capex budgets. The increase in storage capacity by 3X over existing devices addresses the increasing traffic volumes and allowing operators to store traffic and metrics for longer time periods for more flexible historical forensic analysis. The appliance also adds incremental packet processing capacity to enable high performance local analysis of data plane and control plane traffic, enabling operators to minimize the management traffic impact from service assurance data on already strained networks. The appliance supports IPv6 today, and is in-place upgradeable to support future emerging LTE/SAE/EPC protocols and services, such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Voice over IP (VoIP), minimizing the need for premature hardware refreshes.

The Most Comprehensive and Truly Unified IP Service Assurance Solution

Unlike many legacy oriented network and service assurance platforms, the nGenius Service Assurance Solution is purpose-built and optimized for next generation IP networks. Deployed at more than 120 service providers across 39 countries, the nGenius solution delivers a proven technology foundation with performance at scale to monitor all traffic across high capacity, complex IP environments. The nGenius Service Assurance Solution provides actionable and granular visibility into subscribers, services and network traffic with simplified service-centric workflows optimized for IP networks. Addressing the challenges resulting from growing mobile data traffic volumes, the solution analyzes both data plane and control plane traffic to reveal how network and application interdependencies affect overall service performance and impact subscriber experience. Operators can visualize complete subscriber sessions in real-time, including both service and network control traffic, from the data center, to the mobile core, to the cell sites to instantly expose specific links or areas of the network with high traffic volumes or service failures. Operators can systematically drill-down from a unified service view, into a specific subscriber session with nGenius Subscriber Intelligence, to instantly pinpoint locations and causes of performance problems. Operators can also analyze associated packet flows and performance metrics, and drill even further to perform on-demand packet level protocol analysis using the industry-leading suite of Sniffer(R) Analysis applications all from a single unified platform with a common data foundation.

"While most operators view LTE as being the path to profitability and greater efficiency, many challenges still remain. Latency issues may improve, but LTE does not necessarily solve the traffic volume challenges because new innovative, high-performance services will simply consume the newly available bandwidth," said Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing, NetScout. "Users' expectations will only increase with the roll-out of LTE offerings as operators tout a bold new range of services to attract subscribers and leverage the downstream capacity that LTE delivers. Consequently, mobile operators need to make efficient and coordinated investments in IP service management technology that will enable them to address the challenges of today's revenue producing 3G networks and simultaneously manage next generation LTE networks. NetScout is committed to leveraging its deep IP technology expertise to enable mobile operators to optimize the service delivery environment, better implement and manage policies, protect user experience and simplify the task of managing complex service over IP for both 3G and LTE environments."

Availability

The nGenius Service Delivery Manager for service providers is contained in the 4.9 release of the nGenius Service Assurance Solution and is available now. The nGenius Service Delivery Manager for Service Providers leverages all existing nGenius Intelligent Data Sources and metrics and is integrated with the nGenius Performance Manager, nGenius Subscriber Intelligence and Sniffer(R) Analysis modules. Incremental support for CDMA2000, and a broad range of KPIs and protocols for LTE are also supported in the same release for all modules. The nGenius InfiniStream 7900 series appliance is available now. Please contact NetScout or a NetScout authorized reseller for more information.

About NetScout Systems, Inc.

NetScout Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTCT) is the market leader in Unified Service Delivery Management enabling comprehensive end-to-end network and application assurance. For 25 years, NetScout has delivered breakthrough packet-flow technology that provides trusted and comprehensive real-time network and application performance intelligence enabling unified assurance of the network, applications and users. These solutions enable IT staff to predict, preempt and resolve network and service delivery problems while facilitating the optimization and capacity planning of the network infrastructure. NetScout nGenius(R) and Sniffer(R) solutions are deployed at more than 20,000 of the world's largest enterprises, government agencies, and more than 120 service providers, on over 740,000 network segments to assure the network, applications, and service delivery to their users and customers. More information about NetScout is available at http://www.netscout.com.

NetScout, nGenius, InfiniStream and Sniffer are registered trademarks of NetScout Systems, Inc.

SOURCE: NetScout Systems, Inc.

NetScout Systems
Stephanie Xavier, 408-571-5343
Senior Public and Analyst Relations Manager
stephanie.xavier@netscout.com
or
Davies Murphy Group, Inc.
Rob Morton, 781-418-2460
netscout@daviesmurphy.com

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