Guest Contributor: Fayçal Noushi, CEO and Founder of Zen Networks
As mobile networks evolved to 4G, network elements transitioned from hardware-based, often with proprietary chassis, to virtualized network elements. Communication service providers often implemented such technologies through private cloud infrastructures based on different flavors of OpenStack. On the other hand, 5G introduced microservices-based deployments with a service-based architecture. This architecture, mostly based on Kubernetes as the de facto standard for microservices orchestration, created more complexity by making NFVs volatile and harder to track.
Knowing that 2G and 3G sunsets are still not generalized globally, this means that a typical mobile operator would have to manage legacy 2G/3G deployments as well as 4G and 5G ones. Building a single pane of glass with such heterogeneity can only be done by leveraging a flexible full-stack monitoring platform.
With hyperscalers being introduced in the latest GSMA and 3GPP standards for edge computing and low latency requirements, integrating the monitoring tool set with AWS, GCP or Azure becomes critical for future-proof architectures. At the same time, smaller communications service providers such as mobile virtual network operators often have workloads deployed in public clouds. That is why the monitoring tool set has to integrate seamlessly with public clouds as well as private ones.
Zenoss is an AI-driven full-stack monitoring solution built to support complex, modern IT environments. In fact, it can monitor on-prem deployments as well as public and private cloud infrastructure. Zenoss provides full-stack monitoring of hardware, virtualization, network, application and database solutions all through a single platform. By doing so, monitoring engineers are able to correlate the different layers in the same platform while removing silos between teams.
With its native support of OpenStack, Kubernetes, VMware, Nutanix, and other technologies omnipresent in 4G and 5G deployments, Zenoss is the Swiss Army knife needed to simplify tooling and slash through licensing costs.
Finally, Zenoss offers reliable and strong integrations while providing an open SDK to enable highly customized monitoring plug-ins. The latter is key to integrate even more efficiently with NFVs on the telecommunication layer.
Zen Networks Solutions
Longtime Zenoss partner and customer Zen Networks has maintained focus on mobile network monitoring and the telecommunications industry throughout the years in order to deliver industry-leading solutions for customers. Zen Networks offers a twofold solution to enable better visibility on mobile networks:
- Turnkey ITSM: Ranging from Zenoss monitoring and ticketing integration with high customization to an outsourced NOC, the Zen Networks ITSM portfolio is meant to enhance operations at any stage of the journey.
- Data Analytics: The innovative approach to data analysis leverages call detail records, TAP files and signaling packets to provide marketing and operational analysis through real-time and batch data streams. The platform is used daily by different teams and provides unprecedented visibility on end-user SIM card behavior.
Zenoss integrates perfectly with Zen Networks, answering the requirements for the different technology layers while being open to mobile network-specific customizations. In fact, Zenoss and Zen Networks have been successfully integrated with different element monitoring systems through a wide variety of protocols.
The process starts with telecommunications experts exploring the NFV monitoring API to define major KPIs to use. Afterward, those KPIs are validated and corresponding dashboards are defined with domain subject matter experts (e.g., IMS, 4G, packet-switched, circuit-switched, etc.). As a last step, Zen Networks develops plug-ins on Zenoss to implement the functional requirements as they have been designed. Using this process, successful integrations have been implemented with equipment such as PGW, HLR/HSS, SMSC, USSD GW, and the list goes on.
Zenoss + Zen Networks
Monitoring such a heterogeneous network with newer technologies introduced with each mobile generation is a daunting challenge. With Zenoss and Zen Networks mobile industry solutions, customers build end-to-end visibility and alerting that dramatically reduces MTTR while providing key performance indicators for both telecommunications-level and infrastructure capacity planning.
While most network operations centers struggle with a high number of tools and screens, Zen Networks customers create synthetic dashboards with minimal clutter. This eases the work of NOC operators and helps them drive their businesses more efficiently.
As 5G is more focused on cloud-native solutions, Zenoss provides a future-proof monitoring framework. Zenoss has a unique position as a hybrid cloud monitoring solution that evolved the same way mobile technologies did. In fact, it came from a data center-centric industry where it first started and followed the private/public cloud evolution as well as the microservices one. This evolution makes it a unique Swiss Army tool adaptable to a mobile network of any size.
Zen Networks, as mobile industry monitoring experts, adds value to Zenoss by giving it mission-critical importance at the most valued layer — the business one. Using this combination, you only need one tool to rule them all.