Service Assurance and Active Monitoring for 5G multi-vendor networks


Service Assurance and Active Monitoring for 5G multi-vendor networks

The nature of network and service monitoring is fundamentally changing. A new white paper from Emblasoft outlines why active monitoring is essential in a dynamic 5G environment and explains how we can help you to assure QoS and SLAs for multiple 5G differentiated and virtualised services, end-to-end in real-time.

The nature of networks is fundamentally changing. Today’s 5G networks are dynamic, virtualised and cloud-native environments with a diverse range of differentiated services, each with their own KPIs and SLAs. This requires an entirely new approach towards network testing and monitoring.

Traditionally, physical networks were static, not provisioned dynamically, and rarely changed. Even if they did require strict network KPIs, measuring the services they provided was not very demanding from a monitoring point of view.

Because services were completely aligned with network topology, monitoring the performance of the physical network – rather than the quality of the service itself – was all that was necessary to meet monitoring requirements. In this scenario, passive monitoring – which involves collecting key statistics, such as byte and packet transport and receive, and analysing them retrospectively – sufficed.

The need for automated active monitoring in a dynamic, virtualised 5G environment

However, in a virtualised, dynamic 5G environment, active monitoring is required to ensure high QoS with real-time, end-to-end visibility across multiple network domains (core, transport, and different cloud infrastructures (public, private, edge).

Today’s network services have a completely different level of complexity, and each service has its own set of specific parameters and metrics that need to be measured. Standalone (SA) 5G will enable a massively expanded set of complex and dynamically provisioned services, as well as network slicing, which means that each network slice is likely to have a unique set of metrics and KPIs to monitor, and a multitude of different service requirements within each slice.

Put simply, network complexity is accelerating rapidly, and this has a significant impact on monitoring network performance and KPIs. It means that today’s dynamically changing, virtualised 5G SA networks demand constant software upgrades and evolution, which requires most service providers to embrace a DevOps strategy that includes continuous development (CD) and continuous integration (CI), backed by automation.

Next-generation service assurance and active monitoring for 5G

In turn, active monitoring and testing are essential for DevOps, particularly in a dynamic, cloud-native, virtualised 5G environment. Active monitoring must also fully support DevOps strategies and automation and provide real-time feedback capabilities to keep pace with dynamic changes.

So, how can telcos and service providers support ultra-reliable, low latency right through to massive IoT service levels and ensure KPIs for each within highly dynamic, complex, and virtualised network slices (each with its own set of measurable KPIs) within a DevOps environment?

Passive monitoring involves monitoring and analysing actual user traffic, historically, to understand service and network performance and usage. It works with real-life user data. It’s important but in this more complex environment, passive monitoring on its own is no longer sufficient.

Active monitoring, on the other hand, ‘injects’ realistic traffic into the network to test the performance of services and to find any issues or bottlenecks in real-time. It’s used to generate essential KPIs, such as packet loss, jitter, HTTP response time, and can be configured with different QoS settings, and so on. As such, it’s an essential complement to traditional passive monitoring.

With Active Monitoring, the performance of new or updated services can be tested immediately, allowing any issues to be identified and rectified rapidly before launch or before they impact the end-user. As a result, it offers an automated way to monitor latency, bandwidth and QoE SLAs throughout the network.

Emblasoft Active Monitoring and Evolver platform

Emblasoft’s Active Monitoring solution consists of software-based agents that can be installed – dynamically, on-demand – in any network domain to generate real traffic sessions and measure QoS for differentiated services and applications.

It enables QoS, direct end-to-end analysis, SLA segmentation and isolation, real-time network and service performance monitoring, network slicing monitoring, and many other benefits so that issues can be identified and resolved without impacting service performance or end-user experience.

Emblasoft Active Monitoring allows KPIs to be captured for a wide range of differentiated and specific scenarios, in parallel, dynamically and for encrypted data sessions.

To find out more about the challenges of active monitoring in 5G SA networks and to understand how Emblasoft’s Active Monitoring and Evolver platform provides comprehensive end-to-end proactive 5G network monitoring, performance optimisation, scalability, and multiple other benefits, download our latest free white paper here.