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Experience-first Networking Means Proactively Testing With Active Assurance

If you’re a communications service provider (CSP), how do you really know that your end-users are actually able to use their applications with sufficiently high performance? The last thing you want is your call centers being inundated by customer complaints and service revenues that start to be eroded by rebates and declining retention.

The solution is to avoid this unfortunate situation in the first place by gaining visibility into knowing when and where your services are not performing. By actively measuring service quality you can proactively and rapidly take action, before customers are impacted. This is exactly what active assurance delivers. 

Active assurance enables both an assured operational experience for network operators as well as an assured service experience for end-users. It’s what’s at the heart of Juniper Paragon Automation, which is what makes experience-first networking possible with a Juniper Automated WAN. 

Today’s service operators live in a network and device-centric world where network device health indicators and performance metrics across thousands of network data points are processed and aggregated by operational support systems to give them insight into problems in the network that may be impacting services. However, while this often finds network device failures and faults, a large amount of performance degradations are not caught. Or problems are not caught quickly enough due to data gaps from higher 15 minute polling intervals that leave these problems invisible and undetected. 60% of network problems are still discovered first by customers or not reported at all. It used to be 50% a few years ago, which actually means that the situation is not improving. As a result, service operation teams are spending most of their time in war rooms trying to locate problems and troubleshoot their networks.

While the industry was able to get by with such performance management solutions in the past, the networks of today and the future are definitely not the static networks of the past, and the fast paced rate of network change will no longer allow these device-centric approaches to be viable.

We need an approach that will enable service operations to assure service quality in the face of:

  • Dynamic provisioning that needs to meet on demand requirements
  • Overlay SD-WAN networks where topologies are virtualized and constantly changing
  • Distributed clouds spanning third-party providers that deliver value-added services
  • NFV service chains that need to be validated as part of the end-to-end customer service
  • New 5G services that require proactive real-time SLAs, and
  • 5G slices with guaranteed QoS that need fine-grain testing and monitoring

Networks must now deliver emerging applications supporting stringent service performance characterizations. New low latency services are now possible and are adding both bandwidth and service latency requirements. Industrial solutions, IoT and resulting mMTC requirements are exploding the level of logical scale that our networks must support. Enterprises are using new applications and services to digitize, transform their manufacturing processes, improve productivity, and increase their ability to compete in the marketplace.

In addition, maintaining service quality for cloud services is extremely difficult when an increasingly large part of your networks are no longer under your operation team’s own control. With end-to-end services that are implemented with VPNs and SD-WAN overlays, your customer’s services are now transiting your network, over the internet, as well as cloud and partner networks. Without end-to-end visibility, some of these network domains have now become blind spots when there are service impacting network issues.

What is required to address the challenges of today’s networks is a solution which is service-centric, allowing customer experience quality to be continually tested proactively across the end-to-end service delivery chain.  

Active assurance provides a straightforward approach that can provide immediate results whether you have an existing modern service assurance framework or not.  It works by measuring end-to-end service quality through actively sending a small amount of traffic on the data plane to simulate an end-user.

With active assurance, you can easily and cost-effectively deploy a solution that will enable experience-first networking that allows you to automate proactive testing and monitoring on the real-time data plane and locate emerging issues before customers are impacted. When your services are actively assured, you will be able to guarantee service quality for your services. This service-centric approach will also enable your service and network operations teams to ensure that all network changes are made right the first time and right all the time.

Learn more about how you can use active assurance to achieve a proactive, service-centric operations model that puts your customer’s experience in focus. Read our Juniper Networks Paragon Active Assurance white paper for more information.

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This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.