Posted by: Andy Huckridge | February 13, 2012

Script for the ROI Challenge Video

Network Intelligence Optimization: How to reduce operator Capex & Opex

Section 1: Introduction

Operators are in a bind. The race to upgrade key infrastructure for 4G, means that CapEx and OpEx budgets are constrained like never before.  Meanwhile the need to support new premium services, such as VoLTE, as well as surging over-the-top content (for which the operators are largely losing potential revenues) means an acute need for monitoring systems. How does the operator ensure the network stays up without escalating both the service and support costs?

Voice and Data traffic compared

An operator needs to see a clear ROI path, but traditional monitoring solutions simply don’t provide that story. A new approach is needed, and in this video, we’ll show how a Network Intelligence Optimization layer solves this challenge and why it provides the best return on investment (ROI) for operators. So let’s look more closely at the challenges… On the CapEx side, new technology is being rolled out faster and more efficiently through all-IP platforms – but this break-neck pace calls for regular upgrades in the monitoring tools and analytic elements. For example, 10G monitoring tools are now widely available, but can be prohibitively expensive and are often under-utilized when deployed. A more cost effective path for the operator is to preserve the use of their existing tools.

Benefits of deploying VSS Monitoring


On the OpEx side, new services are developed and launched every day. There are myriads of possible interactions between the services and the network itself, between the pay-for-play services and the ‘over the top’ services, where the possibility of a network’s performance being slowed or even being brought down due to the handset wake-up cycle is very real. No operator can afford to grow their support department in this way – for services which essentially provide little or no revenue. Clearly, telecom, enterprise and government network operators must develop a holistic and future minded strategy for network monitoring and network operation management.

Section 2 The solution — Network Optimization Layer

An alternative which preserves or often greatly reduces current levels of CapEx and OpEx, is to deploy a Network Intelligence Optimization layer, this extends the life of existing tools even as the network capacity is upgraded, the visibility of the network increased system-wide, future tool expenses more accurately predicted facilitating better tool management. These advantages bring clear benefits to both the top and bottom lines of the operators business.

Network Intelligence Optimization Layer

This Network Intelligence Optimization layer becomes the path for a smart network-monitoring infrastructure. To sustain the increase in speed, the traffic capture layer must continue at line rate in hardware, where a deeper awareness of packets and applications, as well as more dynamic handling such as filtering, de-encapsulation or packet re-assembly are essential. The first step in this direction is to eliminate the 1:1 approach used in the past for connecting network intelligence tools to the switching infrastructure.

Purpose built appliances featuring a broad set of line-rate, traffic intelligence capabilities can be deployed at strategic points in the network, providing passive or active monitoring between the network intelligence tools and the switching infrastructure. By deploying these appliances in a mesh, the Network Intelligence Optimization layer can become self-healing while gaining vast scalability in step with the operators budget for monitoring coverage and future expansion.

Section 3 – Let’s calculate the ROI

Let’s consider a real case by plugging numbers into this ROI calculator. For instance, a tier 1 mobile operator who deployed LTE into a new market needed to install 10 regional POPs, with each POP having an overlap of analytic elements which directly contributed to a financial inefficiency as well as a management overhead.

ROI Calculator

After the operator installed the Network Intelligence Optimization Layer they were able to observe significant financial benefits. Capex spend was reduced by 80%, with Opex spend being reduced by 50%, the operator saving over $2m during the three year Total Cost of Ownership period. In this particular study the operator’s Return on Investment was over 1700%, which yielded a payback of just 2 months.


Section 4 — The case for VSS

By optimizing the network intelligence tools in your network and data centers, VSS solves a variety of problems with a very clear ROI. By adopting a systems-approach to Network Intelligence Optimization, you get the flexibility of modularity to deploy just what you need and when. This approach ensures support for your existing set of network intelligence, analytic or security tools. You also gain maximum reliability with automatic, system-wide fault tolerance.


Full Mesh Architecture


Section 5 — Conclusions & further recommendations

To wrap up, the network monitoring optimization framework discussed here allows organizations to migrate from a high initial CAPEX business model to a lower and variable CAPEX model in the network-monitoring component of the budget. It also opens the door for the network operator to do more in other areas such as network forensics, lawful intercepts, behavioral analysis, centralizing applications for compliance, as well as QoE differentiators.

ROI Calculator Inputs


With so much change happening in the network, it’s essential that operators stay one step ahead of the curve by solving the challenge of scaling network monitoring with a real framework that’s in step with the business plan. To learn more about how these efficiencies may be incorporated in to your organization and how you can take the ROI challenge, please contact VSS Monitoring at Thank you.


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