Managed Multiservice Solutions

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Unformatted text preview: Managed Multiservice Solutions Definition A managed network service is the provisioning of a value-added, end-to-end service. It may include such options as maintenance, upgrades, and management of circuits and customer equipment. It may also include support for upper- layer applications. Overview This tutorial discusses how a next generation of managed network services can solve the enterprise problem while enhancing the carrier's market position. Enterprises want to focus more on core business issues, not on being a network service provider. Managed network services, as a result, have become an attractive option for more and more enterprises. Carriers are rapidly responding to the market opportunity with such offerings as managed Internet protocol (IP) services, managed frame relay, and virtual private networks (VPNs). But this first generation of managed network services represents an opportunity with only short-term potential. Managed multiservice solutions, in contrast, represent a business opportunity with far-reaching benefits to both the carrier and the enterprise. A managed multiservice solution is a comprehensive offering that encompasses multiple traffic types and provides quality of service (QoS) guarantees. Topics 1. Enterprise Problem, Carrier Opportunity 2. What Is a Managed Multiservice Solution? 3. Core Components for a Standard Offering 4. Extra Components for a Premium Offering 5. Challenges to Capturing the Opportunity 6. How to Ove rcome the Challenges Self- Test Answers Glossary 1. Enterprise Problem, Carrier Opportunity With a managed multiservice solution, a carrier is better positioned to solve the enterprise's business problem than with first-generation managed network services. A carrier is also better positioned to increase operational efficiency, contain capital costs, and differentiate itself from the competition (see Figure 1). As a result, the carrier has a greater opportunity for long-term revenue growth. Figure 1. Differentiation and Value and Margin in Managed Multiservice Solutions The performance demands of end users continue to increase at an unrelenting pace, largely fueled by an explosion of IP traffic over the wide-area network (WAN). A dramatic increase in the sheer volume of IP and other types of traffic is accompanied by a staggering degree of network complexity. Gone are the days when WANs were designed for employees to send e-mail within a corporation. Enterprises are now building networks not just for their employees but for customers, suppliers, and partners. Networks must support live transactions across great distances and around the clock. Furthermore, service options include not just leased lines but frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), integrated services digital networks (ISDN), and IP. At the same time, the pace of technology advancement continues to accelerate. Choices among various types of equipment are increasingly difficult to make. Each investment assumes a higher risk of becoming obsolete than before. In the face of such complexity and constant change, network managers must meet user demands while containing costs. How to Solve the Enterprise Problem The current generation of offerings are single-service, but a single-service solution only addresses a short-term problem. The enterprise needs a long-term solution for reducing complexity, keeping pace with technology, and increasing Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 2/15 flexibility and control. A multiservice offering provides such a foundation; it gives the carrier a cost-effective basis for meeting enterprise needs in the long run. It is no accident that managed network services have become an attractive option. They enable network managers to focus more on strategic planning than on day-to-day operations. Network managers are also able to avoid the capital and operating costs associated with technology obsolescence. Managed network services also enable information technology (IT) departments to devote more resources to upper-layer applications than on the underlying network infrastructure. In short, a combination of business and technology forces have converged to create a complex set of problems for enterprise networks. Carriers have recognized the market opportunity and have responded with the current generation of managed network service offerings. 2. What Is a Managed Multiservice Solution? As Figure 2 shows, a managed multiservice solution is the next generation of managed network services. It supports various services and may include such options as maintenance, upgrades, and management of circuits and customer equipment. It may also include support for upper-layer applications. Unlike the first generation of managed network services, a managed multiservice solution is based on a multiservice infrastructure. Such an infrastructure allows a carrier to support multiple services, such as frame relay and IP networking, cost-effectively. It allows a carrier to focus more on high-value, application-specific services than on the underlying transport mechanisms. Figure 2. Managed Multiservice Solutions vs. Managed Network Services Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 3/15 Modular Offerings Customers need the option of outsourcing their network operations in a modular fashion, in addition to being able to choose a full package. An enterprise may, for example, have a network operations center but not the staff located in all necessary geographic locations to support a global network. The enterprise might need network management help or design assistance in certain locations. A modular product structure allows the carrier to offer each component as a stand-alone product. The carrier can develop a service-level agreement (SLA) suited to each component. A modular structure also allows the carrier to subcontract a component when necessary. Furthermore, such a structure gives the carrier the ability to offer attractive pricing options to customers based on economies of scale. 3. Core Components for a Standard Offering The standard components of a managed multiservice offering are services and management of those services (see Figure 3). Figure 3. Standard Components of a Managed Multiservice Offering Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 4/15 Services Customers will want the ability to choose among several services, such as the following: • voice services (e.g., on-net services, fax, modem) • videoconferencing • data services (e.g., frame relay, ATM, local-area network [LAN] interconnection, IP services, leased lines, ISDN) These services should all be available as part of a single-customer solution—even if the customer needs only one or two at a given time. The customer needs the ability to select different service options to meet changing application needs. For successful delivery of this offering, the carrier must be able to respond quickly to customer requests. Management of Services In addition to having various transport options, the customer requires that the carrier manage these transport services. That responsibility includes designing, provisioning, monitoring, optimizing, and upgrading the network. A possible scenario is that customers have chosen frame relay as one of their services and now require a carrier to manage the frame-relay network. The carrier creates the permanent virtual circuit (PVC) configurations and builds the PVCs. While monitoring the frame-relay network, the carrier determines that a site is dropping packets. The carrier recommends a committed information rate (CIR) adjustment and upgrades the network as necessary. The carrier can offer different coverage options such as 7 x 24 or 8 x 5, and each service may have an SLA associated with it. Many customers need a multicarrier network but prefer a single point of contact. As part of the management of services, a carrier can act as an agent, representing the customer to other carriers. 4. Extra Components for a Premium Offering In addition to a standard set of offerings based on core components, the carrier's product portfolio must include premium offerings with extra components. These comprehensive end-to-end solutions would include such options as managed equipment, professional services, disaster-recovery options, and customized applications. Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 5/15 Equipment To meet their financial-planning needs, customers need the option to buy or lease equipment. They often need financing options as well. Equipment Management A customer may want the carrier to manage the equipment. The carrier's management responsibilities can include installation, configuration, maintenance, and upgrades. A customer may want time-frame options for service delivery (for example, by next business day or in four hours). In some cases, a customer may want a support person on site. Staging of equipment in a carrier's laboratory allows the simulation of a customer's network to make sure it meets application requirements. A carrier is in a good position to offer staging as an equipment-management option. Carriers normally have the necessary equipment, personnel, established procedures, and expertise. Disaster-Recovery Options Many customer networks carry mission-critical traffic. As a result, those customers are willing to pay for disaster-recovery options. Hence, the carrier must offer redundancy options for both service and equipment. Service redundancy options should include the ability to use one transport service as a backup for another service (for example, ISDN as a backup for frame relay). The carrier should also analyze the customer's network, identify possible points of failure, and recommend recovery options. Equipment redundancy options should include power, interface cards, common logic, and shelves. Backup equipment or even a backup center can be options available to the customer. Service-Level Agreement SLAs are an essential part of the managed multiservice solution. Customers expect specific commitments in writing. They also want to know what the consequences will be when a commitment is not met. The carrier must establish an SLA for each component of the managed multiservice solution. Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 6/15 Technical-Consulting Services Given the rapid pace of technology advancement, many enterprises have difficulty maintaining the necessary expertise to keep pace. Consequently, a carrier can offer a technical-consulting service to help customers meet this challenge. The service can include training as well as identification of network requirements. Security Options The customer needs security options because of today's network environment. Companies are conducting business electronically through intranets, extranets, and the Internet. Security options can include remote access and firewalls, as well as the development of policies and procedures. Applications Development Networks are increasingly taking an external focus. As part of that focus, companies need network-based applications to support electronic commerce, which is a promising market opportunity for carriers. In addition to outsourcing their network operations, many companies would like to outsource the development and delivery of special applications. By partnering with a computing company, a carrier can offer a wider range of applications in its service plan, such as the following: • Web hosting • videoconferencing • telecommuting project • Internet access with special features 5. Challenges to Capturing the Opportunity Managed network services represent a significant business opportunity for carriers, but today's environment creates several challenges to capturing that opportunity. One factor is a convergence of network service providers. Local carriers are providing long-distance services; long-distance carriers are providing local services; new providers are providing both local and long-distance services; and all carriers want to be Internet access providers. Fierce competition has Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 7/15 emerged in this environment. To protect its incumbent position, a carrier must build a higher level of brand equity into its service offerings (see Figure 4). Figure 4. Managed Multiservice Solutions At the same time, a carrier is under pressure to maintain favorable margins. Containing costs of bandwidth, equipment, rack space, and staffing can be challenging. It is particularly difficult to control bandwidth costs when striving to meet QoS commitments, yet QoS guarantees are one of the keys to honoring SLAs. The problem is particularly acute when handling multiple traffic types. Different applications generate traffic with distinct characteristics and service requirements. QoS integrity is only one challenge in honoring SLAs. Another crucial aspect is avoiding network downtime. Service redundancy and equipment redundancy can be costly to deliver. Carriers must also respond quickly to customer requests for adds, moves, and changes. Any change can be time-consuming in a complex, multiapplication, multiservice, multinational network. Short response times, however, are a requirement for customer retention in today's changing environment. In addition to retaining its customer base, a carrier must capture market-share from incumbents in other market segments. To increase its marketshare, a carrier must be able to broaden its geographic reach and penetrate a wider variety of vertical segments. This requires a shorter time-to-market than ever before. It also demands a greater need for competitive differentiation. One way to achieve differentiation is to include applications development in the service portfolio. However, support for upper-layer applications requires an underlying transport infrastructure that is extremely flexible and cost-effective. ATM technology can provide such an infrastructure. Unfortunately, most ATM Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 8/15 equipment that is currently available offers limited support for legacy traffic, minimal traffic management capabilities, and a lack of standards compliance. 6. How to Overcome the Challenges A carrier can overcome the challenges to capturing the managed multiservice solutions opportunity. The following capabilities are required. Traffic Management • support for the unique service requirements of diverse applications, beyond the conventional four ATM QoS categories • the ability to map different applications to the network with a high degree of granularity • the ability to engineer networks for 100-percent utilization, while maintaining QoS • traffic shaping, to contain congestion at the ingress to the network • ATM–switch architecture optimized for transport of IP traffic Network Management • comanagement, which offers customers a view of their network and lets them monitor the progress of SLAs • integrated, end-to-end fault detection on a global basis • global, multicarrier management • the ability to monitor SLAs and report the performance not only to the carrier but also to the customer Applications Availability • multiple layers of redundancy • equipment that is easily configured for redundancy • ATM switches designed for six nines (99.9999 percent) availability Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 9/15 • a self-healing network • fast rerouting Voice Capabilities • aggressive voice-compression ratios with toll quality • voice capabilities that reduce the bandwidth required by voiceband and fax traffic Applications Focus • a transport infrastructure that is extremely flexible, scalable, and costeffective, providing the ability to focus on development of higher-layer applications Self-Test 1. Unfortunately, a few obstacles stand in the way of service carriers' adoption of the managed multiservice solution. a. true b. false 2. The combination of multiple traffic types makes meeting QoS guarantees easier. a. true b. false 3. Proper traffic management will help carriers take advantage of the managed multiservice solutions opportunity. a. true b. false 4. Although they have many benefits, managed multiservice solutions do not include support for upper-layer applications. a. true Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 10/15 b. false 5. Managed multiservice solutions provide carriers the opportunity for longterm revenue growth. a. true b. false 6. A managed network service includes ________. a. primarily customer care b. maintenance c. upgrades d. management of circuits and customer equipment e. a, b, and c f. b, c, and d 7. Unlike the first generation of managed network services, a managed multiservice solution is based on ____________. a. a multiservice infrastructure b. copper wire c. a fiber-optic network d. a multimedia architecture e. none of the above 8. Services available with a multiservice managed solution include ________. a. on-net services, fax, and modem b. videoconferencing c. frame relay, ATM, LAN interconnections, and IP services d. leased lines and ISDN e. all of the above Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 11/15 9. With a managed multiservice solution, one carrier can act as an agent and _______, creating a single point of contact for the customer. a. protect the customer from slamming by other carriers b. intercept and screen calls, faxes, and e-mails c. represent the customers to other carriers d. all of the above 10. Premium functions of the managed multiservice solution include _______. a. disaster-recovery options b. provision of equipment c. equipment management d. technical consulting e. all of the above f. a, b, and d Correct Answers 1. Unfortunately, a few obstacles stand in the way of service carriers' adoption of the managed multiservice solution. a. true b. false See Topic 5. 2. The combination of multiple traffic types makes meeting QoS guarantees easier. a. true b. false See Topic 5. Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 12/15 3. Proper traffic management will help carriers take advantage of the managed multiservice solutions opportunity. a. true b. false See Topic 6. 4. Although they have many benefits, managed multiservice solutions do not include support for upper-layer applications. a. true b. false See Definition. 5. Managed multiservice solutions provide carriers the opportunity for longterm revenue growth. a. true b. false See Overview. 6. A managed network service includes ________. a. primarily customer care b. maintenance c. upgrades d. management of circuits and customer equipment e. a, b, and c f. b, c, and d See Overview. 7. Unlike the first generation of managed network services, a managed multiservice solution is based on ____________. a. a multiservice infrastructure Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 13/15 b. copper wire c. a fiber-optic network d. a multimedia architecture e. none of the above See Topic 2. 8. Services available with a multiservice managed solution include ________. a. on-net services, fax, and modem b. videoconferencing c. frame relay, ATM, LAN interconnections, and IP services d. leased lines and ISDN e. all of the above See Topic 3. 9. With a managed multiservice solution, one carrier can act as an agent and _______, creating a single point of contact for the customer. a. protect the customer from slamming by other carriers b. intercept and screen calls, faxes, and e-mails c. represent the customers to other carriers d. all of the above See Topic 3. 10. Premium functions of the managed multiservice solution include _______. a. disaster-recovery options b. provision of equipment c. equipment management d. technical consulting e. all of the above Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 14/15 f. a, b, and d See Topic 4. Glossary ATM asynchronous transfer mode CIR committed information rate IP Internet protocol IT information technology ISDN integrated services digital network LAN local-area network PVC permanent virtual circuit QoS quality of service SLA service-level agreement VPN virtual private network WAN wide-area network Web ProForum Tutorials http://www.iec.org Copyright © The International Engineering Consortium 15/15 ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2011 for the course ECON 1102 taught by Professor Jahis during the Spring '09 term at University of Minnesota Crookston.

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