How is the performance of your applications and infrastructure affecting your users? For telecommunications service providers, the ability to quickly answer this question is vital in terms of retaining customers and maximizing revenue-per-user.
One service provider experienced this type of situation: Support incidents spiked significantly following a firmware update and the affected customers were complaining vociferously on social media. The IT Operations team needed to know:
- What was the scope of the problem? Which subscribers were affected and how severely?
- What was the path to resolution? Was the problem with the wireless network infrastructure, a third-party service or application, or in their own datacenter?
With real-time analysis of the Diameter protocol provided by ExtraHop, the service provider's IT Operations team could answer these questions quickly.
The RADIUS and Diameter communications used for authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) contain the intelligence needed to determine why the firmware update affected some subscribers but not others.
Traditional network monitoring tools make L2-L4 network performance data available at 15-minute intervals. This data does not include the critical application-level Diameter details that are needed to determine the scope of the problem and the customers affected. The information these tools provide is analogous to the information shown on the outside of an envelope.
Packet capture tools can provide the needed L7 details, but network traffic growth has made packet capture too expensive and cumbersome for real-time troubleshooting. Even with all the requisite traffic captured, it would require several days for network engineers to dig through the data. Packet capture tools also write packets to disk and thereby risk violating security and privacy regulations.
ExtraHop provided the real-time Diameter transaction analysis that enabled the service provider to quickly understand which subscribers were affected as well as the path to resolution. ExtraHop's real-time analysis breaks open the Diameter protocol to uncover information such as unique customer IDs, handset type, and even credit-control details. Importantly, ExtraHop does not store the packets to disk, thereby assuaging security and privacy concerns.
With this operational intelligence from ExtraHop, the service provider saw that the firmware update affected only certain types of handsets, and worked with the handset provider to develop a fix.
Besides segmenting Diameter transaction performance by handset type, as in this example, ExtraHop also enables service providers to validate billing accuracy, isolate specific authentication events by phone number, and break down Diameter transaction response-times by server processing, network request transfer, and network response transfer times.
ExtraHop provides the real-time operational intelligence needed to support service providers' IMS rollouts and LTE services. By deploying the ExtraHop platform to monitor your applications and infrastructure, you can quickly solve performance issues, track usage patterns, and make intelligent capacity-planning decisions.
ExtraHop is a simpler, more scalable monitoring solution for applications and infrastructure. Unlike traditional solutions that use agents, probes, or expensive packet capture, the ExtraHop platform is an all-in-one appliance that deploys in just 15 minutes and scales to handle sustained 20Gbps throughput. A single EH8000 appliance offers greater functionality at just a fraction of the cost of competing products.