VoIP and Network Services Provider 8el Tames Management Issues with Scrutinizer SPM

The Service Provider Module automatically delivers discrete, secure management reports to each of the 8el's customers, averting network problems.

By VoipPlanet.com Staff | Posted Oct 8, 2010
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8el is a specialist provider of communication solutions including VoIP telephony, ISP services, and WAN and LAN to UK businesses. They have proven experience in successfully delivering quality converged networks.

Their innovative product portfolio has been developed to fulfill customer’s specific technical requirements and business needs. Their business solutions are designed to match modern working practices while breaking geographical boundaries in order to create a communications experience that allows for flexible and mobile working.

8el’s core values are built to put the customer experience at the heart of the business, delivering industry-leading support for its suite of managed services.

The challenge:

8el manages over 100 customer networks with a current total of 824 network devices, polling 4000 interfaces. Each customer network varies from one to fifty routers or switches. The gear is comprised of equipment from vendors such as Cisco, HP, Netgear, D-link, and others. 8el provides all services related to the network and Internet access. From LES to xDSL circuits to collocation hosting facilities (e.g., server, PBX, firewalls, etc.), 8el covers nearly the entire IT gamut of outsourced solutions.

Regularly, customers notified 8el of slow network and Internet access which the 8el Network Operations Center was able to resolve using Plixer International's Scrutinizer NetFlow and sFlow Analyzer network monitering solutions. The 8el IT team believed customers could often resolve their own issues if they had access to the same reports. However, 8el needed to provide access without compromising the security between customers.

The solution:

Four years ago, 8el decided to take advantage of NetFlow analysis, and they currently collect data from over 300 devices using Scrutinizer. The company recently invested in Scrutinizer's Service Provider Module (SPM) which offers customers a secure login to see only their individual traffic. "Our customers can log in and observe their traffic patterns at anytime," said Karl Jackson, Head of Networks at 8el. "Scrutinizer allows our customers to create their own favorite reports and narrow in on odd traffic patterns."

Scrutinizer also allows service providers to automate scheduled reports for customers who don't always take the initiative to look at the data. For example, reports can show up in the customer’s e-mail daily, weekly, or monthly. The Scrutinizer SPM can be setup to give customers access to certain parts of the service provider’s backbone network topology without giving insight into actual utilization of the connections.

"Scrutinizer's portal interface can be customized to include our in house applications as well as information regarding their Internet connection," said Jackson. On one occasion, a customer had used Scrutinizer to identify a connection that was consuming all the bandwidth on their E1 (a 2Mb Internet connection). “We looked to see their NetFlow traffic report and helped them determine that an in-house employee was accidentally syncing a hard drive with an offsite server,” Jackson said. “The problem was quickly resolved."

The benefit:

Scrutinizer’s SPM can be configured to give customers access to certain parts of 8el’s network layout without serving up the status of devices or links. This allows 8el to let customers understand their topology without compromising security.

The Scrutinizer SPM is an asset to service providers by increasing the value of their products and services. By allowing customers additional insight into their network infrastructure via Scrutinizer’s web interface, 8el has set itself apart from its competitors.

“Scrutinizer allows us to provide additional services to our customers by having an in-house 8el engineer routinely check the health of the customer’s network or by allowing the customer to do it themselves.” Jackson stated.

About Plixer International, Inc.
Plixer International, Inc. develops and markets network traffic monitoring and NetFlow analysis tools to the global market. All of the sFlow, IPFIX and NetFlow tools are built from the ground up with valuable feature sets and ease of use in mind. Plixer tools have been used to analyze and troubleshoot irregular network traffic patterns by IT professionals with some of the largest networks in the world, such as AT&T, Toyota, CNN, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Regal Cinemas, Raytheon, and Eddie Bauer.

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