Alcatel-Lucent Inc., with corporate headquarters in Paris, and U.S. headquarters in
Murray Hill, New Jersey, may well be the technology company with the richest history.
Alcatel’s origins date back to 1898 when French engineer Pierre Azaria set up
“La Compagnie Générale d’Electricité (CGE).” CGE was a French-based
industrial conglomerate involved in various activities such as electricity,
transportation, electronics, and telecommunications.
Lucent Technologies’ history dates back to 1869 when Elisha Gray and Enos N.
Barton formed a small manufacturing firm based in Cleveland. Three years later the firm
was renamed the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. By 1880, it was the largest
electrical manufacturing company in the United States, noted for its production of a
variety of electrical equipment, including the world’s first commercial typewriters and
The divestiture of the Bell System in 1984 put the Western Electric manufacturing and
the Bell Laboratories research and development activities under the AT&T Technologies
business unit, which later spun off a separate entity, Lucent Technologies, in 1996.
In 2006, a transatlantic merger combined these two entities, Alcatel and Lucent
Technologies, into a single firm. Today, Alcatel-Lucent has 77,000 employees, a presence
in 130 countries around the world, over 25,000 active patents, and claims annual revenues
of 17.8 billion euros (approximately $24 billion at this writing).
Alcatel-Lucent offers a complete family of voice and data networking solutions, data
security products and network management tools, called the Dynamic Communication
Framework, that delivers connected knowledge through a combination of software,
hardware, service, consulting, and partnering. This portfolio draws on over 650 products
to tailor solutions to an enterprise. The company’s strategy recognizes that a successful
VoIP deployment means integrating the network, applications, and business processes, so
that the entire system works together to deliver high quality, reliable voice
Supporting VoIP networking infrastructures is the VitalSuite Network and
Application Performance Management software, which provides visibility into, and
control over, the entire infrastructure, to enable IT to implement and troubleshoot a
The VitalSuite system is comprised of three component applications called
VitalNet for infrastructure monitoring, VitalApps for application
performance monitoring, and VitalART for custom report development. Together, this
suite offers a comprehensive, fully integrated solution that provides real-time views
into everything from VoIP to complex e-commerce transactions to mission-critical network
resources, from a system that enables continuous monitoring, measuring, and optimizing of
performance at every level of an IT operation.
VitalSuite provides multi-vendor, multi-technology compatibility that supports and
monitors over 600 devices from more than 50 different vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent,
Cisco, Avaya, and Broadsoft. The system focuses its operations on several network
- VoIP Service Management, a personalized web portal that monitors the quality
of services that are being delivered, and network “heat charts,” that immediately
identify network trouble spots, based upon specific Quality Index settings. Key
performance indicators tracked include: Mean Opinion Score (MOS) and R-factor scores by
hour; VoIP call quality index by hour; jitter, latency, delay, and packet loss quality
index by hour; call success quality index by hour; plus calls and call minutes by
- VoIP Network Performance, which provides aggregated call statistics for a
range of views that baseline call volume and voice service metrics. This capability
includes a flexible auto-discovery function to import a device information file,
specify a list of devices, and initiate controlled device discovery. The performance
data are then stored in a relational database management system, allowing SQL access.
Details are presented with both statistical and graphical displays.
- Voice Quality vs. Network Performance, which integrates call and data
monitoring into a common platform, with voice and data comparison reports that indicate
the impact of network performance on voice quality. Available metrics include: Voice
Quality Index vs. Network Quality Index, VoIP Quality vs. Network Utilization, VoIP
Call Success vs. Network Utilization, VoIP QoS vs. Network Utilization, and VoIP
Traffic Volume vs. Network Volume.
- Voice Call Quality, which provides five levels of quality thresholds,
including thresholds for jitter, delay, and packet loss.
- VoIP Agent, a software probe that provides active, peer-to-peer testing for
VoIP service quality measurements. The probes use SIP
to set up VoIP test calls, and then generate RTP
streams corresponding to each successful call. Customizable key performance indicators
include speech clarity, conversational quality, and call setup metrics.
The VitalSuite system runs under Windows or Solaris environments, and can scale to
support up to 10 million polled objects. Further details on the Alcatel-Lucent
architecture and products can be found at www.alcatel-lucent.com/us. Our next tutorial will
continue our examination of vendors’ network management architectures.