Ready for VoIP: Network Management Architectures: Brix Networks

Part 15: The Brix System is a comprehensive, carrier-strength offering that supports voice, video, and data networking.

 By Mark A. Miller
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Brix Networks, headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is a global provider of converged service assurance solutions that allow the world's largest carriers, service providers, cable companies, and enterprises to offer reliable and high-quality experiences in voice (VoIP), video (IPTV; video-on-demand), data (Internet), and mobile services to their customers, partners, and employees.

Brix was founded in July 1999, is backed by a number of venture capital firms, and brings a proven heritage of IP expertise unique to the service assurance marketplace. The company's objective is to assure the delivery of any IP-based service, over any network, to any endpoint, all from the same extensible platform.

Brix Networks' architecture—a seamlessly integrated hardware and software solution—is called the the Brix System—a strategic service assurance offering that proactively monitors IP service and application quality.

The system provides performance and/or QoS monitoring, embedded agents and probes, plus traffic simulation and/or network stress testing capabilities. The Brix System delivers end-to-end quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) visibility and real-time IP service monitoring. Built on a distributed architecture, the Brix System is designed to ensure the successful launch and ongoing operation of all types of IP-based voice, video, and data applications and services across wireline and wireless networks.

BrixCall interface
Figure 1—Click to see full-size image

The Brix System architecture consists of several key elements.

BrixWorx is a service-assurance correlation and analysis software engine. This element conducts network and IP service testing and monitoring, then collects and stores essential data. In addition, this part correlates large volumes of operational and performance metrics that have been collected across the network, and then analyzes that information and presents it to the user. In addition, key performance indicators (called KPIs) and key quality indicators (called KQIs), such as quality scores, network latency, packet loss, jitter, and so on, can be established that define service-specific thresholds that live traffic is then compared against.

Three modular applications for BrixWorx are also available that support specific monitoring scenarios.

BrixCall supports VoIP services, and enables service visibility into enterprise networks, residential customers, and peering partners, to ensure that service level agreements (SLAs) and Quality of Experience (QoE) expectations are met. The BrixCall module features what the company calls their Tri-Q Analysis, which measures the impact on three key elements that contribute to end-to-end VoIP network performance—signaling quality, delivery quality and call quality. An example BrixCall analysis is shown in Figure 1.

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This article was originally published on Mar 14, 2008
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