Service Provider and Data Centre
The service provider and datacentre markets clearly depend on their networks to operate and need specialist design and integration skills that allow them make changes incrementally and quickly, without massive rip-and-replace operations. A poorly integrated network requires far more resources for network management and monitoring compared to one that is tightly integrated. Those operational savings translate into staff hours that can be redeployed to more strategic uses such as rolling out new services and improving internal processes for network management and control.
Agile provide specialist engineers who have worked for many years in the service provider market. Our engineers have multi-vendor experience and the ability to design networks that are reliable, scalable, and flexible to adapt to future needs. Most importantly, we provide engineering consulting with specialties that are hard to find in the job market, avoiding the need to invest in full-time employees with specialized skills that will not be needed after the integration project is complete.
Service providers want to optimise their existing network infrastructure to support traditional voice and broadband access and newer advanced services like IPTV. This has been particularly driven by the recent upsurge in Netflix and interactive gaming and challenges service providers to deliver both cost effective and flexible broadband access services to the last mile. Increasingly, providers are standardising around interoperable IP based designs that allow the convergence of historically disparate networks across a unified network architecture.
How will broadband access services be delivered in the future? Copper or fibre? What’s the right architecture – Fibre to the node (FTTN) or premises (FTTP)? Reconciling existing broadband network assets with the need to invest in next-generation packet systems is a balancing act for service providers. Agile have hands-on practical experience of building access networks for many leading ISPs. Our ISP specialist engineers have accumulated years of experience working in the field and have the real world expertise which translates a high level design into a practical solution which delivers.
As optical and ethernet technologies converge, service providers are looking to deliver solutions for unified provisioning, interworking and management of hybrid optical and packet based networks. Getting this right offers increased network agility and greatly improved bandwidth utilisation, which facilitates the delivery of bandwidth-on-demand services and significantly reduced capital and operational costs. New FTTx services help to drive up ARPU, decrease costs, and move away from commoditised Ethernet only services which can descend into a ‘race to the bottom’ pricing model.
Agile provide the design, development, deployment and operation of every scale of infrastructure for optical access, from metro to regional and national long haul networks. Our expertise includes technologies like CWDM, DWDM, ROADM and GMPLS access and we support optical networks for some of the largest datacentre and transport providers in Ireland. Additionally we work with ISPs to design from the ground up new FTTx services and have already pioneered this with customers to offer new services to end user clients.
The demands on today’s ISPs and Datacentres are greater than ever with evolving DDoS attacks, which have grown in size, frequency and sophistication in recent years. In order to ensure their service availability and keep downstream customers up and running, ISPs must be able to detect, analyze and mitigate DDoS threats before they develop into costly service availability outages. Adding to the challenge of service availability is the increasing speed at which customers are consuming network bandwidth due in part to the popularity of peer-to-peer and video applications. This means that ISPs must have a scalable and efficient network management system in place to remain competitive in the marketplace.
Agile works with best-in-class DDoS prevention solutions that include in-depth network visibility, DDoS threat detection and mitigation, streamlined traffic engineering and capacity planning, and a platform for managed services. This allows ISPs to offer customers cost-effective managed services around network security, DDoS mitigation (i.e., “clean pipes”) and MPLS VPN visibility.
ISPs need to accurately predict network costs and problem areas to prevent unnecessary upgrades, reduce network outages and improve response and repair times if an outage occurs. They also need to either skill up internally with the correct resources and coverage or find a partner who can provide a reliable, cost-effective installation, configuration, monitoring and management of CPEs.
Agile offers a managed service which includes full life-cycle management of the CPE, from initial installation and configuration, through to ongoing maintenance, changes and upgrades. The significant benefit this brings is to allow ISPs to refocus resources on core business and develop new service differentiation whilst using a trusted partner to deliver on this necessary but resource hungry service. Agile are able to leverage their nationwide coverage, pre-staging labs and engineering expertise to ensure end users receive a quality experience with a white label service which can be tailored to the SLA and budget requirements of the service provider.
Distance, delay, and inefficiencies—these can dramatically slow your access to data and applications over the Internet or a wide area network (WAN). By attacking the causes of slow performance, WAN optimization accelerates applications and data while enhancing IT control and visibility across datacenters and branch offices. A WAN optimization solution improves application performances across the WAN typically 5 to 50 times, by utilizing solutions that incorporate multi features such as Application Acceleration, Wide Area File Services (WAFS), Quality of Service (QoS) and Traffic Shaping and Caching.
Agile provide end-to-end visibility into application performance over the WAN, from request to delivery, which optimizes network resources and increases return on investment. Agile’s managed WAN Optimisation aggregates techniques like compression, caching, error correction and protocol Optimisation into a single function, reducing your costs and improving services for all your users. This turns expensive and low-bandwidth WAN into a strategic assets that will perform better, deliver more, and ensure business priorities are met.
Today’s resource-intensive applications are causing network traffic to grow exponentially, putting high demands on the existing network. Companies cannot dynamically allocate network resources to higher-priority applications. As a result, customers are seeking to make the network application aware by intelligently monitoring and routing the network traffic. SDN provides the components necessary to make the network programmable, dynamic, and application aware. This is achieved through the physical separation of the data plane and control plane to provide an abstraction layer and make it easier to optimize each.
Agile’s experience with SDN is based on the working with leading ISPs and international partners to develop proof of concept and early use cases implementing SDN. The control plane and data plane are physically separated (i.e. two different boxes and not just two components within the same box) and the communication between both entities is an open standard-based protocol. This separation allows our clients centralize the control plane and controls multiple devices.
Traditional networks lack the flexibility to keep pace with dynamic computing and storage needs of today’s data centres. In order to implement changes, each networking device needs to be configured individually. The increasing number of functions built into these networking devices results in even more complex, closed and proprietary setups. NFV virtualizes network functions such as load balancing, firewalling, deep packet inspection and NAT. This allows operators to provide flexible service treatment without deploying special-purpose network appliances to perform these functions.
Agile engineers are working with leading network vendors to implement NFV compliant designs migrating from their legacy estates. With the adoption of NFV across most major vendors, multivendor understanding and knowledge is a key skill and Agile offer this with top level accreditation across the leading proponents of NFV. It is beginning to take root in the access network to support distributed functions such as content delivery network (CDN) in support of mobile as well as fixed video services.