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Performance and capacity evaluations of IP networks and systems

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Whether you provide IP networks as a service for hire or run your company's in-house network, keeping the network humming is a major job. Performance and capacity are first on your list of items to measure and evaluate. And as if the IP network itself is not enough to be concerned with, you also have its operation support systems (OSSs)-those for billing, trouble ticketing, reporting, alarm management, and so on-to contend with. Initially, your job is to get an operational service out the door, whether to external or internal customers. The service must meet its promised quality of service (QoS) targets and fulfill service level agreements (SLAs). At this time, the emphasis is on making the service or product operational. Because a service provider normally starts with only a handful of users, performance problems arising from large volumes of traffic do not normally occur. In the long run, however, any network service provider must deal with how to achieve QoS for an entire (and growing) user base. As more users sign on, a service provider wants to fully use the capacity of all resources (contrary to the early stages, when plenty of spare capacity went unused). It will also want to offer new services and account for changes in usage behavior. To deal with these issues, a service provider must determine the performance and/or scalability of its network and OSSs to verify compliance with SLAs; know when to order and add more capacity; and develop a strategy to grow

Published in:

IT Professional  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 6 )