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Telecom Implements Splunk to Help with Network Optimization

SplunkTelecomIt’s no secret that data is accelerating at a dramatic pace in terms of volume, velocity, variety, and variability. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), unstructured data accounts for more than 90% of the information in today’s organizations and its use is accelerating. Of the many different types of Big Data and unstructured data, machine data is arguably the fastest-growing, most-complex and most-valuable segment.

If we store and analyze this information, we can gain valuable insights into everything from how our products are being used to how our organization is being run. However, this is a daunting task since there is so much data, generated from so many directions, arriving at an extremely rapid pace. To make things more complicated, all of the information is stored in different formats.

This flood of complex data represents a challenge for IT professionals in managing a vast array of data streams. In the telecommunications industry, maintaining infrastructure like cell towers and networking equipment is critical to the success of an organization. The following post highlights a network optimization project at a leading telecom provider that chose Splunk for operational intelligence.

About the Company

 The customer for this project is a telecom-based company providing network optimization services to telecom providers. Its proprietary software developed in house for cell site optimization helps telecom companies optimize their network more efficiently at peak usage times, dynamically changing and optimizing cell sites across the network based upon changing traffic patterns.

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Business Challenges

 Through this optimization engine, cell site operators can rely on dynamic changes to the network where needed.  However, the optimization solution lacked an interactive and clean interface between operators and the rules engine. Without an adequate interface to the optimization/rules engine, there was no way for operators to monitor the performance of the network and adjust settings if manual intervention was required.

Solution Deployed

 Perficient partnered with the telecom company to provide a front end solution to its optimization engine for cell site operators to monitor performance and adjust optimization processes across a cell site network. Perficient’s Splunk solution is capable of indexing a variety of log formats from the optimization engine and the syslog traffic from the cell site network itself, allowing for both monitoring of the network and the processes and optimizations that the engine is undertaking.

Splunk was deployed for its ability to index and store unstructured data easily, with a built in alerts engine allowing for customized rules and searches to trigger certain events. Splunk’s powerful search language allows results to be mined efficiently from large data sets, while also being able to transform these result sets into diagrams and graphs for easy monitoring.

Splunk was the obvious choice for this solution due to its ability to index many different data types. Its customizable alerting engine provided the ideal platform to automate the processes within the optimization engine from the traffic patterns in the syslog data. Splunk’s built-in maps feature allowed Perficient to plot each cell site in the network using longitude and latitude coordinates, showing key metrics on the map to pinpoint the most affected locations. Perficient developed the Splunk dashboards in XML to monitor the performance of each cell site and allow operators to interface with the optimization engine to manually override functions.

Business Value Delivered

  • Effective interface between cell site operators and the optimization engine
  • Provides a single view into the optimization activities of the customer’s rule engine
  • The alignment of Perficient’s Splunk solution and the customer’s optimization engine provides telecom providers with the ability to meet SLAs and reduce down time for various segments of its network at peak usage times
  • Successful optimization and monitoring of cell site performance improves the ability of the telecom operator to keep the network operating at its full potential with minimal interruptions to peak performance

More Info

Check out our guide, Making Sense of your Machine Data, to see how other organizations are using Splunk to address IT optimization and security challenges:

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