Tier 1 Operator Goes Live with Automated Traffic Engineering using AI and a ‘Digital Twin’

Posted on: 5th November 2018

Using a solution provided by Aria Networks, one of our Tier1 operator customers has recently gone live with a new tool that automates the design and provisioning of core network services.

The new Strategic Traffic Engineering and Planning Tool (“STEP-T”) incorporates a “digital twin” of the carrier’s core network, combined with an AI-based application for designing optimal routes across a large, complex core network.

Automating Traffic Engineering requires a complete view of how services and network layers are intrinsically related

As with many operators, this carrier’s core network was originally developed to carry MPLS-based IP-VPN services. While most of the historical Ethernet and MPLS traffic is dynamically routed by network protocols, the provision of high capacity Ethernet point-to-point circuits requires careful Traffic Engineering to avoid congestion – both in the event of normal operation and in case of network failures.

But designing and provisioning Traffic Engineered tunnels by hand is complex, time-consuming – and not scalable. For this operator to keep pace with the volume of change demanded, without compromising network and service resilience, the design process needed to be intelligently automated.

The automation process begins with Aria effectively creating a “digital twin” of the core network, using information imported from a range of network management systems and in-house inventory management systems. Against a specific service request, the Aria platform then uses AI techniques to automatically design an optimal path, evaluating alternative designs not only against current network topology and traffic but also simulated failures. Network data is refreshed every 15 minutes.

Routes designed by the Aria platform are flowed through as command-line interface (CLI) instructions to configuration management, for execution on the live network.

The automated process typically designs in seconds what would previously have taken days to complete.

In addition to automating a complex process, the Aria solution also gives this Tier1 operator a way to:

  • Accelerate sales cycles, by rapidly assessing feasibility of new customer requirements.
  • improve service assurance by rapidly design temporary re-routes for planned engineering works or unexpected failures.

This Tier1 carrier anticipates continuous growth and change on their core network. With this automation solution now in live operation, they have a solid platform for keeping pace with increasing demand.

For more information on our Network Capacity Planning & Design solution, click here.