Capacity Planner – A New Approach to Network Resource Planning
Posted on: 21st April 2010
Aria Networks, a leading provider of optimisation and planning software solutions for next-generation networks, today announced Capacity Planner, extending their product suite to offer the telecoms industry an unrivalled solution for accelerating planning cycles and increasing efficient capital expenditure.
Service providers’ network planning teams are tasked with answering a broad spectrum of questions about their network, from the technical to the commercial, and the immediate to the long-term. Getting the right answer is time-consuming or, frequently, impossible with existing data sources and tools. When the answer has a direct impact on capital expenditure and customer revenue, any sub-optimal capacity planning process will cost the business millions annually
Aria Networks Capacity Planner offers a new way for service providers to get more accurate answers far quicker than has previously been possible.
Aria Networks recognises that optimal allocation of capital expenditure (CAPEX) is a major objective for modern communication service providers. This is being driven by a number of factors including budgetary constraints and a need to maximise return on investment of existing network capacity.
Optimisation of networks and services must take in to account the availability of infrastructure, devices, equipment and other resources. Service planners need to understand which resources can be used to support customer requirements. In the event of a short-fall in available resources, the most economical means of upgrading the network must be identified.
Uniquely, Capacity Planner uses a data-driven description of how services’ demands for resources (for example equipment, bandwidth, connections, and quality of service) are fulfilled by available or deployable network assets. This allows communication service providers to see how planned services consume resources such as optical channels, VLANs, devices, cards and ports, delivering far more accurate cost estimates for service plans and allowing the generation of optimal bill-of-materials for network upgrades.
This market-leading capability enables planning processes that previously may have taken hundreds of staff several months to complete, to be automated and completed in a matter of hours. The solution also enables capital expenditure to be more precisely allocated, with cost-optimal answers resulting in significantly less need to build in contingent capacity.
From an operational perspective, Capacity Planner ensures that network planners can develop accurate strategic plans as well as react quickly to tactical questions from the sales team. Feasibility of fulfilling large service orders can be determined quickly, reviewed and reworked as the bid progresses. Key to this activity is a clear understanding of the return-on-investment. Capacity Planner provides an optimised and detailed cost of delivery, giving the sales organisation maximum confidence in their ability to generate a profit.
Capacity Planner compliments service providers’ wider asset management processes and systems. List of materials generated by Capacity Planner can be used to validate CAPEX business plans, for long term planning, or can be passed directly to ERP systems or procurement to satisfy immediate service fulfilment needs.
This launch further extends Aria’s lead over competitive products. Other fulfilment and planning tools fail to meet this requirement: Inventory-based fulfilment solutions contain a detailed record of available assets, but due to their procedural approach to service design they do not have the ability to perform global optimisation of services across technology domains; GIS-based planning and engineering tools lack a logical model of the network, so are unable to plan asset updates in relation to demands on bandwidth.
A further differentiator of Capacity Planner is its data-driven approach. Resources can be rapidly modelled along with allocation rules for different service demands. This is both quicker and more expressive than relying on traditional programmatic approaches. Capacity Planner’s first project deployment already supports capacity models for Alcatel Lucent, Cisco, Ciena, Fujitsu, Juniper, Hatteras and Huawei. Service models have been implemented to support consumer, business and whole-sale services such as Ethernet and VLANs.
Tony Fallows, Aria Networks CEO, said, “I am very excited about Capacity Planner. This is new capability developed in conjunction with a tier-one service provider. It delivers exactly what we believe the market needs to address the cost and complexity issues faced by the industry’s continuous business and technology change. The prospect of reducing CAPEX and improving the predictability of service plans already has a number of major service providers interested in learning more about the product.”
Aria Networks’ highly scalable architecture and AI-based planning suite is the only solution able to meet the requirements of the largest service providers managing multi-layer, multi-technology networks.