High-speed Internet providers need software to monitor the performance of their networks. Four telecommunications companies – Comcast, Cincinnati Bell, Hawaii Telecom and Knology – use SevOne.

Comcast hired SevOne in October 2008 to monitor the performance of its high-speed Internet service, including digital voice. SevOne’s appliance-based product creates reports for Comcast’s network engineers and architects.

Performance can be measured in a static way or dynamically, explained Sev One’s CTO Vess Bakalov. In a static mode, the company uses the SevOne product to set acceptable thresholds of performance and get notices if the network falls below those levels.

Comcast chose dynamic metrics, Bakalov said. In such a case, SevOne’s product tracks performance over a period of time and subdivides that performance into smaller time units. This information is then averaged for each time period in order to set the baselines. The software also dynamically adjusts the baselines.

"Comcast wanted to be very granular with its baselines, in some cases down to five minutes," said Mike Phelan, SevOne’s president and CEO.

"Before the SevOne installation, we were in a classic spoke-and-wheel support scenario," said Jeff Gill, director of network surveillance for Comcast, in a statement. "If one of our regional technicians needed to access performance data, they would have to contact the national performance operations center and ask them to run a report."

Phelan said the SevOne product creates alerts in real time, and performance metrics can be accessed via the Internet. Monitoring appliances are installed at all the operator’s data centers, but the data is compiled in a single online database.

Cincinnati Bell is using SevOne to provide transparency to its commercial business customers. The IT department of a business customer can check a Web site to see how its bandwidth is performing.

"The service is offered to our Metro Ethernet customers, ranging from fractional T-1 to a Gigabit connection," said Kurt Lombardi, senior manager of network management systems at Cincinnati Bell.

Lombardi said customers like the convenience of checking their bandwidth usage and performance from any location. Cincinnati Bell also uses it with its sales teams.

"When they’re reaching close to capacity, our sales people leverage to up-sell them," Lombardi said.

The telco uses the SevOne product for internal purposes as well. When a certain percent of capacity is reached, it flags the performance engineers.

"It triggers activity within our engineering groups to rectify that situation," Lombardi said.

SevOne’s competitors include CA, InfoVista, HP’s OVPI product, and NetQoS.

– Linda Hardesty

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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