Telecom Operators

Mobile Data Growing Faster than Telecoms Can Adapt
The challenge telecom operators face is that data growth, related to the increased number of devices and rich media applications in the network, binds them to ever-increasing investments in network infrastructure. At the same time, their current pricing models prevent them from collecting any additional revenue to cover those investments, while the use of VoIP and messaging services cannibalizes existing revenues from calls and SMS. 
 
We Keep Telecom Operators One Step Ahead of the Data Deluge
The Napatech solutions deliver data faster, more efficiently and on-demand to applications that analyze, in real time, all the information going through telecom networks. This enables operators to tailor their solutions and offer new services that customers want to purchase.
 


 

REVENUE AND SERVICES OPTIMIZATION

At Napatech, we offer solution that deliver data to applications for analyzing subscriber behavior as well as specific app usage. This helps operators adjust their services and business models to maximize revenue and optimize service offerings.

QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION

The data that is delivered to applications with a Napatech solution, is used to examine the quality of experience. Analyzing network data enables telecoms to improve quality of their services, while better managing the bandwidth challenges involved in media heavy applications.

TELECOM NETWORK MANAGEMENT

Monitoring critical Ethernet/IP connections in real time is essential for telecoms as a supplement to the information provided by traditional network nodes and interfaces. Napatech solutions provide important data which help monitor the connections, helping service providers improve underlying network performance and availability.

NETWORK BEHAVIOR SIMULATION

Our solutions deliver data to, and receive data from, applications that enable telecom operators to simulate real-life subscriber behavior with a variety of applications and services. These applications generate insights that lead to better decision-making regarding infrastructure, service upgrades, and deployment.

FULL LINE-RATE PACKET CAPTURE
 
Napatech accelerators are highly optimized to capture network traffic at full line-rate, with almost no CPU load on the host server, for all frame sizes. Zero-loss packet capture is critical for applications that need to analyze all the network traffic. If anything needs to be discarded, it is a matter of choice by the application, not a limitation of the accelerator.
 
Standard network interface cards (NICs) are not designed for analysis applications where all traffic on a connection or link needs to be analyzed. NICs are designed for communication where data that is not addressed to the sender or receiver is simply discarded. This means that NICs are not designed to have the capacity to handle the amount of data that is regularly transmitted in bursts on Ethernet connections. In these burst situations, all of the bandwidth of a connection is used, requiring the capacity to analyze all Ethernet frames. Napatech accelerators are designed specifically for this task and provide the maximum theoretical packet capture capacity.
OPTIMIZED PACKET BUFFERS
 
Napatech accelerators use a buffering strategy that allocates a number of large memory buffers where as many packets as possible are placed back-to-back in each buffer.  Using this implementation, only the first access to a packet in the buffer is affected by the access time to external memory. Thanks to cache pre-fetch, the subsequent packets are already in the level 1 cache before the CPU needs them. As hundreds or even thousands of packets can be placed in a buffer, a very high CPU cache performance can be achieved leading to application acceleration.
 
Buffer configuration can have a dramatic effect on the performance of analysis applications. Different applications have different requirements when it comes to latency or processing. It is therefore extremely important that the number and size of buffers can be optimized for the given application. Napatech accelerators make this possible. 
 
The flexible server buffer structure supported by Napatech accelerators can be optimized for different application requirements. For example, applications needing short latency can have frames delivered in small chunks, optionally with a fixed maximum latency. Applications without latency requirements can have data delivered in large chunks, providing more effective server CPU processing of the data. Applications that have intensive, time-consuming processing requirements can configure larger server buffers (up to 128 GB).
 
Up to 128 buffers can be configured and combined with Napatech multi-CPU distribution (see “Multi-CPU distribution”).
 
ON-BOARD PACKET BUFFERING
 
Napatech accelerators provide on-board memory for buffering of Ethernet frames. Buffering assures guaranteed delivery of data, even when there is congestion. There are three potential sources of congestion: the PCI interface, the server platform, and the analysis application.
 
PCI interfaces provide a fixed bandwidth for transfer of data from the accelerator to the application. For some accelerators, this can limit the amount of data that can be transferred from the network to the application. For example, an 8-lane PCIe Gen3 interface can transfer up to 50 Gbps of data to the application. If the network speed is 100 Gbps, a burst of data cannot be transferred over the PCIe Gen3 interface in real time, since the data rate is twice the maximum transferable rate that can be transferred over the PCIe Gen3 interface. In this case, the onboard packet buffering on the Napatech accelerator can absorb the burst and ensure that none of the data is lost, allowing the frames to be transferred once the burst has passed.
 
Servers and applications can be configured in such a way that congestion can occur in the server infrastructure or in the application itself. The CPU cores can be busy processing or retrieving data from remote caches and memory locations, which means that new Ethernet frames cannot be transferred from the accelerator.
 
In addition, the application can be configured with only one or a few processing threads, which can result in the application being overloaded, meaning that new Ethernet frames cannot be transferred. With onboard packet buffering, the Ethernet frames can be delayed until the server or the application is ready to accept them. This ensures that no Ethernet frames are lost and that all the data is made available for analysis when needed.
MULTI-PORT PACKET MERGE
 
Napatech accelerators typically provide multiple ports. Ports are usually paired, with one port receiving upstream packets and another port receiving downstream packets. Since these two flows going in different directions need to be analyzed as one, packets from both ports must be merged into a single analysis stream. Napatech accelerators can merge packets received on multiple ports in hardware using the precise time stamps of each Ethernet frame. This is highly efficient and offloads a significant and costly task from the analysis application.
 
There is a growing need for analysis appliances that are able to monitor and analyze multiple points in the network, and even provide a network-wide view of what is happening. Not only does this require multiple accelerators to be installed in a single appliance, but it also requires that the analysis data from all ports on every accelerator be correlated.
 
With the Napatech Software Suite, it is possible to merge the analysis data from multiple accelerators into a single analysis stream. The merging is based on the nanosecond precision time stamps of each Ethernet frame, allowing a time-ordered merge of individual data streams.
 
HARDWARE TIME STAMP
 
The ability to establish the precise time when frames have been captured is critical to many applications. 
 
To achieve this, all Napatech accelerators are capable of providing a high-precision time stamp, sampled with 4 nanosecond resolution, for every frame captured and transmitted.
 
At 10 Gbps, an Ethernet frame can be received and transmitted every 67 nanoseconds. At 100 Gbps, this time is reduced to 6.7 nanoseconds. This makes nanosecond-precision time-stamping essential for uniquely identifying when a frame is received. This incredible precision also enables you to merge frames from multiple ports on multiple accelerators into a single, time-ordered analysis stream.
 
In order to work smoothly in the different operating systems supported, Napatech accelerators support a range of industry standard time stamp formats, and also offer a choice of resolution to suit different types of applications.
 
64-bit time stamp formats:
  • 2 Windows formats with 10-ns or 100-ns resolution
  • Native UNIX format with 10-ns resolution
  • 2 PCAP formats with 1-ns or 1000-ns resolution
TUNNELING SUPPORT
 
In mobile networks, all subscriber Internet traffic is carried in GTP (GPRS Tunneling Protocol) or IP-in-IP tunnels between nodes in the mobile core.  IP-in-IP tunnels are also used in enterprise networks. Monitoring traffic over interfaces between these nodes is crucial for assuring Quality of Service (QoS). 
 
Napatech accelerators open up these interfaces, providing visibility and insight into the contents of the tunnels. Analysis applications can use this capability to test, secure, and optimize mobile networks and services. To effectively analyze the multiple services associated with each subscriber, it is important to separate them and analyze each one individually. Napatech accelerators have the capability to identify the contents of tunnels, allowing for analysis of each service used by a subscriber. This quickly provides invaluable information to the application, and allows for efficient analysis of network and application traffic. The Napatech features for frame classification, flow identification, filtering, coloring, slicing, and intelligent multi-CPU distribution can thus be applied to the contents of the tunnel rather than the tunnel itself, leading to a more balanced processing and a more efficient analysis.
 
GTP and IP-in-IP tunneling are powerful features for telecom equipment vendors who need to build mobile network monitoring products. With this feature, Napatech can off-load and accelerate data analysis, allowing customers to focus on optimizing the application, and thereby maximizing the processing resources in standard servers.
IP FRAGMENT HANDLING
 
IP fragmentation occurs when large Ethernet frames need to be broken into several fragments in order to be transmitted across the network. This can be due to limitations in certain parts of the network or when tunneling protocols are used. Fragmented frames are a challenge for analysis applications, as all fragments must be identified and reassembled before analysis can be performed. Napatech accelerators can identify frame fragments and ensure that these are associated and sent to the same CPU core for processing. This significantly reduces the processing burden for analysis applications.
 
200G PERFORMANCE SOLUTION
 
Napatech 200G Performance Solution is based on two PCI-SIG® certified NT100E3- 1-PTP accelerators, each providing a single 100G port with full throughput and zero packet loss under all conditions. Upstream and downstream are combined using Intelligent Hardware Interconnect. This allows specific flows to be combined and directed to the right CPU cores for processing.
 
Learn more about the 200G Performance Solution.
200G COMPACT SOLUTION
 
Use cutting-edge network acceleration technology to add real-time line rate performance to your application. The Compact 200G Accelerator NT200A01 provides full packet capture and analysis of network data at 200G with zero packet loss.
 
Learn more about the 200G Compact Solution.
NT100E3-1-PTP
 
The PCI-SIG® certified NT100E3-1-PTP accelerator can be used for packet capture and analysis of Ethernet LAN data at 100 Gbps with zero packet loss for all frame sizes. Intelligent features accelerate application performance with extremely low CPU load. Flexible time synchronization support is included with a dedicated PTP port. 
 
The accelerator also comes in a NEBS level 3 compliant variant.
 
Learn more about NT100E3-1-PTP.
NT80E3-2-PTP
 
The PCI-SIG® certified NT80E3-2-PTP accelerator provides full packet capture and analysis of Ethernet LAN at 80 Gbps with zero packet loss for all frame sizes. Intelligent features accelerate application performance with extremely low CPU load. Flexible time synchronization support is included with a dedicated PTP port.
 
The accelerator also comes in a NEBS level 3 compliant variant.
 
Learn more about NT80E3-2-PTP.
NT40E3-4-PTP
 
The PCI-SIG® certified NT40E3-4-PTP accelerator provides full packet capture and analysis of Ethernet LAN at 40 Gbps with zero packet loss for all frame sizes. Intelligent features accelerate application performance with extremely low CPU load. Flexible time synchronization support is included with a dedicated PTP port. 
 
The accelerator also comes in a NEBS level 3 compliant variant.
 
Learn more about NT40E3-4-PTP.
NT20E3-2-PTP
 
The NT20E3-2-PTP accelerator provides full packet capture and analysis of Ethernet LAN at 20 Gbps with zero packet loss for all frame sizes. Intelligent features accelerate application performance with extremely low CPU load. Flexible time synchronization support is included with a dedicated PTP port.
 
The accelerator also comes in a NEBS level 3 compliant variant.
 
Learn more about NT20E3-2-PTP.
NT4E2-4-PTP
 
The NT4E2-4-PTP accelerator provides full packet capture and analysis of Ethernet LAN at 4 Gbps with zero packet loss for all frame sizes. Intelligent features accelerate application performance with extremely low CPU load. Flexible time synchronization is included with a dedicated PTP port.
 
Learn more about NT4E2-4-PTP.
NT4E-4-STD
 
The NT4E-STD is a 4-port 1 Gbps accelerator that provides full line-rate data capture and nanosecond precision time-stamping capabilities that can accelerate network applications and off-load the server CPU. The 4 ports on NT4E-STD accelerators enable full-duplex monitoring of a network link (Rx and Tx traffic). 
 
Learn more about NT4E-4-STD.
NT4E-4-NEBS
 
The 4-port 1 Gbps NT4E-NEBS accelerator is designed for telecom packet capture applications, which require compliance with NEBS requirements. The NT4E-NEBS provides high performance with advanced features, but is based on enhanced hardware capable of operating under extreme conditions with high reliability. NT4E-NEBS accelerators can also be used in in-line mode.
 
Learn more about NT4E-4-NEBS.
PANDION
 
Pandion Flex is your cost-efficient platform of choice for ultrafast, highly reliable real-time capture, indexing and search of data across Napatech’s network recorder. Pandion is available in multiple rate interface options and configurable storage to over 600TB.
 
Learn more about Pandion.
NAC
 
Use cutting-edge network acceleration technology to add real-time line rate performance to your PCAP solution – with no software integration required. Napatech network acceleration cards (NACs) provide full packet capture and analysis of network data with zero packet loss.
 
Learn more about our NACs.