F5 introduces its Service Delivery Network to help service providers weather the storm.
If you haven’t seen the video “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy” (Louis CK) go ahead and check it out. You won’t regret it, trust me. Especially the section where he’s talking about the impact of the need for instant gratification via mobile connectivity. Seriously. We’ve all done the same thing – complained, griped, and probably called our service provider names because an application or web site didn’t respond immediately. As in sub-second response time. Even though many of us are technically astute enough to recognize it probably wasn’t the service provider’s fault in the first place.
Reality is that service providers are under increasing pressure not only to deliver excellent call quality as the number of folks relying on land lines rapidly fades into yet another “old timey” technology chapter in history, but also applications, services, and streaming video. A mobile phone is not just a phone, anymore. It’s a handheld, mobile entertainment device and a collaborative support network life-line.
The result for service providers is a data tsunami. The vast amounts of bits and bytes flowing over their networks is incredible, and it’s growing by the day along with the number of users, applications, and uses for mobile devices. Consumer-oriented gadgets like the iPad are not just for play-time anymore, they’re quickly becoming standard connectivity methods for IT folks – so much so that even vendors are taking note and supporting it as an endpoint for corporate secure remote access solutions.
The problem is that much of the content delivered via service provider networks to endpoints of all kinds is not owned by the service provider. It’s just “passing through”, as it were, and isn’t necessarily generating additional revenue. But it needs to be managed by the service provider, which increases OPEX and in some cases CAPEX as service providers scramble to scale along with the growth in data flowing to their customers. That results in a gap between ARPU (average revenue per user) and OPEX. And when you’re taking in less than you’re spending, well, you know that isn’t good.
Service providers increase revenue by providing new services – usually in a subscription model. But current conditions and usage patterns are such that new services won’t necessarily raise the ARPU because what’s causing the increase in costs is simply data. Lots and lots of data. So if a service provider can’t necessarily offer new services such that they can equalize ARPU with OPEX, what can they do?
Right. Decrease OPEX and CAPEX to bring it more in line with ARPU - hopefully lower to achieve a positive ARPU:costs ratio.
THE SERVICE DELIVERY NETWORK
That’s why F5 introduced its Service Delivery Network (SDN) specifically for service providers. By offering a unified traffic management platform that affords providers with intelligent and versatile policy-based control over all traffic, service providers have the ability to satisfy changing market needs profitably. The combination of subscriber, device, location and application awareness enables intelligent, centralized control over traffic resources to ensure that each service is delivered exactly as intended, protected from security threats, congestion, and failures. Combined with scalability and high-availability, F5 BIG-IP controllers enable service providers to lower CAPEX and OPEX while simultaneously supporting the “instant gratification” driven needs of their subscribers.
The unified and flexible BIG-IP platforms provide integration functions such as IPv4/6 translation, secure DNS traffic management (DNSSEC), TCP optimization, and integrated security to control operational and capital expenditures. Service-provider grade high-availability with fast failover improves uptime and maintains high levels of Quality of Service/Experience (QoS/QoE).
Support for robust and message-based scalability of a wide variety of protocols seen primarily in service provider networks – SIP, Diameter – enables providers to more efficiently make use of resources in their network without compromising availability or quality.
Our new Service Provider solution section of F5.com holds a wealth of information about the Service Delivery Network including case studies, deployment guides, white papers and solution profiles. All are specifically geared toward service providers with support for protocols and solutions for problems unique to service provider networks.
If you’re a service provider, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.