As the name suggests, MPLS iSPI seamlessly integrates with HP Network Node Manager i (NNMi) and has been in the forefront wherever Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) services are offered and when the need to monitor MPLS services arises.
Since the emergence of MPLS technology a decade and half ago, service providers have started to gradually upgrade their core networks to incorporate MPLS technology. Providing MPLS services enabled the transformation of Enterprise connectivity from costly and dedicated leased lines to a much more flexible, secure and economical MPLS connectivity to enterprise sites situated across geography. This was achieved by what was known as MPLS L3 VPN services .This evolution of MPLS services continued with emergence of MPLS Traffic Engineering tunnels providing priority based paths , L2 VPN's providing faster access and high bandwidth ,QoS and so on…
In this blog, I am going to address the kind of n/w infrastructure where MPLS iSPI adds value to monitoring followed by the value proposition that MPLS iSPI offers.
As stated above, MPLS iSPI provides discovery and monitoring capabilities for different MPLS services configured on a MPLS n/w. These kind of MPLS services configuration is more prominently found in a service provider environment to cater to the n/w needs of their end customers and hence service provider's n/w infrastructure monitoring would be an ideal place to deploy MPLS iSPI to monitor these MPLS services.
In the context of enterprises moving to MPLS connectivity, a common question is whether the last mile connectivity from an enterprise site to the Service provider n/w or POP constitute a MPLS n/w. Is there some value-add that MPLS iSPI provides in these so-called MPLS connectivity deployments commonly seen at Enterprises today?
To answer this , let's have a quick look at what MPLS n/w connectivity to enterprise means.The MPLS n/w connectivity term is freely used in business today to differentiate the connection from the leased line, however technically the underlying last mile connectivity to Enterprises is still either IP connectivity or Layer 2 connectivity with no MPLS. Service providers implement MPLS services at POP’s to transmit data b/w geographically distributed sites of an Enterprise through service provider's MPLS core but the last mile connectivity is still either IP or Layer 2. This in business terms today, is commonly referred to as MPLS n/w connectivity. In such a connectivity Service Providers restrict Enterprise access to n/w devices at POP’s and core. Now, in the absence of MPLS services on enterprise n/w’s and without access to n/w devices in POP’s and core, NNMi along with other relevant iSPI’s like Performance Metrics, QA, Traffic, Multicast and IPT except MPLS ispi would satisfy the fault and performance monitoring needs of an enterprise.
However until recently, core MPLS networks were only deployed by service providers. Of late there has been a surge in independent MPLS networks being deployed by big nationalized banks and Air traffic controls of different countries. With MPLS services being configured on such core MPLS n/w 's deployed by enterprises on their own, MPLS iSPI presently finds more room to be deployed to monitor such services in Enterprise n/w's.
Value-add from MPLS iSPI:
A glance of all features from MPLS iSPI
LSR inventory: Provides a quick summary of all LSR's in MPLS infrastructure with the type of MPLS service configurations done on each LSR including the identification of P & PE devices.
Layer 3 VPN inventory: Provides a summary of all VPN's including the information on topology type that is logically formed based on the RT relationships configured across VRF's. The service-oriented map views of Layer 3 VPN provide the relationships of VRF's in a VPN and also the connections to CE's.
L3 VPN Map
MVPN Inventory: Visibility of Multicast Tree path for a Data MDT through the core MPLS network by integrating with Multicast iSPI.
MVPN Tree Map
Layer 2 VPN's: MPLS iSPI supports discovery and monitoring of both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint Pseudowires.
PW Inventory:Provides visibility into the PW's, their end-points and the type of PW's configured.
VPWS and VPLS Inventory:Map views launched from the inventory of VPWS and VPLS provides the topology of PW formation for VPWS and VPLS with respective PW id's, end-points and attachment circuit information overlaid with fault information.
TE Tunnel Inventory: Provides an inventory of all MPLS TE Tunnels with intermediate hop information, bandwidth and endpoints.
Visualization of TE Tunnel path with intermediate hops is available for each TE Tunnel discovered.
TE Tunnel Map
LSP Inventory: Inventory of service-oriented LSP's explicitly chosen for monitoring. This can include LSP's of both L3 VPN services and L2 VPN services whichever the customer deems important for monitoring purposes. A visualization of selected LSP path with connections of intermediate hops is also available from LSP Inventory.
SDP Inventory: New inventory added as part of 10.0 release of MPLS iSPI. This provides a way to track impact of services configured on Alcatel devices as SDP's (Service Distribution Points).
MPLS iSPI reports: Availability reports for all monitored MPLS services are made available by having Perfromance product integrated with NNMi.
Reports of MTTR and MTBF are made available for L3 VPN Services to help troubleshooting SLA breaches.
Venkatesh is a CCNA/CCNP certified professional with 16+ years of experience as a n/w operator, administrator, designer , QA engineer and currently in the role of technical consultant assisting medium to large enterprises & Service providers in adopting NMC suite of products.He is also responsible for getting the feedback/comments from customers back to R&D influencing the release of appealing products.
Venkatesh has a B.E degree in Electronics & Communication from University of Mysore and C-PGDBA from Symbiosis Pune, India.