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Explorer Traffic Engineering
The Explorer Traffic Engineering application (TE application) is an example of the intelligent automation capabilities that can be achieved with the Blue Planet® Route Optimization and Assurance (ROA) products. (Former Packet Design)

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Explorer Traffic Engineering System

The Explorer Traffic Engineering (Explorer TE) application is an example of the intelligent, software-driven orchestration features that can be achieved with the Blue Planet Route Optimization and Assurance (ROA) product.

Explorer TE uses ROA's comprehensive IP/MPLS network telemetry and analysis to automate the difficult and time-consuming task of balancing network loads.
This is done by creating Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP-TE) or Segment Routing (SR-TE) tunnels to shift traffic from heavily-congested connections to less used connections. This results in better overall utilization of network resources and smoother service delivery.

The TE application leverages multiple ROA components, including real-time IGP and BGP routing telemetry, traffic matrices, a policy-based path calculation and optimization engine, to deliver new engineering tunnels via Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO) or a third-party SDN controller. Access to these components is via open RESTful APIs.

Significant advantages

  • Optimising and balancing the use of network resources through redistribution of traffic loads.
  • Increase network efficiency and maximize the return on infrastructure investment.
  • Rapidly resolve service delays caused by overloaded links.
  • Eliminate the risk of service degradation due to misjudgements with analytically oriented recommendations.
  • Avoid unplanned business interruptions through error-free, automated traffic engineering.
  • Adjustment of multiple service requests by generating traffic matrices for different times and workload profiles.
  • Easy integration of third-party data sources and technologies such as traffic matrices, optimization algorithms and orchestrators.

Product Capabilities

Assessing the Opportunity for Optimization

The TE application evaluates the current network state to determine if optimization is necessary and possible. All network performance is summarized into a single display for the current set of paths and traffic demands, graphically showing maximum connection load, maximum delay, and maximum number of hops. It also shows the number of links that are not overloaded, moderately overloaded, and heavily overloaded. The goal of the TE application is to reduce the load on these overloaded links.

Traffic Matrices

The traffic-demand matrices of the TE application display the traffic volume between each input and output router and mark the most congested links along the path for each ingress-egress pair. The specific path for each pair can be easily displayed by right-clicking on that cell in the traffic matrice and clicking "Show Map". The TE application supports full-mesh traffic engineering as well as tactical traffic engineering to resolve isolated traffic jams.

The user can select a specific day, week, month or period for the calculations and use either the maximum, minimum or 95th percentage load factor. By specifying a "Maximum load per link" value, each connection with a load above this threshold is selected and its input and output routers are automatically derived. Router groups can also be manually selected for the Traffic Matrix.

For full-mesh traffic engineering, all edge routers are selected; for certain sections of the network, only the associated routers are selected. Multiple traffic-demand matrices can be created simultaneously and optimized for either the same time or different times of day to meet the needs of different services on the network.

If desired, traffic matrices can be imported and used instead of those generated by Blue Planet ROA. Optimization algorithms from third-party providers can also be called up. This plug-and-play capability is enabled by the REST APIs.

Policy-Based Path Computation & Optimization

The TE application user can set policies to define allowed tunnel characteristics. The policy determines which path optimization algorithm to use, either a fast, global, constraint-based optimization algorithm or a capacity optimization algorithm. Policy settings also determine whether traffic can be split across multiple paths between input and output routers or not, based on bandwidth rate. Multi-path traffic splitting makes sense when not a single path has sufficient capacity to meet demand. The guidelines support even more optimization options, including the creation of various paths, the under- or over-delivery of TE tunnels, and the balancing of traffics based on load or bandwidth.

Intelligent Orchestration

The path calculation and optimization engine calculates the optimal RSVP-TE or segment routing tunnel configurations at the click of a mouse and makes them available to the user as recommendations.The SDN-TE application presents before and after measures for maximum link utilization, delay and number of hops, and distribution of link utilization. These metrics provide an overview of the impact of the calculated new paths on network utilization.

The user can override one or all of the recommendations, and if he is confident that the new TE tunnel configurations will have the desired effect, another click of the mouse signals the Blue Planet ROA product to communicate these paths via its Northbound API to Blue Planet MDSO or a third-party SDN controller. The controller configures the paths in the network devices using a southbound protocol and ensures that the paths are persistent. When the new tunnels are signaled by the routers, they are immediately detected and appear in the ROA's real-time routing topology model, creating a closed analysis and automation process. The user can update or disconnect the tunnels at any time using the Explorer TE application.

The RESTful APIs of the ROA product enable integration with third-party orchestration and OSS/BSS solutions. This means that the ROA products can be implemented with the TE application as a standalone solution or as part of a multi-vendor, multi-domain and even multi-layer orchestration ecosystem.

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