Alexander Havang, Procera’s CTO, started using the term “decorate” to describe what Procera does to the data that we collect on the network awhile ago. Although “decorate” may bring up visions of brightly lit Christmas trees or a beautifully put together room in your house, it is extremely appropriate for what we do to data.

Just like decorating a tree or a room makes it more attractive, adding structure or context to network data can be of huge value to a broadband operator. Let me give an example of how decorating data makes it more valuable.

Data Collection version 1: IP Address 192.168.1.1 sent 430000 bytes to 172.16.1.1

Data Collection version 2: Bob Jones, a subscriber with a Bronze plan using an iPhone 6 in Times Square, started watching Netflix and the network is dropping 10% of the packets in the access network.

Which of the data collections above is more useful to an operator looking to ensure that their subscribers have a good experience? With version 2 of the data, the operator can immediately take a number of different actions:

  1. Optimize the network to eliminate the heavy packet loss.
  2. Offer Bob a turbo boost to give him more bandwidth for the video session.
  3. Alert Customer Care dashboard in case Bob calls to complain.
  4. Proactively send Bob a message acknowledging the congestion and assure that it will be addressed shortly.
  5. Upsell Bob to a video plan that zero rates video traffic. (#BingeOn anyone?)

Many operators are investing heavily in Small Data or Fast Data (depending on your preference) in order to enhance their Service Assurance projects and engage their subscribers more effectively. Heavy Reading has done a number of surveys over the past few years, each showing an increasing importance and budget spend in this area.

Today, Procera is announcing a product that leverages our PacketLogic technology called eVolution – a virtual-only data probe that can deliver exactly this kind of information to an operator’s real-time data systems. eVolution is delivered as a VNF in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) terminology, and will enable network operators to orchestrate eVolution instances as the MANO standards mature and are deployed. In the meantime, we are delivering our own VNF manager and license manager as part of the solution that drastically simplifies the creation and deployment of eVolution VNFs. The cost model and deployment flexibility delivered by leveraging the power of virtualization dramatically brings down the cost of acquiring the type of data I spoke of earlier in the post, and we believe that this will empower broadband operators to accelerate their transformation that has been started by the shift to software defined networks and NFV.

But wait …. there’s more! I will have some follow-up details on eVolution in the coming weeks (if you want to see more, check here now), the real-time portion of the solution is just the beginning of the decorations on that Christmas tree that I mentioned earlier. Think of eVolution as our early Christmas present to the Big Data market.