DALLAS, TX ? Access network equipment vendor Calix announced the launch of Compass, a suite of software applications designed to allow service providers to identify new revenue opportunities and reduce network operation costs.

Flow Analyzer, the first Compass application to market, is a real-time traffic flow analysis tool that delivers up-to-the-minute information about bandwidth utilization on a per-service, per-subscriber, per-location or per-interface basis. Flow Analyzer gives service providers increased visibility and manageability of their subscribers and their subscribers’ interactions with the network, providing the basis for better network management, proactive service management and improved subscriber experience.

“The capabilities of Compass Flow Analyzer have provided us with a high level of granularity in understanding traffic flows in our network, and we have been able to use this information to proactively address potential service-affecting issues,“ says Jerry Tilley, operations manager at Nemont Telephone Cooperative in Scobey, Mont. “For example, we know on a real-time basis which applications are consuming the most bandwidth in our network. With this tool, we can analyze the type of traffic and where demand is greatest. This helps us to understand where upgrades are needed, thus avoiding bottlenecks in the network. Our ability to proactively improve the customer’s service before they realize that there is a problem is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Flow Analyzer nonintrusively accesses real-time and historical network flow data, segments it by application and displays network utilization multidimensionally on a per-service and per-subscriber basis. This allows the service provider to quickly react to problems and opportunities and proactively address them in the network or directly with the subscriber before they affect service.

Like all Compass applications, Flow Analyzer follows a software-as-a-service model, in which the solution is hosted in a Calix data center and accessed via a secure Web connection. A monthly service fee based on the size of the subscriber network allows full access to Flow Analyzer; there are no upfront fees, hardware investments or long-term contract commitments.

Future Compass applications will address business data collection and reporting, customer-premises equipment configuration and management, customer self-care and service-level monitoring. Like Flow Analyzer, emerging Compass applications will be supported across the Calix Unified Access portfolio as well as any other access infrastructure.

Ethernet Service Assurance for Both P2P and GPON
In a separate announcement, Calix said its fiber access solutions – the E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP), the 760GX family of optical network terminals (ONTs) and the Calix Management System (CMS) – now allow service providers to ensure that their Ethernet services conform to service level agreements (SLAs) via industry-standard Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM). Calix says it is the first vendor to market an Ethernet assurance solution for GPON.

Tactically, Ethernet OAM is essential for service providers to demonstrate their adherence to SLAs that are increasingly required by business subscribers for mobile backhaul, mission-critical enterprise services and wholesale services. Strategically, meeting the needs of business subscribers is fundamental to the success of service providers’ fiber access initiatives.

Chris Emick, manager of network operations at SECOM, a division of the Southeast Colorado Power Association based in La Junta, Colo., says, “The new OAM enhancements to the Calix fiber access portfolio provide us with the tools we need to sell high-quality Ethernet service and predictable service-level agreements to demanding businesses and mobile providers. Our serving area is extensive, and having remote test heads and Ethernet monitoring tools embedded at the end of every circuit allows us to understand how an Ethernet service is performing without sending technicians out to the far corners of our network.”

OAM tools – available on any member of the Calix 760GX ONT family when deployed in conjunction with software release 1.2 on the Calix E7 ESAP – allow Calix customers to monitor, manage and report on SLAs they sell to their commercial customers. In addition, CMS can now provision and activate Y.1731 Performance Monitoring, 802.1ag Fault Management, and RFC2544 out of service testing by enabling Calix 760GX ONTs to function as remote test heads and RFC2544 “reflectors.” These enhancements fully automate the testing, fault detection, and performance monitoring of Ethernet circuits in the field.

Other features include enhanced alarming using 802.1ag continuity checks with remote defect indication (RDI), which notify the network operator when a service starts degrading, as well as CMS collection of Y.1731 performance data compiled at the ONT service edge, which enables the creation of historical reports and graphs to be used as SLA compliance mechanisms for the end customer.

All nine members of the Calix 760GX business services ONT family now support Ethernet OAM, making this solution available in a variety of port configurations, including rack-mounted as well as outdoor wall/pole-mounted versions.