Active Bandwidth Management
By Jun Yan
Background: Richard Naden, IT director of Dell Technologies, has presented a case of active bandwidth management at Dell. From his presentation, a number of questions can be identified and addressed from different perspectives. I would encourage you to listen to the recording of his presentation and try to develop your own understanding of the problem, and subsequently, propose your solution. This document just summarises my perception and understanding, thus should not be used to constrain your exploration of the problem.
Problem statement: Dell’s enterprise network categorises network traffic into classes (3 data classes and 1 video class) which have multiple Class of Service (CoS) requirements. All devices in the network (including the carrier devices) are configured statically to support predefined CoS requirements. As business is dynamic and often changes rapidly, Dell would like to develop a management solution for automatic management of CoS in the dynamic business environment.
Scenarios: The following scenarios might explain the problem but they are by no means exhaustive.
Scenario 1: The marketing unit of Dell is planning for a major marketing campaign. As a part of the planning, it needs to estimate the impact of marketing activities on the corporate infrastructure, including the network infrastructure. It is estimated that during the promotion, there will be 2000 more business transactions and 1000 more customer phone calls per day. Dell’s network management is able to proactively manage the network resources prior to the promotion, to ensure that adequate resources are assigned to support additional network traffic and satisfy SLAs for relevant classes. Once the promotion is over, changes need to be made to network again to ensure that network resources are used efficiently.
Scenario 2: Unexpectedly, Dell’s call center receives more customer phone calls that is was planned for. Before the customers experience problems like deteriorated call quality and call drops, Dell’s network management is able to detect this problem and react rapidly. Network configuration is updated to make sure that the quality of voice class complies with SLA.
Scenario 3: Although all the CoS requirements are met, Dell would like to find out if the current configuration is effective. Are the resources over-provisioned? Is the current configuration flexible to deal with traffic fluctuation? Are additional resources needed in the network and if the answer is yes, where the additional resources should be applied?
Scenario 4: Dell’s current communication to carriers is via email and phone call. It is often slow when the network conditions require quick response. Dell would like to have a solution to accelerate the communication with carriers. For example, can Dell’s network management system be integrated with the carrier’s management system? With proper authentication and authorisation, request/command/response can be exchanged in real time.
Further Suggestions: You can use FCAPS model, especially fault management, configuration management, and performance management, to explore the issues. Some research needs to be done on the topic like network planning, traffic shaping, differentiated service, bandwidth management, and so on.
ISIT302/MTS9302 – Corporate Network Management
Group Project Marking Sheet
Name (student id)
Criterion Marks Comments
Introduction clearly introduced background of the project including an overview of the network of the sponsor (Dell) (3 marks)
Problem statement clearly defines the problem to be addressed in this report.
Analysis of the current status including why the problems exist, the impact of these problems to the business. (3 marks)
Proposed solution which can be strategies, management framework, automation system, or a combination of them)
Conclusions (2 marks)
References and presentation (both written and verbal)
Word limit: 4000