Combat Tool Sprawl and Alert Apathy with a Single Solution
Most broadband service providers (“BSPs”) use multiple hardware and software platforms to create a network that originates from a central core and extends across miles to homes and businesses of the BSP’s service area. Usually, the network is built on platforms from any number of companies (e.g., Calix, Adtran, Cisco, etc.), each offering its own tools to monitor their piece of the network. At the same time, BSPs manage internal networks (and tools) to run proprietary systems including, but not limited to, their websites, email, authentication software, and firewall security.
Using an excessive variety of tools to keep your network and internal systems humming for your customers can lead to the dreaded “tool sprawl”. Network World describes tool sprawl as a situation that “occurs when organizations acquire licenses (or not, in the case of open source) for multiple tools that tackle related, but not completely overlapping, issues.” When you have multiple tools helping you manage your networks, monitoring each tool becomes burdensome. When you’re constantly bombarded by notifications, alerts, updates, and other messages that demand your attention, it can be easy to fall prey to alert apathy: if everything is important, nothing is important. If everything needs your attention, nothing gets your attention. Unfortunately, some of these alerts are important, and your network can experience outages while you’re tuning them out. The question becomes, “How best to prioritize and effectively address the key issues?” An integrated solution can help start to solve this problem.
On March 31st, ISPN’s parent company acquired iGLASS Networks (“iGLASS”), a North Carolina-based provider of network monitoring services that helps companies fight tool sprawl and alert apathy. iGLASS started over 25 years ago, playing a major role in increasing provider uptime and customer satisfaction by focusing on its unique monitoring capabilities: observing the availability and performance of the network, ranging from the network core all the way to the customer premises equipment (CPE) like DOCSIS modems, digital video set-top boxes, business class circuits and more.
Today, iGLASS combines a quarter century of monitoring expertise with a fully managed platform. Their platform offers companies a view of their heterogeneous network’s performance via a “single pane of glass” (defined by TechTarget as “a management console that presents data from multiple sources in a unified display”). In other words, iGLASS combines various tools’ monitoring capabilities into a single, managed platform with the capability to pinpoint where in the network an outage or impairment is occurring. iGLASS works with dozens of BSPs, along with enterprise clients in the finance, healthcare, and IT industries.
The managed platform that iGLASS offers is customized for each client based on the specific environment they’ve built and their desired level of performance monitoring. The development of new modules is customer-driven, so even if iGLASS hasn’t worked with a particular platform in the past, their team of experts can develop the integration. In many cases, iGLASS renders legacy monitoring systems redundant, resulting in cost savings for their clients.
For broadband service providers, the benefit is clear. In the past, alerts from multiple systems would inform the BSP of an outage, but the dispersed alerts made the exact location of the problem difficult to track down. Only through a “swivel chair interface”—that is, switching from one system to another on multiple open tabs or screens—could the BSP try to locate the problem.
By contrast, when an alert appears on the iGLASS platform—whether the BSP handles their own monitoring or calls on iGLASS’ 24/7 NOC staff—it provides a holistic view and identifies precisely where the problem most likely resides (at the core, somewhere in the middle mile, at the customer’s premises, etc.). From there, the BSP can quickly deploy the right technician to the right location, effectively solving the problem and restoring service. Network downtime is minimized, which leads to better customer satisfaction, more efficient use of the BSP’s staff, and improved employee morale.
iGLASS offers BSPs impressive visibility into their networks and the health of customer equipment, with out-of-the-box support for DOCSIS, Adtran GPON (TA5K), Calix GPON (CMS, SMx & DPx) and Cambium fixed wireless. The iGLASS managed platform is an innovative, integrated, and efficient way to monitor your network. ISPN is now proud to share the same ownership as iGLASS, as iGLASS looks to ISPN for our HelpDesk and other support and network services.
ISPN provides expert solutions for Broadband and Internet Service Providers nationwide, including telcos, electric cooperatives, municipalities, cable operators, WISPs, and MDUs. Click here to get in touch, or you can reach us by email or phone at 866-584-4776.