Verizon: Visualizing Network Reliability in Real-Time with OmniSci
Verizon, one of the biggest telecommunication carriers in the United States, offers wireless products and services to over 150 million subscribers.
Verizon’s core network team is tasked with ensuring network reliability of voice, data, and VOIP calls. The team monitors this data as it streams in－terabytes per week from multiple platforms. Network reliability is critical to Verizon, and monitoring and analyzing this data is paramount to sustain network reliability, and to continue to provide the level of service Verizon customers expect.
Yet analyzing the massive scale of this data proved to be a daunting task. Verizon’s existing analytics solutions were unable to efficiently handle the volume and velocity of it all, about 10 billion records per week. Network reliability reports took far too long to produce, meaning that a degradation or outage would take too long to identify and resolve, resulting in unhappy customers.
Verizon network analysts couldn’t rely on these reports alone, which forced them to manually look through hundreds of millions of rows of records for trend analysis. The sheer volume of operational data meant that the team was unable to spot network anomalies, or identify network trends that consumed unusual or unplanned network resources.
“We're in the terabytes weekly of data generation and it’s just not humanly possible to parse through that, either with our own scripts or our eyeballs. We just can't see what all is in there,” says a Verizon Platform Engineer.
“We're in the terabytes weekly of data generation and it's just not humanly possible to parse through that, either with our own scripts or our eyeballs. We just can't see what all is in there.”
Performance & Ease of Use
For any major Enterprise, adopting new technology can be a challenge. Verizon tried an array of analytics solutions, each promising to handle their unique data challenges. Setup time often took months. Yet one of their biggest obstacles was user adoption.
“Finding the right tool to address data challenges is a difficult task, there’s so much on the market and it’s hard to bring them all in for demos,” says a Sr. Manager of Technology at Verizon. “We had significant challenges in finding a product that gave us the performance we were looking for, especially one with the entry level learning curve that facilitated people wanting to use the tool.”
Accelerating the Frequency of Decision Making
Verizon initially tried OmniSci for its high performance, accelerated operational analytics, but quickly discovered that OmniSci met more than just Verizon’s performance needs. “Getting OmniSci up and running, in a large environment like Verizon, was one of the better experiences that I've had in deploying a tool,” says the Sr. Manager. “The OmniSci technical team was a joy to work with and that was key to us deploying so quickly.”
For OmniSci and Verizon, that was only the start of the journey. Verizon was soon using OmniSciDB to process billions of rows of data in real-time, which allowed them to monitor network performance in OmniSci Immerse and maintain its high standards of network reliability. Never before had Verizon been able to process and visualize such data volume with such velocity.
“The moment that I saw 6 billion rows of our data for the first time on a dashboard, it was like a muddy windshield was suddenly cleared, and I could see the whole road and all around me,” adds the Platform Engineer.
Verizon analysts were soon spending less time researching problems while arriving at solutions far more quickly. It also gave them time to deep-dive into their data to make more data-driven decisions, as well as to accelerate the frequency of their decision making.
What cemented OmniSci as the solution of choice for Verizon was the ease of installation and use, which helped drive adoption rates throughout the organization and created a single tool across multiple data centers and business units. “The usability of the platform really has far exceeded our expectations. We've had folks go in and, within a few minutes, started to create dashboards of their own. That sort of tool adoption rate is, in my view, kind of unheard of in this space,” quips the Sr. Manager. "Now everyone from engineers and planners, and managers on up to directors is using OmniSci for the visibility it gives us into our data."
"Now everyone from engineers and planners, and managers on up to directors is using OmniSci for the visibility it gives us into our data."
Network Reliability Reports in Seconds
With the help of OmniSci, Verizon’s network reliability reports now take mere seconds to produce, down from over 20 minutes. This allows Verizon analysts to quickly identify customer impacting issues across the network. Verizon engineers now derive insights faster as well, as they spot immediate problems and long-term trends in a few minutes, down from over 45 minutes.
With the ability to analyze massive data volumes at scale, and with growing user adoption, Verizon is discovering new ways of using OmniSci. “So far, with OmniSci, we've been able to solve multiple data problems across multiple platforms, and even across different environments. Instead of just network events and logs, we've actually done it with financial data, with spreadsheets, with smaller datasets that people may not normally look into for performance related data analytics,” states the Sr. Manager.
Verizon is also leveraging the OmniSci's accelerated analytics to deliver WiFi services in several major U.S. stadiums. The core network team uses OmniSci to view network traffic and resolve stadium authentication and connection issues during short, two-to-three hour stadium events. “Now we have access to this stadium data in near real-time, so now we analyze what's going on at the event and we can provide the type of in-stadium service that our customers expect,” the Sr. Manager adds.
OmniSci is also saving Verizon money by giving the company the ability to do data forensics and to identify misbehaving devices and rogue users that hog up inordinate resources. These users and devices derail Verizon’s resource calculations and allocations. “It costs Verizon money because we plan for a certain level of traffic or transactions. When you find out there's these rogue devices or rogue users, you have to go back and revisit your calculations, and you have to be able to hunt these devices down,” claims the Platform Engineer.
Accelerating Analytics Throughout the Enterprise
Verizon understands the huge opportunity in leveraging data in every aspect of its business, and this team is reaching out to business owners throughout the organization to explore those opportunities with OmniSci. One of those opportunities is in preventative maintenance.
“We're basically looking at a five day rolling window, currently about nine billion rows, and we’re deep-diving into that data to prevent future problems and troubleshoot issues before they impact our customers,” Verizon’s Sr. Manager explains.
To learn more about achieving telecommunication network reliability with OmniSci, see the demo video, or play with an interactive demo of a real telecommunication data set, visit our website.