Loral Skynet combats network downtime with Allot traffic managementSatellite services provider Loral Skynet can now prevent disruption from natural disasters or network outages, and offer usage based services, due to the implementation of a traffic management solution
For most companies, the network is the lifeblood of the business making it critical to have the network up and running at all times. As a supplier of satellite communications, Loral Skynet has to understand these demands on behalf of its customers. Loral Skynet, a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications, transports high-quality data, voice and video content for television programming, telephony, business communications, high-quality audio, broadband and Internet connectivity to more than 400 businesses, government agency and network service provider companies around the world. As part of the companyâs business continuity offering, Loral Skynet has developed SkyReach Ensure, a solution designed to help Loral Skynet customers reduce the potential for network downtime in the event of a ground disaster or network downtime. Launched in June 2006, SkyReach Ensure allows business, government agency and service provider customers to minimise Internet Protocol (IP)-data network interruptions, 80 per cent of which are due to human error and terrestrial network vulnerabilities. It achieves continuity by allowing customers to transfer IP data traffic (from public or private networks) to Loral Skynetâs satellite communications network, without compromising network performance.Following the launch of SkyReach Ensure, ongoing customer feedback led Loral Skynet to decide to enhance the continuity offering with integrated network management capabilities. The improved visibility and monitoring capabilities into the customer networks will allow Loral Skynet to ensure network quality, while tracking usage rates and meeting the demand for usage-based billing and on-demand services. Traditionally in the satellite business, most providers offer satellite services for a flat fee, providing services in large blocks of time. As more companies look to cut costs, however, customers are increasingly looking for services offered on a per-usage basis.âWith companies trying to do more with less, weâre finding most customers demanding usage-based packages and billing for a very accurate count of bandwidth usage and the ability to order services only when needed,â said Brian Skimmons, General Manager, Network Services, Loral Skynet. âCompanies have very unique network requirements these days and we needed to meet these requests to retain customers, grow the business and offer a service not typically provided by our competition.âTo achieve visibility into the networks, Loral Skynet implemented a broadband management device from Allot Communications. The NetEnforcer AC-400, capable of handling up to 192,000 connections and with a maximum throughput of 100 Mbps full duplex, works with the SkyReach suite to provide critical network insight to help Loral Skynet customers safeguard their information and network performance in the event of natural disasters or everyday outages.Based on deep packet inspection (DPI), the NetEnforcer AC-400 gives Loral Skynet greater visibility into customer networks to inspect, identify and analyse hundreds of applications and protocols and to track subscriber behaviour. the NetEnforcer AC-400 then allocate the bandwidth to classified flows according to the Loral Skynet traffic management policy. In this way, the NetEnforcer provides granular visibility and control to help Loral Skynet optimise network speed, content delivery and performance of services on the network.âTo guarantee bandwidth availability, we needed to be able to prioritise traffic and shape traffic flows on the network in real-time,â Skimmons said. âNetEnforcer AC-400 is a perfect solution, offering the ability to shape traffic so that customers involved in an outage can immediately have access to the level of bandwidth they require to maintain operations.â Loral Skynet has been able to improve overall bandwidth management and utilisation monitoring with the NetEnforcer AC-400. The company can now ensure that any contingency network will be sized to meet the bandwidth that customers need, when they need it. In addition, Loral Skynet is now able to provide options for dedicated usage, dynamic usage or volume-based billing so that customers pay for exactly they use.âItâs critical that our customers only pay based on their level of usage,â Skimmons said. âWith NetEnforcer AC-400, we can determine exactly how much bandwidth each customer has used, and bill appropriately.â Another area where NetEnforcer delivers key benefits is its reporting features, which help customers meet their internal quality of service metrics: âNow more than ever, customers are in need of as much information about their network usage to save costs and ensure they are maximising resources,â said Skimmons. âThe NetEnforcer has been instrumental in helping us accommodate our customer needs for leveraging âalways onâ networks with rollover capabilities in the event of a outage or widespread disaster,â he added. Loral Skynet also uses NetEnforcer to help ensure accurate billing. âWhen customers turn on their request for service, the NetEnforcer sends us notification that the customer is using our solution. From there, we start to track usage to ensure that all service time is accurately recorded,â added Skimmons. Now that the NetEnforcer is part of its network infrastructure, Loral Skynet can segment volume usage from multiple site locations for business continuity solutions. In the event of a network disruption, Allot provides Loral Skynet with service protection, control and differentiation. As a result, the satellite services provider is now able to provide its customers with a one-stop-shop approach, resulting in greater cost-savings and faster implementation. The Allot network management tools now mean Loral Skynet can now provide customers with a global reach, optimum network capacity, and more importantly, maximum uptime.
Author: Antoine Guy, Marketing Director, EMEA
Bio.: Allot Communications
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