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The Best Network Uptime Monitoring Tools to Increase Reliability

network uptime monitoring tools for telecom

On a normal day, your Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) is working fine. IP packets are being transmitted, and your customers are happily using the internet. But today's not a normal day - the node goes down. Service for all the business contracts you have goes down.

For your company, that's bad news. And it gets more frustrating when Service Level Agreements (SLAs) come into play. If the amount of downtime violates your SLA, you can be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Any SLA you have with a business or enterprise defines service level expectations, and that includes uptime. It can be very costly to break your SLA. That's why you need the best network uptime monitoring tools to increase reliability. Making sure you can monitor your network and keep every node running is the best way to keep you free of SLA penalties and keep your cash flowing in a positive direction.

The Importance of Keeping Your Telecom Network Running

No service provider has ever looked at an SLA and thought "piece of cake." And that's the way it should be. You are providing a vital service, and people are relying on you for service quality and availability.

Not all SLAs are the same. Some include greater flexibility for long-term agreements. Specific SLA metrics and terms, however, vary from customer to customer. Because large enterprises pay a premium price, that price often comes with quality and performance clauses. A high-end SLA guarantees 99.999% uptime which equates to about 12-13 minutes of downtime a year.

A high-end SLA guarantees 99.999% uptime which equates to about 12-13 minutes of downtime a year.

What happens when an SLA is violated?

There are a few potential negative results.

  • Financial Penalties. SLAs demand you to reimburse your customer for downtime. That can quickly add up to six figures and enormous amounts of work for no return. Some premium SLAs also account for specific fines that you will face for not being up and running. This also means that your cash is flowing in the wrong direction.
  • Service Credits. Service credits can include reimbursements, but more often they are credits for future work. This causes loss of income and results in potentially doing work for free. You'll be spending thousands of dollars on labor and technology and not getting anything in return.
  • License Extension and Support. An SLA violation could trigger a clause that guarantees a free license extension for a set amount of time. This also equates to using your time, material, and resources at no or with minimal return. You may also need to offer maintenance or other support for no cost.

An SLA could have just one of these penalties, or it could have all three. Either way, it comes down to direct material costs to you and reduction of your bottom line. All because of a bit of downtime.

The best way to handle this is to do whatever you can to prevent downtime. And that means employing the best network uptime monitoring tools.

Protect your SLA With The Best Network Uptime Monitoring Tools

It is impossible to prevent everything from going wrong. Most SLAs indemnify you against "Acts of God" and natural disasters (the "force majeure" clause). But you are responsible for anything that is considered preventable, and that is a long list.

That's why many telecom companies invest in monitoring systems to help them fix problems, predict what will happen, and prevent downtime. There are a few main parts to this.

Remote Telemetry Units

Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs) let operators monitor events throughout their network. A network of RTUs allows you to:

  • Manage your network more efficiently.
  • Keep your Service Level Agreements to your customers.
  • Keep money flowing in the right direction.

An RTU lets you monitor what is happening in your network while generating reports so that you can keep abreast of any potential problems. This can help you allocate your precious resources to fix what is important before it results in any downtime.

An RTU lets you monitor what is happening in your network while generating reports so that you can keep abreast of any potential problems.

Some RTUs also let you remotely control site gear, which enables you to handle challenges no matter where you are at a given time. You can even program control relays to handle issues automatically, so you don't have to waste any time or human resources.

The Master Station

A vital part of any monitoring process is the Master Station. This puts control of your alarms directly into your hands. You will be able to program all of your alarms in order to decide what is needed and what isn't. That's vital information.

Information is the key to saving money. By deciding what events require which actions, you'll have better control of your resources. Some of the benefits of a Master Station include:

  • The ability to monitor all of your devices from one centralized location.
  • Immediate alerts as soon as events occur.
  • Complete visibility of all your sites, including alarm logs. You can analyze past events to better prepare for the future.

The Benefits of a Complete Monitoring System

Brought together, RTUs and Master Stations have a few major components that allow you to handle your operations in a discrete connected way.

  • Monitoring. Your network is diffuse, and you don't have the manpower to have everything manually tracked at all times. RTUs allow you to effectively monitor remote equipment and environmental information.
  • Event tracking. You can program your monitoring system to track hundreds of distinct events, from a system short to exposure to humidity. Every event is detected and then relayed to a central master, where a series of alerts are collated and relayed to you.
  • Predictive Maintenance. This allows you to fix a problem before it gets worse, by knowing what might happen in the future. You don't have to wait until there is an outage to repair something far away. You have the data to predict what needs to be fixed, and then you can do it, avoiding any downtime.
  • Intelligent Resource Deployment. The other side of this is that you don't have to respond to everything. You can relieve the costs of windshield time, sending people out to fix something that can be done remotely or even automatically.

Why Use the Best Network Uptime Monitoring Tools?

RTUs and Master Stations help you make sure you don't violate your SLAs. All of that protects your money and your business.

RTUs interface with a Master Station, which collects field data from all of your RTUs and displays them on one centralized computer screen.

RTUs interface with a Master Station, which collects field data from all of your RTUs and displays them on one centralized computer screen. This way you can actively see what is going on at all locations, receive alerts about potential problems, and address those areas to ensure streamlined operations.

While the best network uptime monitoring tools might be intricate, SLAs are simple. If you violate them, it costs you time and money. It costs you your reputation. It makes you spend resources you shouldn't be spending and wastes away bottom line profitability. Having RTUs and master stations helps you avoid all of that. That's why telecom companies look for experienced partners to increase their reliability.

When you need more uptime, you need a partner like DPS Telecom. We have the experience and expertise to help deploy best practices for any RTU or Master Station. Our technicians work with you to design and develop the best network uptime monitoring tools and system for your telecom business. If you'd like to inquire about pricing, get a quote today.

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