Accelerating Service Quality Insights from Months to Minutes
Since 2005, Expandium has provided customers in the mobile telecommunications and transportation industries with next-generation network monitoring and analysis solutions designed to enable intelligent management and optimization of every aspect of a large network—from the customer experience to service quality management.
Companies that can harness and make sense of the data that surges tsunami-like through their worlds can do amazing things. Some of these things are quantifiable, like the ability to analyze billions of data points in seconds. Other things are somewhat less quantifiable but even more critical, like keeping your customers happy.
Expandium has found that Actian enables its customers to accomplish all these amazing things and more.
Meeting the Analytical Needs of Large Network Operators
Expandium builds analytical operational support systems (OSS) for telecommunications and transportation companies throughout the world. Its customers include small and large mobile telecommunications service providers as well as rail service providers. One might think these worlds have little in common, but both operate networks filled with huge volumes of data that require constant monitoring.
“One of our mobile telecommunications customers needed a way to monitor and analyze its network traffic for anomalies,” explains Christophe Daguin, Technical Director at Expandium. “Their network generates 5 billion call records each day, and they wanted to be able to analyze the latest 10 days’ worth of calls at any time—that’s 50 billion records—so that they could spot trends and make any adjustments needed to ensure that service delivery lived up to SLAs.”
In the Actian hybrid cloud data warehouse (formerly known as Actian Vector), Expandium found the perfect combination of features and performance that it needed for the network intelligence platform it was building for its customers. Actian can run in the cloud, on-premises, or in a configuration blending both. Its powerful vector processing features enable Expandium to exploit CPU cache to perform analyses at speeds up to 100x faster than would be possible in RAM, even when using industry standard hardware. Given that a typical monitoring and analysis system from Expandium might consist of a Hadoop cluster with eight nodes, each with two 10-core CPUs, 12TB of disk storage, and 320GB of memory, Actian can rapidly deliver the insights that Expandium’s customers are seeking—no matter their size or the size of their networks.
“The performance of Actian was impressive,” says Daguin, “but equally important was its flexibility and scalability. By using Actian we could enable our customers to ensure that they were handling their customers’ call records in a manner that complies with the privacy requirements protecting personally identifiable information. At the same time, Actian can scale to meet the needs of even the largest providers.”
Delivering the Insights
When it comes to providing timely insights, the network intelligence solutions that Expandium offers are proving to be indispensable.
“We’ve had customers tell us that analyses that used to take months in Excel now take only minutes with Actian,” says Daguin.
Actian provides data visualization tools that enable Expandium to present network intelligence in easy-to-digest formats, even when operators are reviewing huge data sets. “They may be watching 50 billion records, but they can visualize the network and easily identify trouble spots,” says Daguin. “They can drill down immediately to see the details of any equipment or any call on the network. They can also perform ad hoc queries without encountering any performance degradation. That enables them to troubleshoot and address problems very quickly, which in turn ensures that they can maintain their SLAs and keep their customers happy.”
How do they know their customers are happy? Among Expandium’s mobile telco customers, end user satisfaction survey ratings are high and churn levels are low.
“We could not deliver these kinds of insights using a traditional relational database,” says Daguin. “Just creating and maintaining the required indexes would be impossible. But with the vector database in Actian, we can deliver near-real-time analytics, enabling our customers to manage their networks far more efficiently and effectively.”