Published on 22-Nov-2010
"The key advantages of IBM Intelliden software include its unique approach to modeling device configurations, real-time state awareness and flexible policy framework, which enable greater standardization, accuracy and consistency across our network." - —Minaz Vastani, Vice President, Operations Support Systems (OSS), Cbeyond
Cbeyond, a next-generation service provider of IT and communications services to tens of thousands of small businesses throughout the United States
Support aggressive growth plans to become a next-generation IT and communications provider with competitive prices.
Eliminate error-prone manual network provisioning and achieve greater standardization by automating configuration management activities and enforcing network-wide policies.
Optimizes service delivery and improves the customer's experience; enables accurate device configurations; helps ensure policy and compliance management; significantly reduces the need for technicians onsite.
Cbeyond, a next-generation service provider of IT and communications services to tens of thousands of small businesses throughout the United States faced several challenges in meeting aggressive growth targets.
Early on, Cbeyond realized that in order to deliver the advanced value-added services that businesses would require in the future, it couldn’t rely on the outdated technology and operational and financial models of traditional service providers.
The answer was in providing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions. But the challenge would be to build and maintain a technology infrastructure capable of rapidly and dependably delivering these advanced voice, mobile and broadband services and applications to customers with a price tag small businesses could afford. The pricing structure would also have to return a profit to Cbeyond.
Like other traditional telcos and large enterprises shifting to next-generation networks, Cbeyond couldn’t afford network service interruptions. It would have to deliver the highest levels of network uptime, security and performance while facing ever increasing network complexity, stringent compliance mandates, shortening maintenance windows and budget pressures. Its IT managers and engineers would have to face these daily challenges under tight budgets and with limited human resources. And as a managed service provider, they would be dealing with larger than ever network configurations commanding hundreds of thousands of command line interfaces (CLIs) to manage their Operations Support Systems (OSS).
“We needed a standards-based solution that would shield the complexities of device CLI-based configurations from our OSS personnel and easily integrate with our other OSS applications to enable flow-through provisioning,” recalls Minaz Vastani, vice president of Operations Support Systems at Cbeyond. “We also wanted the same solution for our network engineering and operations for automating configuration management activities and enforcing network-wide policies to drive greater consistency and reduce errors usually associated with manual tasks.”
Zero-touch provisioning of voice and data services
Cbeyond was interested in IBM® Intelliden™ software (now IBM Tivoli® Netcool® Configuration Manager) because of its ability to automate configuration changes and enforce engineering standards and policies for “zero-touch provisioning” of voice and data services. This meant there would be no need for network managers to write configuration scripts every time a new device had to be added to the network or every time operational, regulatory or security policies changed.
IBM Intelliden software would automatically validate device configurations and resolve non-compliant conditions. This is a critical technology “fix” because in complex network environments the risk for errors that can lead to downtime and outages greatly increases every time engineers (with varying skill levels) have to manually configure any of the thousands of devices in the networks or respond to security alerts. This capability will free up time for their most experienced engineers and managers to focus their talents elsewhere.
“The key advantages of IBM Intelliden software include its unique approach to modeling device configurations, real-time state awareness and flexible policy framework, which enable greater standardization, accuracy and consistency across our network,” adds Vastani.
After an extensive testing process, Cbeyond selected IBM Intelliden Network Configuration and Change Management (NCCM) and IBM Intelliden Policy Based Compliance Management (PBCM) applications (now IBM Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager software). These solutions are designed specifically for dynamic, complex and mission critical network environments, and they provide the highest levels of standardization, accuracy, automation and compliance. IBM Intelliden Policy Based Compliance Management is distinct in that it is able to meet and enforce an organization’s total network compliance needs—including regulatory, industry, security and operational.
“IBM Intelliden software was the best choice because it will save our OSS and network engineers valuable time through automation, and, as we grow, it will scale to manage and configure the thousands of network devices that will be required to bring our customers next generation services,” adds Vastani.
Cbeyond has deployed the IBM network management solution at its headquarters for provisioning, configuration and policy management of its world-class “all IP” Cisco network. It is in the process of deploying the software across the country to thousands of small businesses where it must manage customer premises equipment (CPE).
Already, the company reports that the solution has reduced network provisioning errors, automated network configuration and change management functions, and delivered greater visibility into policy compliance across its mission-critical network. The solution’s emphasis on zero-touch provisioning will also reduce technician time onsite at its customer facilities. With its network running smoothly, the company is able to focus on the business of serving its own customers with the advanced IT and communications services they require.
- IBM® Intelliden™ Network Configuration and Change Management and IBM Intelliden Policy Based Compliance Management (now IBM Tivoli® Netcool® Configuration Manager)
For more information
To learn more about IBM Tivoli Netcool software, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/tivoli
You can get even more out of Tivoli software by participating in independently run Tivoli User Groups around the world. Learn about opportunities near you at: www.tivoli-ug.org
Additionally, financing solutions from IBM Global Financing can enable effective cash management, protection from technology obsolescence, improved total cost of ownership and return on investment. Also, our Global Asset Recovery Services help address environmental concerns with new, more energy-efficient solutions. For more information on IBM Global Financing, visit: ibm.com/financing
For more information on Cbeyond, visit: www.cbyeond.net
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Tivoli Netcool Configuration Manager
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America November 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Intelliden, Netcool and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. TIC14126-USEN-00