NETSCOUT nGeniusONE Review

Call search and Media Monitor were essential when we launched VoLTE


What is our primary use case?

We use it for a lot of VoLTE monitoring and network monitoring in general. Most of our services are being monitored via NG1.

How has it helped my organization?

It gives us increased visibility while conducting an IT deployment. For example, once we launched VoLTE, we had other tools in the network that we were using for some other use cases, but in terms of MOS scoring and general monitoring of how the VoLTE calls were doing, we were using the Media Monitor.

We're not really using it to proactively capture outages, like Zero-day outages for example, when there is something completely new. But once we detect an outage, we can then use the tool to understand what it was and create an alarm, and that can be used for future similar outages so we can avoid them in the future.

It also helps us get to root cause quickly. We had an Rx Diameter issue at some point in IMS, and without the product it would have taken us more time to be able to troubleshoot and figure out what was happening. With the product, we were able to use Universal Monitor right away to figure out the actual error code and understand the issue from there.

In terms of unified communication, that's the VoLTE modules and the MOS scores. We used it heavily when we launch VoLTE. Currently, we have monitors set up per region so that we can monitor VoLTE. We also have it per event, so when we know something is happening on a big scale and we really need close-up monitoring, we set it up specifically for that area or region or the particular cells, to monitor that particular event.

The solution has cut our overall troubleshooting time and has helped to increase our network uptime.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is VoLTE, for sure. The VoLTE modul, call search and Media Monitor were essential when we launched VoLTE. We're relying heavily on them to troubleshoot our VoLTE calls.

What needs improvement?

There is a lot of the VoLTE, voice, video MOS, and customer experience that we'd like to do. There's a lot of throughput analysis where we're trying to understand, with the vendor, whether it's accurate or we need more work on it. Those are our top priorities.

NG1 has been stable for a while in our environment - at least we have what we needed. But with nBA, there's a lot of room for improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is a tricky question. It is stable, but the way we use it, we have a lot of tweaks and a lot of specific and detailed configurations on the InfiniStream. It's a very manual process to configure it right now. We're also looking into ways to automate that and, hopefully, eliminate the human error.

So it's stable, but once you start doing more and more with it, there is always something happening in the background that we're not sure of, that fails or something happens, and we have to troubleshoot it and understand it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, on the NG1 side, it's been very easy to scale. We just go into InfiniStream if we need to and we can very easily link it to our same NG1.

In terms of actually needing to add new InfiniStream, this has been a challenge because we'd like to reduce costs. However, there are a lot of use cases where we absolutely have to have new hardware, which we don't like, but it is what it is.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is great. We have a dedicated team. We have two SEs onsite who work with us, plus the support engineer. With those three, we have great support.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't part of the initial setup, it was set up before my time. But I helped set up the NG1 part and it was fairly straightforward because we have very good SEs on site, plus the support team. Whenever we need something we reach out, and they support us right away.

What other advice do I have?

Get a demo. The guys at NETSCOUT have been super-helpful. Any time we ask for something they simply say, "Let's show it to you." They come onsite, give us a demo, show it to us, and if we like it we deploy it. We also have a sandbox, where we get our real traffic into the product in the early stages. We do all of our testing and all of our new builds in there before rolling to production, and that really helps.

Regarding the single pane of glass view, we have different views because we use different tools for different use cases. We can't really say that we have it in our network yet, but if we can work toward that, it would be good.

We have not used the Dependency Mapping the solution provides because our connections and relationship are way too complex. It's hard to see it on a visual screen.

The solution helps us with network uptime. It helps with user experience to some degree. We still have some caveats that we're trying to work on with NETSCOUT. We're using nBA now for user experience and there's some cool stuff coming up. We're looking forward to it.

I would rate nGenius at eight out of ten, because of the support and all the feedback we get. And at events, we get direct contact with their executive.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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