Typically network monitoring and change has been a reactive process, whereby support organisations are only involved once a problem has occurred. Network Capacity Planning seeks to transform this into a proactive approach by looking at the “as is” network and implementing changes. Capacity Planning forecasts utilisation to predict bandwidth bottlenecks and fluctuations which could potentially have a detrimental effect on network performance.
The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) required a tangible capability to utilise discovered information to inform key stakeholders in the proactive management of change in the Theatre network environment. The MOD wanted to develop a Capacity Planning capability for its network in a Theatre environment.
Net Consulting offered the Ministry of Defence industry experience, intimate product awareness, knowledge of Theatre network environments and the ability to work proactively and efficiently with MOD project teams. Net Consulting had existing trusted relationships with MOD delivery partners, support teams, and service fulfilment teams in the Global Operations Security Control Centre (GOSCC), and further afield.
Net Consulting exploited network configuration discoveries and traffic flows from the TN&SM project in order to create representative models of the Theatre Network environments which contain realistic user information flows.
Net Consulting were able to build accurate network models to highlight network behaviour across contractual and system boundaries. This resulted in a centralised model portraying how information flowed across system and Bearer networks. It revealed links that were running at high capacity, and consequently provided the MOD with visibility into their network.
The success of this project has resulted in the capacity planning team collaborating with JFCIS (Joint Force Communication & Information Systems) to assist in the HERRICK transition, in addition to sharing information across MOD departments such as the LSRC (Land System Reference Centre)
Capacity Planning has provided the MOD with the capability to model network changes in-house, to understand the impact of the changes, and the effect these changes will have on network capacity in an environment where bandwidth is constrained.
With the MOD dependent on reliable and robust information, it is becoming increasingly critical for them to understand their own services. Any capacity-restraint or degrading effect on the network could have a detrimental consequence.
Network Capacity Planning is a structured approach to understanding current usage patterns and predicting future bandwidth requirements, based on factual evidence extracted from the live network.
Historically JSP604 has been conducted in isolation of the live usage data for Theatre networks. Network Capacity Planning enhances this capability by replaying application transactions and predicted usage levels on top of live network data.
The MOD wanted hands-on support from experts capable of informing them with meaningful information, and advising them on how best to approach potential challenges. With a proven track record and working-knowledge, Net Consulting stood out in the marketplace and became the trusted partner to the MOD.
Network Capacity Planning is about understanding and balancing the needs and expectations of networks, services, applications, and users. Net Consulting approached Network Capacity Planning by solving several key questions:
Network Capacity Scenarios provide a structured approach to uncertainty. Net Consulting employed Network Capacity Scenario planning to help in risk assessment and uncertainty identification. By creating network capacity scenarios and assessing their likely impact on a network, it can be an effective way for the MOD to deal with unpredictable environments.
Net Consulting helped the MOD explore predefined scenarios; failure analysis, addition of applications, and the relocation of users. Analysing these and their associated consequences, Net Consulting assisted the MOD in considering what could unexpectedly occur, and subsequently advised on measures based on these scenarios.
Net Consulting aim to provide exceptional ongoing training that builds and extends professional, and technical skills in areas specific to each customer. For the MOD we set about developing a training programme which encompassed product specific training and capability drop-in surgeries; including product demonstration & capability briefings.
The MOD benefited from ongoing side-by-side training whilst the solution was implemented & analysed. Furthermore, Net Consulting covered specific surgery topics requested by the MOD, allowing implementation of a bespoke training plan.
To ensure Network Capacity Planning is an on-going success and continues to deliver a major benefit to the MOD, they have created a Network Capacity (NCAP) team which is supported by Net Consulting due to their deep technical understanding of military networks.