Minimize field activities caused by power outages

Minimize field activities caused by power outages

The whole network suffers without electricity

We as network and service operations engineers often tend to forget that our network, data center, cloud and customer services all depend on one essential resource – electric power. And when there is an outage, services go down.

This has impact to both your core and access network as well as customer premises equipment (CPEs). The blow is felt even more when appropriate UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) and power engines are not in place. CPEs are especially vulnerable and they shut down when a company’s facility is experiencing fluctuations in power or a complete outage.

The graph below represents the number of electrical outages in firms in a typical month worldwide in 2018, by region:

graph below represents the number of electrical outages in firms in a typical month worldwide in 2018, by region

Electric outages burn out field technicians

A typical issue telecoms face is uncertainty when a customer reports service is down or degraded. Yes, the most evident plan of action when remote efforts cannot help or makes no sense is to send field technicians to take a look. However, they often figure out that everything is fine and they simply change the CPE to make sure the problem won’t pop up again.

But the problem repeats itself because very often the issue is with the power supply. Blindly sending your field technicians only increases your costs and the dissatisfaction of your customers.

So the obvious step you can take is to monitor devices and try to detect faults that are really related to power supply (short outages or voltage and frequency fluctuations). Only then can you really know when to send your field technicians and implement a solution that will prevent similar events from happening again.

UMBOSS is here to help

The best solution is to collect as much data as possible, pinpoint critical locations, and resolve the issue. When deployed, UMBOSS tracks all relevant variables on CPE equipment such as:

  • Router uptime
  • Router availability
  • Environment variables (voltage, temperature, fan status)

Some CPEs (such as many Cisco and Juniper router models) are able to send notification before a power outage occurs. UMBOSS is capable of monitoring and detecting threshold violations preceding the shutdown of CPEs.

By using UMBOSS’s analytical functionalities one can also correlate CPE outages with physical locations. For instance, by detecting multiple locations in the same neighborhood that become unavailable at the same time frame you conclude there is power outage.

Self-learning algorithms can learn standard behaviors of a CPE and identify locations with power outages in regular intervals (e.g. every day around noon) or identify top-N locations with frequent power outages.

Furthermore, locations with the most frequent outages can be equipped with IoT smart power switch outlets or rack mountable power strips with environmental sensors. Alarms from the outlets can be correlated with CPE alarms to determine if power outage is the root cause of the problem.

Data collected by UMBOSS contributes to the decision to purchase CPE models that are more resilient to electric power and voltage variations in targeted areas.

Benefits of bringing UMBOSS on board

  • Lower field activities expenses
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Decreased equipment replacement cost
  • Quality assessment of different CPE models
  • Fast return on investment
Want to see UMBOSS in action?
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