Analytics/Big Data

Allot Goes Deep in Big-Data Analytics Game

Allot is the latest vendor to pitch a big-data analytics platform designed for the fixed and mobile operators, but the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist has the advantage over many of its specialist rivals by already being deep inside many operator networks.

The Israel-based company, known for its deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities and mobile video optimization technology, announced its big-data analytics platform, ClearSee, on Tuesday morning. Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT) is promising rich layer 7 data analysis that provides quality of experience (QoE) insight down to the application, subscriber, and device level.

Allot is well placed to do this, since it has access to much of the source information via its DPI service gateway engine, which lets it identify and differentiate data traffic in the network core. ClearSee delivers a set of reports based on that data, but operators also have the options of customizing the data they're given to highlight specific queries and generate visual results.

Thanks to its acquisition of mobile video optimization vendor Ortiva last year, that data includes specific records for every over-the-top video delivered across the monitored network, including details about the video source, contact used, number of users, and stats on what QoE the end user is getting, according to Andrei Elefant, VP of product management and marketing at Allot. (See Allot Snaps Up Ortiva Wireless.)

"We are going much deeper into the video stream to identify where the end user experience stalls or not," he says.

Elefant says the reports are either analyzed by the operator's engineers, operations, or marketing department, depending on what it hopes to accomplish with the data. In the US, he says, marketing is typically the primary concern, as network operators want to monetize their data through third parties: In other parts of the world, most are looking initially at improving the network QoE.

Allot will offer ClearSee either on a dedicated system or, if the operator is implementing network functions virtualization (NFV), on virtual machines. Clearsee is also available as a managed service. Elefant notes that it offering integrates with big-data platforms from other vendors and even with home-grown analytics systems.

The big-data market -- which will be the subject of a live chat on Light Reading on Wednesday, October 23, (see Live Chat: Big-Data & the Customer Experience -- is quickly becoming crowded, with startups, established vendors, and in-house carrier teams all developing systems for telco analytics.

While Allot has a good starting point with its DPI heritage and existing in-line system deployments in operator networks, Heavy Reading senior analyst Ari Banjeree notes that Allot still has plenty to do beyond collecting data. (See Big Data Attracts Big Dollars, New Faces.)

"It is about how efficiently Allot can convert this network information into real-time actionable insight, which is what this announcement is all about," Banjeree says. "[This is] no doubt a good angle for them and something they can justify doing well, as it is adjacent to their core product set. In my opinion, to go further, they need to partner with advanced analytics, as well as data warehouse, vendors to fully exploit market opportunities."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Sarah Thomas 10/22/2013 | 10:44:56 AM
Re: Acting on the data analysis I think there are opportunities to do a lot of it automatically, like bandwidth on-demand, enabled through SDN. My understanding is that a big-data platform like this can highlight the problems in real time and work with other telco processes to address it. Some of it will be done dynamically and automatically in the network. Other issues will be tracked and used as support in customer care.

Of course, operators, at least in the US, care mainly about using that data for marketing purposes, but that's another story.
Carol Wilson 10/22/2013 | 9:53:55 AM
Acting on the data analysis Ati's comment at the end gets to my overall question - how do telcos put all this analyzed data to work? Allot meantions delivering all this as a vairtualized function but are there also plans to enable telcos to use software-defined networking to facillitate real-time responses to some of the data - such as reallocation of bandwidth or other network resources to respond to congestion or other network issues once they are detected and before they impact the consumer?
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