Network-Wide Capacity Planning with Route Analytics
By Packet Design
Published 2008, Posted November 2008



Capacity planning is an important business process in large IP networks for ensuring reliable application and service delivery. In the days of fixed circuits and few applications, while not trivial, capacity planning was at least based on predictable bandwidth utilization characteristics. However, the complex and dynamic nature of IP networks with their self-healing routing algorithms, virtual private networks, varying Classes of Service (CoS) and convergence of both best effort and highly sensitive traffic, make capacity planning both more critical and difficult. Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to perform effective capacity planning due to relatively shallow statistical data that doesn’t support the deep analyses needed to ensure that capacity plans are both technically and financially sound.

Fortunately, a solution exists to bring much deeper insight to IP network and service capacity planning. Route analytics technology - the use of the network’s live routing protocol data as the foundation for understanding the network’s actual traffic behavior - can be leveraged for unprecedented network-wide routing and traffic visibility, including network-wide IP traffic capacity planning and modeling. Route analytics provides an operationally accurate level of planning visibility, including rich details of the composition of the traffic, a continuously recorded traffic history across the entire network. This broad and deep insight provides the basis for easy to use capacity planning and trending tools. In addition, the algorithmically accurate nature of route analytics understanding of network routing and traffic means that it can also provide powerful scenario modeling to anticipate the impact of specific planned changes in the network...

This white paper reviews the limitations to traditional capacity planning approaches, explains how route analytics works, and demonstrates the advantages that network planners can gain by utilizing route analytics’ capacity planning and modeling capabilities.



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