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BT Diamond IPControl has rationalized IP address management across Rogers Communications
A communications company was having trouble communicating. Dozens of administrators were tracking their own IP information on home-grown spreadsheets, and nothing much matched up.
Ozan Ocal had to bring forth order from chaos and unify IP management across all divisions to help make people’s lives easier. He chose BT Diamond IPControl™ to assist with that task. Now, as Ozan trains administrators and users, every time he sees their faces light up at each ‘aha!’ moment he knows it was the right decision.
Diamond IP is the key to centralizing IP management. Before the integration there were errors, duplication of allocations, no accountability, and unnecessary delays. That’s simply not the case now.”
- Ozan Ocal, OSS System Integrator, Rogers Communications
Rogers Communications was playing 52-card pickup with IP addresses and needed a unified system. As the largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services in Canada—while also delivering cable television, high-speed internet, and telephony services—Rogers serves millions of customers from multiple offices and divisions nationwide.
Each internal organization was separately responsible for its own engineering, operations, provisioning, and IP address management. The result? Dozens of administrators assembled their own spreadsheets to track different sets of IP data. The process was labor-intensive and disorganized.
A corporate consolidation of operating groups began in 2010, and included a mandate to unify tools used across all divisions. Patchwork IP address management was ineffective and would be a nightmare with the anticipated arrival of IPv6. Rogers needed a powerful and easy-to-use solution for a central repository.
BT Diamond IPControl™ running on BT Diamond IP Sapphire appliances was chosen to centralize IP management, making it easier to track who assigned each IP address and to control address utilization. IPControl also integrates with DNS provisioning, so that the end user no longer needs to make duplicate IP and DNS requests.
Ozan Ocal, OSS System Integrator, explains: “IP addresses are the common denominator for all services, so BT Diamond IPControl makes network management faster and easier for everyone.”
Efficiency is gained in several ways. To locate an error message, the ticketing system needs to check with the DNS (domain name server) to find the functional name of the device that’s sending the alarm to the NOC (network operations center). The fault management system is now integrated with the ticketing system, so the NOC sees that it’s coming from a particular region, from a particular cell tower, from a specific device. In the meantime, DNS is being updated wirelessly by IPControl.
This all means that during IP address provisioning—for example LTE blocks on a 4G network—the IP addresses are updated automatically on the DNS system with no human intervention to introduce errors.
Many trouble tickets involve duplicate or incorrect IP addresses. Using the old patchwork of spreadsheets to find an IP address, where it’s located, and who’s accountable used to be a nightmare. This could waste untold hours identifying the IP addresses and blocks needed to troubleshoot the devices.
With so many addresses, internally and for customers, the operating expense of digging to find IP addresses and metadata is significant. For service delivery, Rogers Communications is looking to IPControl to significantly improve customer satisfaction by helping accelerate service to its millions of customers.
IPControl has reduced the number of errors and the time needed to fix them. If an IP address is input incorrectly, there’s no way of knowing until someone else configures a duplicate IP address.
Ozan Ocal says: “IPControl gives us a central repository and everyone has a view of it, so we have a better way of identifying errors. The number of manual steps is greatly reduced.”
Work is in progress with each division to standardize their data and migrate it to IPControl, with internal training on the IPControl tools for teams across Rogers.
Ozan Ocal concludes: “Once people start using IPControl and learn the day-to-day processes, they love it. This accelerates our process and benefits each group. In training sessions, everybody’s face lightens up when they see the benefits. They love the tool and the GUI.”
Core BT Services
- IPControl™ software and Sapphire DNS and DHCP servers from BT Diamond IP