How Bell Canada tamed its internal traffic

One of the many network management tools Bell Canada offers as an outsourced service is NetScout’s nGenius Performance Manager. nGenius is designed to help network managers drill down into their networks, monitor applications and figure out traffic patterns.

Bell not only sells nGenius as a product and service — the telco giant has also been using nGenius to monitor its own enterprise-class internal network since 2000.

Back in 2000, Bell Canada found itself making a lot of changes to its internal network. The telco giant had completed a number of significant upgrades to prepare for Y2K and needed a tool that would give the company a better view of its network traffic.

“If there were performance issues, slowdowns or problems we needed to be able to understand definitively what was going on in the network, so we could address the questions of the people who were responsible for the applications within Bell Canada,” says Ron Haag, director of network service and technical support with Bell. “We needed to know whether the problem was with the application or the network.”

Prior to installing nGenius, Bell had used several capacity management tools to monitor its Canada-wide network reaching 35,000 employees and several affiliate organizations. Those tools could show whether a link was having problems due to too much traffic, but Bell needed more information.

Bell looked at a number of other tools including Agilent’s NetMetrix and Cisco’s CiscoWorks 2000. Part of the reason Bell went with NetScout and nGenius was the customer support.

“We were looking for someone who was a little smaller and a little more flexible,” Haag says. “We know for a fact some of the things we wanted out of nGenius Net

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