Keeping telcos' business-critical apps running

Clare McCarthy/Ovum
30 Sep 2015

If there is one thing that telcos agree on, it is that they should use their data assets more effectively. Data is fundamental to telcos’ digital transformation and IoT strategies, and it is their route to competing better with the disruptive online players.

Telcos have a plethora of data at the network, service, and customer layer that can help them monetize infrastructure investments; optimize business operations and service delivery; and support real-time marketing campaigns and customer care.

Data volumes are increasing exponentially and require streaming analytics combined with transactions to support taking action. VoltDB Version 5.6 can help telcos meet this challenge.

Problems need to be dealt with in “tweet time”

Telcos need to handle thousands of petabytes of structured or variably structured data and increase their data-processing speeds just to stand still – and this is before the IoT becomes pervasive.

Online and mobile interactions are becoming the norm for customers, and customers’ expectations are rising in terms of availability of services, response times, and the personal value derived from dealing with telcos. When more than voice or text is involved, customers expect high-quality connections.

Virtual environments or the cloud have been mooted as future solutions, but that doesn’t address the ongoing issue of storing and processing data. Telcos do not store data centrally; it is distributed and not well synchronized. Telco customers demand “five nines” network and service availability, and network outages are front-page news.

Problems need to be dealt with in “tweet time” before frustrated customers hit social media to complain, or raise tickets through their dashboards. Robust data management and network and performance management have never been more important.

So it is with a good deal of interest that we see VoltDB step up with geo-distributed Active/Active database replication which supports multiple database instances (including geographically distributed instances) to support the same application. Operators use Active/Active to optimize application response times and keep business-critical applications running in an emergency and during unexpected peaks.

VoltDB produces an in-memory SQL database that combines streaming analytics and transaction processing in a single platform. It allows customers to build applications that process fast or streaming data and provides actionable, context-aware insights in real time.

Version 5.6 offers updated support for the import and export of data streams as well as Active/Active database replication. This means that telcos can build fast-data pipelines quickly, speeding up their development cycles and times to market.

As previously noted, telcos don’t have centralized data stores: Data is distributed geographically and at various levels in the business. Active/Active database replication means that replicated workloads and activities logs are also distributed. Data is compressed to make WAN transfers faster and more efficient.

Version 5.6 offers rack-aware partitioning which reduces the risk of outages because customers can partition racks in the physical server to avoid having replicas on the same physical rack. The result is reduced likelihood of downtime, which is critical for telcos to retain customers whose demand for quality of service is ever growing.

Clare McCarthy is practice leader for telecom operations and IT Ovum. For more information, visit

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