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Making Your Business More Profitable With Multiple Service Plans
by Denis Sutherland, Sr. Manager, Sales System Engineering, iDirect

Can Service Providers be more profitable by offering a number of service offerings to customers? Or does that make your operations and network less efficient?

iDirect_ad_SM1112 A study finds that three to four tiers of service would be all that it would take to create better options for consumers and near-optimal profits for providers.

However, how is that achieved in a VSAT network?

You certainly need the infrastructure in place to allow the segregation of groups of customers to take place. You will also need to report on the different customers groups in your Network Operations Center (NOC) and your Service Level Agreement (SLA) reports, and thus the business velocity to which you respond to such groups.

Or, maybe you want to allocate bandwidth to specific applications, to prioritize specific applications and ensure that some apps don’t consume the network. This is becoming more and more important to service providers... see...


Some iDirect features help you to build a network that supports high-end SLAs, and thereby attracts high-value customers. In this article, we will look at Group Quality of Service (GQoS) as well as look at DVB-S2/ ACM, and the tight link between them that allows them to work together for maximum benefit. It’s even better now that they are available in iDirect’s SatManage.

iDirectFig2 What Is GQoS?
GQoS is iDirect’s bandwidth allocation algorithm and it offers many opportunities to improve performance. With GQoS, you can realize a significant increase in bandwidth management capabilities when prioritizing traffic for customers in a shared network environment.

Group QoS is a capability of the iDirect NMS platform, enabling network operators to manage the bandwidth allocated to a group of remotes more efficiently. Group QoS allows a network operator to dynamically allocate a pool of bandwidth between groups of remotes, based upon a predetermined set of criteria, to maximize the overall capacity of the network, while ensuring end-users are within the committed SLAs.

This is good news for network operators who service multiple user groups. Instead of committing a set amount of fixed bandwidth to each group, the operator can pool the total bandwidth for multiple user groups and reallocate it dynamically as needed. The end result is a significant OPEX cost savings for the operator and, importantly, your SLA is still achieved.

Maybe you are a Service Provider with Gold, Silver and Bronze service offerings. Those can be offered within the same bandwidth using GQoS, but using different Max Information Rates (MIR), contention rations, and Commitment information Ratios (CIR).

Until now, the problem Service Providers raised was, “We give our customers a CIR but we are not sure if they are using it. How do we know when to recommend a customer using Bronze Service package upgrades to Silver? Let alone prove it to them?

Do you see a need to show how much free capacity is available in your network and how much CIR has been allocated? Would that help your customer upgrade their service plan?

With SatManage 5.2, you can run reports on CIR satisfied, CIR Requested and see how much free capacity you have in your network.

You can see from the table below from SM5.2 that it shows some statistics over several days for one bandwidth group. The requested, allocated, and free bandwidth is shown in one chart allowing for network analysis and thus optimization.

iDirectFig4 You will see in this case the black line indicates the free capacity available in the system, and the green line the free bandwidth, measured in Kbps IP. With some analysis, we can see in this network that there are periods when this bandwidth group is running short of capacity.
This Group could be a number of remotes, and represent one customer, so perhaps you should approach them and ask if they would like to upgrade their bandwidth allocation?

SatManage and GQoS working together can enhance the acquisition, manipulation and presentation of key network performance indicators. This allows the network to be fine-tuned to allow key customers to always get their CIR, but also excess bandwidth is removed after having a better understanding of how the network is performing over time. (See the chart.)

The Group QoS Reporter in SatManage presents GQoS-level and remote-level statistics. You can also view statistics by Remote or Virtual Remote, ksym, kbps. GQOS reporter can display reports in two modes:

1. GQOS mode, where we can graph metrics like B/W allocated, free, and requested. In GQOS mode can report on elements as per the GQOS hierarchy tree elements omitting the remotes.

2. Physical remotes, where we have additional traffic metrics broken down by traffic type (ICMP, IGMP, reliable, TCP, UDP and so forth). When physical remote is selected we can see “Show virtual remotes” in the output pane. 

This allows you to display the “traffic per application” when “yes” is selected or display the whole traffic otherwise. The output selector allows grouping by series or node.

The link below is an iDirect customer that is using GQoS—its bandwidth allocation algorithm offers them the flexibility to control quality of service levels, bandwidth management, and traffic prioritization:


About the author
Denis Sutherland is the Sr. Systems Engineering Manager for iDirect Europe. He is responsible for leading a global team of Subject Matter Experts on SatManage, which includes network management and network optimization, along with data visualization, big data sets, data-driven decisions, and service level agreements (SLAs). He also assists customers across Europe with product selection, designing satellite networks and infrastructure, and spends the majority of his time working with customers in the maritime, oil and gas and defense/government sectors. Sutherland was awarded best sales iDirect engineer in 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Sutherland has worked in the telecommunications and network industries for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining iDirect in 2005, Sutherland was a technical sales and support manager at Inmedia (now Arqiva) where he worked in a satellite Earth station and served as the design authority for many successful major global projects to deliver voice, video, data, DTV, Digital Signage, IP Networking, and IP Video.

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A Closer Look At SatManage

A powerful extension to iDirect’s iVantage™ NMS, SatManage takes a Network Operations Center (NOC) operations to an even higher standard of network performance and scalability.

With solutions for small and large, more complex networks, SatManage Standard and SatManage Enterprise editions enable any network operator to streamline NOC operations, enhance customer visibility and provide a higher level of service and responsiveness, improving the overall efficiency of their network operations.

iDirectFig5 SatManage is also STIG compliant for secure operations for Defence and Government customers.

Streamlined Network Management Operations
SatManage integrates and automates nearly every aspect of a NOC and through a rich set of monitoring features, provides an in-depth view into the network’s quality performance.

Enhanced Customer Management
SatManage brings intuitive customer management tools and powerful portal interfaces that enhance communication and reporting, deepen network visibility and improve overall customer satisfaction and confidence in the network.

SLA Management Facilitates Negotiations
SatManage provides service providers and end customers alike with a uniform view into the exact same data points and methodology predetermined in the SLA. SatManage streamlines SLA compliance by automatically generating intelligent reports on SLA performance tailored to each specific customer’s agreement thus greatly simplifying end-of-month SLA reconciliation.