The Big Match as Seen Through the Eyes of the AT&T Network

  • The WIPM system monitors changing patterns in global network traffic.
  • The AT&T GNOC applies traffic controls to re-mediate network congestion.

Like air traffic controllers minding the global skies, network managers at the Global Network Operations Center (GNOC) carefully monitor the flow of global IP traffic across the AT&T Network.

Lately, as fans around the globe follow the big tournament in Brazil, managers here at the GNOC observe how the matches manifest themselves in the network.

AT&T uses a system called Worldwide IP Performance Management (WIPM) to monitor the changing patterns of global traffic and re-allocate network capacity as necessary. It helps ensure that a customer receives the expected level of service in their “world,” no matter what is happening in the larger world around them.

To measure customer service performance, WIPM, developed exclusively for the GNOC by AT&T Labs, generates a stream of synthetic network traffic designed to simulate the real traffic of our customers. It measures the delay, packet loss, and consistency of the synthetic traffic and compares the resulting performance metrics against a set of ambitious internal service level agreements. (These SLAs surpass those a customer is promised contractually.) When the synthetic traffic does not achieve the internal SLA, an inferential calculation is made to determine when the customer SLA may be missed.

The goal is to heed WIPM’s advanced warning of trouble ahead and engage a set of traffic controls to ensure the customer’s SLA is maintained.

In the GNOC, a WIPM map is used to visualize routes (or end points) in the network that are under-performing the target.

According to WIPM, this is how the AT&T Global Network looks on a typical weekday morning at 8:18 CST, when it’s still afternoon in Europe and early evening in Asia.


Now, take a look about 3 hours later, 11:19 CST, when it’s late evening in both Europe and Asia. There are minor alerts in Denver and Philadelphia, but the rest of the world is within range.



Less then one hour later, at 12:04 CST, notice the change:



That’s how it looks in the AT&T Network when the world’s eyes turn to the big match in Brazil  – You can literally see the excitement.

As the tournament reaches its exciting conclusion, the AT&T GNOC will carefully watch its impact on global traffic and apply traffic controls to re-mediate any congestion caused by the games.

This is the work of the AT&T Global Network Operations: monitoring the flow of global IP traffic, testing the network for potential trouble, anticipating the impact of global events on global network traffic, and delivering the level of service customers depend on, no matter what.

To learn more about how the GNOC uses WIPM and other exclusive tools to manage global traffic, ask your account executive to arrange a visit.



Steve Moser Network Visitor Program Manager AT&T About Steve