Verizon uses MapD to process billions of rows of telecommunication data in real time, which allows the carrier to monitor network performance and maintain its high standards of network reliability.

The Challenge

Verizon’s core network team ensures network reliability by monitoring 10 billion records per week as it streams in. Yet the team’s existing analytics solution couldn’t handle the volume or velocity of this data. This delayed reporting of degradations and outages, and even forced the team to manually look through these records to spot trends.

The Solution

MapD enables the Verizon team to process billions of rows of data in real time, and to monitor network performance to maintain Verizonʼs high standards of network reliability. The ease of use and installation facilitates adoption through the company, and encourages analysts to further explore their data.

“The usability of the platform really has far exceeded our expectations. We've had folks go in and, within a few minutes, started to create dashboards of their own. That sort of tool adoption rate is kind of unheard of in this space.”

Jason Sanders, Sr. Manager of Technology, Verizon

The Result

Network reliability reports that once took over 20 minutes are produced in seconds. Engineers now spot problems immediately, instead of 45 minutes later. Verizon is now embarking on additional use cases, such as delivering quality service during time-sensitive stadium events, as well as data forensics to spot rogue users and devices.

Verizon Highlights

  • Existing analytics solutions couldn’t handle 10 billion records per week
  • Network reliability reports now produced in seconds, down from 20+ minutes
  • Engineers now spot problems & trends in minutes, down from 45+ minutes
  • Ease of installation and use has driven adoption rates across teams and levels

Verizon Wireless (Verizon) is an American telecommunications company which offers wireless products and services. With 149 million subscribers as of October 2017, Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless telecommunications provider in the United States.

“We're in the terabytes weekly of data generation... we just [couldnʼt] see what all is in there...”

The Verizon core network team is tasked with ensuring network reliability of voice, data, and VOIP calls. The team monitors this data as it streams in-terabytes per week from multiple platforms. Network reliability is critical to Verizon, and monitoring and analyzing this data is paramount to sustain network reliability, and to continue to provide the level of service Verizon customers expect.

Quickly analyzing the extreme scale of this data proved to be a daunting task. Verizonʼs existing analytics solutions were unable to efficiently handle the volume and velocity of data, about 10 billion records per week. Network reliability reports took far too long to produce, meaning that a degradation or outage would take too long to identify and resolve, resulting in unhappy customers.

Verizon network analysts couldnʼt rely on these reports alone, which forced them to manually look through hundreds of millions rows of records for trend analysis. The sheer volume of operational data meant that the team was unable to spot network anomalies, or identify network trends that consumed unusual or unplanned network resources.

“We're in the terabytes weekly of data generation and its just not humanly possible to parse through that, either with our own scripts or our eyeballs. We just can't see what all is in there,” says Leslie Henne, Platform Engineer at Verizon.

“The usability of the platform really has far exceeded our expectations. We've had folks go in and, within a few minutes, started to create dashboards of their own. That sort of tool adoption rate is kind of unheard of in this space.”

The Right Tool for the Tasks the Team Needed to Accomplish

For any major corporation, adopting new technology can be a challenge. Verizon tried an array of analytic solutions, each promising to handle their unique data challenges. Setup time often took months. Yet one of their biggest obstacles was user adoption.

“Finding the right tool to address data challenges is a difficult task, thereʼs so much on the market and itʼs hard to bring them all in for demos,” says Jason Sanders, Sr. Manager of Technology at Verizon. “We had significant challenges in finding a product that gave us the performance we were looking for, especially one with the entry level learning curve that facilitated people wanting to use the tool.”

A Performant Solution for Everyone

Verizon initially tried MapD for high performance operational analytics, but quickly discovered that MapD met more than just Verizonʼs performance needs. “Getting MapD up and running, in a large environment like Verizon, was one of the better experiences that I've had in deploying a tool,” says Sanders. “The MapD technical team was a joy to work with and that was key to us deploying so quickly.”

For MapD and Verizon, that was only the start of the journey. MapD was soon enabling Verizon to process billions of rows of data in real time, which allowed them to monitor network performance and maintain its high standards of network reliability. Never before had Verizon been able to analyze such data volume with such velocity.

Verizon analysts were soon spending less time researching problems, and arriving at solutions far more quickly. It also gave them time to deep-dive into their data to make more data-driven decisions, as well as to accelerate the frequency of their decision making.

What cemented MapD as the solution of choice for Verizon was the ease of installation and use, which helped drive adoption rates throughout the organization and created a single tool across multiple data centers and business units. “The usability of the platform really has far exceeded our expectations. We've had folks go in and, within a few minutes, started to create dashboards of their own. That sort of tool adoption rate is, in my view, kind of unheard of in this space,” says Sanders.

“Now everyone from engineers and planners, and managers on up to directors is using MapD for the visibility it gives us into our data,” explains Leslie Henne.

Extreme Results and Widespread Adoption

With the help of MapD, Verizonʼs network reliability reports now take only a few seconds to produce, down from over 20 minutes. This allows Verizon analysts to quickly identify customer impacting issues across the network. Verizon engineers now derive insights faster as well, as they spot immediate problems and long-term trends in a few minutes, down from over 45 minutes.

With the ability to analyze extreme data at scale, and with growing user adoption, Verizon is discovering new ways of using MapD. “So far with MapD, we've been able to solve multiple data problems across multiple platforms, and even across different environments.

"Now everyone from engineers and planners, and managers on up to directors is using MapD for the visibility it gives us into our data."

New Opportunities for Broader Adoption within Verizon

Verizon believes thereʼs huge opportunity in leveraging data in every aspect of its business, and this team is reaching out to business owners throughout the organization to explore those opportunities. One of those opportunities is in preventative maintenance.

“We're basically looking at a five day rolling window, currently about nine billion rows, and weʼre deep-diving into that data to prevent future problems and troubleshoot issues before they impact our customers,” Jason Sanders explains.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications is a broadband and telecommunications company that provides information and entertainment services. The Commercial Data Systems team is on the wireless side of Verizon, providing voice services and data services, which are core to the wireless network. The goal of the team is to ensure network reliability and customer satisfaction.