Redknee’s Turnkey Converged Billing (TCB) provides real-time billing for communications service providers (CSP’s). The company recently performed a benchmark test to ensure that TCB could meet the needs of Tier 1 CSP’s. Testing found that TCB—running
on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, hosted on NEC servers with Intel processors, and using X-IO storage—provides carrier-grade scalability and a low total cost of ownership.
Redknee is a leading provider of business-critical billing and charging software for communications service providers. By using the company’s award-winning solutions, operators can monetize the value of each subscriber transaction while personalizing the
subscriber experience to meet the requirements of the mainstream, niche, and individual market segments.
||The combination of TCB, Microsoft SQL Server, Intel Xeon processors, and scalable NEC server systems delivers the superior performance that is required by the largest communications service providers.
| Paresh Pattani
Data Center Computing
Scalability is important to Redknee as it wants to support service providers of all sizes. Its revenue-generating solutions provide advanced converged billing, rating, charging, and policy functions for voice, messaging, and new-generation data services to
more than 90 network operators in more than 50 countries.
To help ensure it could support the carrier-grade needs of its Tier 1 customers, Redknee wanted to demonstrate the scalability of its Turnkey Converged Billing (TCB) solution on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data management software. TCB is an end-to-end converged
billing and customer care solution that delivers a suite of billing capabilities including centralized business intelligence and a personalized subscriber experience.
As part of their strategic alliance, Redknee and Microsoft conducted a comprehensive performance and scalability benchmark of Redknee TCB running on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise on the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system hosted on
servers using Intel Xeon processors. The benchmark platform also included NEC Express5800/A1080a servers, each with eight processors, 80 cores, and 160 threads. Storage for the databases and indexes was provided by three high-performance X-IO Hyper Intelligent
Storage Elements (ISEs)—which combine hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) in a hybrid solution. An X-IO HDD-based ISE 19.2 solution provided the storage for transaction logs.
Loads were designed to simulate the requirements of a typical Tier-1 communications service provider. The benchmark test of 250 million subscribers exceeded the performance objectives, generating 26 million invoices within a six-hour billing cycle, showing
near-linear scalability as the number of subscribers increased. At peak performance, the platform, including SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, processed an average throughput of 1,249 invoices per second and set a new Transaction Processing Performance Council record.
The benchmark test found that Redknee TCB running on SQL Server 2012 provided scalability to meet the needs of the largest communications service providers and yielded a low total cost of ownership.
Scalability to Meet the Needs of Largest Communications Service Providers
The benchmarking team reported that the Redknee solution, running on SQL Server 2012 and the rest of the partner technology stack, was able to support the workloads of the largest communications service providers, in addition to meeting their cost-efficiency
“During the test, we observed that performance scaled on a linear curve letting us gracefully increase hardware to cope with the greater load,” says Nitin Singhal, Vice President, Research and Development at Redknee. “This means CSPs can expect predictable
infrastructure cost and stable performance.”
Intel was also impressed with the benchmarking results. Paresh Pattani, Director, Data Center Computing at Intel, says, “The combination of TCB, Microsoft SQL Server, Intel Xeon processors, and scalable NEC server systems delivers the superior performance
that is required by the largest communications service providers.”
Low Total Cost of Ownership
Redknee notes that by using SQL Server 2012 and other elements of the benchmarking platform, its customers can benefit from reduced database software licensing, hardware, and support fees, which translate into substantially lower costs over the life of the
system. The company reports that the cost of the database hardware, software, storage, and maintenance fees was calculated to be as low as 1 cent per subscriber. This is attributed to:
Lower hardware costs. SQL Server 2012 runs on servers based on Intel Xeon processors, which can dramatically lower the total cost of ownership for customers compared with other hardware platforms.
Lower software costs. The list price of SQL Server 2012, including features supporting critical functions such as high availability, disaster recovery, and data compression, can be one-third of the largest competitor’s licensing costs.
Simpler systems management and lower staffing costs. Database administrators using SQL Server 2012 can typically manage four times as many physical databases as administrators using competing software, which translates to an estimated 460
percent difference in the annual cost of administration per database.
Lower maintenance costs. First-year maintenance costs for SQL Server 2012 are up to 77 percent less than those of the largest competitor.
Lower storage costs. Storage costs can be dramatically reduced through the use of SQL Server 2012 compression and X-IO Hyper ISE technology, which combines hard disk drives and solid-state disks.
“Ultimately this test proved that we can achieve the scale that CSPs need for a total cost that is 30 percent less than competitive technology—with plenty of head room to grow,” says Singhal.
Simplified Storage Configuration
The partner technology stack simplified storage configuration and deployment. “We designed our Hyper ISE architecture to accelerate enterprise applications while delivering record-breaking price/performance,” says Steve Sicola, Chief Technical Officer at
X-IO. “In the tests with Redknee, Hyper ISE dramatically simplified the storage configuration, deployment, and ongoing operations, resulting in huge transaction volumes.”
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