In today’s high-speed IP services environment, network administrators often rely on manual steps to complete the complex business processes that ensure device and network health. One of the most tedious tasks for network administrators is managing and updating firmware across a wide network of end-user DOCSIS gateways.
Common problems with firmware management include:
Long wait times to discover device firmware versions
- This is usually done through SNMP queries on the DOCSIS network, which for a larger provider can translate to more than half a day of waiting time using legacy scanning tools
Manual deployment of firmware updates
- The actual process of upgrading or downgrading an end-user device is often done in manual batches. This is a very time-consuming process that raises service provider OPEX
Lack of visibility into the progress of an ongoing firmware update
- In many cases, network administrators run and monitor firmware updates overnight to avoid service interruption and ensure update success. This results in long hours and can cause havoc for an operations team if there are errors with multiple updates.
Lack of insight into device errors and necessary corrections
- Some devices just don’t want to behave and it usually takes time to figure out which ones failed and why. Retrying the whole process for failed devices is a time-consuming manual effort that further risks affecting subscriber services
To address the list of issues above, administrators need an automated firmware management solution that gives full visibility into firmware versions and provides real-time updates on ongoing firmware processes. There are a number of boxes to check off when searching out the best firmware management solution:
- A continuously updated library of devices that are deployed on the network
- One-click on-demand access to network wide information such as device vendor, model, and firmware version
- Configurable update criteria based on MAC address, DHCP cluster, device model, etc.
- Flexible scheduling options so that firmware updates can be pushed during off-usage hours
- Automated actions for firmware updates that allow processes to commence across the operator’s entire IP services network
- The ability to perform multistage updates during a single firmware campaign (updating very outdated versions of firmware to a desired version)
- Batch update options that allow providers to select how many devices can be updated, either for large operations or testing firmware packages
- Real-time statistics into ongoing update processes showing successes, in progress updates, and failures
- Error notifications that alert the network administrator and display an error code and any text associated to that code
If your firmware management solution checks off the boxes on the list above, you are poised to not only reduce the time it takes to manage firmware, you can also reduce errors during firmware updates to lower the risk of negative service impacts on your subscribers.
As your organization grows, the volume of devices and amount of firmware only becomes more complex. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn about the Incognito DOCSIS firmware management solution.