Network Time Machine for Carrier Service Providers | NETSCOUT

Datasheet: Network Time Machine for Carrier Service Providers

Service providers are rolling out mobile broadband networks to meet customers’ needs for faster and richer data content. With increasingly complex network infrastructure, and ever-growing mobile IP traffic volume, network performance engineers, responsible for maintaining good user experience, are challenged to maintain the visibility of subscriber mobility and service performance.

LTE Deployment Challenges:

  • Mix of c-plane and u-plane at fast growing high traffic rate
  • Seamless interoperability during migration from 3G to LTE
  • End-to-end session visibility to subscriber activities
  • Ensure user experience with dynamic data bearer assignment at right QoS level
  • Ensure switch technicians have visibility to identify problems despite steep technology learning curve

Triple-play Management Challenges:

  • High traffic volume
  • Ensure smooth Voice and Video service availability
  • Maintain end-to-end quality of service
  • Correlation between signaling and media traffic
  • Retain traffic record for compliance and back-in-time analysis

Data Center Operation Challenges:

  • User experience visibility
  • Isolate impairment across network segments or devices


Network Time Machine is a troubleshooting appliance designed for quick deployment and for traffic and packet level visibility in 20Gbps carrier environments. It provides extensive network and application visibility as well as the forensic details you need to solve signaling or data performance problems. It's also available as a portable or rackmount unit.

LTE Troubleshooting
Triple Play
Data Center
Fast deployment for Visibility
  • Real-time PDN session creation detection
  • LTE/EPC control-plane and user-plane analysis
  • End-to-end VoLTE call analysis across EPC
  • Subscriber session analysis
  • Voice, video and data application issue isolation
Smart Voice, Video and Data Analysis
  • QoS analysis and playback of Voice and Video
  • Automatic correlation of signaling and media flows
  • Subscriber-based session analysis
  • Packet Loss and Latency Analysis across multiple network segments
Application Performance Troubleshooting
  • Performance Bottleneck Analysis quickly isolates issues to server or network
  • Visualize impairments across multiple segments
  • Application-aware analysis highlights performance issues


High Performance Stream-to-Disk Architecture

Network Time Machine offers industry leading 20Gbps sustained stream-to-disk packet capture performance in a small footprint that ensures service providers can quickly gain visibility where and when it is needed. In today’s IP based network, the ability to capture every packet without filtering or packet loss is important to ensure visibility of all the events that occur on the network. Network Time Machine is available as a portable or a rackmount unit. Portable units are ideal for filling gaps in network visibility, whether in the data center or in the field, such as between an eNodeB and the EPS. The rackmount version, with its higher performance and scalable storage capacity up to 576 Terabyte, is designed to monitor critical links for long-term forensic needs. Both portable and rackmount platforms support 1 and/or 10G interfaces.

1st Portable to reach 20Gbps capture rate NTM Rackmount up to 576TB storage Certified 20Gbps with no packet drop

LTE Control and User Plane Analysis

Today’s subscribers of 3G/4G services expect to be connected anywhere, any time. Their service should be “Always ON” and ready to send/receive voice, video and data communication with reliable performance. Subscribers need to be able to connect, authenticate and attach to the network and data service provider(s) effectively and reliably.

3G/4G handover, circuit-switch fall back and S1/X2 handover must happen seamlessly to update the bearer and service connection as subscribers move from place to place to ensure reliable voice and data service anytime, anywhere. When the interoperability of the control plane and user plane management elements break, engineers need visibility to the c-plane and u-plane transactions with details that traverse the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) to get to the root cause.

Network Time Machine can capture traffic from any interfaces in the 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC). It is therefore able to analyze, organize, and extract relevant information relating to both control, and user plane, procedures from multi-terabytes of information to identify network element.

Time Created
2/6/2014 20:13:57
2/6/2014 20:15:09
2/6/2014 20:22:14
2/6/2014 20:13:59
2/6/2014 20:09:25

*Track default bearers status and IPv4 & IPv6 address assignment during packet capture

Visibility to Subscriber Mobility Issues

Network Time Machine can process in real-time, control plane traffic to identify LTE subscribers' EMM and EMS sessions. Subscribers with procedure issues under an eNodeB, or a TAI or APN, are easily reviewed from the Atlas statistics view. Troubleshoot specific subscriber issues by generating an analysis of the UE that shows EMM and EMS status and issues. Additionally, troubleshoot issues with bearer and u-plane traffic statistics by specifying UE-ID such as IMSI or phone number to show mobility status of an UE. Custom reports, created from a template, can be exported and saved with a click of a button. Control plane and user plane packets associated with a subscriber can be easily extracted for detailed flow and session analysis in the integrated decode engine.

Visibility to Bearer Issues

To ensure good user experience, provisioning the correct bearers with the proper QoS setup for carrying the various types of IP traffics is pivotal. Network Time Machine with the LTE Analysis option, provides visibility for the status of bearers that a subscriber has by simply typing in the subscriber’s phone number or IMSI. Issues related to bearer setup procedures are shown and users are able to drill down to the session view or decode with just a few clicks.

Visibility to End-to-end Session

Users can select the c-plane and u-plane application of interest to construct a session view. Flows with issue(s) are highlighted in yellow and shown in a ladder view with timing information. Various filter conditions are available to extract just the packets required to review payload information for quick root cause identification.

VoLTE/VoIP Analysis

Getting Audio/Video over IP work is very important to service providers. Not only is it a revenue generating application within which subscribers can easily identify a degrade in network performance. This is especially true for VoLTE deployment as it needs to interoperate with IMS for seamless communication with subscribers on 3G/4G and PSTN networks. Key visibility requirements include:

  1. Registration with IMS and Bearer provisioning
  2. Voice Call and other SIP procedures
  3. End-to-end QoS and Codec analysis

Voice Call and other SIP Procedures

Network Time Machine analyzes all SIP traffic and offers KPI such as failure rate and latency of SIP procedures. SIP procedures that result in failure will be shown with the detail error code. The user is able to drill down to see a trend, as well as the subscriber who issued the call or experienced the failure. The packet relating to the procedure, such as IMS register failure, can be quickly extracted for detail analysis.

SIP procedure made during a period with caller issuing the request

SIP error code listing with affected SIP calls and procedures

End-to-End Call Analysis

Network Time Machine automatically correlates signaling and media IP flows during analysis for quick visibility and packet extraction. It provides QoS analysis on voice and video over IP traffic for call centers and LTE networks. Even without visibility of the setup traffic, Network Time Machine can sniff out the RTP stream to generate assessment of the video/voice stream quality. The user can group calls by QoS parameters, such as MOS call quality or call type, by selecting subscriber phone number, MOS range, setup time range and call types. With the LTE option, Network Time Machine can group based on eNodeB, TAI or APN connected. Its high performance capture and analysis architecture make it an ideal quick-to-deploy analysis solution for VoIP/VoLTE in carrier grade operations.

Voice Call Session Analysis

For call sessions captured, the integrated decode engine automatically correlates SIP and RTP flows that belong to the same call and shows the call session view in a time-correlated multiple segments ladder view. SIP call flow segments with setup issues will be highlighted in yellow with issues framed in the ladder view. Statistical analysis of the call QoS metrics, such as MOS, Jitter and Packet Loss are shown and reported.

Video and Voice Call Playback

Network Time Machine supports many video and voice codecs, that are commonly used in mobile networks, including G.711, AMR-WB, EVRC, MPEG, and H.264. Audio and video can be replayed on its integrated player or exported to an external player so that engineers can replicate the user experience for forensic analysis.

Visibility to Data Traffic Issue

Performance Bottleneck Analysis

Network Time Machine automatically discovers applications and reports performance trending metrics by server, network and client site. The unique Performance Bottleneck Analysis (PBA) displays server, network and client site time for each TCP flow. PBA metrics show where application time is spent and immediately identifies the root cause of application performance complaints.

Integrated Application Performance Analysis

Network Time Machine has embedded analysis capabilities that automatically align and assess all IP flows. User plane traffic throughput, servers involved and impairment are highlighted. It has built-in support for voice and video traffic analysis and playback. An optional LTE control signal analyzer is available and offers detailed LTE control signaling message analysis on c-plane and u-plane by LTE interface.

Multi-Segment and Multi-Tier Analysis

Multi-tier and multi-segment analysis quickly correlates IP flows across network elements/segments with trace files collected from various data sources or through aggregation switches. Flow and packets with transport issues are highlighted for quick root cause detection and isolation. Ladder Views can be exported to a PDF file for documentation.

The proliferation of IP-based video and data application on fix-line and mobile service provider’s network has posted great opportunities and challenges at the same time. Network Time Machine’s versatile analysis capability and high performance stream-to-disk capture makes it the ultimate root cause analysis solution for today’s high speed service provider’s network. When it comes to maintaining networks for LTE, carrier, triple play and data center, Network Time Machine will make the responsible performance engineers and technicians feel fast and smart.

Specification: Network Time Machine for Service Providers

Performance Specification:

Base Model1
and NTMC-PR4E3
PO1B: 8 Gigabyte
16 Gigabyte
PO2B: 12 Gigabyte
PO2BS: 24 Gigabyte
Capture Interface
PO1B: 4 X 1 Gbps (SFP)
ST4M, ST4E: 4 X 1Gbps (SFP)
PO2B, PO2BS: 4 X 1 Gbps (SFP) and 2 X 10 Gbps (SFP+)
PR4M, PR4E, PR4H: 2 X 10Gbps (SPF+)
Maximum Stream-to-disk performance
PO1B: 3 Gbps
ST4M, ST4E: 4Gbps
PR4M: 5 Gbps
PO2B: 10 Gbps
PR4E: 10 Gbps
PO2BS: 20 Gbps
PR4H: 20 Gbps
Maximum storage capacity
PO1B: 4 Terabytes
ST4M, PR4M: 12 Terabytes
PO2B: 8 Terabytes
ST4E4, PR4E4: 288 Terabytes
PO2BS: 7 Terabytes
PR4H5: 576 Terabytes


  1. No SFP/SFP+/XFP transceivers are included with NTM. Please order separately CSN/ACC-90XX.
  2. Supports both 1Gbps and 10Gbps interfaces but only one set of interfaces can capture
  3. External Storage Appliance (ESA) is required to operate. Either CSN/NTM-EA-UGD or CSN/NTM-EA3-UGD, must be ordered separately. 48VDC version available.
  4. Number of expansion storage arrays supported is 1, 2, 4, 6, 8
  5. Number of expansion storage arrays supported is 2, 4, 8, 12, 16

Technical Specifications

Model CPU OS Dimension (H x W x D) Weight Power Rating
Two Six Core
Xeon E5-2620
Windows Server 2008 Embedded R2 8.73 cm (3.44") x 44.4 cm (17.48") x 68.4 cm (26.93") 28.8 kg (63.5 lb) High Output, Two hot-plug 1100W 100-240 VAC Auto-Switching
Two Six Core
Xeon E5-2620
Windows Server 2008 Embedded R2 8.73 cm (3.44") x 44.4 cm (17.48") x 68.4 cm (26.93") 31.98 kg (70.5 lb) High Output, Two hot-plug 1100W 100-240 VAC Auto-Switching
CSN/NTM-EA-UGD CSN/NTM-EA3-UGD 8.68 cm (3.4") x 44.6 cm (17.6") x 60.2 cm (23.70") 28.39 kg (62.6 lb) Two redundant 600W power supplies, 100-240 VAC, auto sensing
CSN/NTMC-PO1B Intel Xeon E3-1225 v3 @ 3.20Ghz Window 7 Embedded 64bit 26.9cm (10.6”) x 38.6cm (15.2”) x 17.5cm (6.9”) 10.4kg (23lb) 400W 110V-240V AC, Auto-Switching
CSN/NTMC-PO2BS-AC CSN/NTMC-PO2BS-DC Intel Xeon E5645, 2.4GHz Windows Server 2008 Embedded R2 35cm (13.72”) x 42cm (16.46”) x 17.5cm (6.88”) 14kg (31lb) 600W 100-240 VAC, Auto-Switching

Mobile Interfaces supported:

LTE: S1, S5, S6a, SGi, Gx, Gy
3G: Gn/Gp (HSPA), Gi, SGs, S3, S4, S2a

3G/LTE Protocols Supported:

GTPc-v1, GTPc-v2, GTPu-v1, SCTP, SGsAP, PMIPv6, DNS, Radius, and Diameter

Tunnel Encapsulation Supported:

EoEv1-3, GTP, GRE, IPinIP, MPLS and QinQ

Ordering Guide

Hardware Models Description
CSN/NTM-48VDC 48VDC Option for PR4E and PR4H (Factory Installed)
CSN/NTM-EA-UGD 24TB External Storage Array for PR4E and PR4H w/AC
CSN/NTM-EA-48VDC 24TB External Storage Array for PR4E and PR4H w/DC
CSN/NTM-EA3-UGD 36TB External Storage Array for PR4E and PR4H w/AC
CSN/NTM-EA-48VDC 36TB External Storage Array for PR4E and PR4H w/DC
Software Models Description
CSN/NTMC-SW01 LTE decode option for NTMC
CSN/NTMC-SW04 VoLTE Analysis Package for NTMC
CSN/NTM-ATLAS IP Traffic Analysis option for non-LTE IP network

Gold Support

Models Description
GLD-NTMC-PO1B Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-PO1B, 1 year
GLD-NTMC-PO2B Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-PO2B, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-PO2BS Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-PO2BS, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-ST4M Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-ST4E, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-ST4E Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-ST4E, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-PR4M Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-PR4M, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-PR4H Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-PR4H, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-PR4E Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-PR4E, 1 Year
GLD-NTM-EA-UGD Gold Support for CSN/NTM-EA-UGD, 1 Year
GLD-NTM-EA3-UGD Gold Support for CSN/NTM-EA3-UGD, 1 Year
GLD-NTMC-SW01 Gold Support for CSN/NTMC-SW01, 1 Year

3 year Gold Support also available