We were pleased to accept a Small Cell Industry Award last night for small cell design and technology innovation for the Cisco Management Heartbeat Server (CMHS). We were particularly pleased because the CMHS is an example of a solution our engineering team developed in response to some real world issues we were seeing in our customer’s small cell network – one of the largest small cell networks deployed today.

Above: Partho Mishra,VP/GM, Small Cell Technology Group, Cisco

When small cells are deployed in the hundreds of thousands, there’s a need to scale the monitoring of the access points so that operations are simplified while customers are kept happy.  The CMHS monitors connectivity and service status in real-time with ongoing heartbeats, and provides additional remote management capabilities on top of TR-069.  When changes are made in the network, operators have instant access to network status data to determine the service impact.  Something that used to take hours now takes seconds. And the CMHS is designed to scale – handling 250,000 connections on a single server.

I think it’s an indication of the growing maturity of the small cell market that this award was not given to an access point or even a gateway but to a network management element.  As deployments grow, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that the network is secure and highly available, on a mass scale.  Easing the burden of efficiently and cost-effectively maintaining the network for maximum uptime is another step towards enabling the growth of the small cell market as a whole.

CMHS is one of the core elements of the Cisco end-to-end Small Cell Solution – indeed the heartbeat.  It’s rewarding to receive industry recognition for this true technology innovation from the Cisco engineering team.