NEC/Netcracker Partners with Packet Design to Advance SDN for Service Providers

In case you missed it, Packet Design and NEC/Netcracker announced a partnership this week. The goal: to provide integrated SDN solutions that help service provider customers improve service quality, add new revenue streams, and reduce costs.

So, what does that mean exactly?

First, it’s important to understand that Netcracker is a leading provider of OSS/BSS and Integrated Revenue and Customer Management (IRCM) solutions to the communications service provider industry. They’ve been at this for well over twenty years and, since being acquired by NEC in 2008, have continued to grow organically, through integration with NEC products and services, and via acquisitions (anyone remember Convergys, for example?). So, the company is very well positioned to leverage its technology, services expertise and capacity, and worldwide customer relationships to deliver new SDN and NFV solutions to CSPs.

Not surprisingly, we share many customers with Netcracker as our product sets are complementary. Netcracker provides a range of products and services, including customer and partner management, billing and revenue management, operations management, and services orchestration. Packet Design’s technology is lower in the software stack, capturing IP/MPLS routing, traffic and performance telemetry for real-time, historical and predictive analytics that help network teams assure and optimize service delivery.

As we have written before in this blog, analytics are key to delivering next-generation network services. [It is important to note that telemetry and monitoring are not analytics, although they are often represented as such. Presenting network data in graphical, intuitive displays is valuable, but analytics entails much more. Analytics apply human know-how to large data sets at electronic speed to create actionable information and drive automation.] Packet Design’s analytics provide valuable network state models – past, present, and future – that enable intelligent service orchestration by higher level management solutions, such as Netcracker’s Transport SDN Solution, or directly by SDN controllers, like OpenDaylight.

The early WAN-SDN architectures we see being designed and deployed by customers are complex. Typically, they are multi-level, multi-domain, multi-layer, multi-controller, and multi-vendor ecosystems. So, open APIs for integration of multiple piece-parts are essential. The diagram below is a simplified representation of these architectures without being specific to any specific customer.

Open API architecture for WAN SDN

Open API architecture for WAN SDN

We have been engaging with customers to respond to their WAN-SDN requirements. The use cases are varied and include automated provisioning of VPN services with certain quality of service constraints, running networks hotter, ensuring data sovereignty, auto-remediation of service failures, and several others. In many of these customer engagements, Packet Design is collaborating with OSS/service orchestration partners.

Over the next several months, Packet Design and Netcracker will certify the interoperability of our technologies and will also commence joint marketing and sales efforts. Please stay tuned to this blog to learn more about the specific customer use cases that are being addressed by this partnership.