Many network operators envision the network of the future – one that is self-healing and self-optimizing – and are deploying new software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies. While automating network provisioning and service activation affords compelling benefits, such as reduced time to revenue, higher return on capital investments, and improved operating efficiency, it creates new management challenges.
First, with few exceptions, these new technologies are being deployed in existing networks which means analytics and automation solutions must be aware of both legacy and SDN-enabled infrastructure. Second, while SDN controllers provide the mechanism for automating network configuration changes, they lack the intelligence to govern what changes can and should be made. Third, when network changes are made programmatically with no human intervention, operators are left blind when problems occur. Finally, traditional NMS/OSS tools that periodically capture aggregated health metrics are incapable of detecting and analyzing the hundreds or thousands of events that occur in dynamic networks between polling intervals.
Packet Design’s Explorer Suite delivers the first independent, vendor-agnostic SDN Platform to address these challenges across both existing and SDN-enabled infrastructure. By capturing all IGP/BGP routing events, traffic flows, and the performance of key services, it creates models that are used to calculate future states based on various conditions and business policies. A powerful path computation and optimization engine gives operators accurate impact assessments of application requests for network resources and the best way to provision them. If approved, the changes can be configured automatically via a third party service orchestrator or an SDN controller. Real-time telemetry provides immediate, closed-loop feedback with no visibility gaps.