June 15, 2022

Head of Product Strategy

Being Spotted on the GigaOm Radar

The research firm GigaOm recently conducted a survey covering NOS (network operating system) offerings from 17 different vendors targeting the NSP (network service provider) market. The results of the survey were mapped into a radar view that positioned the DriveNets Network Operating System (DNOS) solution as a market leader. This blog post will describe how to read the report and what it means.

Being Spotted on the GigaOm Radar

Defining the Validity of the Prospective NOS Solution

The GigaOm radar report puts forward three criteria for defining the validity of the prospective NOS solution. First is the completeness of the solution based on its vision, which is depicted by the radar quadrant in which the solution is positioned. Second is how far along the vendor is in implementing the solution, which is expressed by distance to the center of the radar. Third is how fast the vendor is moving towards completion of this implementation, which is presented as the length of the arrow tagged to each solution.

It’s worth noting that the report covers the vision and implementation of NOS solutions that are decoupled from the hardware they run on, which is commonly known as disaggregated NOS. Implementation of traditional NOS – which is tightly coupled to its hardware and is the typical product of incumbent router vendors like Cisco, Juniper and Nokia – did not make the cut and was left outside the report. However, these same NOS solutions (or partial implementations of them) when running as a disaggregated software are indeed a part of the report.

The Industry is Heading to a Disaggregated NOS

The radar report as such leads to two major observations. First, disaggregated NOS is where the industry is headed, since the traditional vertically integrated solutions are lacking (in terms of innovation, vendor lock-in, scale and flexibility, to name just a few of their shortcomings). Second, GigaOm was sharp enough to identify this industry trend, and has been observing it for quite some time.

This is not the first GigaOm radar report that covers disaggregated NOS. A report from last year also named DriveNets as a leader in this field. What’s clearly noticed from these two reports is the progress made in understanding the different use cases for disaggregated NOS and the improved analysis of the respective solutions. This is noted with the breakdown of the radar report by target markets (network providers and cloud providers) as well as by several network layers (where such solutions are applicable).

What Makes DriveNets a Market Leader

To understand what makes DriveNets a market leader, let’s rewind to the three criteria mentioned at the beginning of this post: completeness of solution, progress in implementation, and how fast it is progressing. The DriveNets solution started as a carrier-grade solution for filling the role of a core router, and expanded into aggregation, peering, and down to the network edge. Except for access networks, which are a commodity that can be sourced from numerous vendors, this covers all the use cases for a network service provider. In fact, this targets the more challenging use cases – so in terms of vision, it provides a solid and complete solution.

Between last year’s report and the current one, we have added several customers to our installed base, covering other use cases besides the well-known core implementation we have running at AT&T. This indicates both solution completeness and progress in implementation. And the fact that there were that many changes made within the past year from the previous report is an indication of speed.

That’s the hat trick that earned us the leadership position in the GigaOm radar report. But while vision and implementation are somewhat deterministic, speed is relative. Did DriveNets move fast in the past year to add more functionality to the DNOS-based solution? Were we fast in launching deployments with a few more tier-1 operators? Were we fast in implementing additional use cases beyond only core?

A Lot More Coming From DriveNets

In the telecom space, where each of these accomplishments is a task that takes a couple of years (if you are good), doing it all within one year is extremely fast – especially compared to how incumbents have operated for years and to how other innovative vendors are progressing.

There’s a lot more coming from DriveNets, both in terms of vision and implementation:

  • expanding the ecosystem with additional sources for hardware
  • supporting more silicon options for more use cases
  • mounting non-routing services onto the network cloud platform to become hosted network functions within the network
  • running applications on the edge with utmost proximity to subscribers

These are all at different levels of implementation and making their way into deployment. There is a joke about how to break a world speed record. You start as fast as you can, and then continuously accelerate all the time (sounds better when spoken)! This is what DriveNets is set to accomplish – no kidding!

Analyst Report

GigaOm Radar for Network Operating Systems: Network Service Providers