Opening up to Network Disaggregation with DriveNets and KGPCo

In a survey conducted by Heavy Reading this month, nearly half of CSPs predict their companies will radically change their IP Networks in the next three years. The most important selection criteria for a new vendor (52% responded) was for a software-based networking solution, with disaggregation of hardware and software as the second most important (at 40%). “Incumbent IP vendor” was a low priority, considered important only to 27% of the respondents.

Smooth Deployment is Key

The survey results are revealing. While some CSPs, particularly those who have grown accustomed to deploying and managing specific vendor platforms, may prefer to continue in their current path, many others are open to trying the disaggregated network route, provided that it is properly deployed, orchestrated, and managed. In fact, the biggest concern CSPs have regarding a disaggregated network model is the complexity of orchestration, management, and support of the open multivendor-based solution.  

In reality, the new disaggregated operational model is more efficient than the traditional one. According to ACG Research, it delivers an average of 52% total CapEx+OpEx savings. As network infrastructure becomes cheaper to acquire from an open ecosystem of best-of-breed software and hardware vendors, CSPs will experience a dramatically shorter deployment lifecycle, a much more transparent deployment, and a more efficient support process that will lead to cheaper operations.

DriveNets and KGPCo Team Up

This is what is driving the partnership of DriveNets, the disaggregated networking software company, and KGPCo, the largest and most experienced integrator of network solutions in the service provider market.

DriveNets’ Network Cloud solution brings the highest scale carrier-grade disaggregated network architecture to the market with cloud native distributed software running on standard white boxes.  KGPCo ensures highly efficient operations with its One Touch solution and addresses service providers’ need for complete lifecycle management of the disaggregated network model – from white box sourcing and preparation, through installation, to provisioning and support. Our partnership enables CSPs to get the best of the legacy and the disaggregated networking model – an open network infrastructure with greater choice than ever before, together with faster and more efficient deployment than the traditional single-vendor model.

System Integration is Vital to Success

System integration is a vital aspect of the disaggregation model for the following reasons:

  1. Brings order to the large number of moving hardware and software elements that exist in a disaggregated network infrastructure.
  2. Ensures carrier-grade delivery within a flexible operational model that must fit a CSP’s unique processes and integration requirements.
  3. Alters the traditional supply chain model by shifting dependency from a single vendor to multiple vendors, without sacrificing the speed and efficiency of implementing the network infrastructure.

Moreover, many times the disaggregated model can be deployed even faster than the traditional monolithic one. In fact, many legacy vendors are already using Value Added Resellers (VARs) and system integrators (SIs) like KGPCo. Therefore, from an operator’s perspective, these processes would remain the same. Regarding the concerns of which vendor to call when something goes wrong, the answer is again similar to the current model. The software vendor is typically the point of contact, with both vendors working closely together.

The Value of an Experienced Systems Integrator

This is why an experienced systems integrator like KGPCo is so valuable. By taking charge of converting blank white boxes into a single router entity and then applying network orchestration capabilities that manage it throughout the entire deployment and operational lifecycle, KGPCo complements the network software vendor by addressing both the traditional support elements of the system integrator and everything else the legacy router vendor used to do. Basically, nothing changes for the network operator – they still get the support of both system integrator and a router vendor. Yet, now the router is a software solution, while the organization as a whole gains a state-of-the-art network environment.

Opening Up the Network

KGPCo’s expertise fits precisely with DriveNets’ goal of simplifying the deployment of open, white box-based networks. Using KGPCo’s One Touch deployment model, CSPs receive end-to-end lifecycle management with a consistent deployment strategy across the entire network, from initial design through test and validation, to system integration, field installation, and ongoing technical support. In many cases, this reduces the cost of traditional network architectures and cuts cycle times by as much as 50%, removing much of the forecasting, buying, equipment spares management, and contract management aspects from the delivery process.

Once KGPCo has scrubbed the router of its initial software, loaded up the new network operating system (NOS), and deployed the device in the CSP’s facility, KGPCo One Touch deployment provides fully automated installation and management. DriveNets’ Orchestration solution, DNOR, complements it with zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) and Life Cycle Management (LCM) that provides deep visibility and analytics, ensuring that the entire solution meets top performance and efficiency targets.

This approach also allows CSPs to deploy best-of-breed solutions and gain greater transparency into network infrastructure and operations. The open solution and the disaggregated hardware and software allows KGPCo to gain access to data that is often hidden by a proprietary solution.

Getting CSPs Ready for the Disaggregated Network

There is no question that the transition to disaggregated networking represents a major change. However, with the proper guidance there is no reason for this approach to be disruptive. In the end, a disaggregated router is still a router managed as a single entity, deployed and supported by the router vendor and the VAR/System Integrator. The only difference is that the new disaggregated model enables cost savings, as well as the scale growth flexibility that is needed today and into the future. The key to implementing disaggregated networking will be acquiring the expertise needed to guide this change through to a successful conclusion. Working side-by-side, KGPCo and DriveNets now offer everything needed to set the CSP landscape up for the next generation.

About the author

Ludovic Rubin
Ludovic is Director of Product Marketing at DriveNets. Ludovic has 20 years of experience in product management, product marketing and business development, primarily in the field of telecom (mobile networks, OSS/BSS and video) and enterprise applications.

Ludovic holds a Master of Science (MsC) in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Lyon (France), a post-masters’ degree in mobile communications from Telecom ParisTech and completed the Management Accelerator Program at INSEAD.

Jaimie Pfeiffer
Jaimie is the AVP of Marketing at KGPCo.

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