x
Optical/IP

Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation

ATLANTA -- Supercomm -- Unisphere Networks Inc. is getting into the IP services business. The company announced its new product, called the SDX-300B, here today at the Supercomm 2002 tradeshow.

The product is an IP services platform that works alongside Unisphere's two edge routers, the ERX and the MRX. This new platform will put Unisphere -- and its new acquirer, Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) (see Juniper Nabs Unisphere for $740M) -- head to head with companies like CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN), Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK), and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), which all sell boxes specifically dedicated to providing IP services such as virtual private networks (VPNs).

The IP service creation market is a new one for Unisphere and Juniper. Juniper, which built its reputation in core IP routing, has recently made progress in selling its high-end edge routing products. Unisphere has developed a strong customer base for its edge routing and broadband DSL aggregation products. But neither company had a product that would compete with service creation boxes like the Shasta box from Nortel or the IPSX from CoSine.

The SDX-300B is a software product that runs on a Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) Netra server, the type of platform used by softswitches.

Unisphere already supports IP services, like different flavors of VPNs, as do its competitors CoSine and Nortel/Shasta. But the SDX-300B will provide an easier way for those services to be administered to service provider customers. Essentially, the SDX-300B acts as a policy repository and handles billing from statistics gathered from the edge router.

The SDX supports standards such as COPS, Radius, LDAP, and Corba, allowing service providers to tie the IP services into OSS environments and existing user directories. It enables service providers to created Web-based management portals that will allow enterprise users to dynamically change their services and provision new ones.

While there has been a lot of buzz about the potential of this market, the idea of enterprises outsourcing IP services like VPNs is yet to be proven. Service providers are just now starting to roll out managed VPN services (see Service Providers Jump on VPNs).

The new product is available today and is on trial at seven customer sites, although the company would not name them.

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on Supercomm 2002, please visit: Supercomm Special
bon_vivant 12/4/2012 | 10:18:45 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation Is this SDX-300B just a repackaged Extended Service & Subscriber Management option of the UMC Service Selection Center? They sound very similar in functionality, runs on the same platform, supports the same protocols.

Just a marketing exercise, or a real new product?
Litewave 12/4/2012 | 10:18:40 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation Author: bon_vivant

Just a marketing exercise, or a real new product?


Looks like a "formal launch" of what they've been positioning from day 1 (if you recally their "Zero Touch" provisioning pitch)

This probably implies their solution is alot more scalable/Carrier-grade in its application in a real-live network then anything the other players have today (Cosine, Shasta, etc).

Come to think of it, Juniper now has everything Nortel ever dreamed of having. Too bad they don't have any ca$h ...
rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 10:18:39 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation "This probably implies their solution is alot more scalable/Carrier-grade in its application in a real-live network then anything the other players have today (Cosine, Shasta, etc)."---LW.

Shasta's already a powerful scalable carrier grade BSN. It has been for a while. I don't believe their solution (UNISPHERE)is as efficient. From the article, it seems that the processing will be done by the edge routers, rather than the node itself. This may present software glitches, missed router tables, wrong billings, etc. Although it may be cheaper, it may not perform to the levels of Cosine or Shasta. Only the actual tests at the beta sites may give an answer. We'll see...
Daveman 12/4/2012 | 10:18:34 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation Seems that a more direct competitor to this solution would be Lucent's SPringTide IP Services box. Sounds identical to what is being described. Isn't CoSine more of a subscriber management solution? I think someone hasn't done there homework to understand this space... Shasta does have scaling issues - just talk to the engineering team at ChoiceOne and ask them about it...
Litewave 12/4/2012 | 10:18:25 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation Author: rafaelg

"This probably implies their solution is alot more
scalable/Carrier-grade in its application in a real-live network then anything the other players have today (Cosine, Shasta, etc)."---LW.

Shasta's already a powerful scalable carrier grade BSN. It has been for a while.


Guess I wasn't clear in what I meant.

By "solution" I didn't mean the hardware/box, I meant the subscriber service management software platform.

The holy-grail of all these competing solutions is to allow the end-customer to perform self-provisioning.

IMHO Unisphere is way ahead in providing a Carrier grade solution to do this. Nortel is still fidleing hacked software to perform similar functions.

Shasta's already a powerful scalable carrier grade BSN. It has been for a while.

Since you mentioned it... not from what I'm hearing in the market place. The box crashes beyond a bare minimum number of subscribers. I've heard its been crashing all over in Europe & Asia and customers can't wait to get rid of the box.
rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 10:18:24 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation "Since you mentioned it... not from what I'm hearing in the market place. The box crashes beyond a bare minimum number of subscribers. I've heard its been crashing all over in Europe & Asia and customers can't wait to get rid of the box."---LW

Most of the "crashing" that I was aware of, came from the customer not knowing how to provision and configure the VPNs, incompatible equipment that was not carrier grade, etc., or customers corrupting the set up for the slots. Some opted not to acquire redundancy cards where they should have. I do concede that it is a difficult box to configure (over 102 master and slave processors!) The ISOS IS complex. Nevertheless, it does self-provision.
I don't know what "you have heard" but, from someone that actually worked with the product, IMO the SHASTA BSN does meet all the parameters that are advertised.

As far as Springtide, at one time it was having firewall security issues. Considering that all these companies are now focusing on this market vein, I find it ironic that LU had a product (almost at release) that was going kick-ass by multiplying the subscribers ten-fold compared to anything that is available now, and it cancelled it!!! The MSC25000...

Not that it would discredit my statement, but...
No, I don't work for Nortel now

:-D
Litewave 12/4/2012 | 10:18:07 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation Author: rafaelg

Most of the "crashing" that I was aware of, came from the customer not knowing how to provision and configure the VPNs, incompatible equipment that was not carrier grade, etc.


That too, like I believe what happened in Australia with Telstra (if I'm not mistaken).

More recently though I've been hearing of software stability issues around loading the box with subscribers.

Nevertheless, it does self-provision.

Technically its capable, but as a total solution, they do not have a self-provisioning system that scales to allow thousands of subs doing their own provisioning. Their app is held together with string & tape, not carrier-grade/shrink-wrapped by any means (yet... I suppose).

No, I don't work for Nortel now

:-D


Aren't you a happy camper.
Daveman 12/4/2012 | 10:17:16 PM
re: Unisphere Shoots for Service Creation I think that just goes to show ya where the IP Services industry is going... Despite some good products - there's no real market here. Cisco is doing the right thing to ignore it - it leaves the spotlight off. Shasta has marketshare. I've used both Shasta, Cosine and SpringTide - I'm partial to SpringTide (worked there in another life). I expect some if not all these products won't be around in another year or so. Pity, I think it was a better way to self provision from the subscriber standpoint... Cisco's approach will never die.
HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE