Nokia Siemens Networks Adopts NCS for Multi-vendor Management (and gains NETCONF and YANG)

Today we are very happy and proud to announce that Nokia Siemens Networks have selected our NCS product for inclusion in NetAct, their industry-leading OSS. NCS will provide configuration management features to significantly improve NetAct’s feature set related to managing multi-vendor IP infrastructure in wireless networks. It will do this through leveraging all the basic concepts of NCS including a model driven architecture (based on the YANG language) and transaction-safe changes over multiple boxes. The full press release including the traditional analyst and customer quotes is available here.

We are of course humbled by the fact that an industry leader like NSN selects NCS for such a challenging environment, but we’re also aware that this is a part of a greater trend spanning the industry. Service Providers are expecting highly automated configuration management solutions in environments that are:

  • Complex – configuration changes are made to several places at the same time
  • Frequent – changes happen more often than what is possible to maintain using manual means
  • Expensive to fail – customers don’t take lightly to service outages and have made sure that’s part of the SLA

This is now a fact in the day-to-day business for companies like NSN and is no longer something that can be sorted into the “good to have” or “we’ll fix it when we get to it” buckets. And the expectations are that these features should use standard technologies whenever possible.

On top of all this, the expectations are also that products taking an ambitious position in this challenging environment must also be able to cater to the ever changing nature of the context. Not only does the vendors, models and versions deployed change over time, but the concept of what services to deliver also changes rapidly over time. This means that the configuration management system must be able to not only redefine the “how” related to specific solutions for talking to participating network elements (e.g. through NETCONF, REST, CLI or other means) but also the “what” of device configuration schemas and service definitions (the formal definition of the services provided by the network, e.g. a VPN). If it can’t support these fundamental features, it’s just a matter of time before the design assumptions of the system will start impeding business and service development.

NCS has previously been proven to work in what on a first glance may look like vastly different areas (e.g. Smart Grid). But looking more closely at it, you’ll find that the required basic feature set has an almost 100% overlap (transactions, fine-grained changes), but that the invariant aspect is the models. More on this to come.