IBM and Juniper Networks have signed an agreement to work together to design and delivery the next generation of network analytics. The aim, they say, is to help communications service providers (CSP) and enterprises to be more efficient and to reduce the time and cost to deploy new network services.
As IBM points out, CSPs have historically focused on managing their networks "with little visibility into the impact on the customer experience". That means that engineers have traditionally designed, managed and maintained each component of a network based on the specialised role the component performs.
This in turn has led to an inability to "correlate network data with customer and device information in a timely and responsive manner". Now, says IBM, advanced data acquisition techniques and evermore sophisticated analytics are changing that game.
The IBM/Juniper collaboration dates back to 2009, and this latest announcement will see the Juniper Networks MX Router Service Control Gateway (SCG) integrate with Now Factory which IBM acquired 18 months ago. The two companies are hoping that they can use that technology to optimise network operations and also launch new customised services.
The aim is to attain create a service experience based on who is using the network and the applications being run that also takes into account the capabilities of the device being used (ie phone, tablet, notebook) and its location.
Elements of this exist already in many different guises but the trick, of course, is bringing it all together so that it works seamlessly.
What will all this mean in practice? According to the companies the aim is:
- Using the combination of Juniper Networks MX Router SCG and Contrail with IBM's Now Factory will "allow for complete visibility of subscribers and VPN behaviours" so that CSPs can offer scalable automated services based on real data.
- Juniper Networks will use IBM Analytics capabilities to help it understand data flows and to self-configure to automatically update and optimise networks operations and the subscriber experience, "whether subscribers are watching videos or using business applications", the companies said.
- IBM Analytics capabilities will also be integrated into Juniper Networks' Cloud Analytic Engine and switching solutions, the companies said. The aim is to enhance the quality of experience and application performance "by predicting and remediating anomalies such as latency before they occur".
Among the applications IBM is hoping to leverage will be its Now Factory, InfoSphere BigInsights for Hadoop, InfoSphere Streams, Cognos, PureData for Analytics, Watson Analytics and SPSS. In turn IBM Analytics capabilities will be marketed by Juniper Networks as an integral component of its routers, switches, firewalls and SDN solutions.