After three years in the making, OSS/BSS vendor Netcracker took the wraps off of its Netcracker 2020 digital portfolio. Netcracker 2020 offers service providers and their customers an automated, multi-vendor microservices environment for 5G digital services and applications.
Netcracker said the digital portfolio was fully open and standards compliant, and was built with cloud-based services and applications in mind. Netcracker's Ari Banerjee, vice president of strategy, said in an email to FierceTeelcom that Netcracker 2020 was compliant with TM Forum, MEF, ETSI, 3GPP, CableLabs, and the Open Networking Foundation, among other open source groups and standard bodies. It features open APIs and API management automation and conformance based on industry standards.
Netcracker 2020 uses a new operational model to remove manual tasks and drive automation across network domains, services that cross domains, business processes and channels that are moving towards open 5G networks with cloud-native functions and edge cloud applications.
Netcracker 2020 digital applications are cloud-native and designed to run in a multi-cloud environment, and can deliver the same performance and resiliency on public clouds as on-premise cloud platforms. It also includes a security architecture and trust center.
Netcracker's 2020's software runs on any cloud platform, including public clouds from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. In order to keep pace with an accelerating environment, it also features continuous short releases by using agile/DevOps processes that don't disrupt business operations.
The low code platform and DevOps practice/toolset allow service to create their own features or engage in joint development with other vendors or service providers.
In addition to virtual network functions (VNFs), Netcracker 2020 now supports container-based network functions, as well as container-based and virtual network services. The CNF onboarding uses TOSCA models with modifications for CNFs.
Netcracker 2020 has been deployed by 15 customers to date, including Charter, Rakuten, Swisscom, Vodafone Group and A1 Telecom Austria Group. In addition to Tier 1 service providers, Banerjee said the digital portfolio could scale up or down for use by small and medium-sized operators.
“Netcracker 2020 is the culmination of over 25 years of experience of providing and operating mission-critical systems to hundreds of service providers around the globe in order to keep their businesses moving forward,” said Netcracker CTO Bob Titus, in a statement. “This includes support for new business models, hyper automation, cloud adoption and the use of open source, outcome-based delivery models and, perhaps most importantly, an exceptional digital-first customer experience.”
Netcracker's competitors include Amdocs, Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson. OSS/BSS vendors played a key role in migrating service providers from their legacy-based architectures to more hybrid networks that included the use of virtualization. With 5G deployments expected to scale over the coming years, vendors are developing platforms to enable 5G services and applications, all of which provide business use cases for 5G.