SDNbucks picks Nuage Networks SD-WAN platform for sports analytics

Nuage Networks and SDNbucks are hooking up soccer fans and coaches across Europe with video streams of soccer teams. (Pxabay)

Managed service provider SDNbucks picked Nuage Networks' SD-WAN 2.0 platform to provision cloud-based sports analytics for SciSports.

Nokia-owned Nuage Networks' SD-WAN is being used to interconnect with sports stadiums, team offices, data centers and a cloud-based application engine hosted on Google Cloud Platform.

SciSports data intelligence engine, which is called BallJames, can analyze soccer players during real time, including which combination of players are having the most success during a game.

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SciSports' portfolio also includes a player recruitment platform, data intelligent API-based services, and statistics. Coaching staffs can use the information to gauge their tactics while web and TV fans can view the statistics during a game. The platform provides direct access to machine learning algorithms, which quantify the quality and potential of over 90,000 professional soccer players in the world.

"The coaches can evaluate the player's value, which obviously translates to contracts and things like that," said Nuage Networks' Patrick McCabe, senior marketing manager, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "So statistically, the idea is for professional sports entities to be able to more accurately ascertain the value of athletes; what they're good at, what the strengths are, who plays better together, how to optimize the chance of winning.

"The analysis can also be sent to a coach so the coach can then analyze what's happening during a game and make a tactical decision on the field about what players are playing well together. We feel that this will change the landscape of professional sports as we know it today.

In order to provision all of those services and features, SDNbucks, which is based in the Netherlands, uses cameras at stadiums for high-definition video streams that are provisioned over the internet to the Google Cloud using Nuage's SD-WAN service.

"In this case, we are using two or more fiber-optic internet connections, which are completely diverse coming into the stadiums," said SDNbucks founder Niek van der Ven in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We selected those providers mainly on their BGP transits and on their peering. They are each one gigabit that are running into the stadiums."

Nuage Networks SD-WAN service is used to find the best paths for the video streams from the field cameras to the cloud while using either virtual or physical customer premises equipment (CPE). Van der Ven said the hardware boxes being used are from Dell, HP and Advantech

The SD-WAN service breaks down the video feeds into microsegments and encrypts them for security. SciSports has visibility and control into video and data feeds via Nuage Networks SD-WAN portal.

Related: Nuage Networks unveils SD-WAN 2.0 for enterprise play

Van der Ven said that SDNbucks uses an "orchestrator of orchestrators" that's based on ONAP and that the company was currently migrating to the latest ONAP software release, which is called Casablanca. SDNbucks operates in five different European regions and in more than 70 countries

SDNbucks' data centers—it currently has two data centers with plans to add more in other regions—host all of the multi-tenant elements of Nuage's SD-WAN platform that are used for orchestration at the SD-WAN endpoints, and management and control while other components are located at SciSports' sites and at the Google Cloud.

SDNbucks lists Riverbed, Citrix, Nuage and SilverPeak as the SD-WAN vendors that it works with, but van der Ven said there were two compelling reasons to use Nuage with SciSports.

"One of the main reasons for SDNbucks to choose Nuage 2.0, is the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) support next to AWS and Azure," van der Ven said. "The second reason is that we can run them as a virtual instance. So we can use a universal hardware platform, universal CPE, and we can then run the software that is needed for a certain customer. Those two points were the key differentiators."

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