I’m a pretty tall person and a strong non-believer in the one-size-fits-all paradigm. That’s because it’s a compromise and compromises don’t tend to look good, feel good or work well. While it might serve the industry to increase the addressable market with a single product, the user usually doesn’t benefit so much.
It’s a similar thing with cars. Daimler doesn’t produce just one Mercedes. Instead, it’s developed a range of models to address the needs of families, singles, people who want to drive fast, those who want to enjoy driving, topless cars and so on. One size fits all would not be a good strategy for a car maker in a highly competitive market.
But I want to talk networks and take a specific look at the network edge. Here, our customers tell a different story. They suffer from having a high number of network edge devices, in many cases bought from different suppliers. This creates quite a lot of cost. Network elements are spread across their network and the field forces need to know, serve and maintain them all. The operational team would like to see all those different management systems integrated under a common umbrella. Not an easy task. This keeps the system integration team busy, as any new release requires testing, verification and documentation. This also creates a lot of cost. A single network edge device could make life so much easier.
Just like the car industry, our competitive market does not allow a one-size-fits-all paradigm at the network edge. A single edge network element would need to provide any required feature with a single device. Such massive feature integration creates cost making its application prohibitive in a lot of use cases.
Obviously, the car industry has found a solution to the problem. Manufacturers use a single technology platform which is the basis for the different models. And this is what network operators can do as well. Instead of using different product families, they should use a single technology platform. If this platform provides a rich set of features, it forms the basis for cost-optimized solutions aligned with any market need. Products with a reduced feature set can be successfully applied in cost-sensitive applications, while high-end products provide a lot of headroom for growing revenue through the rapid introduction of NFV-based services.
This is how ADVA Optical Networking has strategically extended its FSP 150 portfolio. A common technology platform was developed as the foundation for the widest range of purpose-built network elements available in our industry. Customers can choose from a range of market-leading products which matches demand with a perfectly aligned solution without requiring time-consuming and expensive introduction of new products. ADVA Optical Networking’s One Network Edge solution portfolio enables a service provider to immediately respond to each and every customer demand. These include:
- Connecting off-net sites through 3rd party Carrier Ethernet, IP/MPLS networks or the internet
- Flexibly extending the services portfolio by hosting appliances on a versatile edge compute platform
- Responding to security needs by protecting traffic passing through untrusted public networks
- Distributing time to the edge of the network for mobile and a wide range of sensor applications, in a highly precise way
- Interfaces for fiber or copper as both media will remain relevant
- Outdoor and indoor solutions
One Network Edge combines flexibility with ease of integration and enables service providers to grow their business and extend their services portfolio without facing the troublesome introduction of new products. Communication service providers can now choose from a consistent FSP 150 product family which encompasses the most industry’s comprehensive set of value-creating network edge capabilities. One Network Edge really does fit all!