We are happy to announce the availability of the latest version of our Explorer Suite — version 17.1. As with all product releases, the new features in this version were designed to accommodate the latest evolutions in IP/MPLS networks and the requirements of our customers.
In keeping with our mission to help network operators transform their networks to increase business agility, the new features provide greater operational visibility into the network’s control plane behavior, helping engineering and operations teams quickly understand the current state of the network and troubleshoot service delivery incidents even faster. In addition, the new version delivers industry-leading new SDN capabilities. Here is a summary of the three major features that are new in the Explorer Suite.
The “My Dashboard” feature allows users to create custom dashboards with “content” (widgets) that display data from various reports in the Explorer Suite. Unlike pre-defined widgets that are common in many products, the My Dashboard content can be edited and customized to display information that is relevant to each user in a single view without needing to search multiple pages and reports. Each user can create multiple dashboards, place the dashboard controls in any order, fix the size of each content to limited or expanded views, and set any one of the custom dashboards as the default page to be displayed when logging in to the Explorer Suite.
The My Dashboard feature helps network teams to quickly access critical information pertaining to a specific service or customer.
Before and After Path View
One of the most popular features of Packet Design’s Explorer Suite is its ability to capture routing paths in real time and play back the recorded history of path changes later. This feature allows network teams to understand the impact of path changes on the network.
We have enhanced this capability to provide a Before and After Path View on all mini-maps. When using the playback feature, the mini-map now shows the previous path taken along with the current path. Comparing the paths in the same map view helps to identify when and how a path changed and identify the previous and current hops taken by both the forward and reverse paths. With the Before and After Path View, network engineers and operations staff can reduce the time spent analyzing how path changes impact network service delivery.
You can see the My Dashboard and the Before and After Path View features in action in our latest video published here.
SDN Path Provisioning
Many service providers are adopting SDN technologies to build agile, efficient transport networks. In keeping with this network evolution, Explorer Suite 17.1 includes a new SDN application built on our SDN Analytics and Automation Platform.
The SDN Path Provisioning app allows a network provider to create a catalog of services with various policies (path constraints). They can then easily select a service from the catalog to satisfy a customer (subscriber) request. Using the app, the provider defines a transport service’s constraints including its priority, the optimization algorithm to be used, the type of traffic engineering to be used (RSVP-TE or Segment Routing), the type of protection required, such as node, link, SRLG (Shared Risk Link Group) or PE (Provider Edge router) diversity, and options to include or exclude nodes, interfaces or SRLGs. The provider can then simply assign a service from the catalog to a subscriber based on their requirements. The SDN Path Provisioning computes the best path to meet the constraints and, with the click of the ‘Provision’ button, issues the required configuration changes to an SDN controller, like OpenDaylight, or a service orchestrator via APIs to provision the path(s) in the network.
The Explorer SDN Platform gives network teams the capability to provision new paths in a few seconds that would otherwise take hours or even days, while retaining full visibility and control over the network.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the new capabilities in version 17. 1 of the Explorer Suite. And as always, we look forward to your feedback and ideas for new features that will enrich our products.