5 Things Telcos Should Know About Clearwater Core

Metaswitch's unique approach to IMS helps network operators innovate faster and reduce deployment costs.

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(PRWEB) April 17, 2014

This year Metaswitch released the first software subscription service based on Project Clearwater, the popular open-source IMS initiative. That service, Clearwater Core, provides network operators with a way to reduce network deployment costs and speed the development of innovative services.

As Clearwater Core is unique to the market, here are five attributes that make it stand out:

1. Subscription-Based Pricing
With no up-front acquisition costs or license fees, Clearwater Core removes the typical cost barriers to deploying IMS core network equipment. Network operators can leverage their standard compute resources while incurring a minimal software subscription fee based on the number of virtual CPU cores utilized. This pay-as-you-go subscription model can save operators millions compared to traditional hardware procurement and software licensing.

2. A Better Way to IMS
Clearwater Core provides a foundation for complete wireline and wireless IP communications and removes the cost barriers to deploying IMS-based services like Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communications Services (RCS). Clearwater Core comprises IMS control-plane functions – including I-CSCF, S-CSCF and BGCF. In addition, cutting edge analytics tools can be purchased by licensing Metaswitch’s Service Assurance Server. Metaswitch’s award-winning session border controller, Perimeta, can also be purchased to serve the P-CSCF role. The bottom line: Clearwater Core dramatically reduces traditional core network deployment times. Service providers can have an IMS core network operating in a matter of hours.

3. Scalable, Resilient Design
From its inception, Clearwater was designed for the cloud so that service providers can build and deploy massively scalable applications with the same ease and cost structures as Web companies like Amazon or Facebook. Rather than using traditional telco appliances, it’s based on established Web design patterns that were adapted to meet the requirements of SIP and IMS.

The Clearwater architecture enables all components to scale out horizontally using simple, stateless load-balancing. This allows service providers to scale applications and services elastically and dynamically on-demand. Clearwater Core’s reliability is achieved by keeping most components largely stateless and storing long-lived state in specially designed clustered data stores. Geographic redundancy is facilitated by deploying a single Clearwater Core instance across two or more distinct data center locations with a secure, private, connection between them, enabling the replication of registration information. Standard cloud-based DNS services are then employed to manage failover.

4. Virtualized Network Function
The Web-services-oriented design inherent to Clearwater Core makes it the perfect example of a virtualized network function (VNF). As such, Clearwater Core can ease telcos into the NFV revolution. It’s one small piece of the overall NFV puzzle that will help service providers transition incrementally to NFV. With Clearwater Core, service providers can take a step toward NFV and experiment with new ways for deploying networks and developing services.

5. Real Support
Even though Clearwater is not a hardware-based network element, it is backed by the same traditional level of support and maintenance services, and then some, that service providers would expect from their suppliers. With Clearwater Core, Metaswitch supplies a tailored, “named engineer” support service, custom engineering, bespoke professional services, and consultancy. Service providers are not isolated in their implementation of the cloud-based IMS core network or in their transition to NFV.

Clearwater Core is another example of Metaswitch helping to power the transition of communication networks into a cloud-based, software-centric, all-IP future.