We are pleased to present the 2017 Roadmap for our Peeredge Cloud Switch. As many of you may know, we acquired the rights to the SwitchRay’s products and customers in September of this year. Our two primary goals in this acquisition were to welcome the 400+ worldwide customers into our Peeredge Ecosystem and to gain access to a mature set of intellectual property that started the software switch legacy nearly two decades ago, marketed as MERA MVTS and RTU.
Peeredge Lives On
Many of you have expressed concern that our focus would shift away from our hosted platform and towards this new opportunity. This couldn’t be further from our intentions. Our goal is to convert each of the SwitchRay products into equivalent Peeredge products. This means that the Peeredge brand and legacy will live on, while the SwitchRay brand will not. It also means that we will be leveraging the intellectual property we acquired to improve all Peeredge products, especially the Peeredge Cloud Switch. All of that being said, 2017 will be a year that we merge the Peeredge and SwitchRay intellectual property to build something truly unique. With the focus of this roadmap being the Peeredge Cloud Switch, take a look at what we have in store for 2017:
Upgraded Datacenter for Increased Stability
We will be upgrading our DAL01 datacenter to include large battery units to buffer our power in the event of a black/brownout on multiple legs of power at the same time. While unusual, we did experience this event in 2016 and believe introducing battery backup is a prudent step to prevent this from happening again.
Introducing Openstack Architecture: Robust User Independence Hosted by 46 Labs
Since the company was founded, it has always been our intention to allow our customers to leverage the economies and flexibility that running on a shared platform affords. However, running an entirely shared platform introduces some limitations on us as a company and you as a customer. Therefore, we have chosen to abstract our “cloud” out to a much higher architectural level. Currently we have customers assigned to shared clusters of resources. These clusters operate independently from other clusters, but multiple tenants are on them at any given time. This means that one customer can have an impact on multiple. It also means that we can’t deploy a patch or debug an event for a single customer, without it impacting multiple customers. Further, resources like Media IPs are not unique to a given customer.
This is why we have chosen to power our Peeredge Cloud Switch and our datacenters with Openstack. This will allow each individual user to have their own resources, not shared by others and remain entirely independent from other customers. Each customer will get their own individual grouping of load balancers, routing servers, SBCs, media anchors (if applicable), workers, reporting back-ends and UI instances. Essentially it will be like you have your own infrastructure, but hosted inside of our environment. Furthermore, we can scale out each customer independently, allowing us to build much more tailored environments at the customer level. Lastly, the Openstack API is the most robust API interface for any cloud environment, powering companies like Rackspace. Customers will be granted access to this API to monitor and control their instances. Lastly, given that each customer will be granted their own individual subnet, they are open to deploy their own workload alongside their Peeredge Cloud Switch and communicate natively over a private network.
This will transform your Peeredge Cloud Switch into less of a switching-only solution and more into a platform to build native voice infrastructures. You as the user will now have the ability to build out the infrastructure as your needs evolve, rather than relying on a single-fit solution. Our 46 Labs Team members will assist you at any level to custom fit your infrastructure to meet your needs, as part of your Peeredge Cloud Switch subscription.
Machine Intelligence for Better Reporting
A system-wide improvement in reporting is scheduled for Q1 2017. We will be leveraging our already robust Apache Cassandra infrastructure with the power of Spark analytics, to perform ad-hoc queries against your data using native methods. Additionally, this will serve as the basis for a triggering, alerting and machine learning infrastructure that you will be able to programmatically train to route around issues with user involvement. Stay tuned for more details about specific features and functionalities. Even better still, we will provide training via webcasts along with one-on-one trainings with our team.
Improved Routing for Better User Control
One of the most advanced features of the second major revision of Peeredge was with our routing infrastructure. Routing containerization made trunk groups much more controllable to specific destinations but led to significantly more complex routing rules which could be confusing. In our quest to improve routing in 2017, we will be shifting the methodology which focuses on trunk groups toward destinations. This means that the routing concepts will transition from assigning destinations to trunk groups to assigning trunk groups to destinations. You will have now experience greater management and improved granular control for trunk groups at the destination level. Stay tuned for more details about these improvements along with available training.
Our Support Team Just Got Bigger!
Although much of the attention in late 2016 was placed on our acquisition of SwitchRay, it was not our only acquisition. Effective December 1st of 2016, we acquired the customers and support engineers from MVTS Solutions, which is a softswitch support company. In that acquisition, 12 new support engineers joined the 46 Labs team. What this means for you and why we went the extra mile to acquire this team was to allow our company to expand our support operations into a 24/7/365 role. This not only helps us to accommodate our new international customers but gives you more resources to reach out to, in addition to our existing excellent support team. This transition is set to complete by December 31, 2016 and training will start on Peeredge products in January 2017. We will be shortly posting our new support methods, as well as our new support portal for ticket tracking and live support. Look for an email from us with these details in January.
Improved Flexibility in our Account Management Portal
In keeping with the advancements to our platform and team, we are also improving the tools available to our customers for account management. This will include a new portal that you may order additional services, upgrade or revise your account, view invoices, change payment methods, track your trouble tickets and receive live 1-on-1 support with our responsive customer service team. The portal will integrate with our Openstack API to spin up new instances inside of your personal Peeredge cloud. Along with our support changes mentioned above, we will be sending details on how to access this portal in January.
24/7/365 Support & Helpdesk Outsourcing
We saw enterprise business remain extremely robust in 2016 so we created a wholly-owned subsidiary called Versatel to better respond to network operation needs. This subsidiary manages certain regulated parts of our enterprise business as well providing BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) to these customers. In late 2016, we productized the helpdesk/NOC part of our business by offering it as a service. Through Versatel, we built a near-shore team of support engineers to handle network operations and help-desking for carriers and enterprises. These companies utilize our specialists to manage multiple customer-facing aspects of their companies including trouble tickets, provisioning, network operations and customer support. This support team is entirely independent from 46 Labs, but can leverage our backend tools to speed analysis. Since this team operates 24x7x365, is North America-based and multi-lingual (English/Spanish), customers can experience greater support at any time of the day. More details to follow on how to leverage this new service coming in the first part of 2017.
Last and certainly not least, our customers remain the single biggest focus of our business. This year, we made decisions that allowed us to better serve you with new products and improved services as well as bolster our existing business. We will continue to search for innovative ways to improve our products and services so that you can continue scale your business. We are excited to welcome you into the New Year and believe that 2017 will be the best year yet!