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Red Hat Innovation Award Winner

Company: Rancore Technologies

Innovation Award Category: Outstanding Open Source Architecture

Industry: Telecommunications

Geography: India

Solution: JBoss Enterprise Application Platform; Red Hat Enterprise Linux

BACKGROUND

Headquartered in Navi Mumbai, India, Rancore Technologies a leading technology R&D firm focused on 4G telecom networks and services. Rancore is a privately held company and a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a fortune 500 firm and India's most valuable company.

Rancore's product line ranges from LTE and WiMAX Base Stations to the LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC), the IP Multimedia Subsystem (3GPP IMS) to its own Service Delivery Platform (SDP). The SDP product line is based on the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The company has approximately 200 engineers, which consist of core 4G product designers, systems QA engineers, 4G telco subject matter experts and business analysts.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The biggest challenge that Rancore faced for their project consisted of working on a state-of-art, but a very new technology. In February 2008, the 4G standards for mobile network technology, which has the power to transmit voice, video, text, and television data at the same time were still in a nascent stage of standardization. During this time, Rancore launched the Service Delivery Platform (SDP) project. Therefore, the products had to be flexible enough to cater to the ever-changing standards and requirements to remain competitive.

Moreover, working in the services space also presented new business requirements which had to be inculcated in the product. Hence, product development required a very strong "concept to realization" capability. On the technical front, integration aspects with the 3GPP IMS core (developed by Rancore internally) and OSS/BSS stacks provided by leading IT vendors was a challenge. This situation presented the need to be standards based (eg: SIP, DIAMETER) and still provide open interfaces (eg: web services) to enable speedy systems integration (SI) and reduce time to market. In addition, the platform needed to be built in such a way that it could integrate with additional third-party products of Tier-1 vendors and had to be built keeping in mind the open architecture.

The final solution desired flexibility in terms of incorporating new requirements imposed by the ever evolving 4G standards. Moreover, the solution required a rich, feature-complete GUI for easy operations and maintenance of the final product. The latest telecom features were also required for the product, as IMS was the target network for deployment.

SOLUTION

Rancore selected JBoss Enterprise Application Platform deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which played an extremely critical role in building a state-of-the-art fault tolerant Service Delivery Platform (SDP). The complete SDP infrastructure lies on the underlying JBoss servers. All parts of the SDP viz. customer portal, managed services portal, Telecom services, and instant messaging services are deployed on JBoss Enterprise Application Platform.

Rancore leveraged upon standard JBoss stack features such as JBoss Cache for replication, transactions for ACID properties, clustering to scale out, and finally JBoss richfaces for the GUI to create a robust and complete solution. Integration with third party systems was realized through the use of web-services (SOAP). This accelerated the development cycles and improved Rancore's time to market possibilities.

Telecom features and services were implemented on top of the Mobicents Stack (JAIN SLEE) which was in-turn deployed on JBoss Application server. Mobicents provided a rich suite of resource adaptors which acted as Telco protocol connectors. JAIN SLEE RAs such as HTTP, XCAP, SIP, SMPP and DIAMETER were extensively used in the products. Rancore also contributed code, patches, bug fixes and knowledge to the Mobicents community and hence acquired a seat in the Mobicents core team.

The entire SDP stack was powered on Red Hat Enterprise Linux to achieve economies of scale. Hence, the project benefited from the Red Hat suite of products - right from concept, design, development, to QA and finally towards deployment readiness. The SDP has been built keeping in mind a philosophy of "scale-linearly and scale-fast" due to the high volume demands in the Indian mobile market and the upcoming broadband data growth opportunity in 4G.

BENEFITS

By leveraging upon open source solutions by JBoss and Red Hat, Rancore was able to achieve the solution capabilities by a small dedicated team of engineers which provided significant savings in cost. The competitive advantage was partly in the fact that Rancore was also an in-house IMS solutions provider and having JBOSS AS/Mobicents as the base for the services layer provided an extra edge to rolling out new services.

Reusable components of JBoss framework were extremely helpful to Rancore for easier and faster productization of its offering.

In closing, this project is going to be part of one of one of the largest 4G LTE/IMS deployments in the world - and in the world's biggest telecom market – India. Rancore's SDP is designed to be suitable for mission critical 4G deployments, where high throughput and low latency are desired. By showing quite clearly that a low-cost, high-throughput, mission- critical fault tolerant system can be built with the right use of open source technology, Rancore is the first company in India to utilize open source technology to build a Service Delivery Platform based on 4G standards. Lastly, Rancore has also contributed code, patches, bug fixes and knowledge to the Mobicents community - a strong testament to its belief in open source philosophy.