‘NFV is not down yet’: save it by doing it right

I recently came across an article on Light Reading entitled “NFV is down but not out,” in which Iain Morris, expressed disappointment with the overall achievements of the NFV market.

The author quotes Ibraham Gedeon, chief technology officer of Telus, one of Canada’s largest operators, who claims that NFV has failed to bring virtualization into the world of network routers and switches.

While obviously not all of NFV’s promise has materialized, concluding that NFV has failed to deliver is far reaching. Let’s take a step backwards and reexamine the values of NFV for service providers and enterprises:

  • Software and hardware decoupling
  • Business agility and creative service offerings
  • Harnessed market cloud innovation
  • Opex and potential Capex savings over time

Clearly, these values can still be achieved when adopting the right product and right deployment strategy. D-NFV and uCPE solutions allow quick and efficient rollout of NFV managed services with minimal initial investment supporting an “invest as you grow” model.

Special importance should be given to choosing the right uCPE solution. The common tendency to select a solution, using the same criteria employed while selecting centralized NFV, or “jumping on the easy choice” of your current appliance/network-equipment vendor, might not yield the required results.

We learned about tier-1 operators that went down this path which now may need to reconsider, or significantly delay the deployment plans.

If you really want to properly deploy NFV, you are advised to take the following steps:

  • Choose pure play vendor – avoid hardware or VNF lock-in
  • Real hardware-software decoupling – the software should support any hardware (Intel, ARM) and be platform agnostic. Yes, there are available solutions on the market (we are one of them).
  • Not every ZTP statement is a real deployment automation (wisely).
  • Don’t over-complicate the orchestration – start with a “Lite-MANO” solution which enables automating the necessary operation, and increase orchestration when business allows it and the operation requires it.
  • Operation and maintenance capabilities are a must – don’t turn a blind eye to the state of platform and services.
  • Work with a company that understands networks

To conclude, I would say that I fully agree with Iain Morris’s statement that there is “a growing recognition that Telcos and suppliers need a different kind of relationship.” This is not far-fetched, as companies such as Telco Systems have demonstrated time and again that a real partnership benefits all partners involved.

We will be happy to be challenged and show how you can deploy NFV services in short time, low investment while gaining all NFV’s promised values.

Additional resources

To learn more about Telco Systems NFV services, contact us.

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