Judging from the number of discussions, communities and deployments, it is clear that NFV is gaining traction. But just because NFV is gaining traction from a technology/ maturity standpoint doesn’t mean NFV has gained widespread adoption. The physical customer premise equipment (P-CPE) that has support legacy revenue streams isn’t going away any time soon, but service providers need a more effective way to deploy NFV.
Service providers are bleeding! Over the last few years, service providers have had their lunch absolutely devoured by OTT (Over the Top) applications and services: When Skype (or WhatsApp, or Google Hangouts, or Facebook Messenger) allows users to make calls over Wi-Fi and data, for example, consumers pay less than a network would charge them for making an ordinary phone call. When users use the chat functions embedded in these apps, service providers can’t capture the revenue provided by text-messaging rates. When someone cuts the cord and switches to exclusively watching Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Instant Video), then an entire cable bill’s worth of revenue is lost. As of 2014, telecom companies alone have lost $386 billion to OTT apps, and the meter is still running.
In the world of telecoms, interoperability showcases aren’t anything new. As every year, a number of vendors recently gathered at EANTC lab in Berlin to gain EANTC recognition and certification for their equipment’s interoperability. While the results of the 2 weeks testing were publicized and analyzed across the industry, there’s so much more to these showcases than many people realize.
Some of us may remember the time when long distance calls across the ocean were often accompanied by an annoying delay between the time we finished a sentence and the other party replying. We would say, “We're probably connected via a satellite. I like it better when these calls are routed through an undersea cable.”
My last post provided a short overview of Network Function Virtualization (NFV); if you’re new to this terminology, it would probably be best to review that post before reading this one. It discusses the idea of moving network functionality, such as the various components of a firewall service, off of custom built appliances and onto commonly used server hardware. Various powerful benefits of NFV are also discussed. However, I’ve been asked by ECI to explain: “if everything is so hunky dory, why isn’t NFV being more widely deployed?
Most of the discussion of Network Functions Virtualization focuses on technology issues such as the relative role of virtual machines (VMs) vs. containers. I certainly understand that resolving these technology issues is critical to the success of NFV. However, I think that there is an issue that is even more important to the success of NFV that seldom gets mentioned. That issue is how will organizations and employees have to change in order for companies to experience all of the promised benefits of NFV?
While many organizations see network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions as a technology for making their infrastructure more dynamic and efficient, most fail to realize that it can also be leveraged to make cyber security programs more effective. Instead of having to deploy multiple, dedicated security appliances that uniformly inspect all network traffic in the same way, NFV can be leveraged by companies to take a more holistic and adaptive approach to configuring security policy.
Communications service providers (CSPs) are currently facing a two-fold challenge. First, cloud-based over the top (OTT) solutions are taking advantage of the well-established CSP networks, quickly stealing revenue from formerly successful streams. Second, CSP networks haven’t adapted well enough to keep up with OTT agility and innovation as the telecom industry searches for more modern revenue streams. As a CSP, it’s time for you to make a change.
This is the sixth post in the series – Strategies for Maximizing Network Efficiency
As networks grow and become more complex, an increasing amount of network designers are turning their attention to power consumption. Along with spiraling costs, service providers are also facing a space issue as they try to jam more and more servers, racks and cooling equipment into a single location.