Standards… what a boring, old fashioned and backwards oriented term. How can the representative of a vendor that claims to be open, elastic and forward thinking use it in a headline? Be honest… this was one of the thoughts that ran through your mind while reading the title. Now relax and sit back, the following blog might surprise you.
Topics: Enhancing Network Efficiency
Probably more than any other industry sector, the telecommunications market has the habit of jumping from one hype cycle to the next, with only short phases of realism and depression in between. As opposed to other industries, both vendors and customers seem to be participating in this vicious circle - ‘full steam’. Neither side wants to be woken up, let alone stopped.
To protect the innocent, hereafter component vendors will be called A, B or O. And I swear that I started writing this blog prior to the announcements in the last weeks…
As the ‘softwarization’ of the networking industry progresses, it brings with it some interesting concepts. Some which promise to make our customer's life better, others make ours (vendors) lives more… interesting. So similar to network slicing, the holy grail of the 5G networks to come, it seems that also pricing can be sliced, with interesting effects on business relationships and models. Of course slicing a vendor’s offer into little pieces to negotiate them one by one has always been a basic tool for every purchasing department, but applying new concepts to slice prices in a dynamic way takes it to a new level… and that’s where we will stop referring to the analogy the writer of this blog is so proud of.
When it comes to examples of aiming high and failing on a grand scale, systems that combine layers 0 to 3 in one solution (a.k.a. God Boxes), are among the first examples that come to mind. However, whether due to lack of Packet features, missing price points or organizational hurdles, they came and went. And I know that as a vendor one should be very careful to not leave the impression that you are actually trying to build one (again).
But the concept is still intriguing…
In 2012, an executive who worked for one of the largest European service providers shared his dream with the attendees of Layer123’s first software-defined networking (SDN) & OpenFlow World Congress in Darmstadt, Germany. According to him, the reason for all the misery in carrier-land were not permanent price battles, flat-rates, and cut-throat competition; it was us, the vendors.
Some service providers are regarding the strongest users of their network as their worst enemies… the OTT’s. Those mystic folks who reside in data centers, earn billions and billions and don’t even have an own network.
As apparent in the OPNFV summit held a couple months ago, network functions virtualization (NFV) is taking off in terms of popularity. While, the growing interest hasn’t quite been translated into widespread deployment, the underlying concept is obviously building a very wide and diverse fan base. Along with the interest, the list of potential and real inhibitors also keeps growing.
Customer investment in the data center is booming, and vendors are scrambling to keep up. There are more of them, closer together, and connected in increasingly complicated ways. As the overall trend in the data center is upward, that goes double for expansion of networking and communications.
Topics: Cloud Networking