By now it’s clear that the telecoms industry is undergoing a dramatic shift. Networks are becoming defined by software. This comes as service providers look to keep pace with changing markets, and, of course, reduce costs.
The emergence of IoT and 5G, and the need for improved network agility and flexibility to handle the complex traffic and routing associated with these technologies, have guided service providers down the path towards virtualization. Service providers are entering into the phase where, now more than ever before, SDN and NFV is being deployed alongside legacy infrastructure to transform network applications and revolutionize way services are delivered to customers.
With many operators expressing their desire of having the majority of their network virtualized by the end of 2017, the commitment to digital transformation is alive and well. However, some questions still remain around how to fully operationalize NFV. Here are three key areas service providers should focus on to make their dreams a reality.
As service providers deploy SDN and NFV, shifting from traditional OSS to a strategy of closed-loop automation is critical to managing and delivering on-demand services in hybrid networks. Powered by real-time analytics, automation enables the self-healing, auto-scaling, and rapid provisioning required to reap the full benefits of virtualization and avoid unwanted increased complexity and cost.
Traditionally siloed fulfillment and assurance processes will need to merge to establish a system that can ingest, correlate, and contextualize the massive amount of data and interactions of next-gen networks. As we move forward it will be increasingly important that service providers design for automation in a closed-loop environment in order to accelerate their business transformation and ensure that things are running smoothly.
Change starts from within
Avoiding multiple organizational silos is another key to unlocking the benefits of NFV and SDN. Operationalizing virtual infrastructure requires a top down approach that sees full engagement of NFV from the C-level of a service provider, down throughout the organizational chart, and touching all functions.
NFV will bring about massive changes to the way networks are designed, deployed, and managed. The wheel must not be reinvented and internal departments and stakeholders must adopt similar processes to establish a unified NFV effort. This organizational alignment will ensure that goals and objectives are met while avoiding roadblocks along the way.
Pieces to the puzzle
Virtualization as a technology is quite enigmatic and it seems to have become more complicated as a result of the multiple on-going open-source projects. As highlighted by Light Reading's Steve Saunders, the industry has gotten away from one of its core building blocks: standards-based best practices. This is a problem because, without standards, there can be no interoperability. Defining an industry-wide API and standardizing it will allow for easy integration of applications and services can be rolled out quick. And isn’t this what virtualization is all about?
Meet with CENX at TM Forum Live! to learn how our solution enables service providers develop assured services and seize new opportunities.