NFV: It takes a Village
“Where do I start with NFV?”
“What are the network functions I can virtualize today that will make an early and quick result for the bottom line?”
If we take a timeout from the pre-show frenzy of next week’s Mobile World Congress, dozens of exhibiting software and hardware vendors will all be pitching their answers to those types of questions to help communications service providers (CSPs). Kontron included.
Why? Simply because the race is on to demonstrate early on how various solutions can be easily created with interoperable software and COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware pieces of the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)/ Software-Defined Networking (SDN) puzzle. And turn vaporware into something that actually works. Of course, it will take a long way to unleash the CSP’s ability to make money on services that consumers and enterprise customers actually want and that will improve their lives and make them more productive.
It takes a Village to “raise” NFV and SDN
So like the traditional African expression, “It takes a village to raise a child”, so too does it take all these vendors to “raise” NFV and SDN. That’s everyone at the hardware layer, the virtualization infrastructure layers of hypervisors, open source software, virtual networking and SDN, plus the Virtual Network Functions (apps) and VNF manager layers, and ultimately, the Orchestration layer. Add to this the vendors for test and measurement, OSS/BSS, and all the special interest and standards groups, and vendor-run ecosystems. It’s impressive to see how many are involved in such a short amount of time.
It’s all about separating the Wheat from the Chaff
So again. How will services providers separate the wheat from the chaff? A lot of this will happen during next week’s MWC. Kontron will be there with many NFV ecosystem partners including GENBAND, Red Hat, Sandvine, and Vantrix; featuring, among others, showcased reference solutions for NFV-enabled HD video transcoding for real-time communications, high-density cloud business services, and next-gen speech transcoding for VoLTE and WebRTC.
This assembly of reference solutions is reflective of what is being sought after for the carrier cloud, to deploy dynamic and scalable VNFs with greater automation and programmability. The result is a tremendous new operational business model for CSPs to introduce services faster and reliably.
If you are in Barcelona next week make a point to venture over to Kontron Stand 5H19 in Hall 5, and
SEE and HEAR for yourself how we can help make this journey to the next level of revenue-generating services, via NFV and SDN infrastructure, as easy as possible.
If you are not going, then ping us with your thoughts. What challenges do you face to implement NFV infrastructure? How important is open source solutions versus being locked-in with a single vendor offering? What VNFs do you feel are important to trial first?