After five years of hard work and sometimes heated argument, the Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) development process - kicked off by the October 2012 NFV white paper - appears to be on some sort of home straight. It’s not that someone is going to blow a whistle and call ‘game over’, ‘problems solved’, ‘everyone go home’. Far from it. This sort of software development process is never completed, never “gets into maintenance mode,” as one of our TelecomTV interviewees put it.
But it is now a coherent process, heading in an agreed direction, and, most important of all, it IS beginning to be rolled out commercially. As several of our interviewees have said, “There is no going back now.”
TelecomTV has just completed a major multimedia feature for our sponsored HPE and Intel Channel entitled What's been happening to NFV? Charting the journey from COTS to open source and cloud native.
In it we outline the journey - not the obvious journey involved in constructing an NFV environment, but what we’ve identified as the major changes of approach that have emerged. We think there have been two important ones.
First we’ve seen ‘Cloud’ and the protocols to make it work for telecoms emerge and take centre stage. Something not really taken seriously at the outset of the process.
Second we now have wholesale acceptance of ‘Open Source’ software and its collaborative development processes, when in 2012 many thought any use of open source software in telecoms was a non-starter.
This all sounds terribly dense and technical, but once you lean back and take it all in it turns out to have been a very human set of changes.
We’ve called it ‘Two Weddings, no funerals’ because we think we’ve seen two important marriages take place. The necessary coming together of networks people and software people; and the marriage of open source and standards.
And nobody died in the process.
We’ve used our huge cache of NFV-related video interviews to help illustrate these changes with some stirling descriptions and explanations of the technical realities - but rendered, we hope, in a clear way with minimal use of the acronyms.
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