Is network virtualisation actually helping telcos with their ROI?

  • TelecomTV debates the issues with Wind River and Affirmed Networks
  • How are telcos implementing NFV and for what reasons?
  • What challenges do they face and how can they be overcome?
  • View our webcast recording on TelecomTV

Remind me again, what was the point of network virtualisation? In the years since ETSI created its NFV industry specification group, has the implementation of network functions virtualisation (NFV) achieved the original objectives of the telecoms community? Have telcos been provided with the optimal means to transform their networks and increase top-line revenue, create wider vendor choice, and lower their lifetime operational costs?

The most common answer we hear at TelecomTV is “sort of”. Perhaps it could never live up to the hype it generated and would always be an ever-shifting work in progress. Or maybe some of the early assumptions underpinning NFV were wrong. The question now is – do we give NFV more time and show a little more patience?

Wind River and Affirmed Networks continue to play leading roles in helping telcos make the move to virtualisation, and have first-hand experience of working with them to supply NFV solutions that actually meet their needs.

On July 25th we arranged a live webcast with Charlie Ashton, Director of Business Development at Wind River with  Angela Whiteford, VP Product Management and Marketing at Affirmed Networks, and moderated by Guy Daniels, Director of Content, TelecomTV.

The virtualisation topics covered included:

  • Where are we today with NFV? What’s changed? What still needs to change?
  • How should SPs think about things like: Performance, integration, and cost - and what should they expect from the vendors who provide network virtualization solutions?
  • How is success (ROI) measured when virtualizing the network?

Most major telcos are either scaling deployments or engaged in late-stage trials or Proofs of Concept, with many choosing to focus (at least initially) on a particular application or segment of the network. However, there still appears to be a big difference between “network virtualization” and the typical understanding of what’s meant by “NFV”. Slide 1C. Telcos have been virtualizing their network functions wherever it makes business sense to do so, but not necessarily implementing the overall architecture that was originally developed by ETSI.

Challenges remain around organizational readiness – in designing, supporting and maintaining NFV networks. What’s more, it has become readily apparent that you can’t reliably run a telecoms network on infrastructure that was designed for enterprise IT applications.

All these challenges – and more – were discussed in the webcast and you can view the full programme now by clicking on this link

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