& cplSiteName &

Analyst: Transformation Must Be Top-Down

Carol Wilson
3/31/2014
0%
100%

Transforming telecom network organizations to deliver new services quicker is a top-down exercise, but most of the current efforts are starting at the bottom and working their way up, argues Tom Nolle, a veteran industry consultant and the CEO and president of CIMI Corp. .

Nolle, who launched the CloudNFV initiative and was its chief architect until he stepped down in February, is now developing an open architecture for orchestration and management designed to deliver the service agility telecom network operators say they want, by starting at the top at the services level and working down to the resource level. (See New Group Ties NFV to the Cloud and Top 5 NFV Movers & Shakers.)

That is the opposite approach to what industry standards groups are taking today, Nolle wrote in a blog post on his site today. Groups such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specifications Group, the Open Networking Foundation , and the TM Forum are not setting out to come up with a complete state of orchestration for next-gen services. Like traditional standards group, they have a tendency to try to build up from the bottom.

"If you look at the classic example of OpenFlow, here we are defining a way to control forwarding tables, and we don't have any kind of a management architecture or any kind of service model -- none of the stuff you would expect to have first," Nolle told us. "We haven't even gotten to it yet, because we are all down in the details."

He plans develop such an open architecture for orchestration and management and to offer it to the industry through a series of tutorials he'll develop by late summer. There won't be a charge for accessing those tutorials or using the ideas -- though a vendor that wants specific help will have to pay consulting fees, and the use of Nolle's terminology will require his scrutiny.

Since posting his thoughts on his blog today, Nolle has already had responses from one standards group and a few operators. His goal is to enable a more rapid transition to virtualization in the form of SDN and NFV, as well as to cloud-based systems.

"If I've got three revolutionary technologies and a trillion dollars' worth of legacy infrastructure that I'm going to evolve out of, and I don't have any high-level strategy for putting them together, then how am I ever going to be efficient?" Nolle asked. "I'll be lucky if I can hold my costs to what they are now. I just don't see how we are going to get anywhere with this if we don't take a broader view of this, if we don't take a more holistic view."

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(15)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/3/2014 | 6:19:18 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
@ seven,  I see your point.  I was thinking more from a holistic, integrated architectural approach which would take organizational transformation as well. The issue is that the multiple architectures that you refer to do evolve somewhat independently from each other.  I have even experienced at the expense of each other when organization battle for headcount, dollars, etc.

This is where the CEO does not say "SDN/NFV" but rather something like...we need to transform our company to be more nimble and to do that we need to look at the long view, etc. etc. etc. The higher level management needs to insure that the organization moves together not against each other to achieve the goals and have ways of assessing whether or not it is happening - metrics! 
TaraSeals
50%
50%
TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/3/2014 | 4:33:02 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
Ha! Yes. Maybe we can come up with a special plaque or something, at the very least. :-) 

It does sound like the holy grail--and even better if it moves service agility and innovation along in a way that boosts economic outlooks for businesses and makes consumer lives that much better. All too often it seems like carriers miss that piece of things because they get bogged down in the middle of the chain.

Maybe I should get a T-shirt made up that says "TEAM TOM!"
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/2/2014 | 11:20:12 AM
Re: Is It Possible?
Liz,

I think top down means something very different than pretty much everybody else here.

To me, a Top Level Executive (say a CEO) at a major Telco should not be involved deeply in architecture decisions.  What they should be doing setting a direction for how the company has to change in order to grow.  This should drive aligned behavior below them to meet those objectives.  The goal of an executive team is to set a direction and then ensure that their staff sets and executes plans to meet the direction.

Of course, when you have 100K employees keeping that all moving in a direction is a tough challenge.  So I would not expect a CEO to say "We need SDN/NFV".  What I might expect them to say (and even this might be a stretch) "I want to compete on the basis of service agility.  We need to set plans on how we are going to get there."  More likely I would expect something like:  "I want to improve service margins.  What are the best ways that we can differentiate ourselves?"

Then one would have to look at all the various differentiation options and pick some.  From there, goals and metrics can be derived as a plan is established.

One choice for differentiation/change drivers would be a large scale architecture.  My experience in the carrier environment is that it has many architectures that do many things and they evolve somwhat indpendently of each other both in capability and timeframe.   So for example, if I look at SDN then I have to ask the question - "How many organizational layers does an SDN implementation have to cross to build an interesting new service?"  If it is more than 2, then I nod and assume that this will not happen fast or at all.  NFV has the advantage that it can be just a 1 for 1 replacement of existing functionality.  I don't think most of the proponents view it that way and so probably see it evolving differently than I do.

seven

 
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 7:08:56 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
I'm happy to work with the TMF; my debt to GB942 has been acknowledged many times in the past, and I'm a member.  I can do a private presentation to the TMF leadership on the model in May if you're interested.
kdilbeck570
50%
50%
kdilbeck570,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/1/2014 | 6:15:36 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
Carol, Tom,

I agree with Tom's point about the urgency to explore the requirements of orchestration to meet all the requirements of NFV and a completely vistrualized infrastructure. TM Forum actually has two catalyst targeted for TM Forum Live! in June of this year that are exploring these issues. More input and thought is required. The ZOOM project at the Forum would welcome ideas and inputs on how to expite this work.

 
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 3:52:22 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
I'm going to give Carol an exclusive when I can talk about this more, and everyone will then be able to judge for themselves (which is what I'd do if I were in your shoes!)  I don't want to dribble stuff out, though; I want a complete architecture that will answer everyone's questions.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 3:24:54 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
Sounds like a great idea, and a great challenge.
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 3:18:56 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
I agree completely.  The right approach IMHO is to define a way to model services that works for both legacy and next-gen elements equally well.  Think of it as being something like a general "infrastructure handler" with a plugin that fits NFV, one for OpenDaylight, one for Cisco NMS provisioning, etc.  You manipulate the models and the infrastructure follows.  But I know it's a lot to expect, and the proof will come when I can get the tutorial done!  But I first have to run things by the operators and key standards bodies to get their input.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 2:18:24 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
Nice idea, but it does run against the firmly established nature of "transformation" (i.e., gradual change to existing reality rather than whole-cloth reinvention). Grand pronouncements from on high tend not to get very far.
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 1:40:50 PM
Re: Is It Possible?
My favorite quote on your topic is from Stevens in 'Computer Networks' where he says "The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from!"  I'm not proposing to standardize something as much as define an architecture that leverages the standards we already have.  I'm trying to work through a tutorial on this ASAP, but I want to give operators and the standards bodies a chance to see it first, so it likely won't be until June that I can release something, assuming I don't make changes based on input from these people.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
Friday, October 21, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Evolving the Data Center
Rasool Kareem Irfan, Head, Telecom & Infrastructure Security Practice, Tata Communications Transformation Services Ltd (TCTS)
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
From Philly, With Love

9|30|16   |     |   (5) comments


Join Alan Breznick, cable's answer to the Italian Stallion, as he runs through the highlights of SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, lumbers along in Rocky Balboa's footsteps and searches for the perfect Philadelphia cheesesteak.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SD-WAN Customers Looking for Value Not Cost Savings

9|30|16   |   5:31   |   (0) comments


At NFV & Carrier SDN in Denver, CenturyLink's Eric Nowak told Light Reading that when customers launch SD-WAN, they aren't necessary looking to save money, but instead they are looking for more value from what they're spending. He also shared some unique case studies and lessons learned from launching SD-WAN services.
LRTV Custom TV
Flexible Deployment Approaches for the Gigabit Services Evolution

9|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


For many operators, the gigabit evolution begins with the shift from DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1. But that move represents a change not only in the protocol itself, but in the approach to architecting their entire DOCSIS delivery chain -- from the headend to the outside plant and home gateway components.

Jonathan Ruff, senior director of global technical ...

LRTV Interviews
Level 3 VP: Enterprises Need More for Less

9|29|16   |   05:27   |   (0) comments


Andrew Dugan, Level 3 group vice president of global technology and IT, says enterprises need more bandwidth and they need it faster and with greater security, but they want to spend less, if possible. They are looking to carriers to reduce their network complexity and help protect them from cyberattacks as well.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Reusable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into reusable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
AT&T CEO Backs Black Lives Matter
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/30/2016
Powell Kills the Cable Show
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/29/2016
Telstra Sees Quadrupled Data Capacity by 2020
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/28/2016
From Philly, With Love
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 9/30/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.