Light Reading
Network functions virtualization (NFV) could revolutionize the way networks are built and drive down operators' network costs

NFV: Set to Break the Big Box Brands

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
8/9/2013
50%
50%

The relationship between existing vendors of network equipment and telecom network operators is set to change dramatically if operators' visions of the future are realized. Network functions virtualization (NFV) involves taking telecom network functions -- traditionally delivered in proprietary devices -- virtualizing them and running across shared common off-the-shelf (COTS) servers, storage devices and Ethernet switches. It is a vision backed by many of the world's biggest telcos -- a group that represents many, many billions of dollars of annual capex -- and that makes it very hard for network equipment providers to ignore.

Operators have seen how cloud computing, virtualization and new approaches to running global cloud-based service operations have revolutionized enterprise networking and computing. They want to use the same technologies to drive down their own capex and opex, and to change the way they manage their service businesses.

It will take time -- many years, in fact -- for the physical changes to the infrastructure to become embedded; these changes will happen incrementally. But the physical changes will be just the start of the process. There will also be changes in the way operators interact with vendors and the way they buy solutions from them. NFV has the potential to lead to a new wave of market fragmentation. Over the last 10 years, observers of the operations/business support system (OSS/BSS) market have witnessed a tremendous amount of consolidation. Many smaller OSS/BSS providers have failed or have been acquired, but the widespread migration of network functions onto virtualized infrastructures opens up an opportunity for any company with clever people writing code to develop solutions that can be deployed on standard platforms. There will be a proliferation of innovative start-ups claiming that they can build a better piece of software, which is easy for telcos to try. There is tremendous potential for a new wave of innovation and fragmentation.

Where does this leave the old guard? Well, for a start, operators will expect all the independent software providers, network equipment providers and anyone else they work with to integrate their solutions with the telecom operators' virtualization middleware. Some will attempt to run this middleware themselves; many more will look to outsource the operation of this. The entrenched network equipment providers and systems integrators are already fighting very hard to be these gatekeepers: that is, the companies operating that virtualization middleware.

Operators will also demand that network functions software meets stringent service-level agreements (SLAs), and this is likely to be one of the primary levers the established players will use to retain their share of the market. Network function providers will all be required to attain those SLAs on equipment delivered and maintained by third parties. This will change the contractual relationship with network operators in ways that are hard to predict; but the bigger providers will have the resources to do more testing and more certification and validation, and -- of course -- they will have a head start on rivals and more control over their own destinies if they are running those middleware platforms.

Old players that don't change their ways will die out in the newly virtualizing telecom world. Those that adapt will find a new role. The latest Heavy Reading Insider, "Picking Winners From the NFV Revolution," takes an in-depth look at the potential benefits of NFV for operators, and at how the major network equipment providers are evolving their strategies so they can continue to serve their clients in the future. It includes profiles of network equipment providers, systems integrators and independent software providers that have been swift to develop NFV visions and solutions.

— Simon Sherrington, Analyst, Heavy Reading Insider


Picking Winners From the NFV Revolution, a 25-page report, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,595. This report is available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/insider.

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ramesh
50%
50%
Ramesh,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/12/2013 | 8:41:35 PM
re: NFV: Set to Break the Big Box Brands
Simon, Report looks to be interesting. Couple of blogs I wrote recently on VNF trends I have seen, related to points you make, in the market may be of interest to you/readers:

http://www.overturenetworks.co...
http://www.overturenetworks.co...
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
As more and more applications move into the cloud, enterprises must ensure that those clouds are rigorously tested for performance.
As LTE-Advanced networks begin to reach commercial deployment, technology suppliers are scrambling to establish market leadership positions.
Cable has been working on WiFi gateways to combine IP video and advanced Wi-Fi for the home.
When it comes to virtual network functions (VNFs), Dell is convinced that the heavy lifting will need to be done in the 'cloud'.
The latest highly integrated silicon components are enabling a massive acceleration of LTE worldwide.
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed