Light Reading
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is a step toward the convergence of the cloud and wide area networks, believes Orange's Director of Technical Strategy

Orange Has High Hopes for NFV

Ray Le Maistre
5/28/2013
50%
50%

The implementation of network functions virtualization (NFV) is set to be the first step toward much greater integration of IT and telecom technologies and, ultimately, "a complete convergence of cloud platforms and networking equipment." (See What's NFV All About?)

So believes Yves Bellego, director of Technical Strategy at France Télécom - Orange, one of the Tier 1 carrier members of the Industry Specifications Group focused on NFV that was formed in late 2012 under the auspices of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). (See Carriers Peer Into Virtual World.)

Cost control is one of the benefits Bellego and his peers are hoping to achieve from any NFV implementations. "There is a wide shift in the telecom industry towards IT. The ever growing power of standard IT components makes possible the use of such standard components in place of specialized hardware," notes Bellego in response to questions from Light Reading.

"At first, we expect cost reduction of the hardware -- standard platforms, no obsolescence concerns. Later, we believe that virtualization will enable faster service production, greater flexibility and easier operation."

Ultimately, "NFV is a step towards IT and telecom convergence. In the long term this could bring a totally new landscape in the networking area, with a complete convergence of cloud platforms and networking equipment," he adds.

That's certainly in line with the views of networking executives who believe NFV and its close relative, software-defined networking (SDN), can herald a revolution in the way communications networks are planned, built and managed. (See 2012 Belonged to SDN & NFV. But Will They Deliver in 2013?)

What's ripe for the NFV treatment?
So are there particular telecom network elements that are more suitable for NFV deployments than others? "The first elements that could benefit from NFV are service platforms, network control equipment," such as the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) and other IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) functions, "then some edge equipment that does not handle very high traffic, such as CDN [content delivery network] platforms, SBC [session border controller], some border gateways."

Bellego notes that major transport equipment devices such as core routers, "are out of scope."

Along with other major carriers, such as Deutsche Telekom AG, the Orange R&D team is already evaluating NFV capabilities. "As said before, we think that network control equipment will be the first that could benefit from virtualization, so we are working on that topic. We are also looking at the potential impact that NFV ... could have for CDN platforms." (See The Benefits of NFV.)

And as they make progress, the carriers are sharing their insights at regular meetings of the NFV Industry Specifications Group, the most recent of which was held in California in April. "Standardization is very important to achieve open interfaces and interoperability between solutions from different suppliers ... We believe that the ETSI initiative will help the definition of interfaces between the software components of the future networking elements. And this is very important as we are looking for an easy integration of virtualized components in cloud infrastructure," notes Bellego.

But while the carriers are hopeful that NFV can deliver efficiencies and operational advantages, they also know it's going to be very tough to implement. "The integration of several different functions in the same platform will raise some reliability and isolation issues, even if virtualization natively assures some isolation between components," says the Orange executive. "Before switching to this new architecture we have to be confident that it will provide the same quality of service to our customers."

That mirrors the views of the carrier executives who have been pushing the NFV agenda. They are hopeful but cautious.

For more on this topic:



– Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
fstein
50%
50%
fstein,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/29/2013 | 6:12:04 PM
re: Orange Has High Hopes for NFV
Thanks for identifying the near term, high payback workloads; And those that are further out. Would love to hear more Tier 1 carriers views on this
Ray Le Maistre
50%
50%
Ray Le Maistre,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2013 | 7:33:04 AM
re: Orange Has High Hopes for NFV
Proof, as if more were needed, that the Tier 1 operators are pushing hard, and quickly, to determine how they can benefit from virtualization techniques. I expect we'll also see developments in areas such as set-top boxes and home gateways -- that seems like an obvious area where generic CPE can be deployed on a mass scale and the 'functions' centralized.
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
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.
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 2, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/29/2014
Music to My Mobile
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/28/2014
Be Open to the Freedom of Openness
Kelly Herrell, 8/29/2014
Netflix to FCC: Kill Comcast-TWC Deal
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed