Light Reading
The success of NFV and SDN will depend on service assurance, big data, end-to-end orchestration, and a centralized catalog.

Service Assurance Is Critical for NFV & SDN

Ari Banerjee
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Ari Banerjee
4/18/2014
50%
50%

SDN and NFV both promise hardware vendor independence, improved operational efficiency, standardized and open interfaces, and the dynamic chaining of network functions to create new services. Both require centralized orchestration and management. NFV's initial focus is on the virtualization of individual network functions, while SDN's focus is on stitching together network topologies in a programmable way. There is no doubt in the minds of the operators that quality of experience (QoE) will be the critical factor in making SDN and NFV initiatives successful and realize their dream of a programmable network.

From a service management standpoint, the challenges can be very interesting. SDN's goal is centralized management and control of networking devices from multiple vendors in order to improve automation and management by using common application programming interfaces (APIs) to abstract the underlying networking details from the orchestration and provisioning systems and applications.

Operators today have multiple siloed fulfillment stacks that lack end-to-end network device management or configuration management capability. In fact, most service fulfillment offerings today do not have horizontal service-centric device management capability. This prevents service providers from having an end-to-end view of network devices, services running on those services, and customers and applications impacted.

QoE will make or break SDN and NFV initiatives. End-customers, whether they are consumers or enterprise customers, do not care about the underlying technology, as long as they get the best services at affordable price points. Service assurance processes must be able to work in close alignment with service chaining and service fulfillment and must perform real-time tracking and monitoring of network resources.

Next-generation service management platforms need to borrow principles of self-organizing networks (SON), and have self-healing capabilities to take care of device constraints or provisioning issues proactively, based on service quality, before the issues impact the customer experience. The dynamism of a next-generation hybrid virtualized service world demands self-monitoring for anomalous events in the network and the ability to diagnose and fix those issues dynamically. This enables load balancing. It also optimizes network resources, which provides economic benefits to service providers. Next-generation service management platforms should be able to arm service providers with the ability to preempt service degradation by constantly monitoring, measuring, and maintaining their service metrics in real time.

There needs to be an underlying big data/advanced analytics platform supporting performance management and assurance. Big-data predictive analytics needs to be a key component of next-generation service management systems, which will help to identify trends, patterns, and subscriber behaviors. This will help in service assurance by examining data on network performance, availability, and latency to support customer experience and operational planning, and will ensure compliance with cloud services SLAs.

In my recent report, End-to-End Service Management for SDN & NFV: Part 1, I discuss this topic in detail and examine how today's myopic standards need to evolve to provide a holistic service management strategy. In an upcoming webinar sponsored by Monolith Software, Decoding the Importance of Service Assurance in a Virtualized World, on April 30, we will discuss the critical role of service assurance in this context.

Please also read Carol Wilson's note on the same topic, Report: NFV/SDN Standards "Myopic" on Service Management.

— Ari Banerjee, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
@mbushong
50%
50%
@mbushong,
User Rank: Moderator
4/22/2014 | 10:30:43 AM
QoE or Application/Tenant Experience is not small
This is actually a big deal. The implication here is not just that commectivity is no longer the bar but also that IT environments have to be sufficiently instrumented to measure the appropriate experience. This could mean anything from completion time to jitter to reliability. There will undoubtedly be a few buckets, so users shouldn't have to specify in gory detail for every application, but this does muddy the waters some. You can't just declare 5 9s reliability and call it a day. These metrics will then roll up into the rest of the business, which means a tightening of the link between the business and IT - a good thing IMO.

Interesting stuff here.

 

-Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

Plexxi
Yulot
50%
50%
Yulot,
User Rank: Moderator
4/21/2014 | 9:40:55 AM
QoE in SDN?
This is going to be interesting to say the least. Most operators are already lost on real QoE analysis in todays mobile data networks (voice is reasonably under control), essentially because they fail to really synchronise end-to-end user plane analysis with that of the control plane, as well as produce meaningful measures, so QoE in SDN seems like another gap to bridge.

Another issue is although they all agree it is needed, the day they have to spend money they will rather do it on mission critical/active part of the network rather than QoE.
FakeMitchWagner
50%
50%
FakeMitchWagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/19/2014 | 3:34:48 PM
Multiple schools

From what I've seen centralized management and control is one goal for one school of thought for SDN. Another school is looser, just focused on separating the control plane from the data plane for improved progarmmability and management. 

More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Network functions virtualization is the key catalyst underpinning telco data center transformation, believes Nokia Networks.
The growth of the smartphone market is creating a new testing ground for vendors that must find a way to keep ahead of the game.
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.
Flash Poll
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.
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.
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
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.
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Fiber Revival at Deutsche Telekom
Iain Morris, 8/25/2014
M2M's In Fashion: Wearables Play the US Open
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed