& cplSiteName &

SDN & NFV: Evolution, Not Revolution

Robin Mersh
3/21/2014
50%
50%

There’s been an explosion of chat, articles, and videos about SDN and NFV recently, and while some are dubbing these new buzzword technologies as the "Holy Grail" that operators have been waiting for, others have their doubts. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

The potential to ease pressure on fixed costs whilst also dynamically developing new revenue streams shows the attractiveness of NFV (potentially using SDN), but business conditions remain challenging on all fronts, and this includes both regulatory issues and standards development.

SDN and NFV are technologies with promise, but how do we realize that promise? Operators like the look of them, while vendors try to work their magic around what they could actually deliver. And all the time, all players are looking to protect their current revenues.

At the recent Broadband Forum meeting in Malta, we saw that things are already happening. Axel Clauberg, VP of Transport, Aggregation, and IP & Fixed Access in the CTO team at Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), gave a keynote, where he pointed out that NFV and SDN, coupled with simplification of IP, was already creating what he termed the "software-defined operator." (See Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator.)

This is an entirely new business model for service providers, and Clauberg showed how the German operator had gone from negotiation to launching a network for subsidiary T-Hrvatski Telekom in Croatia in just three months!

We're talking about a full 100G network here, using interoperable IP and optical integration with network and cloud technologies coming together for service production. This was certainly a dramatic example of innovation at work: Without doubt, SDN and NFV are disruptive to the current multiservice broadband network. But with disruption usually comes this kind of innovation and new opportunities.

However it develops, it's going to be interesting, and the Broadband Forum is intent on developing a central role in the NFV and SDN evolution, as it's an important part of another major challenge the industry still faces -- that of technology migration.

However effective a disruptive technology is, change will be evolutionary.

– Robin Mersh, CEO, Broadband Forum

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/23/2014 | 4:12:30 PM
Re: NFV, SDN & cloud
Kruz is right, and that's one of the reasons while these technologies will experience a slow growth prior to critical mass.

Service providers are simply not going to dive into this new area without a lot of careful testing and planning. That being said, I think it will happen a lot faster than many of us expect it to. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/21/2014 | 5:42:47 PM
Re: NFV, SDN & cloud
Kruz, I'm doing research into adoption obstacles for SDN, and that's emerging as a clear favorite. SDN advocates aren't doing a great job of articulating business benefits. 
t.bogataj
50%
50%
t.bogataj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/21/2014 | 1:17:59 PM
Disruptiveness?
Those vendors that adopt the view that "SDN and NFV are disruptive to the current multiservice broadband network" are bound to fail, period. RIP.

But those who are able to show a painless/seamless transition from traditional models of sevice delivery to SDN-based, are the likely winners in this arena.

This transition is not spoken about at all, and most vendors just pretend to believe that the operators will jump the SDN wagon and embrace SDN just because it's so great. Sadly, even associations (ONF explicitly named here) produce no useful guidelines in this regard.

Not a surprise, those ONF members that have their transition propositions keep them to themselves... as their own possible advantage.

T.
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/21/2014 | 9:07:31 AM
NFV, SDN & cloud
The problem with NFV and SDN is that it provides no clear business and revenue opportunities and most importantly, it is still hard for telco to understand, especially when compared to cloud offering.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Column
WiFi is offering a challenge to the network-centric cellular status quo and that's something that mobile network operator CEOs recognize, believes Devicescape CEO Dave Fraser.
NFV can bring operational headaches as well as operational gains, argues Andy Huckridge.
5G is about so much more than just very high bandwidth and low latency – and SDN is going to play a key role in enabling 5G full potential, argues ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt.
To ensure the best possible customer experience, service providers must find ways to make more performance metrics available to users.
How cable operators can prepare to grasp the mobility opportunity.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Puts Gray Boxes in the Shade

    5|2|16   |   04:33   |   (1) comment


    When it comes to the white box trend, "gray" boxes, which have a slight proprietary twist, don't give service providers and end users the advantages they're seeking, according to Verizon's Vice President of Product and New Business Innovation Shawn Hakl.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Dealing With a Disrupted Video Market

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ericsson's Simon Frost discusses how traditional pay-TV providers can cope with the big changes wrought by the rise of OTT video and IP technology.
    LRTV Custom TV
    The VNF Responsibility of Red Hat

    5|2|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At MWC, Caroline Chappell of Heavy Reading visits the Red Hat booth and sits down with Chris Wright to talk about the responsibility the VNF needs to take on in order to ensure the operators get the carrier-grade performance they expect for their network.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Amazon AWS Reports $2.6B Quarterly Revenue, Up a Colossal 64%
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/28/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Rovi Reels in TiVo for $1.1B
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/29/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.