Light Reading
The shift toward SDN and NFV is not so much a revolution as just the latest example of ongoing industry evolution that should spur services innovation.

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
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.
More Blogs from Column
SDN can play a significant role in helping operators offload data traffic via WiFi.
CSPs armed with real-time operational intelligence are uniquely positioned to realize the true monetary value of the new data economy.
Share your views on the next five years and find out what your peers think too.
The complexity of cloud service sourcing will boost demand for infrastructure-as-a-service.
Automation saves you from repeating the same things over and over again.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (1) comment


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
LRTV Documentaries
AT&T's New Security Strategy

12|10|14   |   02:36   |   (1) comment


AT&T's Chief Security Officer Ed Amoroso explains how his company is wrapping virtual security layers around micro network domains.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
Cisco Makes Big Analytics Push
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/11/2014
Gardner's Departure a Cautionary Tale
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 12/12/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Upcoming Webinars
Webinar Archive