Light Reading
As network equipment providers confront the SDN/NFV evolution, they can learn something from the almost-concluded all-IP transition.

Lessons From the All-IP Transition

Dan O'Shea
3/18/2014
50%
50%

The telecom industry is so consumed right now by the transition to virtualized networks that it's easy to forget that another once all-consuming technology transition is nearing its conclusion.

Notwithstanding the FCC's all-IP trials with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the transition to all-IP networks is very close (in telecom industry timescales, at least) to being finished.

How close? Close enough that some vendors believe they won't be selling any POTS equipment to telcos in another five or six years, according to the recent Heavy Reading Insider Report, "The Future for Telecom Network Equipment Providers." (See The New Resonant Relationship Between NEPs & Their Customers and AT&T's All-IP Tests Won't Answer Key Questions.)

The report treats the all-IP transition as something that still affects the world of the network equipment providers (NEPs), while adopting the position that there is a high degree of uncertainty about the impact and future of that transition.

Basically, we now know how, and almost when, this story will end. That's strange to think about, given how long this transition has been ongoing, and how much some vendors dragged their feet along the way.

In their defence, though, some of the vendors that didn't get with the all-IP program from the outset were in many cases simply matching the slow pace set by service provider customers that wanted to get the most out of their legacy equipment and weren't feeling enough competitive pressure to move faster.

The transition to all-IP and the introduction of SDN and NFV are sometimes mentioned in the same breath, usually in describing SDN/NFV as the biggest technology evolution facing the telecom sector since the all-IP evolution began. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

Beyond that, many people assume the SDN/NFV story will play out much more quickly than the all-IP transition has. There is every reason that it should: Competition at the service provider level is much more intense; carriers realize the value of dynamically responding to bandwidth demand; they can foresee internal operational benefits from virtualizing their systems.

But perhaps it would be wise not to let the all-IP transition conclude quietly. One of the biggest lessons NEPs should have learned from the shift towards all-IP networks is that they need to embrace the future even while supporting the network technologies of the past. They need to be flexible enough to support the creation of virtualized network environments even while maintaining "legacy" infrastructure in the field. They can't choose to put off virtualization just because they're still making hardware sales.

The transition to all-IP has been a painful one at times, and NEPs that didn't manage it effectively have paid dearly. (See Tellabs' Last Hope: Marlin's Optical Ambition.)

The next big networking transition doesn't have to be so painful.

Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
yarn
50%
50%
yarn,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 2:59:50 PM
Re: Lessons From the All-IP Transition
The Cloud is the end-game of the All-IP transition.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/19/2014 | 8:21:45 AM
Re: Lessons From the All-IP Transition
In a previous blog Heavy Reading's Danny Dicks wrote about the report mentioned above, he cited the rise of newly resonant relationships between NEPs and their customers. Developing that kind of relationship is important in general, but understanding the future roadmap of their customers is the most important part. And if customers are slow to start executing that plan, good NEP partners may need to give them a nudge.
FakeMitchWagner
50%
50%
FakeMitchWagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 6:16:29 PM
Re: Lessons From the All-IP Transition
Companies that fail to make the transition to new technologies so that they can preserve existings revenue will soon find the problem of existing revenue drastically reduced. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 5:15:40 PM
Lessons From the All-IP Transition
Dan, great insights on lessons to be learned.  It appears that by now we should recognize that to solve the problems by our solutions is not a winning proposition.

I believe the leaders will be those who can provide the necessary equipment, support the customer in maintenance and transition, and offer new service packages that truly deliver the capabilities the customers need.  In other words, solving the customer problems is, and remains, the best proposition.
More Blogs from DOS Attack
Intel buys ARM processor assets to make it better equipped for the future of mobile equipment and SDN-enabled data center gear.
A Juniper Networks poll finds a little more than half the companies surveyed have SDN deployment plans, while the rest have none.
The 25G Gigabit Ethernet Consortium looks like a case of companies moving to establish a default standard where the standards process has failed so far.
Light Reading's Big Telecom Event featured plenty of packet-optical activity and discussion.
Check out the second batch of Leading Lights contenders in this category.
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
IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/15/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Analyst: Ericsson, Oracle Top Shrinking SDP World
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed