& cplSiteName &

NFV 'Inception' Meeting Highlights Tectonic Shift in Telecom

Ray Le Maistre
7/2/2014
50%
50%

News that a key group of communications networking technology developers met in Silicon Valley this week to take the planned development of an open source NFV platform to the next level is not only interesting in itself, but highlights some of the key shifts underway in the telecom sector. (See Exclusive: Leaked 'Inception' Document Fleshes Out Open-Source NFV Plans.)

Open source: This is the current runaway train of the telecom sector -- and runaway trains make people nervous. They can also crash. The operators want open source technology at the heart of their next generation networks, and they're not taking no for an answer. Pretenders (those that talk the open source talk, but are actually failing to deliver) will soon be found out, and likely outed. Technology suppliers and developers that aren't truly embracing the open source movement look increasingly like they will be sidelined. And you can't get much more different from the traditional telecom model than that. (See Open NFV: The World Cup of Confusion?, Analyst Unveils Open Source Model for NFV-SDN Management, and 6 Degrees of Separation: SPs Define 'Open'.)

Independent action: This is linked to the open source trend, but fuelled by the relative success enjoyed by the network operators that set up and steered the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specifications Group (ISG). Operators and frustrated vendors are taking developments into their own hands and bypassing what would normally be the "regular" or "normal" channels of the standards bodies or industry associations such as MEF and TM Forum . The result is that developments happen more quickly, but potential industry fragmentation is a real possibility, unless the open source movement can provide cohesion.

Collaboration: This is now happening on an unprecedented scale. The industry is faced with a new challenge -- blending traditional telecom know-how with sometimes intimidating IT-fuelled developments, including NFV and SDN. As a result, operators and vendors alike are having to look outside their own four walls for help, developing new ecosystems and collaborative groups. Those that engage will thrive. Those that decline to get involved, or undermine such developments, face a bleak future. (See Let's Federate Our NFV Labs – Telefónica and Brocade Unveils Open Carrier Platform for SDN, NFV, AT&T Spotlights Early SDN Efforts, Procera Joins Alcatel-Lucent's CloudBand Ecosystem and Pica8 Enters Cyan's Blue Orbit.)

Breaking down of barriers: Fixed line, cellular, and cable may have different legacies, but they are increasingly coming together, bonded by common challenges and common technology strategies. Just look at the "inception meeting" -- hosted by CableLabs ! Not an organization that would normally be partying with the telecom crew, but now that it has former BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) NFV expert Don Clarke on board, the barriers between cable and telecom are likely to be broken down further. (See BT’s NFV Guru Joins CableLabs.)

These changes are seismic and are causing unrest. They are also unleashing innovation, excitement, and when brought together, becoming the catalyst for change in a traditionally moribund industry.

Hold on tight, folks -- this is going to be a long and bumpy ride.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/3/2014 | 12:38:59 PM
Deja vu all over again
It's been fascinating watching carriers paralleling the changes we saw previously in IT. But I can't recall anything like ETSI NFV in IT, where big companies band together to dictate strategy to vendors.

As for the convergence of landline, mobile, and cable -- these days they're all just in the broadband business. Voice and TV are increasingly becoming legacy businesses.
kdilbeck570
50%
50%
kdilbeck570,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/2/2014 | 5:50:46 PM
Re: Consistent with what we see
Your observations taken in concert with Carol's earlier article 6 Degree of Separation: SPs Define Open is consistent with the message we are hearing from our members.  They want a dynamic, flexible, interoperable service enabling ecosystem. Open is a technique/technology to help realize that but if one concentrates on "open source" software" as the goal I  think they are missing the true intent. Open source like virtualization, is a technology SP are exploiting to take more control of their service environments.

 

TM Forum catalyst have definitely seen an uptake in the use of open source solutions, including those for management,  and strong interest from the SP in the pragmatic results of those efforts. I think the urgency being expressed by the SPs is the major shift here. Folks should not underestimate the momtenum behind this thinking.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 2:53:19 PM
willingness to change
Earler, we noted that telcos have a different view of open source software than you would have expected several years ago. They're definitely open to change if it helps their networks evolve enough to automate certain functions and create services more quickly.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 2:41:21 PM
Re: Commentary is spot on
Why don't you take JUly 4 as a day off.... as a gift from this Brit.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/2/2014 | 2:21:59 PM
Conflicting interests
I would guess that the disenchantment with quasi-standards groups like MEF has a lot to do with the perception that these groups are more about building their franchises than about getting standards worked out. That may be a bit unfair, but it's a strong perception nonetheless. In contrast, a group like IETF stuck to its mission.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 2:11:32 PM
Commentary is spot on
And I'm not just saying this because you're my boss This nails it- the upside and downside of the major trends that are out there, truly shaking up the industry. 

I think we sometimes glibly chat about potential shifts such as the move to open source, forgetting that it has ramifications way beyond what we might imagine at a given moment, including some serious dangers. 

And the colloboration trend is well-cited as well. Good job, Ray.

Any chance I can get the rest of the day off?
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
7/2/2014 | 2:11:20 PM
Commentary is spot on
And I'm not just saying this because you're my boss This nails it- the upside and downside of the major trends that are out there, truly shaking up the industry. 

I think we sometimes glibly chat about potential shifts such as the move to open source, forgetting that it has ramifications way beyond what we might imagine at a given moment, including some serious dangers. 

And the colloboration trend is well-cited as well. Good job, Ray.

Any chance I can get the rest of the day off?
More Blogs from Shades of Ray
The social media giant's solar-powered Aquila drone, designed to provide Internet access to remote locations, has taken to the skies – but why?
European vendor's momentum continues into 2016 as it reports impressive sales growth, only some of which comes from its Overture acquisition, but its profitability isn't keeping up.
A fiber-to-the-home broadband trial in the city of York using CityFibre's network looks likely to lead to more competitive ultra-broadband services across the UK.
The notion of 5G most commonly conjures up a vision of incredibly high-speed wireless/mobile broadband connectivity, but right now it's fixed line broadband that is key to operators' 5G plans.
The UK's decision to quit the European Union has had global reverberations but it's hard to tell exactly how bad the aftershocks will be.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (0) comments


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Light Reading Beyond
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/28/2016
Are IP/Optical Integration Initiatives Moving to Silos?
Faisal Khan, Network Operator Technology Planning Dept., 7/28/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.