Light Reading

Five Key Takeaways From TM Forum Live!

Carol Wilson
6/9/2014
50%
50%

The sun shone brightly on Nice for almost the entire week of TM Forum Live! and the Cote d'Azur was at its sparkling best. The event itself had something of a split personality: Many of its conference sessions were packed and the TM Forum's Catalysts drew considerable attention. But, with a few notable exceptions, the exhibit floor seemed rather lifeless, as delegates were mostly engaged elsewhere.

Virtualization dominated my week in Nice, as I bounced from one session to another in the Virtualizing Everything track, so if there was major excitement generated elsewhere, I missed it. Here, from that rather lop-sided perspective, are my key take-aways, one for each of the five days of French sunshine:

  • Virtualization is giving the TM Forum , in specific, and the network management segment, in general, new focus and energy: Telecom network operators are realizing how critical orchestration is going to be to the success of NFV, and how critical NFV and SDN are to their survival. That is making orchestration a C-level discussion. Even while there is, as Forum VP-Strategy Nik Willetts admitted, a fair amount of "NFV-washing" going on, there is also considerable serious work under way, and much left to do. Other initiatives such as business transformation and digital services platforms have not generated the same urgency in recent years. (See NFV Dominates in Nice and How NFV Can Power the Digital Marketplace.)

  • Large telecom operators aren't as wary of sharing information as they have been in the past. Several equipment vendor execs noted this trend, some on the record such as Ulf Ewaldsson, CTO of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), and others not for attribution. (Maybe they think the trend is too fragile to discuss?) Getting service providers to talk about what they are doing and with whom has been difficult for some time as even basic information is regarded as strategic and not for dissemination to potential competitors. The greater threat from outside the telecom sector seems to be changing that. Certainly the operator-driven ETSI NFV Industry Specifications Group is the centerpiece of that effort. (See NFV Not a Panacea, Carrier Execs Admit and Telcos Pay Lip Service to Open Source.)

  • Open source software is going to play a role in the early going of NFV deployment at the very least. Beyond that, its role is less certain. The ability to use open source resources such as OpenStack, or the open source hypervisor developed by the Open Daylight project lets service providers start testing things out right now. Some vendors are embracing use of open source within their early SDN/NFV deployments, although they are likely wrapping these tightly in their own intellectual property. As multiple people noted, "pure" open source likely won't fly in the telecom realm, which is why it's hard to say exactly what the final impact of open source will be. Assuming it has no impact would also be a mistake because… (See Can ZOOM See Daylight? and Ericsson Unveils Carrier-Grade Server Strategy .)

  • Service providers are champing at the bit to get going on NFV deployment. They realize this is going to be a step-by-step process -- I heard this phrase repeatedly -- and the sooner they take first steps, the better. There is a willingness to try things to see if they fly and to -- cliché alert -- fail fast. That will ultimately be the beauty of virtualization -- that it will allow faster introduction and expiration of services, so carriers can try things and yank them if they don't work. That's unheard of in today's long planning and deployment cycles. Even in advance of full deployment, many operators want to push ahead -- open source software will play a role in facilitating those efforts. (See No Need to Rush Into Virtualization – Orange .)

  • There is more uncertainty than certainty where NFV and SDN are concerned. It's not hard to get contradictory statements from people who generally agree with each other because there is still so much to be worked out here. Some of the impatience referenced above stems from the feeling that it will be impossible to work out the important issues in meetings, lab tests and proofs of concept. There is a sense -- unusual in telecom -- that it is not only okay to stomp your foot down on the accelerator when the road ahead isn't certain, but that it's likely aggressive speed is somehow required. Whether this sense of urgency leads to some early deployment failures and whether that would provoke a return to caution are just two of the many unknowns ahead. (See Liability Issues Increase in Virtual World.)

    — Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading


    Want to learn more about network operators' approach to NFV? There is still time to join us next week at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. Multiple sessions, led by Heavy Reading analysts, will tackle the practical issues around virtualization and there will be demos that include proofs of concept for NFV. Come in a day early on June 16th and you can attend an afternoon workshop lead by the Open Networking Foundation that will update standards development for SDN and NFV. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


    (5)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/11/2014 | 2:29:10 PM
Re: Prod
Agreed, Mitch. Altho I think the major value open source will have in the NFV and SDN space is speeding up the process of getting to lab trials and deployments. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/11/2014 | 1:34:50 PM
Prod
One major value of open source is as a competitive prod to vendors. It doesn't have to gain widespread adoption if vendors fear it enough to make their products better. 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/10/2014 | 8:40:23 AM
Re: takeways
@t.bogataj for the most part. 
t.bogataj
50%
50%
t.bogataj,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/10/2014 | 3:45:06 AM
Re: takeways
Ariella,

Are you sure?
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/9/2014 | 7:45:51 PM
takeways
Thanks for the insight. The last one proves the general observation that nothing is certain. 
More Blogs from Rewired
Even the best specialized routers can't keep pace with the 100,000-plus % increase in mobile data traffic, Donovan tells MWC.
Response to FCC head Tom Wheeler's expected re-regulation of broadband access lines was predictable, but also maybe irrelevant.
Metaswitch CTO says virtual functions implemented on IT-grade cloud infrastructure require extra engineering help to handle network volumes.
Technology guru John Donovan pledges to make AT&T's network 75% software-defined by 2020.
Board of directors allegedly wanted faster pace of change from one of the telecom industry's change pacesetters.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (0) comments


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.