& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
The Senate's vote to cut privacy rules for ISPs just means there's no longer confusion on Internet privacy protection because there isn't any.
Under Ajit Pai, the FCC is doing what major telecom players have wanted by rolling back regulations. Now we'll see if this fuels innovation and consumer benefits.
Sometimes it's not technology issues slowing virtualization, it's the buying and selling process, vendors say, and they'd like an industry solution.
The telecom industry is in a period of rapid change, but then that's been true now for decades. The pace may change but the problems and even some of the solutions seem to repeat themselves.
AT&T pulls back from offering Gigapower customers a chance to protect their privacy for a price, even as FCC considers making it mandatory.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
How Intel Is Powering the 5G Era

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading tours a series of 5G "super demos" so see how Intel envisions the 5G-connected future. We take a look at a prototype connected BMW, a light pole with environmental sensors that provides 5G wireless to a smart home and a fully untethered virtual reality experience.
LRTV Custom TV
Source Photonics CEO Doug Wright Talks About the Future of Source Photonics

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Source Photonics' CEO, Doug Wright, talks to Light Reading about how the company is continuously investing in its operations to meet not only its customers' current technology demands but also to deliver their next-generation technology needs.
LRTV Custom TV
Live Demo: DevOps in Service Chains & 5G Network Slices PoC

3|29|17   |     |   (0) comments


Executives from PoC collaborating companies – Patrick Waldemar, VP and Head of Technology at Telenor Research, John Healy, VP of the Datacenter Network Solutions Group at Intel, Vincent Spinelli, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing at RIFT.io, Mats Eriksson, CEO and co-founder of Arctos Labs, and Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds – review ...
LRTV Documentaries
The Year of Fat & Skinny Bundles

3|29|17   |   21:06   |   (0) comments


In this fireside chat, Roku's Andrew Ferrone predicts that 2017 will be the year of multichannel OTT video bundles and spells out other trends in the OTT and pay-TV markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
BBWF 2016: Orange Poland's Next-Gen Central Office

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


Introduction to Orange Poland's legacy next-generation central office solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Viavi at OFC 2017

3|28|17   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Editor-in-Chief Craig Matsumoto reports from the Viavi booth at OFC and gets an update on the 400G testing market from Tom Fawcett, VP and GM of LAB & Production. At this year's event, Viavi won three awards from Lightwave magazine and showcased an interoperability demo with Ethernet Alliance and Finisar.
LRTV Custom TV
Connecting the Entire Home With DOCSIS 3.1

3|28|17   |   3:58:   |   (0) comments


Hitron Technologies had the first cable modem certified for DOCSIS 3.1 and already has over 120,000 units in the field. Greg Fisher, CTO of Hitron, provides an update on his company's rollout of new gateways and why he thinks DOCSIS 3.1 will continue to drive value for operators into 2017 and beyond.
LRTV Interviews
Amazon Prime's Hand of God Creator on Producing for OTT

3|28|17   |     |   (1) comment


Ben Watkins is the creator, writer and producer of Hand of God, a series on Amazon Prime. At Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen conference in Denver, he explained the advantages of producing for an OTT platform versus traditional TV.
LRTV Custom TV
How Metrological Keeps Cable Customers on the Couch

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


Metrological offers an open source solution that reduces the time it takes cable operators to integrate OTT content into the linear television viewing experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The ABC of OTT

3|28|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen conference in Denver, Ben Watkins, creator of Amazon Prime's Hand of God show, explained how producing content for an OTT platform differs from producing content for traditional TV.
Shades of Ray
Why Analytics Is the Tech World's Digital Glue

3|27|17   |   02:20   |   (0) comments


It was obvious at the massive annual CeBIT enterprise tech trade show that the foundation for tech innovation right now is real-time analytics.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Unlocking China's $194B Telecom Market
Robert Clark, 3/27/2017
WiCipedia: Supergirls, No More Excuses & Media Monitoring
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 3/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Working From Home Doesn't Work for Everyone Click Here
You shouldn't nap on your keyboard, for instance.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.