Light Reading

NFV Not a Panacea, Carrier Execs Admit

Carol Wilson
6/4/2014
50%
50%

NICE, France -- TM Forum Live! -- Virtualization is not a panacea for telecom service providers, and if done wrong won't enable them to move more quickly in developing services, two leading service provider execs warned today.

Axel Clauberg, VP-IP Aggregation, transport and fixed access, in the CTO's office at Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), and Fred Feisullin, senior network architect in the CTO's office at Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), spoke on a panel in the Virtualizing Everything track. They agreed that virtualization by itself -- just deploying NFV and SDN -- is far from enough for service providers who desperately need to get faster in delivering services.

"If we just virtualize, we won't solve any problem -- virtualized chaos is still chaos," Clauberg said. "We need to cloudify our environment, we need to fully automate and do lifecycle management. (See Deutsche Telekom: A Software-Defined Operator.)

Feisullin immediately agreed: "We are doing virtualization to get rid of hardware silos, so we need to make sure there are no new software silos," he said.

The key is to simplify the all-IP network infrastructure, and avoid layering on more complexity or, as Feisullin put it, "we don't want to have to orchestrate the orchestrators." (See Carriers Say SDN Won't Save Capex.)

He made his case for open standardized interfaces, a strong meta-model for services that can be applied across the entire infrastructure and a "tightly coupled orchestration capability" that will enable lower operational costs.

Both the operator execs also agreed on the need for real-world experience with virtualization that goes beyond lab trials and proofs of concept, suggesting a series of smaller steps and deployments.

"Even if we don't have standards in place, there is progress we can make short-term," Feisullin said, in response to a question about the open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) the NFV community is considering between service and orchestration layers of the network. "Everything has to move forward together but every step we take moves us to understanding what those APIs have to be>"

By building on real-world experience with running code and constantly updating and improving on previous work, the telecom industry can move forward toward the goal of a fully virtualized, all-IP cloud- based network, Clauberg said. Starting with smaller projects such as virtualizing domain name servers will enable network operators to get experience with the process in a way that proofs of concept can't.

"We don't need billions to make that happen -- it is a step-by-step approach," he said. "We are bringing in a new element which is by nature a little more complexity but we are focused on automating everything and getting the management right."

The two vendors who joined Clauberg and Feisullin on the panel generally agreed with the tone they set, and the need for a phased approach to deploying NFV. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s David Amzallag, VP-Virtual telecom and Cloudband, admitted his company has had to take a sharp look at its ability to move from developing hardware boxes to software development. Adan Pope, CTO and VP of Technology at Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), offered his perspective on phasing in NFV, suggesting enterprise services and premises-based technologies as a place to get started.

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

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/4/2014 | 2:36:19 PM
Culture club
Deploying services quickly requires changes to business processes. Simply deploying new technology isn't enough. 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2014 | 11:02:15 AM
Re: the headline
All I can say is WOW!

Phil is complaining about a snarky headline.  I believe heck has just frozen over.

Tom - I think the notion that a carrier will bulk replace 100% of its network overnight is silly.  You just said that this was the requirement for NFV.  I don't think you meant that, but anything other that 100% replacment is phased.

I think that people need to be very careful when they talk about APIs and incrementalism.  My experience has been that software teams don't deprecate things cleanly.  I think the notion at the carrier level is that APIs won't be replaced but rather augmented.  I think that this is problematic - especially if you have multiple pieces of software aligning against an API.  They will not migrate in lockstep.  Some may not move at all. 

By the way, this is a HUGE challenge in telecom.  POTS lines should support phones from the 1920s.  DSL chipsets must be able to train up at ADSL1 rates.  The long term backward compatibility is NOT a way of shrinking development cycles.

seven

 
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2014 | 9:55:04 AM
the headline
The headline implies that carrier execs, until now, had been saying NFV was a panacea. Now they have seen the error of their ways and they admit that NFV is NOT a panacea. 

Do we assume that those quoted in the story are the ones who made such silly claims to begin with? Are they the ones to blame for the "hype" that has infected the industry?

:)
TomNolle
50%
50%
TomNolle,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2014 | 9:22:16 AM
Re: Candid comments
The phased approach creates a risk for the carriers, though.  There's a current tendency to build NFV silos based on limited trials, and a risk these won't integrate end to end to provide full realization of benefits.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
6/4/2014 | 6:53:52 AM
Candid comments
It's refreshing to hear carrier execs being this blunt - the real-world perspective beats the hype any day.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
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
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
Google Ready to Release Thousands of Loons
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment