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
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones