Transforming telecom network organizations to deliver new services quicker is a top-down exercise, but most of the current efforts are starting at the bottom and working their way up, argues Tom Nolle, a veteran industry consultant and the CEO and president of CIMI Corp. .
Nolle, who launched the CloudNFV initiative and was its chief architect until he stepped down in February, is now developing an open architecture for orchestration and management designed to deliver the service agility telecom network operators say they want, by starting at the top at the services level and working down to the resource level. (See New Group Ties NFV to the Cloud and Top 5 NFV Movers & Shakers.)
That is the opposite approach to what industry standards groups are taking today, Nolle wrote in a blog post on his site today. Groups such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specifications Group, the Open Networking Foundation , and the TM Forum are not setting out to come up with a complete state of orchestration for next-gen services. Like traditional standards group, they have a tendency to try to build up from the bottom.
"If you look at the classic example of OpenFlow, here we are defining a way to control forwarding tables, and we don't have any kind of a management architecture or any kind of service model -- none of the stuff you would expect to have first," Nolle told us. "We haven't even gotten to it yet, because we are all down in the details."
He plans develop such an open architecture for orchestration and management and to offer it to the industry through a series of tutorials he'll develop by late summer. There won't be a charge for accessing those tutorials or using the ideas -- though a vendor that wants specific help will have to pay consulting fees, and the use of Nolle's terminology will require his scrutiny.
Since posting his thoughts on his blog today, Nolle has already had responses from one standards group and a few operators. His goal is to enable a more rapid transition to virtualization in the form of SDN and NFV, as well as to cloud-based systems.
"If I've got three revolutionary technologies and a trillion dollars' worth of legacy infrastructure that I'm going to evolve out of, and I don't have any high-level strategy for putting them together, then how am I ever going to be efficient?" Nolle asked. "I'll be lucky if I can hold my costs to what they are now. I just don't see how we are going to get anywhere with this if we don't take a broader view of this, if we don't take a more holistic view."
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading