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NFV Is Down but Not Out

Iain Morris
5/22/2018
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At an impasse
The situation may be critical because costs per bit are not dropping as fast as revenues per bit. The forces of competition are driving operators to be increasingly generous with data allowances for customers. As a consequence, the hunt for efficiency has become the #1 activity for many operators. (See Nolle: In 2017, Cost Per Bit Exceeds Revenues.)

Concern about NFV is certainly not confined to North America. On the other side of the planet, the Philippines' Globe Telecom Inc. sympathizes with Gedeon's complaints. Still weighing its NFV options, Globe wants to get rid of silos and duplication at its enterprise business, and have a common infrastructure platform for different workloads. But Vincent Seet, a Globe advisor on enterprise architecture, is disappointed by what he sees.

"We've realized there are a lot of strategy alliances between vendors and this so-called openness is limited to the strategy alliances they form," he tells Light Reading. "Some are providing VNFs [virtual network functions] that are certified to run only on their own hardware. If they are saying there is a secret sauce only their hardware can provide, we are still being locked down."

Seet agrees that NFV may have brought more operational complexity and little in the way of automation. Vendors' marketing of fancy but vague new expressions like "cloud infrastructure platform" has led to confusion in an NFV context, he says. He also thinks costs may have risen partly because operators warily investing in NFV have been maintaining more than one solution for a given function. "I would ideally want only one solution to provide that function on NFV," he says.


For more NFV-related coverage and insights, check out our dedicated NFV content channel here on Light Reading.


Vendors, for their part, have privately lashed out at telcos demanding a radical overhaul of charging arrangements for software licenses. Suppliers also need to make a profit, they point out. A recent squeeze on equipment spending has left some in a bad enough shape as it is.

Seet is unimpressed. "That is really shortsighted of the vendors," he says, when asked if suppliers are making a fair point about the commercial arrangements. "Of course, we don't want them to be making a loss, but they shouldn't be charging us more than we should pay."

Next page: Lashings of open source and a sprinkling of startups

 
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jylliannesiga
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jylliannesiga,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/25/2018 | 4:46:07 AM
So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
Some of these comments look stark in text in a news report, but it's hard to judge context and tone from here.
Atlantis-dude
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Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/3/2018 | 1:23:03 PM
depends on what kind of technology team is
built inhouse. If that handles development and support of nfunctions then 10x possible. bUt building such a team is tough and xpensive for telco.
Raanan10
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Raanan10,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/14/2018 | 1:47:25 AM
‘NFV is not down yet’: save it by doing it right
While obviously not all of NFV's promise has materialized, concluding that NFV has failed to deliver is far reaching. 
 
The values of NFV for service providers and enterprises can still be achieved when adopting the right product and right deployment strategy. D-NFV and uCPE solutions allow quick and efficient rollout of NFV managed services with minimal initial investment supporting an "invest as you grow" model.
 
Special importance should be given to choosing the right uCPE solution. The common tendency to select a solution, using the same criteria employed while selecting centralized NFV, or "jumping on the easy choice" of your current appliance/network-equipment vendor, might not yield the required results.
brooks7
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brooks7,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/5/2018 | 11:39:01 AM
Re: We've realized a third of the savings. We need to get to a factor of ten
rocket,

 

I think that you are missing the notion a bit.  He is talking about 30% savings over doing the service without NFV.  For a telco, that is a bare minimum for adopting a new vendor.

The big problem will be on the OPEX side, whereas it is pointed out more people are required during the transition.  This transition is the 100% elimination of the old network.  Until then, two staff positions are required. So, even if there are CAPEX savings there is an extreme downside on the OPEX side.

For your example, it would be the adoption of IP PBXes and SIP Trunking.  Not only did one reduce the capital requirements, but you could fire the guy who knows about T-1.  That was a 100% reduction in T-1 guy Opex.

seven

 
rocket101
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rocket101,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/4/2018 | 5:03:27 PM
We've realized a third of the savings. We need to get to a factor of ten
>>We've realized a third of the savings. We need to get to a factor of ten.

Does anyone on this board can share any example where a company was able to realize savings by a factor of ten in ANY business??? If the CTO of TELUS is expecting savings by a factor of ten by moving to NFV, then I feel there is a very basic issue here in the way his understanding is about what is needed to implement NFV OR my undesrtanding is incorrect 100%.

Even a household will not be able to achieve savings by a factor of ten unless folks in the family just drink water for food and eat only salad and that too homegrown most of the time.

How in the world someone and that too a CTO of a company is expecting savings by a factor or ten is beyond my imagination. He is getting 30% savings alreday and that is a huge number by itself. Does Telus or any company offer a phone plan that costs 1/10th or even 1/5th of the going rate just because the network is more NFV focussed?

Please share your thoughts. I just don't seem to come to terms that someone could expect to run an existing business with 90% discount in cost of running the business.

I would like to hear of definite examples if there are any.

 

 

 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2018 | 11:36:42 PM
Re: "I pay people like Red Hat all of a sudden for OpenStack,"
@yarn: TCO isn't everything, even if it should be more emphasized. Investors in public companies want to see increased profits quarter over quarter -- not increased expenditures. And the executives and lower-level employees making purchasing recommendations and decisions may not expect to be employed at the same company by the time cost savings is realized.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2018 | 11:30:46 PM
Re: So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
Even executives can fall for marketing -- and the open-source community's long-time messaging has been "It's free!" The unspoken part of that: "As long as you don't want support lol."
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/29/2018 | 11:28:36 PM
Local EPCs
Yeah, vEPC really fizzled out from all the hype a couple of years ago, huh?

Of course, we can't say we weren't warned for all that hype for those willing and able to read between the lines.  As Gabriel noted in a 2016 Heavy Reading report, revenue from vEPC had a 70-30 split between software licenses and hardware investment -- in favor of software.
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/25/2018 | 9:48:06 AM
Re: So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
A follow-up story to clarify some of the points made in the original post would be a good idea. At least it would give Mr. Gedeon the opportunity to clarify his reported comments, which do come off as something short of clued-in.
Gabriel Brown
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Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/25/2018 | 3:49:51 AM
Re: So does Gedeon from TELUS expects NFV to be FREE????
Some of these comments look stark in text in a news report, but it's hard to judge context and tone from here.

Ibrahim Gedeon is a clued-in CTO. I suspect his comments were partly building a picture and reflecting on thought proceses everybody in the industry has had. He isn't naive that is for sure.

He's a good speaker. It's refreshing to have an operator exec articulate these issues in the open.

It may also reflect the frustrations of smaller operators who are more beholden to vendors and who can't (economically) run their own software development programs for what should be "commodity" functions.
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