Market Leader Programs
5G Transport - A 2023 Heavy Reading Survey 2023 Open RAN Operator Survey Coherent Optics at 100G, 400G, and Beyond Open RAN Platforms and Architectures Operator Survey Cloud Native 5G Core Operator Survey Bridging the Digital Divide 5G Network Slicing Operator Survey Open, Automated & Programmable Transport The Journey to Cloud Native
Transactional Licensing is a Legacy of Appliances
Also it should be understood that license agreements and license controls are independent issues. I would advocate a control free license scheme for VNFs as I wouldn't expect a great deal of non-compliance from CSPs.
If the issue is the dynamic setup and tear down of NFV functions, then about the only answer is to go where AWS has. Make the windows for licenses smaller. Have a license server count number of intervals that are used and bill that way. Let's call it 1 hour. So each hour an instance is turned up (whether that is for 5 minutes or the full hour) the hourly billing rate is billed for. That way the bill matches the use.
I'm going to be digging deeper into this to get more answers from vendors and operators alike.
Even so, I remain optimistic. NFV is going to be a big part of networking going forward, so vendors will have no choice but to figure this out.
I think the challenge is that people are trying to think about building things the way they always have and not look to IT for many of the answers.
Let me take your troubleshooting example. I think it is important that the applications become self-monitoring. It is essentially impossible for 3rd party gear to do much other than provide platforms for application work. When I was working as a SaaS vendor our applications would register themselves with our NOC when they started and deregister when they were stopped. The NOC pinged the elements for sanity, but beyond that all the performance monitoring and problem reporting was done locally and escalated to the NOC. The troubleshooting has to be part of the application or it won't exist when a new one is spawned. All of this has to be part of the turnup/turndown automation without human intervention. And yes, even with all of that it can still be painful.
Beyond the operational (and procurement) complexity of managing X number of vendors' licenses (and I suspect it's more vendors than they have for today's version of that network), the other challenges include: