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IS-dg
IS-dg
8/31/2017 | 3:59:52 PM
Testify!
"That's been an aspiration of telecom architects and solution providers for literally decades."

I worked on it at Bell Labs so long ago that our related patents have expired. Given that, I feel qualified to make a few comments...

1) It does not require all or even most of the advanced technologies you mentioned. We prototyped on real network equipment in 1990. Our goal was "a local telephone network that required human action only if something physically had to happen... like joining two wires." We had a high degree of autonomy even then - I demo'ed it myself to Arno.

2) Technology therefore is not the driver. Rather, the driver is economics. I did not understand this in 1990 - I left Bell Labs and engineering to go to business school to learn it.

3) The economics are better now than in 1990, so we are closer to nirvana. But it's Xeno's Paradox with a multi-year halflife.

 

Watch the economics. We'll get there, but it's still a long ways off.

 
SeniorMa28474
SeniorMa28474
8/31/2017 | 4:56:00 PM
On Automation...
Automation is very domain and task specific.

Bringing up a branch router is not the same as defining a strategy for application priorization. Constant manual, one-by-one, repetitive configuration of network elements clearly shoudln't stay a best practice going forward. But overall architectural and operational overview, and optimization of best practices... that part is harder to automate, and better networks shall result.

I remember several years ago a Principal Engineer presented that the entire electrical grid in California is delivered and supervised by just a handful of people... and why should networking be so different?

That said, today's networks are still sub-optimal in many aspects of operation. Routing protocols could and should be augmented with AI for much needed resource use optimization and performance improvements. Same with network security. The current approach to NFV may very well be fundamentally architecturally flawed (FB and GOOG go for very different service delivery models these days).

So... there's still a lot of room for innovation ahead, IMHO. Whether it'll be driven by the same established players is a totally different question.

But Automation is not everything. A catchphrase I use in presentations is "Of course, we start by automating the trivial. Then we simplify the complex. And then we have time to innovate."
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders
9/7/2017 | 10:18:07 AM
Re: On Automation...
SeniorMa28474 - great analysis and thanks for sharing it! 
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders
9/7/2017 | 10:15:24 AM
Re: Testify!
IS-dg... thanks

What is Xeno's Paradox? 

I agree that economics (speficially, the savings that accrue from massive savings in staff costs) are the driver 

 
IS-dg
IS-dg
9/7/2017 | 10:42:54 AM
Re: Testify!
I meant http://platonicrealms.com/encyclopedia/zenos-paradox-of-the-tortoise-and-achilles

Zeno, Xeno, ya know.
mendyk
mendyk
9/1/2017 | 4:43:53 PM
Componentry?
This isn't a comment on the report, which is a clear and important call to arms. But the blurb for this report -- NFV componentry? What the frick is that supposed to mean?
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders
9/7/2017 | 10:19:01 AM
Re: Componentry?
Mendyk - "NFV componentry" ... a copy editor's conceipt, i suspect! 
mendyk
mendyk
9/7/2017 | 10:37:35 AM
Re: Componentry?
Yes -- we must be kind to the copy editors, even when they try to confuse us.
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders
9/7/2017 | 10:38:45 AM
Re: Componentry?
possibly worried about being downsized by automation? 
PaulERainford
PaulERainford
9/15/2017 | 11:23:00 AM
Re: Componentry?
Oi, leave the copy desk out of it. This came to us from on high and is no sillier than many other words we assured are common parlance on Planet Telecom.
mendyk
mendyk
9/15/2017 | 12:29:25 PM
Re: Componentry?
As an emeritus member of the Copy Desk Academy, I take issue with your hand-washing in this matter. I remember getting the most pleasure out of thankless tasks by correcting things that came from on high.
PaulERainford
PaulERainford
9/15/2017 | 12:33:14 PM
Re: Componentry?
Plus: it didn't strike me as wrong. It's hard copy editing in a foreign language, you know.
PaulERainford
PaulERainford
9/15/2017 | 12:40:10 PM
Re: Componentry?

Componentry | Definition of Componentry by Merriam-Webster

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/componentry
 
Define componentry: the parts that make up a system or device.
mendyk
mendyk
9/15/2017 | 1:51:14 PM
Re: Componentry?
As a wise old copy editor (as if there were any other kind) once advised, know the language of the tribe. Virtualized functions run on components, but referring to those functions as componentry does not comply with the idiom of this particular tribe.
PaulERainford
PaulERainford
9/15/2017 | 4:09:27 PM
Re: Componentry?
This conversation is getting silly. I'm off to nail some jelly to the wall.
mendyk
mendyk
9/15/2017 | 4:11:13 PM
Re: Componentry?
Don't go away mad ...
Marketin12124
Marketin12124
9/7/2017 | 5:42:31 AM
Technology isn't the endgame
This was a great article summarising the state of the NFV/SDN tech bubble, and pointing out the obvious, that many of us have forgotten.  All of these technologies are ultimately designed to offer services more cheaply, more effectively, in a tailored manner with fewer people. 

Automation of the network is the end-game, as fact that is probably very uncomfortable for the people running networks, network operations centers and fulfilment processes today.  The good news is that the task is insanely complicated, and is going to take years to realize.

In the future our communications networks will be run by 1 network engineer and a dog.  The job of the network engineer is to feed the dog.  The job of the dog will be to bite the network engineer if he tries to touch any buttons!
Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders
9/7/2017 | 10:16:23 AM
Re: Technology isn't the endgame
Market12124 - LOL!

It will be a dog's life in more ways than one!
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
9/22/2017 | 11:13:03 PM
Far off
"this stuff is pretty much pie in the sky right now"

Indeed, most of the telecom execs I speak to about SONs and similar areas (1) have and/or acknowledge vastly different definitions for SONs and "intelligent networks" in the industry, (2) note that we're quite far away from this vision, and/or (3) seem to have little idea what I'm talking about.


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