The middle seat on a transatlantic flight returning from the SDN and Openflow World Congress in Dusseldorf was an ideal setting to reflect and collect some thoughts about the event, the state of NFV in the industry, and my favourite movie…….#planestrainsandautomobiles
Keeping my socks on!!
Being a service provider driven initiative, at this point, it is fairly safe to say that Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is more than a fleeting trend. The NFV track at the event by far garnered the greatest interest and participation. Many proofs of concepts are underway and it’s clear that virtualization technology will be used in carrier networks.Whether operators will be able to realize the degree of operational savings as well as new service innovation will rest largely on their ability to “operationalize” NFV. Moving from labs to field deployments require deployments at scale. This includes the ability manage and deliver services across heterogeneous networks (multi-technology, multi-vendor, and span physical and virtual networks). The management challenges and complexities that exist today will only be magnified in virtualized environments.
SDN and OpenFlow World Congress
Managing security of virtual network infrastructures as well as virtual network functions is a critical (and seemingly overlooked today) operational consideration. Maintaining, updating, and managing the configurations of virtual network functions (VNFs) may very well be another significant operational hurdle – especially when VNFs can be located in more places, provided by more suppliers, and modified more regularly to keep up with the needs of the services they are supporting.
NFV is a transformation, or evolution, which will happen over time. This transformation is happening quickly, perhaps quicker than any in recent memory in our industry. “Operationalizing” NFV is one of the next frontiers and there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered.