Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What is left for operator to enable SDN and NFV?

Debate: What is left for operator to enable SDN and NFV?

In a live debate held last week at Mobile World Congress, Patrick Lopez, VP Networks Innovation, Telefonica, and Manish Singh, VP Product Management, SDN & NFV, Tech Mahindra, joined TMN editor Keith Dyer to discuss what operators are hoping to achieve with the adoption of NFV and SDN.
The panel asked what the end goals are, and looked at the progress operators have made so far, picking out key challenges that operators still face around integration, certification and onboarding of VNFs, interoperability, the role of orchestration and the different Open Source approaches to NFV MANO.
The panel also looked at how operators can adapt their own cultures to act in a more agile way, adopting continuous integration and DevOps models.
Key quotes:
Lopez: “The end game is the ability to create services that are more customer-centric and enable operators to provide real value to consumers, things and enterprises by providing experiences that are tailored for them. And to be able to do that you need to have an infrastructure that is very elastic and very agile – that’s where SDN and NFV comes in.”
Singh: “As we dis-aggregate the hardware from the software, and get to this virtualised infrastructure layer where different network functions are orchestrated – integration, performance characterisation, capacity planning and onboarding all become challenges that need to be addressed
Singh: “There has been ecosystem fragmentation in the orchestration layer and for the VNF vendors that was creating challenges in terms of, ‘How many orchestrators, how many VIMs on the infrastructure layer do I support?'”
Lopez: “It’s really hard to create an industry that is going to grow if we don’t all share the same DNA.”
Singh: “The good news is there is a vibrant ecosystem, and I think having a couple of key alternatives as we drive forward is a good thing. And we see an inflection point where a new way of standardising things is coming up, and that really sets the way for 5G.”
Lopez: “You cannot implement automation well if you don’t understand how you have deployed that NFV-SDN technology. You need to implement that itself to understand the gotchas to be able to automate.”
Singh: “As we look at SDN NFV the other key aspect is the ability to bring new player, VNFs and components into the fold and we are enabling that to be done cost effectively, efficiently and rapidly.”
Lopez: “It [SDN-NFV] works, we can achieve the main core benefits of the technology. It can do what we were planning to do – to run a software defined network. We are there, now it is about optimising it and making it run better and automating it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

World's first ETSI NFV Plugfest

As all know in the telecom industry, the transition from standard to implementation can be painful, as vendors and operators translate technical requirements and specifications into code. There are always room for interpretation and desires to innovate or differentiate that can lead to integration issues. Open source initiatives have been able to provide viable source code for implementation of elements and interfaces and they are a great starting point. The specific vendors and operators’ implementations still need to be validated and it is necessary to test that integration needs are minimal.

Networks Function Virtualization (NFV) is an ETSI standard that is a crucial element of telecom networks evolution as operators are looking at their necessary transformation to accommodate the hyper growth resulting from video services moving to online and mobile.

As a member of the organization’s steering committee, I am happy to announce that the 5G open lab 5Tonic will be hosting the world’s first ETSI NFV plugfest from January 23 to February 3, 2017 with the technical support of Telefonica and IMDEA Networks Institute.  

5Tonic is opening its doors to the NFV community, comprising network operators, vendors and open source collaboration initiatives to assert and compare their implementations of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), NFV Infrastructure and Virtual Infrastructure Manager. Additionally, implementations of Management and Orchestrations (MANO) functions will also be available.

43 companies and organizations have registered to make this event the largest in NFV interoperability in the world.

•           Telefonica
•           A10
•           Cisco
•           Canonical
•           EANTC
•           EHU
•           Ensemble
•           Ericsson
•           F5
•           Fortinet
•           Fraunhofer
•           HPE
•           Huawei
•           Inritsu
•           Intel
•           Italtel
•           Ixia
•           Keynetic
•           Lenovo
•           Mahindra
•           Openet
•           Palo Alto
•           Radware
•           RIFT.io
•           Sandvine
•           Sonus
•           Spirent
•           RedHat
•           VMWare
•           WIND

Open source projects:
•           OSM (Open Source MANO)
•           Open Baton
•           Open-O
•           OPNFV

 OSM is delivering an open source MANO stack aligned with ETSI NFV Information Models. As an operator-led community, OSM is offering a production-quality open source MANO stack that meets the requirements of commercial NFV networks.

Testing will take place on site at the 5TONIC lab near Madrid, as well as virtually for remote participants.