Open-source NFV for management and network orchestration

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On this week’s NFV/SDN Reality Check, we look at some top news items from the past week and speak with Rift.io on the use of open-source NFV for management and network orchestration

This week’s featured interview is with Rift.io where we discuss the use of open-source NFV for management and network orchestration. But first let’s take a look at some top stories from across the space over the past week.

AT&T continues to tout the abilities of its enhanced control, orchestration, management and policy project, with the latest link connected to policy management. Jen Yates, assistant VP at AT&T Labs, explained in a recent blog post that one of the goals for ECOMP is to provide for the “design, creation and lifecycle management of virtualized network functions” in a “flexible, dynamic, policy driven manner” allowing users to “dynamically control ECOMP’s behavior without changing the system software.”

A more specific goal of the platform is automating the life cycle of network-based services using control loops, which are designed to define how virtual machine, VNF and service impairments are controlled. AT&T also noted that policies are set to control aspects of ECOMP behavior, including service design, VNF change management and management of the behavior of ECOMP components; with the ECOMP policy framework including creation, evaluation, decision distribution and validation.

AT&T unveiled the ECOMP initiative earlier this year, which it said was designed to automate network services and infrastructure running in a cloud environment. The carrier explained it had been working on ECOMP for nearly two years, tackling the project due to a lack of guidance for NFV and SDN deployments in a wide area network environment.

A recent report from Technology Business Research predicts global enterprises are on pace to spend $12 billion on SDN by 2020. Despite claims that enterprises are still in the early phases of trialing SDN equipment, the report forecasts a 70.2% compound annual growth rate in enterprise-related SDN revenue between 2015 and 2020, with a majority of spend on infrastructure and “displacing legacy technologies.”

However, to reach this growth, TBR states vendors will need to be more proactive in helping enterprises move beyond legacy business practices. TBR sees further challenges for hardware-centric vendors still grappling with new business and operational models.

The research firm noted vendors like Cisco will likely see increased competition from vendors moving aggressively toward software-infused white boxes, opening up the opportunity for strategic alliances as SDN vendors look to bring new products to market. Those alliances are expected in “strategic areas” including hyperconverged platforms and security, with SDN partnerships also set to open up new revenue streams for vendors able to serve broader user cases.

Of course, vendor mindsets also will need to change in terms of working with rivals to further the SDN market. TBR noted progress has been made by various standards bodies to lessen the barriers to these partnerships based on the use of open source platforms, but vendors will need to be open to such initiatives if they want to benefit from the market.

For this week’s featured interview, we speak with Vin Spinelli, SVP global sales, marketing and business development at Rift.io, to discuss the use of open-source NFV for management and network orchestration. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute recently tapped code base from Rift.io for the first release of its open-source MANO specifications.

Before diving into the topic, Spinelli provided a brief overview of the company as well as its view on the current development and deployment pace of NFV platforms.

That will do it for this week’s show. Make sure to check us out again next week when we are scheduled to speak with Peter Jarich, VP of consumer and infrastructure at Current Analysis, for an update on NFV and SDN development and deployment progress.

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About Author

Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
dmeyer@rcrwireless.com
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”