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NFV and SDN development and deployment update

Current Analysis provides an update on current NFV and SDN development and deployment progress, including potential hurdles for mobile operators

This week’s featured interview is with Current Analysis where we discuss the current pace of NFV and SDN development and deployment by telecom operators and what could be holding up the process.
But first, let’s take a look at some top headlines from across the space over the past week.
AT&T was tabbed as being furthest along in NFV deployments, though telecom rival Verizon is becoming more vocal in its own advances, according to a recent report from Technology Business Research.
In touting AT&T’s progress, TBR highlighted the telecom operator’s own touting of its moves towards network virtualization technology using NFV and SDN.
The research firm explained AT&T has been aggressive in its deployments, citing its AT&T Integrated Cloud, Network on Demand and its ECOMP project, which AT&T said is designed to automate network services and infrastructure running in a cloud environment.
TBR added AT&T’s aggressive rollout plans ahead of some standardization work are somewhat reliant on the industry adopting common platforms for critical functions, “which is why AT&T is promoting open source solutions and may, in turn, share parts of its internal solutions with the open source community.”
TBR said this method is expected to allow AT&T to “achieve substantial benefits from NFV deployments within the next two years, including lower spend and increased revenue.”
As for Verizon, TBR found the telecom operator has been highlighting its work on managed software-defined WAN, virtual network security solutions and cloud interconnect through its Secure Cloud Interconnect platform. The carrier is expected this year to further boost those options with SDN WAN multitenant, NFV orchestration and NFV hosting.
Verizon was also cited for being tough on the vendor community, with TBR noting criticism from Verizon on “incomplete orchestrators, not delivering on multitenant solutions capabilities, providing ‘gray’ boxes rather than true commodity white boxes and not fully addressing service assurance.”
The carrier has also been critical of suppliers charging for increment of new software functionality added to” a solution rather than business value from end-customer benefits; and “to understand that delivery options for the solution must be aligned to the service provider’s needs, not the vendor’s.”
TBR also noted Verizon’s efforts also look to be targeting support for “5G” technology plans, with indications the carrier is “looking at aligning NFV/SDN to fulfill 5G requirements and planning to move its wireless network services closer to the edge of the network using NFV.”
Also this week, a new report from Strategy Analytics suggests service providers should first move on virtualizing their network and service platforms to reduce risks associated with deploying NFV into cloud environments.
The firm cited ongoing concerns regarding “carrier class” reliability of NFV and SDN solutions in support of commercial services, which has sequestered initial deployments to more limited enterprise models.
The firm also noted service providers faced with changing operations processes while simultaneously installing unproven ‘bare metal’ solutions could dramatically increase the risks of NFV deployment and delay the rollout of SDN/NFV next generation networks.
In looking to help service providers clear these hurdles, Strategy Analytics suggests 16 requirements for virtualizing networking platforms as “a first step on the road to the NFV compliant public ‘telco cloud,’” and highlighting five vendor platforms it claims meet the requirements across different network and services.
For this week’s featured interview, we spoke with Peter Jarich, VP of infrastructure and consumer at Current Analysis to get his insight into the current pace of NFV and SDN development and deployment in the telecom space, and what issues are still holding up that progress.

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 TM Forum to wrap up news and events from its recent Live event in Nice, France.
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