NFV/SDN Reality Check – Episode 13: Combining network functions to meet carrier-grade needs

    IEEE tackles SDN

    On this week’s NFV/SDN Reality Check we talked with Thomas Vasen, subscriber experience evangelist at Procera Networks, and Gerry Donohoe, director of solutions engineering at Openet, about the impact network functions virtualization is having on policy and charging systems.
    With virtualization already having a significant impact on the very nature of telecom networks, operators are being challenged to both support new systems as well as legacy operations. Platforms being designed to handle these needs are also being tasked to meet so-called “carrier grade” requirements, which typically fall into the “5 9s” model.
    Vasen and Donohoe discussed the impact virtualization is having on business support systems; how telecom operators are tackling the challenge of integrating legacy online charging systems into their virtualization plans; the need for “carrier grade” when it comes to OSS/BSS running across virtualized platforms; and touched on some of the bigger challenges in terms of continued integration of policy and charging management into virtualized platforms?
    We also talked with Shawn Hakl, head of network platforms and managed services at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, on its growing NFV and SDN plans. Verizon late last month announced SDN plans with five vendors: Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia Networks. As part of the announcement, said it has been working on the move toward virtualized platforms over the past several years, including the creation of live lab environments in San Jose, Tampa and Waltham, Mass., and claims to have commercial data center environments on both coasts.
    Hakl spoke about Verizon’s overall view on moving towards virtualization, and then provided insight into questions surrounding the business case behind the move to NFV.
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