Implementing network virtualization can dramatically improve the agility and flexibility of a carrier network—as long as the carrier can get past the hurdle of initially implementing network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) and begin moving toward a virtualized network. Unfortunately, the complexity and nature of implementing NFV can freeze carriers into a paralysis of indecision before they even begin their journey.
Since the formal introduction of the NFV concept, hundreds of NFV PoCs have been tested at carriers across the globe. What has happened with these PoCs? Are the carriers satisfied with them, and are they moving forward with them, or are there gaps remaining in the technology or carrier implementations that are inhibiting these PoCs from moving to production? In Q1 2016, 451 Research interviewed 10 carriers about their experiences with NFV.
A new 451 Research Advisory looks at the results of these interviews and provides a picture of what is working with carrier NFV PoCs and what is not. The interviews focused on end-to-end challenges posed by the NFV PoCs, as well as three hurdles that required specific attention: orchestration (the subject of the most debate, confusion, and uncertainty facing NFV today), cloud platform (a source of unexpected performance, integration, and interoperability issues), and organization (making sure the PoC has executive sponsorship and making sure that IT is involved early).
In addition to the 10 carrier interviews, 451 Research benefited from the experience that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has accumulated over the past 2 years in more than 90 PoCs it has participated in. This advisory shares some of the summary data associated with 21 of HPE’s PoCs and demonstrates that the attitudes and experiences from the 10 interviews are reflected in the larger pool of experience that HPE drew from.
Read the advisory to learn more and also to gain valuable recommendations for moving forward with an overall plan and a strategic direction. Establishing a business plan, selecting specific VNFs, resolving organizational issues and turf conflicts, and obtaining executive sponsorship are all positive indicators that the PoC is likely to move forward quickly. In the end, the simplest and most important recommendations for any successful PoC and NFV implementation is to move now and get help. Reading this advisory is a good step toward the latter.