NFV has been a lot more challenging than anticipated thanks to the complexity of the technology and the lack of interoperability among different platforms and vendor solutions.
But things are changing. Service providers are starting to reorganize their teams to be more efficient and vendors are figuring out ways to work together to encourage interoperability.
Plus, some groups are making strides in developing interoperability standards. The MEF recently released a draft technical specification of its Sonata API, which is part of its Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) framework. The LSO Sonata APIs will make it possible to provide automation for MEF-defined services across service providers globally.
According to MEF, some developers are already downloading the software development kit and getting a head start on delivering APIs for inter-carrier orchestration.
And there have been some early NFV success stories among operators. AT&T was an early adopter of virtualization and has set a goal of having at least 75 percent of its network virtualized by 2020. The company’s FlexWare virtual network functions (VNF) platform uses AT&T’s integrated cloud (AIC) platform for service orchestration. It also uses software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV to provide software control of different functions for enterprise customers.
But perhaps the biggest key to AT&T’s success has been its efforts to retrain its workforce to make them more skilled at virtualization.
In this eBrief from SDxCentral, we explore some of the progress that NFV has made in the past year and also look at some of the obstacles that are still impeding its progress.
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