August 31, 2016

Deploying NFV Doesn't Have to Be a Game of Risk

To leverage virtualization faster and more efficiently, service providers can lean on experienced systems integration partners.

Until a year ago, most service providers were still trying to validate the technologies underpinning network functions virtualization (NFV). A major question still lingered: Will NFV really work or is it just a fascinating concept that sounds great in theory but is difficult to implement in practice? Today, service providers recognize the need to move beyond testing and bring NFV to market.



Despite this shift in perspective, we’re often asked why NFV is not more widely operational. If service providers are satisfied with the results of their NFV trials, then why are they not commercializing it?

One of the biggest roadblocks preventing service providers from progressing with network virtualization is the way that traditional equipment suppliers sell products. Traditional vendors have always sold dedicated hardware called "boxes." Because nearly every facet of virtualization challenges their existing business of selling boxes, vendors are dragging their feet.

In many cases when service providers approach incumbent suppliers with requests for virtualized solutions, suppliers merely produce virtualized versions of existing boxes. What was a physical piece of equipment is now a virtual version of the same thing. But now the risks of implementing virtualized network functions and ensuring their orchestration with the rest of the network comprised of both legacy hardware and virtualized software fall entirely on the shoulders of service providers. That’s the fundamental cause for the sluggish operationalization of NFV.

Service providers need a prime systems integrator. They need someone to say, "I'm willing to take that risk for you. I have the experience and I can take your NFV project forward and make it work for you."

NFV is too vast and complex for most service providers to implement alone. There are operational and organizational challenges that service providers may not be able to identify or overcome on their own. Systems integrators can shoulder these risks and use their expertise to help service providers implement best-of-breed virtualization technologies as well as adapt their internal processes and organizational structures to support newly virtualized environments.

With a primary systems integrator to lean on for the implementation of NFV, service providers can focus on their business and develop the services that their customers really want.


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