March 15, 2016

What’s the Best Approach to Virtualization Standards?

Supporting multiple NFV approaches will help get service provider projects moving along.

What will it take to get NFV (network functions virtualization) out of the lab and into real commercial deployments?

One huge step in the right direction is for vendors to take a new approach to dealing with service providers. At Netcracker, for instance, we’ve changed to reflect how our customers are changing as they go through the process of migrating from connectivity providers to true digital service providers.

Taking our customers’ business and network concerns into account each step of the way gets us closer to more commercial NFV deployments. Take the issue of virtualization standards and protocols, for example. I recently wrote in a post on SDxCentral that “there’s a place at the virtualization table for all of these approaches, or even proprietary methods and there are no right or wrong answers.”

What prompted that? There is a lot of discussion around which standard or project service providers ought to embrace when bringing virtualized services to market. Our stance is that the right answer is whatever makes the service provider comfortable enough to move forward with the deployment. As I wrote:

Some vendors swear by one standard or protocol while others have thrown their support behind another, but through it all, operators are sometimes left in a state of confusion as to which standards are best for their deployment, or they may realize that their preferred network partners don’t support the standards they have decided upon.

Arguing the merits of YANG, TOSCA, or NETCONF will only slow things down. Vendors need to support them all:

There is a place for all of the aforementioned standards, and to support a truly compelling story vendors need to be able to speak competently about each and provide solutions that will appeal to a wide range of operators and their virtualization plans. This type of inclusive approach to customer requirements or constraints will go a long way to getting NFV out of the lab and demo stage, where it largely exists today, and into real commercial deployments.

Want to keep this discussion going? Our NFV experts will be on the scene at Network Virtualization and SDN Latin America in Brazil on April 6 and 7. They’ll also be on-hand at NFV World Congress 2016 in San Jose, Calif., beginning April 19. For more information, please visit Netcracker’s events page.


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