In What Ways the Communication Service Provider Landscape Being...

In What Ways the Communication Service Provider Landscape Being Altered by SDN and NFV?

By Enterprise Networking Mag | Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Over the past two decades, networks have come under high traffic demand and scrutiny as businesses and consumers depend on network connectivity for sales, internal communications, customer services, and document sharing. SDN, coupled with network function virtualization (NFV), is a key technology required to meet these demands.

Fremont, CA: The SDN/NFV has been showing colossal growth rate over the past two years and is predicted to show similar growth patterns in 2020 as well, to reach more than $15 billion by 2020.

The switch in the network approach is expected to influence the communication service provider (CSP) landscape at various levels. For example, the skillset demand has been evolving over the past two years with a powerful impact on the staffing patterns within the organization. Talking about operations, the approach can lessen CAPEX, reduce the provisioning timeline, and make way for automation. Implementation of SDN/NFV enables CSP’s to deliver reliable, improved, and consistent network quality with high flexibility to the end-user.

SDN reduces the total cost of the operations by offering direct cost savings as well as reduce the operation costs by indirect savings, and minimize the network glitches and correction time.

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SDN/NFV platforms are believed to offer open source-based infrastructure with high scalability and flexibility, allowing CSP to reach the markets faster without compromising on the network quality and reliability. Maximum platforms offer integration with a legacy system intending to harvest the maximum out of the existing networks, resulting in a reduced need to replace the entire network and enjoy NFV benefits. The inculcation of open source-based software platforms minimizes the CSP dependency on vendor or equipment, allowing the unification of multivendor devices and third-party applications by promoting the use of white label network equipment.

Impact on Revenue Streams and Revenue Services

With numerous services and revenue streams in the CSP landscape, SDN/NFV-based networks are what the future of systems is expected to be. Furthermore, the impact is a phase-wise, time-based, step-by-step progression, and not a leap of faith from one way of working to another.

The existing infrastructure can extort from customer experience and automated upselling and then support the growth of new organic service lines. The most impacted space is expected to be the M2M/IoT, which enables the service providers to give or move to a new service line, despite the fact that the implementation of these is expected to take much longer.

Using SDN/NFV to Modify the Central Office (CORD)

The primary aim of this approach is to enable the central office with SDN, NFV, and cloud, making it the backbone of the CSP’S CLOUD strategy. SDN, NFV, and elastic cloud services predominantly transition these flexibilities and benefits to the central office, that traditionally runs on commodity hardware. This framework can support a wide array of services inclusive of access services like fiber-to-the-home and SaaS, the functions implemented in the data and control planes.

Traditionally commodity hardware is utilized by the architecture, which is a collection of commodity servers that are interconnected by white label switches. Commoditized connectivity which connects millions of subscribers to the internet with an open, software-defined solution has replaced propriety and closed hardware networks. The software component of the framework is a pack of open source platforms like OpenStack, ONOS, Docker, and XOS.

SDN/NFV Impact on Staffing Requirements

The telecom industry is transitioning from their traditional method of working in silos into a unified approach, which is enabled via SDN/NFV. There has been a gradual change in the requirement of skill set and is expected to bring about a new set of issues for staffing and requirement because the businesses will be wanting to bridge the gap between the present and the expected.

Automated and programmable virtual networks are deemed to be the standard operating model for many CSPs in the upcoming years as it decreases the dependency on network equipment vendors and reduces the impact of their proprietary software.

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