The move to next-generation IP, a.k.a. New IP, networks for service providers is not just about the technology. It's also about making and saving money by taking advantage of the virtualization technology that has long-allowed data center operators to run cost-effective and scalable environments.
In moving from the data center to the telco environment, network functions virtualization (NFV) allows the telco to replace manually provisioned, proprietary environments that are single service silos with a common physical environment that supports many virtual services, according to Roz Roseboro, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. And as result, "data centers are becoming the new network and, in turn, the network becomes the new data center," she writes in a new whitepaper, "The New IP Networks: Time to Move from PoC to Revenue."
Want to know more about NFV? This will be just one of the many topics covered at Light Reading's second Big Telecom Event on June 9-10 in Chicago. Get yourself registered today or get left behind!
The key to taking advantage of this shift and driving revenue for network operators, though, is in creating an architecture that is scalable and agile -- not one that just recreates what they already have using NFV, notes Roseboro. "The benefits really come when NFV technology intersects SDN -- where NFV services are provisioned dynamically through customer-facing Web portals, where provisioning of networking and applications are initiated together through systems such as OpenStack, and where configuration changes are managed and automated through abstracted systems such as OpenDaylight," she says.
And as many New IP pundits, such as Nico Fischbach, director of strategy, architecture and innovation at Colt Technology Services Group, have told The New IP this year, the faster service providers get to proof of concepts (PoCs) and early field trials with NFV and SDN, the better when it comes to generating revenue.
"The key thing is to test the technology and the service with a subset of your customers. Nothing beats an early field trial, a live prototype or a co-development. It helps with understanding and validating the problems customers are trying to solve and which use cases are top of mind as well as validate business case assumptions," said Fischbach in March. "It also helps with on-boarding of peers, operating model transformation and validating the technology." (See Radio Show: Seeking the New IP.)
NFV and SDN have the potential to dramatically change the architecture approaches and frameworks for service providers, according to Roseboro. "Proof of concepts and trials have already proven that NFV and SDN work, and now is the time for service providers to move beyond those trials and generate new services," she notes.
Read more from Roseboro's whitepaper, "The New IP Networks: Time to Move from PoC to Revenue," and learn more about other aspects of the New IP in our Resources section.
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, The New IP