DENVER -- NFV & Carrier SDN -- Within 12 months, the NFV and SDN conversation has shifted from theoretical discussions to practical considerations about interoperability, scalability and use cases, according to attendees of Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event here this week.
"These are operational questions. These are very important and promising questions," Prayson Pate, CTO for the Ensemble division of ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) , told the New IP Agency during an interview at the event.
It's important, too, that service providers and their vendor partners continue to proactively advance their New IP explorations, panelists agreed. Awaiting concrete answers in an industry where change is the norm would only damage customers' ability to attain business goals, such as self-provisioning, improved agility and, ultimately, digital disruption.
In fact, 72% of global service providers plan to or already are implementing SDN, NFV or both technologies, Roz Roseboro, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, told attendees during a panel on "The Future of Virtualization." And many already are rolling out implementations, even though significant issues remain around MANO, interoperability and other concerns, she said.
Margaret Chiosi, an independent network architect and former
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) virtualization and SDN executive, added: "People are virtualizing different parts of the market, and they each have their own set of challenges. You can't cross that chasm without going a little bit in the chasm and hopefully you survive the other end."
In other words, those service providers that don't even consider how SDN, SD-WAN, NFV or related technologies can benefit their businesses will be left behind.
There are differences between the two worlds, but service providers also can build on the successes and failures of the IT world's experiences in cloud and virtualization where applicable.
"Let's not forget all the lessons we learned in the data center and figure out how to replicate that here," said Victoria Lonker, director of product & new business innovation at
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)
Indeed, at some point the world of standards could resemble the computing world, with two dominant groups, suggested Tom Anschutz, Distinguished Member of the technical staff at AT&T, in an interview.
"I suspect something will happen where there may be two different systems -- PC guys and Mac guys -- I always look back at IT because it feels like déjà vu all over again," he said, suggesting a world with AT&T ECOMP plus OpenMANO or OPEN-O. "This business of decoupling services and software from the services infrastructure is tremendously powering. We can also take a risk on smaller suppliers on startups. We can take bets on that. It's not an all or nothing."
— Alison Diana, Ambassador, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @The_New_IP.