2016 will be an inflection point for SDN and NFV. In my conversations with customers and ecosystem partners, I see the momentum shifting from early adopters to an early majority of communication service providers.
But as telecommunications organizations begin to move from intent to action, what is the best way for them to map out an aggressive but viable long-term plan to SDN and NFV success? This challenge can best be addressed by asking three questions.
First, what are the areas of strategic focus for the organization to match technology with business opportunities? Second, what are the investments needed over the next five years to accelerate the benefits and return on investment from deploying SDN and NFV? And third, what are the required organizational changes to make this transformation successful?
In order to help organizations navigate this complex set of issues, Intel worked with customers, partners and service providers to develop a Network Transformation Maturity Model designed to help prioritize activities, measure progress in the development of capabilities and allow organizations to benchmark themselves against their peers. The
Service Provider Network Maturity Model whitepaper proposes guidelines for a phased and predictable deployment plan for SDN and NFV.
Measuring Technology's Maturation
Network Transformation Maturity Model, Q1 2016 (Source: Intel)
From the perspective of this model, most CSPs are in Phase 1 or Phase 2. Many ecosystem companies are also delivering compelling proof-of-concepts in Phase 1, including members of Intel Network Builders.
For any provider of advanced technologies enabling the SDN and NFV network transformation, it is often tempting to "just" focus on the technical innovation underpinning this change. However, in many of my conversations with CSPs over the last two years, a more multi-faceted view of the SDN/NFV deployment planning needs emerged.
This view can be distilled into building new capabilities and structures in organization/governance, identifying revenue-driving and cost-saving business services as well as a strong focus on the evolution of the customer experience over the next few years. Advancing meaningful open source community and standards development efforts in this space can help resolve complex technology challenges for everyone, and also will be a key driver of success for SDN and NFV deployments.
And, for the first time, we’re seeing broad industry agreement on the importance of enhanced platform awareness (EPA) as a core performance and security element for SDN and NFV success. EPA remains a core focus for the Intel OpenStack Networking team as well as the various management and orchestration community initiatives such as Open Source MANO and Open-O to which many companies are contributing.
In the Thick of the New IP
Intel's John Healy discusses Intel's role in New IP technologies during Oracle Industry Connect in Orlando last month.
2016 has been hailed as the year of deployment for SDN and NFV. As this is both a complex and rapidly changing challenge, I invite you to reach out to provide input and feedback on the model to benefit the entire community. Questions or comments can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Comments section of this article.
— John Healy, General Manager, Intel SDND, Network Platforms Group. Special to The New IP