Why NFV Ought to be a Part Of Ev­ery Op­er­a­tor’s Busi­ness Strat­egy

NFV is a ma­jor step for­ward in eas­ing the bur­den of ser­vice providers as it al­lows them the flex­i­bil­ity to move net­work func­tions from ap­pli­ances to generic servers

Voice&Data - - CONTENT - Aditya dhruva (The author is VicePres­i­dent and Head of Messaging and Broad­band So­lu­tions at Mahin­dra Com­viva)

Ne t wo r k Func­tions Vir­tu­al­iza­tion (NFV) is tak­ing the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try by storm. His­tor­i­cally, en­ter­prises have been pur­chas­ing a host of de­vices to de­liver the many tasks and ac­tiv­i­ties that are a part of net­work ser­vices. This ap­proach is rife with a num­ber of prob­lems, pro­vi­sion­ing de­lay be­ing a ma­jor one. This in turn leads to loss of pro­duc­tiv­ity, which doesn’t au­gur well in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive world. To mit­i­gate this and many other re­lated prob­lems the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try has turned to vir­tu­al­iza­tion.

NFV is a ma­jor step for­ward in eas­ing the bur­den of ser­vice providers as it al­lows them the flex­i­bil­ity to move net­work func­tions from ap­pli­ances to generic servers. With the net­work func­tions hosted in the cloud, that it al­lows for scal­a­bil­ity is a given. Even though NFV is still in its early phases, as per a re­cent re­search, SDN and NFV in­vest­ments are slated to grow at a CAGR of 46 per cent be­tween 2016 and 2020 and are pro­jected to ac­count for over $18 bil­lion in rev­enue by 2020.

The ben­e­fits gained from this tech­nol­ogy in­clude but aren’t limited to: Re­duced op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture

and cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture costs - With NFV of­fer­ing an easy op­tion to de­ploy and main­tain ser­vices, it has an in­verse cor­re­la­tion with op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture costs, driv­ing them down sig­nif­i­cantly. As per a report by ACG Re­search, adopt­ing a vir­tu­al­ized evolved packet core can re­duce op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture by an av­er­age of 67 per cent and cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture by 68 per cent.

Re­duced time to mar­ket - The time­lines of de­ploy­ment of vir­tu­al­ized net­work com­po­nents are sig­nif­i­cantly lower than that of tra­di­tional net­work hardware. This is known to re­sult in a quicker time to mar­ket, a fac­tor whose im­por­tance can­not be over em­pha­sized in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. Im­proved re­turn on in­vest­ment from new ser­vices - Vir­tu­al­iza­tion takes away the need to make large ca­pac­ity ad­di­tions to in­fra­struc­ture well in ad­vance of de­mand, un­like in the tra­di­tional method­ol­ogy. The agility of NFV has the po­ten­tial to en­hance ca­pac­ity in a man­ner that it closely par­al­lels de­mand. This abil­ity in turn, leads to im­proved ROI from the new ser­vices in­tro­duced.

• Greater flex­i­bil­ity to scale up, scale down or evolve ser­vices - With the delink­ing of net­work func­tions such as fire­walls and routers from pro­pri­etary hardware, new ser­vices can be rolled out when needed. Scal­a­bil­ity in fact, is one of the largest ben­e­fits of vir­tu­al­iza­tion as it al­lows op­er­a­tors to de­ploy new ser­vices with ease as also to ad­just the scale of the ex­ist­ing ser­vices ba­sis the de­mand.

• Op­por­tu­ni­ties to trial and de­ploy new in­no­va­tive ser­vices at lower risk - Vir­tu­al­iza­tion equips the op­er­a­tor with the abil­ity to adapt to user needs with agility. The as­so­ci­ated risks of in­tro­duc­ing new ser­vices, there­fore is far re­duced than in the tra­di­tional method­ol­ogy where any changes in ca­pac­ity or new ser­vices in­volved a sig­nif­i­cant time lag.

• Open­ness to the vir­tual ap­pli­ance mar­ket and pure soft­ware en­trants - Vir­tu­al­iza­tion en­ables a wide va­ri­ety of eco sys­tems. By open­ing the mar­ket to pure soft­ware en­trants it en­cour­ages in­no­va­tion and the pos­si­bil­ity of in­tro­duc­ing new rev­enue streams. While the con­cept of NFV may be re­cent, it is all set to be­come a cat­a­lyst for ma­jor changes con­tribut­ing to sig­nif­i­cant trans­for­ma­tion in the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try.

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