The road to network function virtualization (NFV) has been bumpy. Along the way, operators have learned a lot. Now, the cable industry stands poised to complete its standards on NFV in the last mile by year end. For the cable industry and its suppliers, this is a good thing. With standards comes the ability to speed up deployment and beginning reaping the cost savings of virtualization.
After five years of collaborating with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, CableLabs has begun to roll out new standards aimed at simplifying deployment of network function virtualization (NFV) services in the last mile.
"I think this is going to be a massive acceleration of things," said Don Clarke, principal architect of network technologies for the cable technology consortium, to LightReading. While at British Telecom, Clarke co-authored the white paper that launched NFV.
As LightReading noted, two of the planned five standards have been published so far, with the final three coming before year’s end.
Clarke believes the standards will lead to faster development and deployment of technologies including virtual converged cable access platforms (CCAPS) and virtual content delivery networks and SD-WANs. He also sees innovative new applications, like augmented reality.
"If you've got an edge platform that runs carrier-grade functions in a standardized way ... that's all very boring, really, but necessary," Clarke added. "But what about the things that might generate new revenues and new core things that would be run on the same platform? So once we've dimensioned the platform for network connectivity ... now we say: What resources are needed to run some really cool things? Like, I don't know, augmented reality processing or something to do with connected cars that has to run at the edge of the network. And those things could be cloud-native and coexist on the same platforms. Now we start to get into whole new realms of innovation."
As with any new technology, having a service assurance strategy before you begin is of utmost importance. The proper strategy allows operators the ability to confidently deploy technology with the knowledge and understanding of how that technology and services are performing. NETSCOUT has successfully guided operators through numerous technology turns and virtualization is no different. Our traffic based, vendor agnostic approach ensures that your service delivery platform is performing at its peak, minimizing the possibility of service interruption or failure. How will you assure your NFV infrastructure? ~Mike Serrano, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, NETSCOUT