“Why do we have to end up processing packets in four or five different locations for different functions? That doesn’t make any sense at all. Connectem consolidates packet gateway functions to process each packet just once, which is much more efficient. This is going to be important as the world moves toward IoT because the cost point of processing a packet has to be way, way lower than it is now, especially as we think about the next billion users who have yet to be connected, and the billions of devices after that.”
Andrew Coward on SDx Central
This is a really pertinent point that Andrew raises in the linked interview above. It neatly summarises why OSS are important now, but become even more important in a future of virtualised networking and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Not just the cost point of processing a packet, but processing a service order, an event, a work order, a design, etc. The touch-point explosion means that we simply won’t be able to process all of the extra “activities” without a) putting on lots of extra processing staff or b) automating the processing of them. The revenue per service (eg network / storage / compute device instances, Mbps on networks, etc) is generally reducing due to competitive pressures so therefore it’s obvious that the cost point of processing must come down as well for operators to remain commercially viable.
We all know option a) isn’t really an option so we have to get far better at b). The challenge is, since automation is already incredibly challenging (as anyone who has done OSS automations will attest) and it will only get more challenging in these larger, more complex environments unless we make big steps forward in our abstraction approaches.
In a recent blog series we discussed the importance of the return in ROI. Automation can potentially represent a big return for an OSS project. The cost point of processing potentially becomes a KPI to measure (before and after the project) to determine whether the cost and effort of an automation project has really been worth the return.