NFV – an IT resolution

So with NFV it was important to avoid building virtual versions of the same thing we already had.. so we needed to get people who weren’t threatened by the transformation that NFV demands.”
Tom Nolle
, on TelecomTV.

In the interview by TelecomTV, Tom Nolle highlights a number of points that have significant ramifications to the OSS industry, not least the one mentioned above.

Others include:

  •  “The problem is that the sheer scope of the transformation required is too complicated for anyone to grasp in abstract. If we want the vision of the network of the future to affect our lives in any meaningful way, we’ll have to build the network to demonstrate it.”
  • “So we had a rule that said: ‘No major vendors were permitted to be part of the original group’, and we picked large companies that had no real network association whatsoever. They were IT companies because this is an IT problem – we’re trying to do things with computers that we used to do with specialised network devices.”
  • “If we don’t do prototypes then we can’t prove that it works”
  • “wanted to move beyond a network that was controlled by a small number of very large vendors. They wanted to move to something that was more like the open ecosystem of the Internet.”

This interview reinforces the following concepts, many of which you’ve seen discussed here on PAOSS previously:

  • We have had the period of convergence where Telco met IT
  • Virtualisation is the mechanism whereby IT innovation is overtaking Telco innovation
  • NFV / SDN are solutions that are evolving from the need to be more nimble and flexible than the current network offerings
  • CloudNFV is important because it is a practical implementation to demonstrate the hypothetical network virtualisation models
  • The industry will need to transform the way it thinks about many aspects of network management
  • The flexibility is oriented towards innovators that create rapid prototypes
  • The structured world of OSS is going to be significantly disrupted
  • New flexible / unstructured data models will need to evolve for the OSS to keep up with the network
  • Network innovation will no longer be constrained by owning expensive manufacturing plants to design and build physical devices. Innovation can exist in the virtual space, meaning barriers to entry are significantly lowered. In turn this means innovation is no longer controlled by a few large vendors. Excitingly, long-tail economics represent opportunities for smaller network management innovators
  • Due to the unstructured nature of the data, OSS data migration will become increasingly problematic, so it will need to be replaced by auto-discovery of the network
  • Perhaps auto-discovery will need to be developed as part of network innovations otherwise mediation becomes more problematic than today

Is it just me, or are we on the verge of a revolution that provides OSS experts with unprecedented scope for innovation, to create an even more exciting future for OSS?

PS. Thanks Frank for sending me this great link on TelecomTV.

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