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by Martina Kurth  |  October 22, 2015  |  Submit a Comment

This year’s SDN & Openflow World Congress took place in Dusseldorf, Germany on October 12-16, 2015. The event is one of the premier venues to bring together CSP and vendor attendees worldwide. The congress attracted early movers, thought leaders and innovators to share best practices and pragmatic implementation approaches that speed up deployments of SDN and NFV in current CSP environments.

SDN and NFV Will Happen – Eventually

Put in simple terms: NFV will bring cloud technology to the network through virtualization of network functions and SDN will bring the network to the cloud by using general purpose hardware appliances driven by software driven control plane functions.

CSPs agree that they must invest in these technologies to reduce network complexity, increase levels of service agility and to enable new business models. The next five to ten years are critical for the success of SDN and NFV.

Operational Complexity Could Derail Progress

Complexity will increase exponentially as CSPs will have to deal with both legacy physical and virtual operations. This no longer is an imaginary challenge that CSPs can table till the fog settles. As evidenced during this year’s event, CSPs are now shifting their operationial paradigm toward tackling the increasing complexity of evolving hybrid networks.

Orchestration to the Rescue

  • Representatives from CSPs emphasized the need to introduce a new breed of software orchestration software will be crucial to abstract increasing network and service complexity that occurs due to the evolution of hybrid physical and virtual network environments.
  • This SDN/NFV network and service orchestration function will allow CSPs to interoperate and leverage existing network and OSS/BSS assets.
  • CSPs are now evaluating the effectiveness of intertwined SDN controller and NFV orchestration solutions to ensure future proof design.

Our Takeaway

  • CSPs agree on the potential of SDN/NFV with respect to an elevated level of automation, service innovation and agility. This will enable CSPs to respond faster to business needs and to drive new revenue streams.
  • However, pragmatism has given way to inflated expectations and exaggerated short-term benefits.
  • CSPs have started defining holistic blueprint ecosystems based on best of breed solutions for respective SDN/NFV elements.
  • SDN and NFV remain immature because of the absence of open standard interfaces and non-compliance between vendor solutions. This will hamper integration and interoperability between multiple physical, virtual and software instances of the new SDN/NFV architecture.

For more details please, read: “CSPs Require Innovation of Their Operations Support System Architecture to Secure the Success of SDN and NFV.”


Martina Kurth
Research Director
9 years at Gartner
19 years IT Industry

Martina Kurth is a Research Director within CSP Technology advising CSPs, CTOs and CIOs worldwide on prevailing transformation and sourcing initiatives in the area of OSS/BSS and SDP. Her research also encompasses telco-specific CPQ, catalog, and order management systems and processes spanning CSPs' entire operational lead-to-install process. Read Full Bio

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