OneAccess Networks Helps Service Providers Clear the Rocks on the NFV Runway with New Open Systems Strategy Paper

May 18, 2016

Highlights assessment and implementation challenges operators face together with prevailing options for fast and open network virtualization

OneAccess Networks has today published a paper exploring how operators and CSPs can quickly achieve network virtualization in an open and interoperable manner that enables them to stay in control of their migration.

Responding to direction from its operator and service provider customers, OneAccess has pioneered an open systems approach to network virtualization, advocating the development and adoption of flexible and interoperable network functions, white boxes and management solutions that are all based on industry standard APIs. Today’s new paper, entitled Traffic Control: Clearing NFV for Take-off’, explores the challenges that operators face when assessing and implementing NFV today and evaluates available options to help them navigate the way forward.

“In a virtualization market awash with overt or creeping vendor lock-in, the path that service providers must take to protect their freedom, stay in control and remain vendor-agnostic can be tough to navigate,” comments Pravin Mirchandani, CMO, OneAccess Networks. “There are some ‘truths’ emerging however; service providers can, for example, now be confident that NETCONF/YANG is the VNF management combination that can ensure open deployment today. While the wider management and orchestration piece remains a work in progress, a considered and pragmatic approach to migration can still deliver the much needed agility and market innovation for service providers that want to get there right away.”

‘Traffic Control: Clearing NFV for Take-off’ explores a range of steps, technologies and approaches that service providers should evaluate when establishing a plan for network virtualization. It evaluates the benefits of the NETCONF/YANG model for the management of virtualized network functions (VNFs), explores the centralized vs distributed VNF deployment debate and reviews the options available to different kinds of service providers. The paper explores testing strategies, highlighting the need for service providers, infrastructure and VNF vendors to work closely together to ensure various technology combinations interoperate appropriately in the field. It also appraises the industry’s progress to develop a management and orchestration (MANO) layer, accepts that this remains one of the biggest obstacles to large-scale deployment of virtualized network services, and suggests three possible strategies that service providers may wish to consider, depending on their appetite to migrate immediately.

Finally, the paper offers an assessment checklist for service providers to consult, which should help ensure that the path to NFV, if not smooth, at least overcomes the inevitable hurdles along the way.

 “The most frequently used word in the virtualization industry is ‘open’,” adds Mirchandani. “Yet in spite of the promise and ubiquity of this word, operators are confronted with a veritable potpourri of solutions that are proprietary, a mix of open with proprietary or open-source add-ons, and which exhibit both a lack of maturity and concrete interoperability evidence. It is extremely challenging for them to see if these new de-composed network functions can be service-chained, or integrated into the new management and operations architecture. Our paper intends to arm service providers with at least some of the knowledge they need to clear the rocks from the runway and establish a timeline and trajectory for take-off.”

Traffic Control: Clearing NFV for Take-off can be downloaded without charge from the OneAccess Networks website.

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