Carriers are witnessing a trend that’s transformational rather than incremental in nature. Changing the way it’s deployed, managed and operated. This overhauling trend is “NFV – Network Function Virtualization”. Traditional architecture has long deployment cycles, costly replacements/add-ons to meet new requirements. With limited capability to adapt dynamically to new service opportunities and use cases, inflexibilities of proprietary interfaces, requisites of complex vendor integrations, traditional architecture makes smallest modification a process that’s too sluggish to match the scaling and fast evolving subscriber needs. NFV substitutes cost-heavy network assets with ‘software’ – capable of running on commercial of-the-shelf hardware. Also, it is in a setup modelled to share commodity resources with the virtualization technology, chained together to perform in sync to deliver an end-to-end service. Adding a new component to the network or substituting it requires just a software image to be replaced on the virtual hardware, precisely repurposing the VM. This is easier and faster. Also, this creates the space of innovation for ISVs (independent software vendors) to add differentiating and new services. Though, starting with the goal of CAPEX reduction, the role of NFV evolved to offer:
- “CAPEX Reduction + OPEX Reduction + Higher Service Agility + Improved Operational Velocity”.
- “Virtual Machines + Virtualized Network Functions + Independent Software Vendors+ the Legacy Network Devices”.