Earlier, Network servers used to be hosted on dedicated servers and they were quite reliable too. With the changing times though, the servers need to grow up to be dynamic and free of dependence on hardware vendors for quick expansion. Latest statistics throw up drastic increase in numbers of mobile devices accessing networks for not only voice, but also multimedia data, causing the traffic to surge out of control at times. According to VMware, a leader in the field of Virtualization “operators and their network equipment provider (NEP) suppliers must move from the traditional, closed, proprietary, and costly service development model to a framework that is open, lower-cost, faster, developer-friendly, consumer-centric and enterprise cloud-ready.” (Source: VMware guiding telecom industry on journey towards network function virtualization and software-defined networking, 2013) Virtualized services – NFV and Cloud – are becoming the new norm for telecom industry and the possibilities are limitless. As more data travels through operator’s network to sustain and profit operators need to reduce their cost while ensuring quick time to market for new offers. NFV enabled applications help break the dependency of software on Hardware. Virtualized software can run independent of underlying hardware thereby giving the much improved performance and scalability at a lower cost With regard to AAA, Virtualization has brought about major changes on the Authentication, Authorization & Accounting part of the business:
- Reduction of service downtime during maintenance – New services can be deployed in stages removing the bugs before the major deployment. Testing of these services can go hand in hand with in the existing Operator setup.
- Reduction of CAPEX – The servers runs on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware helping in major reduction of cost in comparison to the traditional hardware.
- Reduction in OPEX – AAA would operate from the data centers located at a single location reducing the cost significantly.
- Improved Time to market – Traditionally, introduction of new services would require dedicated hardware increasing the procurement time as well as the deployment time, where as in virtualization the hardware used is different making the deployment of services comparatively faster.