“Madrid, Spain” May 23-24, 2018 – Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is one of the key enabler technologies of 5G on which the Communication Service Providers (CSPs ) and vendors spend great time and effort – and for good reason: NFV, which is at the core of the transformation strategies of a great many CSPs, is expected to be one of the infrastructural pillars of 5G. Operators are adopting NFV technology and automation more and more in their networks, and vendors are offering an ever-increasing number of NFV compliant products and applications.
Discussions at the Network Virtualization Europe Congress 2018 event clearly show that the technology and solutions have reached a significant level of maturity in NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) domains. One of the key factors that has enabled this progress is the virtualization and cloud computing know-how and experience distilled from the long history of the IT world. On the other hand, Management & Network Orchestration (MANO) technologies have not yet reached the desired level. There is still a long way that must be covered by the industry. Throughout the event, CSPs emphasized the use of open-source based solutions at every step to build a vendor independent environment – one that is inline with the basic philosophy of NFV and that does not create a new type of silo solution based on NFV. A critical point here will be establishing the necessary interoperability between the products and applications of multiple vendors forming the ecosystem. During the congress, it could easily be seen that the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and Open Source MANO (OSM) projects driven by various organizations and work groups are proceeding rapidly towards defining concrete and mature standards for interoperability.
One hot topic discussed throughout the event was how to design telecom products based on cloud-native VNF on the road to zero touch automation. Various CSPs expounded on the status of the industry for cloud nativeness and articulated their expectations from cloud-native VNFs. Although many telecom products are not yet cloud-native, it seems clear that the systems developed for 5G will need to be designed with this goal in mind.
Edge computing was another big discussion topic. Several different approaches were presented to define the its rightful place in the world of 5G. Its ultimate role will be defined by the contribution it makes to the primary goal of this whole endeavor, which is to enhance the experience of the end users. The basic discussions and early implementation use cases of edge computing were for enterprise users, but we will definitely see more innovative solutions for edge computing in the upcoming years.
As an established and proactive player in NFV, Edge Computing and 5G domains, Telenity exchanged its views and shared its insights with the other leading telco players throughout the event.