May 10, 2016 — Much noise has been made around software defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) but as they near realization, it is becoming clearer that is will be easier said than done. Not that progress isn’t being made, but a lot has to come together to get this done.
At the Genband Perspective16, I had the opportunity to sit in on myriad panels touting some of the industry’s leading individuals. One of the hotter topics was SDN and NFV.
Both of these technologies are hot. Unfortunately, both the business models and the technologies themselves are facing some unique challenges. There are a number of proofs of concept that have proven successful. As well, there are several business models that have been developed. The issue, however, is making the transition from proof of concept to monetization. And that is still a challenge.
Both SDN and NFV promise to simplify the network model and lower capex. But some of the sticky wickets include service level agreements, technology standardization, deployment strategies, and a toolbox of resources. In reality, pulling all of this together is difficult. Vendors are limited, technologies are proprietary, standards are scarce, and collaboration, at present, is limited to a few players.
Finally, there is a shortage of skilled design professionals as well as deployment teams. Perhaps most importantly, It is as much of a cultural thinking shift as it is a technology shift.