For Service Providers, Universal Customer Premise Equipment (uCPE) is getting more interesting every day. IHS Market analyst, Michael Howard, said in a recent SDxCentral article that “the uCPE [universal customer premises equipment] phenomenon is an almost perfect storm of five trends, whether it is white box, grey box, or more proprietary. This new uCPE market is resulting from enterprise demand that virtualized security functions reside physically inside the walls of enterprise locations.” The trends that Howard cites are:
Recently I spoke on security in Austin at the Big Communications Event, where Verizon announced their uCPE (Universal Customer Premise Equipment) platform. Notably, they are choosing a white box platform from Adva running Openstack on a generic Linux server with a KVM hypervisor. Verizon’s new platform will enable them to deploy the device as a generic piece of NVFi to host any VNF in this generic Linux/KVM/Openstack environment. If successful, this gives Verizon huge flexibility to configure and deploy new services completely remotely via SW and remove one of the major cost drivers of Carriers: deployment and maintenance of CPE.
Last week in Denver, Carriers discussed their plans to migrate their networks to NFV and SDN, and what they’ve learned so far. Some themes were predictable. Carriers see agility and service innovation as the key drivers for their NFV/SDN deployments. This driver is fundamentally more important to them than cost reduction, though they are seeing reduced costs in deploying NFV over proprietary hardware. Accordingly, the new generation of Open Source Standards bodies (OPNFV, ONF, and ODL) is seen as more important than the traditional IETF and ETSI standards bodies since it’s through them that Carriers see the ability to compete with more agile open source deployments. However, the presiding theme throughout the conference was that Managed Security Services are clearly on Carriers’ minds as they make this transition.
A few months ago, I attended the 5G World Congress and listened to discussions around the many challenges and technical requirements facing 5G technology.
The questions everyone wants solved are:
- Which services actually require 5G access technology? What types of content demand the fastest service? According to lectures delivered by leading mobile service providers such as DoCoMo and KT, 5G networks need to deliver higher date rates to support applications such as 3D hologram video, VR and live broadcast.
- How will the networks support the exponential growth of end-devices requiring service brought about by IoT? As IoT end devices are carrying different ARPU models, 5G should address this challenge in improved cost per bit technology.
- What is the best way to support critical services such as voice, and how to build private networks (e.g. for connected antonyms driving cars) with zero latency and improved QoS, avoiding outages?
As 5G will be commercially launched only during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, it was agreed that the road to 5G will be via GIGA LTE that delivers 1Gbps data rates already.
Is Network Function Virtualization (NFV) a market inflection point, or just an over hyped technology in search of a use case?
- NFV is designed to use x86 hardware, which translates to improved capital efficiencies compared with dedicated hardware implementations.
- Software-based NFV deployment alongside real-time SDN network programing results in rapid service introduction and improved operational efficiencies.
- As NFV enables the decoupling of network functions and their physical location, services can be instantiated at the most cost effective location, in addition to multi-site application availability, scalability and cloud burst real time deployments.
Emerging markets come in all shapes and sizes, but something as profound to an industry as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) faces enormous scrutiny from suppliers and customers, having a major impact on relationships.
Along with system integration designs, special care has been taken in software evolution to improve on Cloud-based solutions. High-speed, multi-tenant network services come with a wide variety of requirements, but to dramatically improve EBIT, performance acceleration techniques stand out. ISVs delivering the greatest efficiency offer the capability of a greater number of services consumed from less computing infrastructure (NFVi). This requires suppliers to deliver the adoption of Open Source libraries integration while selecting from combinations of tuning techniques ranging from memory, to CPU, to hardware offloading and more.
In the “Silicon Hills” capital of the deep South, the world of technology movers and shakers descended upon Austin’s Convention Center for Light Reading’s Big Communication Event to discuss the latest disruptive technologies ripe to revolutionize the way we communicate.
Meanwhile, in the streets of Austin, a prickly regulation battle forced ultra-hip transportation companies Uber and Lyft to move their businesses out of the metro area. As a result, community engineers rallied around the clock to create a new app, called Ride-Austin, to fill the void – and reportedly in only 2 weeks’ time! This is only fitting in a startup town like Austin, as modern businesses everywhere are confronted with the reality of offering services to consumers in a nimble, automated, intelligent, dynamic, and virtual manner.
After lots of good BBQ and craft beer in Austin last week, I’ve had a chance to reflect on what I saw at the Openstack conference. If we weren’t already convinced that carriers are determined to break vendor lock-in and deploy Openstack and NFV—no matter what the challenges— we should be now.
Attending the NFV World Congress last week gave me a chance to talk to many carriers about their migration into a virtualized network. Many have made big progress. In fact, Verizon has already begun to deploy an OpenStack environment.
Carriers continue to aggressively push into NFV with NTT announcing they will virtualize 75% of their network by 2020. AT&T and now NTT Docomo and many others have either declared their virtualization goals or have begun to take active steps toward achieving them.
The IT industry is moving towards virtualization and software-defined [insert noun here]. IT architects are realize that management and orchestration systems are required to extract the full benefits of the virtualized architectures. The mobile service providers designed network functions virtualization (NFV) as the standard architecture to bring virtualization and cloud-like functionality to their networks.