Such example include Cox network whose architecture Chief, Jeff Finkelstein said in October that NFV/SDN is the only way to manage the demand growth on networks. Or CenturyLink’s announcement to have full global virtualization by 2018 and of course AT&T which plans to have 75 percent of its network controlled by software by the year 2020.
However, the market excitement for NFV/SDN belies the struggle operators are facing with regard to how their operations will support NFV and SDN with half of the companies who are now deploying NFV admitting their strategy for supporting virtualization in OSS/BBS has yet to be determined.
Guidance from industry standard groups is lacking and the market remains divided on how operations will adapt to virtualised networks, with some existing BSS/OSS vendors slow to change.
As traditional network functions cede to virtual network functions with the ability to dynamically and elastically scale, the link between network functions and resources will become more abstract.
Simply extending existing OSS/BSS models to account for virtualisation will not be sufficient, because this approach will not support the new value-added capabilities and services provided by NFV.
The transformation must be across the OSS/BSS stack, from full life cycle VNF orchestration and automation through systems enabling monetising, access control, and revenue handling. Changes will also be needed in mediation and data preparation to support the dynamic nature of the network and new Operational KPIs (for example to decide if a new service meets Customer Experience or ROI targets).
At its heart will be a comprehensive service data model to unify service resource layers and supporting an intent-model required by self-provisioning and demand driven networks changing the network provisioning paradigm from “tell me what to do” to “tell me what you want”.
Of course a founding principle of NFV is that Virtual Network functions must be seamlessly vendor-interchangeable and interoperable so this transformation will require unprecedented levels of openness and vendor collaboration.
Openet has virtualized its full BSS capability offering a highly agile and flexible system capable of testing, developing, launching and amending new services and business models quickly. It also provides a Big Data Preparation Engine to manage the ingestion, preparation and streaming analytics of the data generated by the new dynamic programmable networks.