NFV deployments in Service Provider networks - It's happening

Misbah Mahmoodi Thumbnail
Misbah Mahmoodi
Published February 10, 2016

Traction for NFV is building in the carrier community. This time last year, only a handful of service providers rolled out commercial deployments of NFV, despite many more conducting Proof of Concept (POC) trials. We are now seeing the shift from POCs to live deplyoments.

Service providers are quickly realizing that, while initial advantages and drivers towards virtualization were reduction in CapEx and OpEx, the more compelling advantages today are focused on deploying a flexible, programmable, and agile network.

This allows for an elastic network where they can rapidly and efficiently automate the instantiation of new applications and services based on real-time subscriber demand.

Service providers understand that to gain market share and deal with the constant evolution of enterprise and consumer demands for new services, they are going to have to re-architect their network.

NFV gives service providers an opportunity to transform their network architecture so that they can evolve to meet the growing demand for innovative services and offer new use-cases that will help them remain competitive and give their subscribers the services whenever and wherever they want.

NFV Use Cases

One of the primary NFV use-cases is Virtual CPE. Customer premises equipment such as Firewalls, DNS Servers and Application Delivery Controllers are hosted in the data center and offered ‘as a service’.

Enterprises that want to add DNS, a firewall service, or add a new remote office, can simply go to a web portal and click on the service they want.  Within minutes, their service is provisioned and ready for use immediately. As a service provider, this automated provisioning can significantly reduce operational costs, as there are no longer any expensive and time consuming truck rolls or scheduling issues to provision a new service.

Other use-cases for service providers deploying NFV include virtualizing the Gi-LAN, including virtualization of network elements such as policy management, network firewall, ADC, DNS and TCP Optimization, or virtualizing parts of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) or IMS network.

NFV is happening now. According to a recent IHS Infonetics survey of service providers controlling 43% of worldwide telecom CapEx, 95% have deployed or evaluated NFV in 2016. 100% will evaluate NFV by 2017.

Accelerate Your Business with Network Functions Virtualization

F5 at Mobile World Congress

For more information and demos on how F5 can help transform your network to NFV and evolve to 5G, please stop by our booth at Mobile World Congress, Hall 5, Booth G11.