OneAccess’ CMO, Pravin Mirchandani, argues that only the most efficient VNFs will pass the scrutiny of the operator community; the risks and costs of accepting anything different are too high.
The arrival of the software-defined networking era has been enthusiastically welcomed by all as it promises both infrastructure and services that can flex and grow in line with operators’ changing requirements. The question how can we transition to an SDN/NFV based infrastructure as quickly possible? is occupying industry minds, service providers and vendors alike. Anyone with lingering doubts need only consider the recent A&M moves by the industry big guns, Juniper and Cisco, who are feverishly trying to reinvent themselves as born again software businesses.
Virtualized network functions (VNFs), delivered over the NFV infrastructure (NFVI), promise to minimize the operator investments needed to customize future services in line with their operational needs. But, at the moment, the jury is still out on what the killer VNFs are going to be. This question raises new concerns: what VNFs should operators plan for when specifying their white box? How will demand for resources play out over the business cycle? Here carriers are facing some tough decisions; ones that may ultimately determine their ability to compete in a crowded sector. An over-specified white box will waste huge amounts of money and already NFV migration is proving much more costly than first thought. Far worse though is the prospect of under-specification, which would result in a virtualized environment that simply isn’t fit for purpose.
The dilemma for the operators can’t be taken lightly. If they deploy basic bare metal units, the risk is lost revenue when customers, who cannot upgrade when needed, move to an alternative supplier. Most likely, a middle ground will be reached, and attention will refocus on the familiar question of how to get more for less. Those that thought that this question might evaporate as network goes software-centric should prepare for disappointment. Operators will be exerting great pressure on VNF developers to do just this, by creating ultra-compact and efficient software functions, not least, so their choice of white-box stands the best chance of coping with as-yet-unknown future demands.
There are many vendors aiming to position themselves in this space which, it seems, is where the long-term revenue opportunity exists. But if they want to deploy a full catalog of VNFS including functions such as WAN optimization, vCPE, VPN and encryption, for example, carriers need to be conscious that many developers hail from an enterprise background, in which their solutions have operated on dedicated appliances drawing on uncontested computing power. VNF development is a different ballgame altogether - so it will be interesting to see how these modules perform when they are scaled down to share the resources of a single white box.
As a business that has focused on delivering compact, multi-functional access devices for operators and CSPs for over a decade, OneAccess Networks’ engineering philosophy and business success has been based on squeezing maximum performance out of our equipment, with the fundamental requirement to support multiple networking functions from a single CPE. By carrying forward this approach into our next generation of extensible NFV devices, and embracing a genuinely open and interoperable approach, we are already equipped to address this need for the industry’s first movers in NFV.
Fast Network Virtualization with OneAccess
OneAccess provides a catalog of carrier-grade network functions to enable service providers and large network providers to deploy NFV today. Our open and highly interoperable approach ensures no vendor lock-in.
Together with a full range of physical and virtual platforms for genuine flexibility in service migration, OneAccess offers a wide choice of service deployment options to accelerate the delivery of virtualized network functions (VNFs) including value-added hybrid WAN services.
28 of the top 100 service providers in the world have already chosen OneAccess to enhance their competitive edge in delivering managed services to their SMB and enterprise customers. With OneAccess, service providers can maximize cost savings, deliver market innovation and accelerate time-to-market.
For more information, please visit: www.oneaccess-net.com or follow us on Twitter @oneaccess
Vodafone ’s third annual M2M Barometer survey has confirmed that businesses are embracing M2M technologies faster than ever before. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of all companies worldwide are now using connected technology to develop and grow their businesses. In particular, the retail sector, together with the healthcare, utilities and automotive industries are all moving to maximize M2M’s potential. The returns are substantial: 59 percent of early adopters reported a significant ROI on their M2M investment.
Despite the market buzz, many operators and CSPs are yet to zero in on the most profitable and operationally efficient way to support this new wave of industrialized connectivity. Not least because the range of possible M2M use cases is vast. The diversity of devices being connected, their whereabouts, the conditions in which they operate and the amount of data they produce all impact on the CSP’s choice of supporting network equipment. One key commonality, however, is that all deployments require a connectivity infrastructure capable of aggregating, securing and backhauling M2M data in a cost-effective, fast and reliable manner.
As the number of connected devices skyrockets, the ability to offer a range of traffic management services will be a clincher for operators and CSPs looking to gain a foothold in this market and differentiate their offerings. The good news is that many of these can now be delivered via the CPE, without the need for additional devices. Establishing always-on connectivity is of course vital, but the ability to provide a robust business continuity failover to LTE could also prove attractive to customers for whom any amount of network downtime is harmful, no matter how small. Network monitoring and dynamic traffic routing software managed via the CPE can also be used to support traffic throughput at peak load times.
Before the M2M market can reach true maturity, however, fears relating to data protection and security must be assuaged. Given the limited processing power of M2M’s connecting sensors – which are incapable of performing heavy duty computational functions such as encryption – the opportunity here is in the hands of CSPs and, again, the CPE can help.
By using it as a managed service delivery platform, CSPs can aggregate all of a customer’s M2M data from across their site and provide encryption for the backhaul as part of their service offer. OneAccess has already supported a variety of operators with a diverse range of deployments, including:
Connected speed cameras: field data transmission from fixed and mobile speed cameras to the Traffic Offence Processing Centre in France.
OneAccess was tasked with creating a network capable of transmitting data collected by speed cameras across France to a central processing centre. The key objectives were to minimize the costs of both access provision and maintenance, and to ensure the security of the data transmissions.
Water towers: telemetry data on water volumes and flow.
Technically an industrial internet deployment, OneAccess designed and implemented a real time data transmission to monitor the volume and flow of water, as well as valve positions, through a series of water towers and underground distribution units in Belgium, which transmit this telemetry data using a network served by ruggedized CPE routers.
Smart bins: Intelligent monitoring of trashcans in Ghent, Belgium.
OneAccess was tasked as part of a European program, whose goal is to optimize waste collection, with creating a wireless network to transmit the data from sensors installed inside trash cans to alert the administrating organisation when the trash cans required emptying.
Many of these ‘hidden’ M2M revenue opportunities are already out there. As is so often the case, it is the enabling qualities of multi-service CPEs that can help operators to capitalize on them. Fast Network Virtualization with OneAccess OneAccess provides a catalog of carrier-grade network functions to enable service providers and large network providers to deploy NFV today. Our open and highly interoperable approach ensures no vendor lock-in. Together with a full range of physical and virtual platforms for genuine flexibility in service migration, OneAccess offers a wide choice of service deployment options to accelerate the delivery of virtualized network functions (VNFs) including value-added hybrid WAN services. 28 of the top 100 service providers in the world have already chosen OneAccess to enhance their competitive edge in delivering managed services to their SMB and enterprise customers. With OneAccess, service providers can maximize cost savings, deliver market innovation and accelerate time-to-market. For more information, please visit: www.one-access.net or follow us on Twitter @oneaccess