As we look forward to Informa’s Carrier Network Virtualization conference and exhibition in Palo Alto, USA on 9-11 December 2013, we caught up with of the show’s speakers, Phil Braden, SVP Technology & Applications from PCCW Global, to find out his thoughts on the growth of SDN and NFV and his expectations for the industry’s future…
Welcome Phil! What are your thoughts on why SDN and NFV are taking off now?
PB: “If you come from the voice domain, you may think that SDN is old news. The control plane and the data plane were separated, from a voice perspective, a very long time ago.
“But it’s taking off now because a) it is the right thing to do and b) the operators have got themselves organised appropriately to drive standards. The imperatives to do this are economics and competitiveness. To deploy software emulations of appliances on cheap servers or virtual machines should obviously be cheaper. It is likely that OPEX commercial models will be available instead of CAPEX models, which will be popular.
“The operator which is able to offer SDN-type products will have a competitive edge over those that cannot – it is a game changer.”
So whereabouts in carrier networks do you think that SDN and NFV will be of the greatest benefit? Where are we likely to see the first deployments?
PB: “At PCCW, we are already studying the system integration aspects of a virtual CDN along NFV and SDN lines. This is likely to be our first deployment. There is also quite a lot that needs to be done before networks can offer SDN type services between themselves, so Datacentre Services and products are likely to be some front runners.
“So we are already looking at deploying a virtual CDN and have significant workstreams in play for infrastructure upgrades to allow future SDN services and products to be available.”
Are there still any major hurdles you see which SDN and NFV have to conquer before adoption can become widespread? If so, what are they and how should they be resolved?
PB: “The major problems are always standards, and there is some way to go here. However, this all seems to be moving nicely in the right direction.”
What kind of timescale are we looking at until SDN and NFV become more commonplace in carrier networks across the world?
PB: “PCCW Global intends to launch its first related products next year. I think that we will see quite a lot of activity in 2014, but true, intra-network SDN services are further away, perhaps 2-3 years. I expect that 2014 will bring further agreement on standards, and limited SDN product deployment within the WAN.
You can hear Phil speak more about PCCW’s SDN and NFV ideas and plans at Carrier Network Virtualization in Palo Alto, California, on 9-11 December 2013.
For further information, please visit http://www.carriernetworkvirtualization.com