Since long, Telecom Service Providers are procuring network equipment and appliances – such as core, edge, aggregation routers and switches. But new approach is required for these processes have to be modified to exploit the flexibility, agility, faster go to market and cost-savings in virtualizing these functions. Operators are not going to replace all their existing networking gear and operational support systems in one step and replace them with software running on top of servers. At 30,000 the software approach looks very good but in fact it is too much expensive and risky. The migration to NFV will take in shorter steps wherein at first step SP should build infrastructure for virtualization and add the required skill sets in the operation team to support it. The next step both the networks must co-exist and work together. In the final step, SP can remove the legacy stuff and complete migration can be done on SDN/NFV.
As I have already mentioned, at 30,000 feet it looks very intuitive and very good in presentation slides but the real challenge is totally different. We need to understand the different kind of networks, business processes and business requirements. Once this is done, need to understand how network agnostic software layer can be laid to support every function to achieve business objective. To deliver services end to end in a hybrid, multi-partner network of networks, you need a migration plan that uses best practices to ensure you are able to maintain service levels without degrading customer experience.
If you would like to make your network ready for SDN/NFV, you need to take the following steps:-
1. Add strong NMS
2. Start Migration of Physical Servers to Virtualized Servers
3. Add the automation layer to spin the new VMs, delete VMs as per the threshold defined
4. Building Overlay Networks
5. Start Adding open controllers to support network APIs
6. Merge Network and Server infrastructure in common software layer
As a result of this, you will get faster go to market, competitive, saves lot of capex and opex, get rid from the logistics and better customer experience.