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Moving to DevOps Business Model with NFV

December 01, 2016

Communications service providers (CSPs), data center and network operators want more efficient ways to use network infrastructures. Whether it is user accessing games, movies, real-time services or office applications, networks are under increasing pressure for effective management of their existing resources. While Network Function Virtualization (NFV) has introduced new possibilities, the never ending demand requires even more innovative ways to address traffic and capacity challenges.

As reported by Chris Haddock, head of Marketing, OpenCloud, on VanillaPlus, the answer might be using a DevOps business model so operators can use NFV to create new services at better price points without having to deal with the modification or purchases required of hardware based systems.

So how can DevOps help in introducing more efficiency in networks? First it is important to understand the very concept of DevOps and what it is. As a cross-disciplinary community of practice devoted to the study of building, evolving and operating rapidly-changing resilient systems at scale, it has at its very core the same principles that makes NFV an adaptive technology. So putting them together is a natural evolution as more networks continue to experience greater demand on their infrastructure.

With NFV, operators can create Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) that don't require hardware, therefore they can be hosted in the cloud to deliver services so customers can access them from anywhere, in real-time if need be. This has given them a flexibility which in the past was only achieved with tremendous amount of capital and operational expenditure to install the necessary hardware in each of the locations.

In addition to the cost, hardware appliances are rigid and require a considerable amount of time to change or deploy a new service from the fixed and pre-defined functions that are already in place. And in most instances, it requires the vendor to perform the task, which means more capital and time to carry out the changes.

On the other hand, with NFV each of the obstacles hardware base systems present no longer exist, and the changes can be carried out faster and cheaper as often as need to address market demand.

In backing his premise, Haddock said,"NFV enables operators to run their networks more cost-effectively, leaving more time for service innovation, which will be achieved more efficiently. This delivers a better quality network overall, and leads to happier subscribers. However, these benefits will be realized only by developing a new DevOps business attitude that is innovative, adaptable and customer-focused, and which requires the deployment of open platform NFV solutions."

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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