Dialogic kicked off a worldwide roadtrip for our customers and prospects focused on meeting the needs of the service provider community. With a packed agenda and room in Tel Aviv last week we got off to a good start. Key items discussed were VoLTE and VoWiFi, Telco Apps, NGN Transformation, Signaling Interworking, WebRTC and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).
There were quite a few interactive discussions, but one that specifically stood out to me involved the move of telecom infrastructure to NFV. While software is clearly a requirement for NFV, just having software doesn’t mean you are “NFVized.” This is marketing hype of the worst kind since it will cause confusion in the market; therefore, do not be confused by vendors claiming NFV support if they simply have a software version of their product.
One question you can ask yourself in order to weed out such vendors is if the vendor talks about its software product as a virtualized network function (VNF). The reason this is important is because there are interfaces to hardware and VNF managers that need to be in place.
Additionally, does the vendor interoperate with third party NFV orchestration modules? The reason this is important is because if a network function (and infrastructure module) is comprised of multiple VNF’s, and then if the VNF’s come from multiple vendors, the invoking and control for the VNF’s needs to be orchestrated.
To me the “holy grail” of an NFV is that is it comprised of best of breed VFN’s underneath it. The resultant NFV will be stronger and better, but there will be some work to get there. Overall, there is a lot more to NFV than just software—do yourself a favor and be sure to ask the right questions.