NICE, France — TM Forum Live! 2016 — A senior Verizon executive has accused telecom vendors of failing to come up with the “answers” that operators really need as they introduce software and virtualization technologies into their networks.
Gagan Puranik, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)’s director of SDN and NFV architecture planning, says most of the virtualization work so far has addressed “low-hanging fruit,” such as customer premises equipment and firewalls, and that much of the promises made about the technology have yet to materialize.
“When we talk about decoupling the control and data planes and introducing that kind of philosophy throughout the network, the software from vendors just doesn’t meet the scope needed to do this,” he told attendees at today’s TM Forum Live! event in Nice, France. “That means those planes don’t scale independently and we need that.”
The executive’s remarks came just two weeks after Verizon flagged the completion of an NFV deployment based on OpenStack , an open-source technology, at five of its US data centers. Vendors involved in that project included Big Switch Networks , Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) and Red Hat Inc.(NYSE: RHT). (See Showdown at the OpenStack Corral.)
One of Puranik’s biggest gripes appears to be the lack of progress on the development of microservices, whereby network functions are decomposed into small individual components that operators can reuse and recompose to create customized, scalable applications.
“No one has really developed this on the vendor side,” he complained. “They give us big VNFs [virtual network functions] … but we need to develop micro releases so that we can drop incremental upgrades into the network.”
Heavy Reading ‘s Caroline Chappell has previously noted the attractions of microservices, describing the phenomenon as “real cloudification” that would deliver more “extreme business benefits” for telcos. (See The Real NFV Revolution Is 5 Years Away.)
But she has also pointed out that vendors currently have little incentive to develop microservices products given the investments they have made in monolithic network functions.
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