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Network Virtualization Europe – Conference Report

by Cathal Fitzpatrick | 29th May 2018

Openmind was one of the exhibitors at last week’s Network Virtualization Europe conference held in Madrid. The conference is the largest European event dedicated to NFV related technologies, and was attended by leading operators, infrastructure vendors and platform providers from around the world. Prior to the show we were shortlisted for the Most Innovative NFV Solution award, and our attendance at the event was to highlight our practical experiences to date in deploying NFV-compliant messaging systems on a variety of different NFV Infrastructure environments.

During the conference, our Head of Product Management Derek McElhinney took part in a panel discussion on Operator NFV Deployments, where he emphasized the importance of automated testing in order to shorten project delivery timescales and to ensure service continuity in multi-vendor NFV ecosystems.

 

It was clear from the show that most operators are still in the early stages of their NFV roll-outs, but that substantial progress is being made to move to the new architecture. Many operators have moved straight to NFV for new network sub-systems, such as their Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) elements, and have now begun to migrate other platforms, such as messaging, to NFV. Some operators have decided to create separate NFV domains for different parts of their network. This simplifies the task of ensuring correct interoperability between underlying NFV infrastructure and the platforms from other vendors deployed on that infrastructure.

It was also apparent that some of the more advanced features of NFV are not yet in active commercial use. Orchestration and auto-scaling are key features in the NFV architecture, but operators are initially starting with fixed-sized NFV clusters so that they can properly validate NFV in real-life environments.

From Openmind’s perspective, we were very pleased that the conference affirmed our belief that NFV adoptions at mobile operators are accelerating in pace. The next 2 to 3 years will see a mass migration of existing network infrastructure to the NFV platform. We have built a wealth of domain knowledge from our work with early adopters of NFV, and we look forward to assisting all of our customers as they embark on their NFV journeys.

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