Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) enable cloud service providers (CSPs) to build more agile and flexible communication infrastructures.
According to Gartner's research director Martina Kurth, this technological innovation gives CSPs the power to create and deliver cloud-based services for enterprises or organizations in the way they need them. Hence CSPs should be better empowered to challenge service models adopted by top cloud service providers like Amazon and Microsoft.
So far, SDN/NFV has been deployed for trial use or in few fields on a limited scale. Today, the fierce competition forces CSPs to put SDN/NFV into operation as soon as possible to generate revenue.
Kurth said, "At first, we've been focusing on the technical challenges of SDN and NFV. Now, the paramount concerns are shifted to commercial application and opportunities of generating new revenues."
To implement the commercial application, CSPs raise the following questions to determine the direction better:
The following figure shows the impact of key technologies on the expected time for benefits. Services like the virtual Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) have great potential in generating revenues and can get quickly deployed. Regarding the SDN/NFV's rate of return on investment, it is easy for those services that help improve service agility, operation efficiency, and service modeling capabilities to show effects, for example, on-demand virtual security and unified communication services. Other IoT services also have great potential in generating revenues in the long run, except that it takes a longer time to gain benefits.
Impact levels of SDN/NFV and time required to gain benefits
It is critical to integrate the required technical inputs with the expected business outcomes, and thus it needs multifaceted strategic planning:
In this article, we discussed the commercialized deployment of SDN/NFV by CSPs and how it can add value to their business. At present, not many fields have explored SDN/NFV, and that too, to a very limited extent. However, due to intense competition, it has become a necessity for the CSPs to adopt this technology as soon as possible. We also talked about the strategic planning and actions that are required to go ahead with the process successfully and achieve maximum ROI.
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