SDN and NFV Era
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Accelerate Revenue Growth with Telco (NFV) Clouds

by Juniper Employee ‎02-14-2017 02:56 PM - edited ‎02-25-2017 11:44 AM

The march towards Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is well underway, with a majority of service providers in some stage of evaluating or deploying virtualized network functions which were traditionally delivered with dedicated hardware appliances. The full potential for NFV will take many years to materialize, but service providers have certainly warmed up to the virtues of delivering network functions on general purpose hardware infrastructure. While the initial chatter promoting NFV promised cost savings as the primary benefit, service providers now believe that topline revenue growth is the key driver for NFV deployments. NFV offers service providers AGILITY that traditional deployments models which relied on deploying dedicated hardware for specific functions did not. Service Providers can roll out new services at the pace of software development cycles, unhinged by the pace of evolution of the underlying hardware, thus speeding up customer acquisition. NFV based services offer the agility to turn up (and turn down if needed) services with a few clicks and make the service available in new locations quickly, without having to deploy new hardware in remote sites.


The agility offered by NFV enables Service Providers to accelerate revenue recognition for existing network service offerings and also opens the door wide open for monetizing with new business models. These are outlined below:


Virtualization of existing network functions:  Probably the foremost driver for Telco Cloud today is the virtualization of network services that Service Providers are offering their customers today. These include network services like vPE, vBNG, vOLT, vEPC (MME etc.), vIMS and many others. Virtualization lowers the total cost of ownership by allowing the flexible usage of network functions on a general purpose hardware pool. For example a service provider providing mobility services can take advantage of the fact that individual mobility functions (MME, PGW etc.) do not require peak services at the same time and does not have to lay out special purpose network infrastructure to handle the peak for each function. Moreover the elastic nature of a virtualized service allows service providers to turn up services instantly as new customers get acquired, thus accelerating the book to bill cycle.


NFV Infrastructure as a Service (NFVIaaS): Service Providers can offer their infrastructure comprising of compute, networking and storage resources as a service to other service providers delivering NFV services to their customers. Only a few service providers have a global footprint of physical infrastructure residing close to the customer and NFVIaaS offers them the opportunity to monetize this footprint. Certain NFV applications demand proximity to the customer. For example certain mobility functions require customer proximity to operate within latency boundaries and to maintain the customer experience. Another example – CDN’s offer cached content close to the customer to improve the customer experience.  Service Providers who consume NFVIaas would see this as an enticing alternative to building their own infrastructure and quickly launching services in new areas – essentially being able to provide services where their customers demand it.


Virtual Network Function as a Service (VNFaaS): Enterprises deploy network functions like DPI, Firewall, and WAN Optimization etc. on dedicated hardware appliances in their branch locations. The deployment and operation of special purpose hardware is both CAPEX and OPEX intensive. NFV enables these services delivered via Virtual Network Functions (VNF’s) to be deployed on general purpose computing infrastructure, enabling enterprises to quickly turn up services while lowering costs. While this general purpose compute can be deployed on the customer premise itself (Example - NFX250), Service Providers can offer to host these network functions in the cloud offering a virtual CPE (Customer Premise Equipment). 


Virtual Network Platform as a Service (VNPaaS): In this model, service providers provide enterprises with the physical infrastructure plus a software toolkit that enables enterprises to innovate and deliver network services on top of the platform. This model is similar to the VNFaaS model but offers a greater level of flexibility to enterprises to customize the service.


These models of service delivery described above are analogous to the IaaS, SaaS and PaaS delivery models that cloud providers have been providing customers for years. While delivery of NFV services in a Telco Cloud places certain new demands from the network (proximity to customer, MEF services etc.), the basic building blocks required of the network infrastructure to deliver NFV based services are identical to the building blocks used by cloud providers to deliver their cloud services.


Deploying a Telco Cloud requires a 360 degree consideration of the service which encompasses the following:


  • Virtual Network Functions – The VNF’s actually providing the service.
  • NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) – The layer that provides the compute resources, storage resources and the cloud network fabric that provides connectivity between the VNF and the customers and between the VNF’s themselves (for service chaining).
  • Orchestration and Controller Layer – The layer responsible for managing and orchestrating the end to end service. This layer captures customer intent (via a self-serve portal), launches the VNF’s (service chain them where needed) and configures the network.


While each layer plays a critical role; in my subsequent series of blogs I will focus on the network infrastructure layer for the Telco Cloud. The QFX portfolio of data center switches, comprising of the QFX10K family of spine switches and the QFX5K family of leaf switches, provides the network fabric that powers 100’s of cloud data centers worldwide and is ideally suited to provide the network fabric for Telco clouds


In my subsequent blogs, I will dive into the building blocks for the network layer (here) and detail the capabilities of the QFX portfolio that make it a perfect fit for building a Telco Cloud.


For more information on Juniper QFX Series Switches, click here.

For more information on ETSI requirements for Network Infrastructure, click here.

For more information on NFV use cases defined by ETSI, click here.

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About the Author
  • Prior to Juniper acquisition, Ankur was the Founder and CEO of Contrail Systems Inc - a pioneer in standards based network virtualization and scale-out networking software. Ankur has over 15 years of experience in building world-class networking products and leading high performance teams. Prior to Contrail, Ankur served as Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering at Aruba Networks, where he played critical roles in the rapid expansion of team, products, and global businesses. Before Aruba, Ankur helped drive Juniper’s initial entry into and expansion of the Ethernet Switching market. Ankur received his MSEE from Stanford University & BSEE from the University of Southern California.
  • David Noguer Bau is the head of Telco Vertical Marketing at the SP Strategic Marketing team in Juniper Networks. He has extensive experience in Service Provider network evolution and regularly runs executive sessions with technical and marketing teams of important telecom operators to accelerate the adoption of virtualisation. David is based in Barcelona and has over 15 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. Prior joining Juniper Networks, Mr. Noguer Bau spent seven years at Nortel where he was a Business Development Manager specializing in Carrier Ethernet and Broadband areas. Before Nortel he worked at Eicon-Dialogic as Technical Manager in Spain. David has been the Country Marketing Chair at Metro Ethernet Forum for Spain. Mr. Noguer has wide experience speaking at international Conferences. He was graduated as Computer Engineer by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) and has an executive MBA from EADA Barcelona and executive education at the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona) and the Henley Business School (UK). The views expressed here are my personal opinions , have not been reviewed or authorized by Juniper Networks and do not necessarily represent the views of Juniper Networks.
  • Donyel Jones-Williams is the Director of Service Provider Product Marketing Management overseeing all of Juniper's Service Provider Products for Juniper Networks. In this role, he leads all of the internal and external marketing activities for Juniper with respect to routing, automation, SDN and NFV. Prior to joining Juniper Networks in January 2014, Donyel was a Senior Product Line Manager for Cisco Systems with in the High End Optical Routing Group managing product lifecycle for multiple products lines helping telecom providers operate efficiently and effectively including; ONS 155xx Product Family, ONS 15216, ONS 15454 MSTP, Carrier Packet Transport Product Family, ME 2600x, & ASR 9000v. He also negotiated favorable agreements with 3rd-party vendors furnishing components and parts and conducted both outbound and inbound marketing (webinars, case study-development, developed and delivered both business & technical at Cisco Live 2005-2012). Donyel graduated from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While attending Cal Poly SLO he was a collegiate student athlete playing football as a wide receiver and a key member of the National Society of Black Engineers. Donyel is now an active volunteer for V Foundation.
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  • Jennifer Blatnik is vice president of cloud, security and enterprise portfolio marketing at Juniper Networks with focus on enterprise deployments of security, routing, switching, and SDN products, as well as cloud solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises solve network security challenges. Before joining Juniper, Jennifer served multiple roles at Cisco Systems, Inc., including directing product management for security technologies aimed at small to medium enterprises, as well as supporting managed services, cloud service architectures and go-to-market strategies. She holds a B.A. in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
  • Jerry oversees all aspects of OpenLab which serves as a catalyst to spark the development of new innovative software applications or solutions that leverage the power of SDN/network programmability and intelligence. OpenLab is unique within Juniper and with its polished facility, globally accessible lab, and educational programs – such as the SDN “hackathons,” it serves as a tool for customer, partners, and academia. Prior to this position, Jerry led the development, management and marketing of the company’s strategic partnerships for video/unified communications, optical networking, and content/media delivery. In addition to handling the day-to-day oversight of the partnerships, he established new cross-partner go-to-market processes to drive and manage joint field opportunities. Before joining Juniper, Jerry led the Lucent Technologies application hosting/service provider marketing organization. He has over 25 years of experience in the data networking field with a focus on strategic alliance development, marketing, and technical field support. Jerry possesses a BS degree in Computer Science from St. John’s University in New York. He is active as a Juniper ambassador within the technology and academic community which includes advisory board positions with both NJIT and Rutgers in New Jersey.
  • I have been in the networking industry for over 35 years: PBXs, SNA, Muxes, ATM, routers, switches, optical - I've seen it all. Twelve years in the US, over 25 in Europe, at companies like AT&T, IBM, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Dimension Data. Since 2007 I have been at Juniper, focusing on solutions and services: solving business problems via products and projects. Our market is characterized by amazing technological innovations, but technology is no use if you cannot get it to work and keep it working. That is why services are so exciting: this is where the technology moves out of the glossy brochures and into the real world! Follow me on Twitter: @JoeAtJuniper For more about me, go to my LinkedIn profile:
  • Mark Belk is the National Government Chief Architect at Juniper Networks
  • Mike Marcellin is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing team responsible for marketing Juniper’s product and services portfolio and stewarding the brand, driving preference for Juniper in the market, training our partners and account teams, and developing a differentiated information experience for our customers. Before joining the global marketing organization, Marcellin led business strategy and marketing for Juniper’s industry-leading portfolio of high-performance routing, switching and security products. Prior to joining Juniper in 2010, Marcellin served as Vice President of Global Managed Solutions for Verizon, where he oversaw product development and marketing of its managed IP networking, hosting, security and IT solutions for businesses around the world. He also served as Vice President of Global Product Marketing for Verizon Business, executive director of Verizon Business’ IP and Ethernet portfolio as well as leading the company’s eCRM marketing division. Marcellin began his career with MCI in 1994. Marcellin is a Board Member for the Telecommunications Industry Association and a Board Member of US Ignite, an NSF-sponsored initiative. Marcellin holds two patents and was a Rodman Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor of science degree with distinction in systems engineering. He is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • I love the intracacy and intimacy of succesful communications. Why and how people engage with each other is fascinating. I am also consumed with the way IT changes behaviours, values and expectations in society. I bring this sense of wonder to my role in EMEA Service Provider Marketing Programs at Juniper Networks. Down time: My passions are music, reading, politics, Derby County and playing the guitar (and the harmonica). You can follow me elsewhere: twitter: @neilpound my personal blog: my LinkedIn account: Neil Pound
  • Paul Obsitnik is Vice President of Service Provider Marketing for Juniper Networks Platform Systems Division (PSD), responsible for the marketing of Juniper’s portfolio of high performance routing, switching, and data center fabric products to Service Providers globally. Paul's team is responsible for marketing strategy, product marketing, go-to-market planning, and competitive analysis worldwide for the Service Provider segment. Obsitnik has extensive experience in marketing, sales and business development positions with a proven track record in creating technology markets. He has served in senior marketing and sales management positions at several companies including BridgeWave Communications, ONI Systems, NorthPoint Communications and 3Com. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Obsitnik is based in Sunnyvale, California.
  • Praful Lalchandani is a Product Manager at Juniper Networks focussing on the Data Center portfolio. Praful is a seasoned veteran in the networking industry, with experience spanning over 15 years building networking products and helping service providers, cloud providers and enterprises with their networking requirements.
  • Pratik Roychowdhury currently leads product management for Juniper's SDN and Cloud Software product namely Contrail. He has been with Juniper Networks for the last six years, leading product management activities for Juniper’s Network Virtualization and Network Programmability products and taking some of these products from concept to release. Overall, Pratik has spent 16+ years in the hi-tech industry assuming various roles including product development at Citrix, strategy & product management at early stage start-ups, and technology investment banking at UBS. Pratik has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross School of Business).
  • VP of engineering, Juniper Networks & founder, AppFormix Entrepreneur and founder with successful exits from two networking startups. Sumeet holds more than 20 patents with technologies implemented in shipping products and has received numerous awards from organizations as diverse as MIT and Interop. His AppFormix team at Juniper Networks is shipping an automated, real-time monitoring environment that uses AI and machine learning to autonomously mitigate application and network function issues before they impact QoS or user experience.