Industry Solutions and Trends
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Industry Solutions and Trends
Does NFV and Virtualisation Herald the End of Black Friday?
Dec 11, 2014

International borders have long ceased to be a barrier to the migration of fashion and culture. Whether it's the physical movement of people or the free flow of information and goods it all leads to change.

In the United Kingdom the latest manifestation of this was the importation of the "Black Friday tradition” from the United States. This gave us the unedifying sight of humans fighting each other to get their hands on a new television and, somewhat ironically, making headlines on television news programmes. On the other side of the retail divide store owners were rubbing their hands as the numbers came in revealing record single day sales.

As I watched store security personnel (and in some instances local law enforcement officers) failing to maintain control, NFV and the wider virtualisation conversation came to mind. It could be argued that one of the advantages of virtualisation is to bring order where there is chaos. In your network that could be unpredictable peaks in demand, unpredictable spikes in geographic access requirements, and that’s before you take account of the unpredictable nature of customers.


The Juniper Global Bandwidth Index underscores the notion that “not all people want the same things, use the same services or have the same expectations. Connections and experiences are very personal.” And in her latest blog, my colleague Chloe Ma talks about the concept of mass customisation that is now emerging as an economically sound proposition for service providers as the potential of SDN and NFV is better understood.

The challenge we face is that virtualisation in the network is a relatively new concept. It’s not widely understood and people with experience are a rare commodity. That’s why my colleague, Joe Robertson, has devoted most of 2014 to evangelising the benefits to service providers of engaging vendors who have a strong commitment to professional services. In his latest short paper - Network Virtualization ....... And Reality - Joe sets out some of the challenges service providers face as they embark on virtualisation. He also demonstrates how a good professional services team can share their experience with a service provider at any, or all, of the plan, build and operate phases of your network lifecycle. Not only does this supplement your in-house skills, it can be argued that such an approach also accelerates their learning.

This is an extremely efficient way of developing and implementing plans for any new technology assessment and deployment. And speaking of efficiency, Joe is also aware you don’t have an infinite amount of time to research every vendors approach so in addition to the short paper he also explains in a four minute video how our experience and dedication can help guide you on your journey.

I’m sure store owners love the chaos Black Friday creates (and they stimulate) as it generates huge free publicity leading to a frenzy of buying. Notwithstanding the personal injury suffered by a few of their customers, they do not want order. But service providers need to manage the demand put on their networks in a more logical way. After all, their customers don’t want to have to get into a fist fight just to get on-line.