In all the hullabaloo around software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), with new "virtualized" telco products announced almost daily, it's chastening to note that virtually nothing virtual has actually been deployed by telcos to date, and that the timeline for this much-anticipated revolution remains, for now, very much a matter of opinion. While the logic behind NFV and SDN is unassailable, and the destination unarguable, at least for leading operators, that doesn't mean they have a clear view yet of how to get from A to B, or of how long it will take.
For the time being, and probably for most of the next year, "proof of concept" will be what it's all about for the majority, and the gains from virtualization in this interim phase will largely be tactical, entailing point solutions for a few of the most easily convertible functions, such as optimization or firewall software.
Getting beyond that and applying SDN and NFV to the rest of the network -- and to the OSS that goes with it -- is a different matter altogether.
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