In the same way that T-Mobile sought to break the mold of telco behavior by proclaiming itself an “Uncarrier,” NFV appears to be having a similar effect on telco network infrastructure. In fact, so much so, that it wouldn’t be far out to talk about the “unhardware” telco in some circles, given some of the hype around the “software” telco vision.
Now, don’t get me wrong; no one’s saying that hardware isn’t needed at all, unless maybe if the carrier is an MVNO. However, the NFV initiative has created very high expectations that an increasing number of telco network functions will be able to run on “bulk standard” data center servers – the sort that telcos already have running their IT software. There’s no problem with that, but I think we are beginning to see an inevitable dose of reality creeping in (see here and here) and we’ll likely see more and more of it as NFV moves from PoCs to live trials this year. Continue reading “NFV Hardware: Are We Going Forward or Backward?”