Conventionally, operators were not able to support different software applications and services due to legacy architectures and purpose-built hardware that could not scale easily. Additionally, it has been difficult for Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to predict the demand in mobile traffic which fluctuates based on events during different times of the year. For instance, the SuperBowl recorded peak data consumption by mobile subscribers, but this number has been increasing every year. Operators are also locked into solutions and hardware provided by incumbent players making them spend millions of dollars in the purchase and maintenance of new equipment.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Network Functions Virtualization has been making waves among MNO’s and MVNO’s for the ease in scalability and the huge savings that this technology provides. Open Source Software brings an edge to NFV. AT&T was one of the first Tier 1 operators to change their systems and define themselves as a “software-centric” company embracing open source solutions. Allocating workloads to different servers has never been easier with open-source software in NFV.
Benefits of Open-Source Software & NFV
Open-Source ensures a bigger community and diverse options for Operators to choose from as opposed to being restricted to a single vendor. The open-source community can create different services for common industries through collaboration reducing costs for operators. As a result, these companies can now scale up or down depending on traffic and even run software applications on standard x86 servers. “Our use of Open Source allowed us to develop a much more advanced product with a 3X advantage” says Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks in an interview with TIA Now. Watch as Hassan elaborates on the advantages of Open Source in Networking.