In the Heavy Reading white paper, “Control Plane Orchestration: The Evolution of Service Innovation Attributes,” analyst Jim Hodges writes that the telecom industry has never before simultaneously experienced two foundational disruptive technology trends that are complementary. What is he talking about? Network functions visualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Yes, these trends are certainly disruptive and yes, they are different from one another.
NFV and SDN are related in that they are both software-based. NFV is about taking hardware-based network functions and making them software-based (and ultimately cloud-based); SDN is about abstracting Layer 2 or 3 access to facilitate a programmable common policy and services orchestration routing framework. But they are also very different.
The point Heavy Reading makes is that since both NFV and SDN are software-based, a software-based Diameter signaling controller (DSC), once introduced, becomes a common platform where they both meet, as it plays a vital role in routing and protocol interworking. And therein lies some interesting potential. The DSC could therefore become a vital element in policy orchestration. In the NFV world, there would theoretically be more network functions, all of which are required to interwork. There could be server failures, application failures and NFV failures. The DSC could be in the middle of that and start to orchestrate the signaling. Part of this could also include support for enhanced services and “service charging.”
The Heavy Reading paper describes this all in detail, so if you are interested in learning more, you should certainly download it from our website.