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Enabling agile network services through virtualization

- February 3, 2017 - 0 Comments

Customers are increasingly expecting flexible, on-demand services. Changing your network through virtualisation is key to being able to meet these demands

These days, people’s lives are busier and less predictable. Circumstances change quickly, and plans can be adjusted just as fast.

To meet this situation, we are seeing huge growth in on-demand services provided through apps. Whether it’s taxis, cleaning or laundry, it’s now possible to order what you want and receive it within minutes.

And what’s true for consumer services also applies in the world of networks. Service provider customers want flexible, convenient products that can be scaled up and down quickly, and are available at a moment’s notice.

This presents a great opportunity. But if providers try to offer this kind of service using their existing infrastructure, they’ll quickly become overwhelmed.

That’s why major players such as AT&T, Verizon, and Deutsche Telekom are making big investments in virtualising their networks.

These companies know that virtualisation is the key to being able to offer customers agile services. Technologies such as orchestration, automation and virtualised infrastructure can be used to transform network operations.

They make it possible to create bespoke services and deploy them rapidly.

Agile services, agile network, agile organisation

The idea of agility runs through all of virtualisation.

The reason it enables service providers to offer more agile services is that the functioning of their network also becomes more agile.

Model-based orchestration and automation, supported by a virtualised infrastructure and a holistic approach to security, decouple network functioning from its physical architecture.

This makes it much easier to create and deploy new services. And to succeed in using an agile virtual network, your organisation will need to change its way of working, so it also becomes more agile.

There should be people on your team who understand the technical aspects of virtualisation.

But it’s not just about technology – it’s also to do with ways of working. You’ll need to think differently about how your organisation operates, and break down traditional silos.

Your employees will need to be familiar with more fluid approaches, like Agile and DevOps, which involve more collaboration and continuous, fast iteration.

You should be aiming for a dynamic environment that enables your network to easily launch and test new functions.

And you’ll also need to think about effective security practices in a virtual network environment. Agile doesn’t mean less secure.

Developing a strategy for virtualisation

All these considerations and more need to be brought together into a comprehensive strategy.

You’ll need to make sure that processes, tools and structures are all aligned. And the nature of virtualisation means it’s likely you’ll need to maintain the new virtualised infrastructure next to the existing platform.

This will create a hybrid setup that draws on both virtual and physical resources.

Get the most from your investment

So there are certainly a lot of things to think about. That’s why so many service providers rely on our expertise, giving them the confidence that their investment in virtualisation will really count.

Virtualisation means transforming a whole organisation. And there are as many different ways of implementing it as there are service providers. But whatever you do, don’t let the scale of the challenge put you off, because the biggest cost would be not to do it at all.

This is one opportunity that you really don’t want to miss.

Find out how virtualisation can help you transform your network and create agile, bespoke services to meet your customers’ expectations. Read more about the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator.

Key takeaways

Service provider customers are increasingly expecting flexible, on-demand services.

Virtualisation enables providers to transform their network, bringing the agility necessary to meet these new expectations.

– To succeed in using a virtual network, organisations will need to develop ways of working that are just as flexible.

– Staff will need to be familiar with working approaches like Agile and DevOps, which allow rapid iterations to be made to systems.

– Virtualisation is no simple matter. It’s worth getting expert advice to make sure you get the most out of your investment.

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