Building the ROI case for NFV
The rate and scale of NFV savings in the near term depends heavily on the type of service or network function being migrated. These could be:
- Simplification of hardware appliances shipped to customers
- Reduced complexity of customer driven overlay services
- Infrastructure economies of scale and procurement for large shared underlay services
The most obvious business case today is simplification of equipment sent to customer premises. Virtual CPE cases where a simplified “dumb” box is shipped instead of an expensive box that can run services directly or multiple complex appliances that need to be chained together by the customer. There are savings for the Service Provider from the cost and number of the boxes shipped.
Virtual versions of appliances such as firewalls that are hosted in the network can more easily be pre-tested and pre-chained together delivering simplified configuration and automation benefits. The vCPE business case really shines when new compute intensive IOT/set top box/networking features can be consumed by customers without needing any new equipment to be shipped.
In fact, any network overlay service created in response to a customer order will achieve higher levels of operational automation with NFV. Feature rich service bundles have complex network lifecycle tasks and often need manual intervention to fix fulfilment errors or diagnose operational problems, tested up front more comprehensively than can be done today, reducing the fulfilment errors assurance complexity that requires today’s manual intervention.