A business case of NFV includes by default all the benefits coming up within virtualization.
Virtualization improves the cost spent on different hardware types by unify infrastructure layer and separates applications and OS layer form hardware layer.
This change have bring a lot of saving to CAPEX and also to OPEX area.
Today, most of IT applications ,and even mission critical application, are running on top of virtualization platforms. Operators have already started a stage of application migration and database consolidation to run on virtualization environment. A lot of saving was observed from license model, hardware utilization, and no more skills are needed to manage these different kinds of servers and storage systems.
A single type of support contract and process was applied for a common layer of infrastructure and virtualization. Investment for converged platforms of back up, security, load balancers,network was done and prove a good business case .
Automation has proved more the business case of virtualization. When speaking about NFV, we have to know that even virtualizing Telco and network applications on a common infrastructure will bring a lot of saving on CAPEX and OPEX. Consider that not only form a simple Silos virtualized platforms, but also from converged security, storage system, back up, server, management layer, common skills to manage infrastructure, Hardware license, Hardware utilization, converged cooling systems, power consumption, datacenter consolidation.
Of course having these NFV components connecting together and orchestrated by a common orchestrator will be more cost exciting.
I think, form an operation perspective, virtualizing Telco and Network components, even without automating all the stuff, will improve cost saving at a first stage. Sure, automate all the NFV components across a unique automation engine will reduce more time and cost needed for customization, but deploying Telco Apps (VNFs) on few days instead of month improve not only cost needed for services implementaion but also time to market and service readiness for operators.
Telco vendors are not yet ready to adapt a common automation engine. Each of them use its own VNFM to ensure auto-scale of their VNFs . A common NFV orchestrator is not a simple stuff to implement, but when it comes up, operation process and service delivery will be improved more and more.
Another stream to not forget, is about datacenter consolidation.
Actually, all of these Telco applications are running on a specific hardware, are not standardized inside the datacenter. Cooling and power systems are not well dimensioned. Datacenter manager find difficult to estimate or manage his capacity plans : space, facility, power and cooling consumption.
Moving forward to a common infrastructure, including IT, network and Telco application will help greatly cost saving.
Today, virtualization of compute, storage, network helps a lot operators to think about Datacenter consolidation. Today, a common Disaster Recovery solution is capable to host different kind of applications and satisfy their relative RTO and RPO.
NFV business case should include all of the consolidation streams that can be started with the virtualization of the Telco domain
Governments, in different countries, have already stared doing a datacenter consolidation across their footprints. Companies like Google, IBM, HP … have done the same strategy.
With the Telco virtualization movement, Operators will be able to consolidate their data rooms and datacenters on a common and converged ones.
This will bring them a lot of saving, operational efficiency, respect SLA regarding customers.
Don’t forget Public cloud, many operators try to deliver cloud services (Iaas, Paas, Sass) to their customers. Business case for new datacenters should include public, private and telco cloud uses case . Hybrid cloud, is more and more suitable. Global Marketspace and Global and converged orchestrator will allow end user to enjoy coupling offers across different domains, thing that OTT can not offer. Operators, with NFV, SDN, cloud, their backbone and network capabilities will deliver a very exciting and complete end to end offers that other concurrents could not do.
To reach such target design, a lot of work and change have to be done, convergence between IT and Telco should be done very fast. People with cloud background should take the lead of vision and strategy. What have been done on the IT industry since decades should be adapted very fast by Telco to guaranty a considerable revenue and cost saving.