When Alcatel-Lucent unveiled Nuage Networks back in the spring, I was a bit puzzled why they would go after SDN first rather than NFV. After all, NFV was something the operator community can easily grasp, and clearly had traction with the ETSI NFV operator consortium. Of course, ALU couldn’t just turn on a dime, I supposed, as they had been working Nuage Networks in stealth mode for two years, and it had had only been a few months since the NFV white paper publication.
Cloudband was announced, but it wasn’t really the NFV I was expecting. It was more about hosting virtualized network functions ( the vNF text icons) rather than the network functions themselves.
But in the presentation from Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing and Transport, things seemed to fall into place for me. Now I would say that Alcatel-Lucent is playing the long game and pushing SDN to the forefront of transforming the telcom industry. SDN is the way to get around the hardest nodes to virtualize and get those elements to play with a virtualized network. Every vendor and operator has a virtualization story to tell, and it seems to me that by taking on the hard part first, Alcatel-Lucent may pull in front of the pack with the big-picture transformation of voice centric mobile operators into WebScale Mobile Broadband firms.