Is VNF license management the missing link for smooth NFV operations?
Consider for a moment the difficulties of dealing with a mislaid license key when you’re upgrading software on your PC or tablet. There’s no doubt it causes a huge headache! Imagine multiplying this aggravation by thousands or even tens of thousands of licenses across numerous vendors. Now you see why license management is critical to successful deployment of NFV. This need will be accentuated by the advent of 5G. Core 5G, for example, will be based on virtualized components from a broad ecosystem of vendors. Furthermore, much of the monetization of 5G will be via functions and value-add applications from the partner ecosystem, all the licenses for which will need to be managed securely and at scale.
The transition to NFV and onwards to 5G is creating a significant change in the commercial relationships between service providers and network equipment providers. Instead of purchasing appliances, network procurement teams will now have to handle complex software licensing arrangements based on many metrics for many virtual network functions (VNFs) from many vendors.
But it’s not just about volume. Licensing solutions also need to adapt to the new flexibility of commercial arrangements. Service providers and vendors will need a unified view, a “single pane of glass” if you like, that provides the visibility and transparency needed to calculate the commercial implications of VNF usage in real time.
And of course, a critical factor in all of this is trust. As the industry undergoes the huge changes that network virtualization and the introduction of 5G will bring, service providers and network suppliers will need to develop mutual trust in the new reporting schemes.
Amdocs VNF license usage management with blockchain addresses these challenges. With a private blockchain shared between vendors and service providers, the system offers all the contributing parties complete transparency regarding the usage of VNFs. This is just what is needed to provide the missing link for smooth NFV operations as well as contributing to efficient monetization of 5G.
Read our whitepaper for a deeper discussion of the challenges as well as the Amdocs solution.