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Spark identifies software defined networking as the way forward

By Ashton Young, Tue 8 Dec 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In a recent strategy update, David Havercroft, chief operating officer for Spark New Zealand, identified the company’s overriding goal moving forward: “To be New Zealand’s best-run and most efficient business.”

Part of this ambition includes maintaining one of the best data networks and digital services capabilities in the country. Havercroft hopes to achieve that by utilising software defined networking (SDN) (from Nuage Networks) and network function virtualisation (NFV).

SDN will enable network services such as provisioning or capacity management to be delivered entirely through software rather than physical switching and hardware configuration.

Meanwhile, NFV can result in substantial savings given that you will be able to operate network functions from off-the-shelf hardware.

A joint whitepaper by Arthur D. Little and Bell Labs asserts a business can experience a reduction to expenses from anywhere between 15 and 30%.

In addition to the significant cost cuts, Havercroft stated in the Spark strategy update that SDN and NFV also brings "the promise of new services and a more efficient operating model."

It seems clear that keeping up with the rush of SDN and NFV innovations being offered by Nuage Networks, among other companies, certainly makes for good business sense.

In Spark’s case, SDN will replace expensive equipment and engineers previously required for deployment and speedy delivery times.

In fact, the joint whitepaper affirms that any company that doesn’t pursue SDN and NFV solutions will likely be left behind.

“The opportunities and decisions that carriers now face, given the expected breadth of changes from SDN, NFV, and the cloud-networking market, make this one of the most exciting, pivotal times in the history of communications networks,” the study states.

The whitepaper concluded that network innovations based on SDN and NFV holds tremendous promise for the future, but for this potential to be realised, carriers must transform their heterogeneous networks.

In an interview with ZDNET, Havercroft said Spark was undertaking vendor trials with Nuage Networks, and hoped to have the first significant changes to its network in place in the new year.

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