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Choosing a VNF lifecycle management solution: key challenges and crucial considerations for CSPs

Anil Rao Principal Analyst, Research

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Choosing a VNF report

Automation is key to operationalising network function virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) and achieving the expected benefits such as higher service agility and lower operational economics.

As communications service providers (CSPs) make the NFV journey from basic network virtualisation to dynamically orchestrating virtual network functions (VNFs) and ultimately to a cloud-native network, they will need an increasing degree of operational automation.

VNF lifecycle automation is right at the heart of this movement.


To dynamically manage and direct the VNFs through their lifecycle stages, CSPs need a VNF lifecycle manager that provides built-in automation.

It should offer a favourable trade-off between providing enough abstraction to mask the issues of lack of standardisation while also offering out-of-the-box, DevOps-based automation for most lifecycle functions with the ability to quickly enhance the solution to cover the remaining cases.