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Service Provider / March 13, 2015

Observations from Mobile World Congress 2015: Transforming the Network!

When the airplane door closed at San Francisco International early last week, I knew Mobile World Congress 2015 had already started. Just about everyone on the flight was heading to Barcelona by one route or another. Logo emblazoned corporate clothes were everywhere and I proudly walked through security and down the jetway with the latest Gigamon apparel also. Indeed, it’s often easier to have a chance meeting at 36,000 ft and over Iceland than it is on the show floor itself – purely due to the sheer magnitude of the event itself. And this year’s event was no different; over 96,000 people attended the event. Many old faces and many new. But for me one take away is the move of industry veterans across the industry – it’s always telling where the real investment and growth in the Telecom industry occurs. This year was hardly a surprise…

Gigamon’s theme for the year was “The Triple Challenge of Network Transformation”, and as I’ve noted from several other independent MWC wrap-up blog entries from large equipment vendors, we found ourselves perfectly positioned to enable the various network transformations. And to that end, what really caught the buzz this year were the several large networking equipment vendors looking to transform their offerings to be software based and in some form virtual in nature – obviously they have listened to the mantra from the carriers themselves. This change had been mandated by the world’s largest carriers and is now a global movement. Gigamon’s perspective about this transformation has been to lead and be on the front foot in the enablement of this – after all, a service or technology is only as good as the time it stays deployed.

MWC_AndyHuckridge In many conversations last week with leaders of global service providers in Barcelona, we heard several familiar themes, “Network transformation” over and over. Many carriers are seeking to transform their networks, helping them to transform their businesses, and finally their customers’ experiences. To do this service providers know they need to deploy service assurance offerings in order to de-risk the new technologies involved with this network transformation.

With traffic continuing to grow exponentially it’s easy to understand why the transformation needs to take place. VoLTE for example is a complex & very sensitive real time service, new 100G transport pipes aimed to solve the issues with too much traffic are very hard to monitor as there are no analytic tools able to directly connect. Carrier Network Virtualization, made up of several different types of virtualization technology (primarily SDN & NFV) is largely made up of various technologies in their infancy. So when you put all three of these new technologies together it’s very easy to see that oversight is needed and that a visibility fabric can help to play that role. It hasn’t been as interesting to be in the Service Provider industry for a long time!

As can be evidenced from the amount of new technologies the operators are deploying currently, they are facing operational complexity in the face of trying to reduce costs and become more agile to bring new capabilities to market. Only with a unified tool rail, driven by a visibility fabric can the operators expect to de-risk these new technologies to bring services to market faster and with much lower risk. As well as speeding up the adoption of the new services by their subscribers.

Two years ago, Gigamon began enabling this transformation with a number of firsts: first to market with an SDN monitoring system, first to market with a 100Gb monitoring solution and first to market with a Big Data traffic reduction capability, all of these have been pivotal in our ability to help operators take advantage of these new technologies. Gigamon provides more value to Service Providers that at any time in our 12 year history of serving this market.

At Mobile World Congress, we announced a number of new and exciting partnerships in several key strategic areas. Operators look to Gigamon to continue to provide these “firsts” to help enable them to deploy these new technologies in a de-risked way. Since this is the case, Gigamon continues to be the preferred network visibility partner for the service provider and network equipment vendor community.

We’re already looking forward to Mobile World Congress 2016

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