As virtualization changes networks, the network and service assurance market is changing as well

Network and service assurance needs are evolving rapidly, as more applications — both network functions that support telecom network operations, and enterprise applications — are becoming virtualized.

The network function virtualization market is expected to blow past the $70 billion mark by 2022. Ovum found in mid-2018 that one in five large enterprises reported “significant deployment of software-defined WAN and 17% of enterprises were using some form of NFV in the cloud, with 10% reporting a significant on-premises NFV deployment. Such deployments need assurance for both the underlying infrastructure as well as service assurance for the applications they are handling.

Here are four analyst firms’ predictions for the growth of the network and service assurance market.

-It’s emblematic of the changes in assurance — an emphasis on the role of big data analytics and development of machine learning and artificial intelligence to support automation — that Analysys Mason has changed its name for the segment from service assurance to “automated assurance.” The analyst firm estimates that the market will be worth $7.1 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 2.1%.

“Automation of assurance processes using advanced analytics such as machine learning and AI will drive [Communication Service Provider] spending in this market during the forecast period,” said Anil Rao, principal analyst in the segment for Analysys Mason. Rao has noted in previous research that the new approach to service assurance needed in virtualized networks will focus competition in three broad domains: NFV testing and validation; service testing for NFV/SDN services; and operational assurance for NFV/SDN services.

-Similar numbers on the market came from analyst firm Mordor Intelligence, which said that the global telecom service assurance (TSA)  market was worth $6.8 billion in 2017. That number is expected to grow by 2.24% per year through 2023, as the number of global mobile subscribers and connected devices continues to rise.

“The emergence of highly technical and complex technologies, coupled with an increasing competition in developed regions, is all set to impact the growth of the global TSA market, as it has been made clear that in the emerging business landscape, CSPs must notice potential customer issues and respond quickly to prevent negative customer experiences,” Mordor concluded. The virtualization software market, meanwhile, is supposed to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 8.5% through 2023, the analyst firm has predicted.

-Gartner estimates the size of the network performance monitoring and diagnostics market — which it considers separate from application performance monitoring — at $2.1 billion, with a CAGR of 15.9%. Gartner, in its early 2018 Magic Quadrant assessment of the space, concluded that “cutting edge innovation in this mature industry is muted compared to other monitoring areas” and that challenges include “network complexity, moves to cloud-hosted workloads, endpoint diversity and software-defined architectures.” The vendor market, Gartner said, “has split into two camps: those focused on polling-based infrastructure monitoring with basic flow and packet monitoring capabilities, and those focused on hardware-based deep packet analysis with basic infrastructure monitoring.”

-Data Bridge Market Research also cited the growing number of mobile subscriptions as a major driver of the global market for telecom service assurance. However, the firm said, “resistance to adoption of new technologies and data privacy issues may hamper the market.” Data Bridge has predicted that the global telecom service assurance market will achieve a CAGR of 11.1% through 2024.

Looking for more insights on network and service assurance in a virtualized and hybrid networks? Register for the upcoming RCR Wireless News webinar featuring Vodafone and NetScout, and keep an eye out for our editorial special report, to be published on February 12.

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