Network Function Virtualization (NFV) – Myth of Reality

By:  Laddie Suk

Top of mind for most Telecom, Cable and Service Providers these days is Network Function Virtualization, or NFV.  Is it the elusive unicorn, never to be found?  Or, are the benefits real? What should a Service Provider be doing today – to achieve the promised benefits in the future?  Let’s take a closer look.

The Evolution to Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Service Provider networks need to evolve toward an IT-like infrastructure to meet the needs of diverse applications and to compete with emerging competitors.  This requires a holistic storage, compute and network solution.

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and its cousin Software Defined Networks (SDN) are the tools to make this transition, and they provide the following:

  1. Programmability of resources
  2. Open-ness
  3. Virtualized network functions for greater competition and operational scalability
  4. Multivendor/multidomain/multilayer control
  5. Abstracted applications for a faster innovation cycle

This is an evolution, not an overlay – a Service Provider’s embedded network infrastructure needs to coexist and migrate. For more on NFV and SDN I recommend reading my Stu Bennington’s blog, What are NFV and SDN, and why should I care?

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