SDN Precon to Address Network Function Virtualization

By Paula Bernier April 19, 2013

The software-defined network and network virtualization have both become hot topics in communications circles in recent months, but how, if at all, do the two intersect?

Two NFVZone sources recently offered abbreviated answer to this somewhat complex question.

While SDN is typically associated with the separation of the control and data planes, as well as with OpenFlow, network function virtualization is aimed at virtualizing functionality such as firewalls, IDS and more so they can run on off-the-shelf hardware as opposed to packaged as specialized appliances, explained Mark Durrett, Overture director of marketing.

The two technologies are related, he added, but NFV doesn’t necessarily require the separation of the control and data planes, or the use of OpenFlow.

Travis Russell, technologist of strategic marketing at Tekelec, said that service providers such as telcos tend to think of SDN as the longer term goal, are now focused on NFV, which has to do with virtualizing specific aspects of the network related to functions like deep packet inspection and the HSS, as two examples.

If you’d like to get a deeper dive on the difference between SDN and NFV, please join Durrett, Russell and Lori MacVittie, senior technical marketing manager at F5 Networks, at SDN Precon for the session called NFV & SDN.

For more information on that session and the rest of the SDN Program, visit:

SDN Precon, which is co-located with ITEXPO Vegas, will take place Monday, Aug. 26 at Mandalay Bay.

Other featured speakers include Sean Blakley, managing director of WCP Research; Ronald Gruia, principal analyst and program leader in emerging telecoms at

Frost & Sullivan; Mike McBride, principal engineer within Huawei’s Network Technology CTO office, and a representative of the ONF; Houman Modarres, senior director of product marketing at Nuage Networks; Mike Sapien, principal analyst, Enterprise – U.S. at Ovum; and Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing at NetScout Systems Inc.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, TMC

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