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NFV Week in Review

By Paula Bernier July 12, 2014

Network functions virtualization, which some see as a stepping stone to software-defined networking, appears to be seeing respectable uptake by network operators and their suppliers, as reflected by several announcements this week.

 (To learn more about virtualization and software-defined networking, join us Aug. 12-14 at The Rio-Las Vegas for Software Telco Congress: The NFV & SDN Event.)

According to Sandvine, leading communications service providers around the globe are using Sandvine Virtual Series policy control technology.

Sandvine this week also noted its solution is interoperable with Juniper’s Contrail solution, which includes an analytics engine, SDN controller, and vRouter. And Juniper last September said its solution has been in trials with more than 40 customers.

According to a recent Maravedis-Rethink report, nearly three-fourths of mobile operators will deploy NFV by 2018. Carriers expect TCO savings of up to 35 percent in the next five years due to NFV, which will be especially useful in the packet core, according to the report, which says 16 percent of carriers surveyed see NFV as a stepping stone to SDN.

Another stepping stone of sorts to NFV and SDN is Ethernet fabrics. According to Yarob Sakhnini of Brocade Communications, Ethernet fabrics can enable organizations that want to protect their current network investments while benefitting from NFV and SDN.

“Did you realize that there are hardware networking solutions on the market that support OpenFlow, other SDN initiatives, and traditional networking all at once?” writes Sakhnini. “Some organizations might be ready to jump feet first into SDN and NFV, but in most cases a gradual transition makes better sense. Selecting the products that support open and software-based network functions will allow you to protect your current investments and prepare for the future, while responding to the dynamic demands and resource requirements of your data center today.

“If you want to maximize the future potential of your networking infrastructure,” Sakhnini adds, “make sure to take SDN/NFV-enabled Ethernet fabrics into account the next time you’re planning a refresh.”

In addition to Sandvine, Mavenir is another company that recently came out with a virtualized solution. In an interview about voice over LTE, Ian Maclean, vice president of strategy and marketing at Mavenir, told NFV Zone: “The first step to NFV is to offer software-based products. We enable service providers to implement NFV today, kind of a pre-NFV to get customers on industry-standard hardware, using software for flexibility and service agility.

“There are no commercial NFV orchestrators on the market today, so that’s why I’m calling it pre-NFV,” he explains. “But when an orchestrator is ready we can add it.”

Want to hear more benefits and opportunities that Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) offer? Software Telco Congress, held August 12-14, 2014, at The Rio in Las Vegas.

Executive Editor, TMC

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