We have heard a lot of discussions lately about net neutrality. Network neutrality is the idea that one’s cellular, cable, or phone Internet connection should treat all websites and services the same. The problem is that big companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast want to treat them differently in an effort to charge more depending on what is used.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently debating legislation to define limits for Internet service providers (ISPs). The hope is they will keep the internet open and prevent companies from discriminating against different kinds of websites and services. This is a worldwide discussion with European telecoms calling for lighter net neutrality regulations.
Network functions virtualization (NFV) offers a new way to design, deploy and more importantly, manage networking services. NFV decouples the network functions, such as network address translation (NAT), firewalling, intrusion detection, domain name service (DNS) and caching, just to name a few, from proprietary hardware appliances so that they can run in software.
It is designed to consolidate and deliver the networking components needed to support a fully virtualized infrastructure, which includes virtual servers, storage, in addition to other networks. It utilizes standard IT virtualization technologies that run on high-volume service, switch and storage hardware to virtualize network functions.
Is NFV, along with software-defined networking (SDN), something that could turn the net neutrality discussion into a win/win scenario? In just a few days the Software Telco Congress will be held as part of ITEXPO in Miami. The Software Telco Congress, January 28-30, has been designed to ensure network operators have the education and tools necessary to evolve capabilities to keep pace with users' growing thirst for enhanced services and content, while allowing them to develop new revenue opportunities in the process.
One of the companies that will be present at the conference is Saisei, which is a Japanese word meaning rebirth. Jeff Paine is vice president at Saisei and will examine some of the specifics of how NFV, SDN and Network Performance Enforcement (NPE) technologies can be leveraged so both sides win.
Paine’s feeling is that “While technology may not alone solve the net neutrality issue, it deserves to be part of the conversation. SDN, NFV and NPE can play a key role in enabling service providers to offer new granular levels of guaranteed services based on multiple tiers of enforced 'fair usage' on a single network, with the scale required for Cloud, Mobile and IoT network deployments.”
If you want to find out more about ITEXPO, which begins today in Miami, you can check out the details by clicking here.
NFVZone Contributing Writer
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