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Dell'Oro Group: NFV to See Several New Uses in 2016

By Steve Anderson February 11, 2016

The Dell'Oro Group recently released a new study suggesting that, as big a hit as network functions virtualization (NFV) has been so far, it's likely to only get better with 2016. Not only will it be put to use more often, the report notes, but it's also set to be used in some new and unusual ways.

One major point the Dell'Oro Group study noted is that virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) is set to gain rapidly over the next few years. The study included a complete five-year forecast for vCPE systems, including not only premises tools but also infrastructure systems, giving a good cross-section of the market in mid-change. That's not the only point concerned here, as virtualized network functions (VNFs) are also addressed, complete with looks at the related components for NFV infrastructure (NFVI) as well as management and orchestration (MANO). The study further went on to examine deployments of NFV, not only currently, but also those set to be released in the future. These included vCPE and MANO, but also Evolved Packet Core systems.

It's hard to talk about NFV in any depth without talking about its similar half, software-defined networking (SDN). Carrier SDN makes an appearance in the report as well, and service providers are said to be viewing Carrier SDN as “complementary” to NFV, with many actually looking at the two technologies in concert.

Dell'Oro Group vice president Shin Umeda offered comment: “When we began tracking NFV several years ago, we knew the technologies and deployments would evolve over time and that forecasts would be a moving target. While we are still in the early days of NFV, we are excited to see that the potential for NFV starting to take hold in 2016.”

Indeed, we are still in NFV's early days, and the same goes for SDN. What we've seen so far, however, is downright inspirational; we're seeing carriers and network providers and even network users start to consider NFV a lot more closely than had been seen in the past. In many cases, those considering NFV like what they see, and more are putting it into use. There are several good reasons to turn to NFV, perhaps the greatest of which is the ability to bring  out new services comparatively inexpensively, since powerful—and expensive—specialist hardware is no longer a necessity.

The Dell'Oro Group report shows a market still in its early days, but one that its potential consumers are taking quite seriously. There's a lot of room for growth here, and those who get in now may well be able to take advantage of that growth all the way to the top. 

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

Contributing Writer

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