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ConteXtream: NFV Creates One of the Biggest Needs for SDN

By Paula Bernier February 17, 2015

Network functions virtualization and software-defined networking are without a doubt two of the hottest trends in networking today. ConteXtream co-founder Sharon Barkai was at last month’s ITEXPO Miami offering his perspective on these important technologies and explaining how his company fits into the mix.

In addition to acting as a panelist for the session “Is Service Chaining the Key to SDN/NFV Success?” Barkai did a video interview at ITEXPO Miami with NFVZone Senior Writer Peter Bernstein.

During the on-camera discussion, he noted that NFV and SDN help bring cloud economics to telco service providers. Service providers can there and lower their operational, he said, by running software on standard servers, doing unification, and leveraging dynamically allocated resources. These new architectures also enable facilities-based service providers to leverage the economies of Moore’s Law, he added.

To embrace SDN, he said, telcos need to structure their infrastructure in a new way, with orchestration at one end, using allocate and compute, and putting in place a SDN fabric on the other end. ConteXtream, he said, provides the SDN fabric piece, which allows for network visualization (giving service providers and their systems the ability to understand what network resources are installed and available) and control (which involves the mapping of flows).

There’s a lot of discussion and debate about the relationship between NFV and SDN, and whether you need one to have the other. Barkai sees NFV and SDN moving in lockstep. That’s because NFV creates one of the biggest needs for SDN, he said. Because the need for SDN created by NFV is very visible, he added, you have to specify, orchestrate, automate, and create an OS spread over tens or hundreds of racks of gear.

As for the implementation status of SDN industry wide, Barkai said we’re getting close to widespread adoption. Some specific use case trials of SDN are now reaching their conclusions, he said, and some deployments are starting this year. SDN, he added, is expected to really take off in 2016.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, TMC

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