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Study: 35 Percent of Telcos Deploying NFV in 2015

By David Delony June 19, 2015

IHS has found in a survey that 35 percent of telcos planned to deploy Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) this year, according to CXO Today.

“Though we are still in the early stages of a long-term transition to NFV-SDN architected networks, many carriers will be moving from proof-of-concept tests and lab evaluations to commercial deployments of NFV in 2015,” IHS senior research director for carrier networks Michael Howard said.

NFV is an extension of the concept of virtualization to networking infrastructure. Just as a physical server might contain an email server, a file server and a Web server all in one box, an NFV server might include a router, an intrusion detection system, a load balancer and so on.

The biggest reason that carriers are looking to adopt NFV is to save money. With the growth of mobile technology, they’re facing a lot of strain on their networks. They can’t install small cells fast enough to add better and more reliable coverage. The problem is that this requires a lot of supporting infrastructure as carriers have to keep their networks running.

NFV offers a way to keep capital expenditures and operating expenses low. While NFV servers need faster processors and higher-capacity disks, which makes them a little more expensive than regular servers, carriers need fewer of them since they consolidate so many networking features into a smaller number of machines.

Since they need fewer servers, they don’t need as many people to maintain them. The efficiency of these networks as they tame the tangled mazes of wires in central offices will also help them pay for themselves in the long run.

In the report, IHS found that a further 48 percent of carriers planned to evaluate NFV by the end of the year. The main cases were virtual enterprise CPE (vE-CPE), service chaining and virtual network platform-as-a-service (VNPaaS).

The main impediment to NFV was that since it’s a new technology, relatively few technicians are familiar with it, but that could change as more people get experience with it in the coming years.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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