We are routinely being asked, “What are the killer SDN & NFV use cases?” It’s a question Roy and I have been working on with clients, tracking for SDxCentral, and investigating for almost three years. Defining SDN & NFV use cases hasn’t been a straightforward process – everyone has been using slightly different terminology to describe slightly different needs and potential ways to fulfill those needs. We’ve experienced firsthand how the definition of “use cases” vary wildly between end use customers and network operators (i.e., how they can make money), and marketing department of network vendors. This makes it difficult to have productive conversations about customer needs, technical requirements, and business cases for SDN and NFV.
To help align terminology and simplify conversations, we’ve created an SDN & NFV use case taxonomy based on direct engagement with end customers over the last 12 months. We’ve attempted to capture and organize the most common SDN & NFV use cases of 2015 into six umbrella use cases:
- Network Access Control
- Network Virtualization
- Dynamic Interconnects
- Virtual Customer Edge
- Virtual Core/Aggregation Networks
- Data Center Optimization
We feel clarity around use cases is so vital to the adoption of SDN and NFV technologies that we’ve created a new SDN & NFV use case section on SDxCentral where we list the umbrella use cases. For each use case, we’ve attempted to provide a great deal of information to help our readers better understand the use case at hand. We have included a summary of the use case, a definition of what customer segments care about a specific use case (Cloud Service Providers, Enterprises, or Telcos), what customers have told us about why they care about a particular use case, what business problems are solved, what business value is expected to be created, and how SDN and NFV can solve that use case.
By no means is this list complete (if you have a use case to add, please tell us!) and it’s easy to split hairs about which umbrella use case or a sub-use case may reside under (there’s more than one sub-use case that Roy and I debated over for longer than we’d like to admit). We also realize there’s lot more to track for each use case: a) Who are the market and thought leaders for a use case? b) What network operators have solved this use case? and, c) What product(s) are part of a whole solution to solve the use case? We will add that information as we have it, and if you think you have something to add, please let us know.
What Can You Do?
- Review the use cases and tell us how to improve them (feel free to comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Share new use cases with us. We’ll add to the site and give you credit once we’ve validated the use case.
- Tell us which umbrella use cases are most relevant to you in 2015.