This year SDNCentral had the opportunity to work with a variety of vendors who provided details on their products for the 2014 Network Virtualization Report. To close the year, we decided to reach out to them again, to see what they found interesting and cool on the network virtualization scene this year and what they foresee happening.
Answers were provided through email. However, we’ve edited them in the form of a gathering at your favorite hang-out or vacation spot. Enjoy.
Andrew Rufener, director of product management at Avaya, what did you find interesting in network virtualization this year?
Rufener: Network virtualization is more prominently debated and discussed than before, and the models start to converge into a few distinct categories: the increased focus on use cases, business issues and benefits can be derived from NV in the wider context; the role that NV plays in bringing formerly rather disparate elements closer together (for example, compute and networking); and the general pace of development and innovation that is accelerating. NV supports more agile development at a network and infrastructure level in support of agile application development (DevOps).
It’s nice to hear NV has become more popular. Keeps us employed, am I right? So what do you expect for NV in 2015?
Rufener: 2015 will be another year of significant innovation around NV, driven by the fact that many of the basic building blocks are in place and that the open source community is very rapidly driving significant innovation as well as the massive investments the industry overall is making in virtualization at large and NV specifically. However, beyond the pure technology innovation, I truly believe (and the initial signals are clearly visible) that 2015 will be the year of far more innovative and broader NV application in support of specific business problems/use cases and that the discussion will shift from a technology to a business-driven discussion.
Thanks, Andrew. It will be interesting to see what will be thought of next. Just joining us now is Robert Keahey, VP of marketing at CPLANE NETWORKS. Robert, what did you see in the 2014 NV scene?
Keahey: In 2014, the industry validated the network virtualization model. The FUD about performance and reliability of commodity platforms, including server-based virtual switches, began to fade away. While there will always be a need for specialized platforms for certain functions, the basic principles of SDN have been proven. The network is now programmable. Good things are about to happen!
Good things indeed. Can you expand on what you think may happen in 2015?
Keahey: In 2015, we will see network virtualization move beyond the trial stage and into mainstream production. The focus will shift from simply deploying virtual overlays within the data center to end-to-end, cross-data-center network service orchestration that will encompass both the virtual and physical domains. Understanding and managing the performance aspects of each domain, separately and in conjunction, will be critical to delivering predictable and reliable network services. Policy management will be key.
Thanks Robert. You won’t believe who just stopped by. Recep Ozdag, director of solutions marketing at Cyan, it’s great to see you. While you’re here, what can you tell us about network virtualization from your experience in 2014?
Ozdag: Network virtualization became easy to deploy. The overlay based approach to providing scalable and agile networks in large data centers has resulted in an uptick in deployment, particularly at Layer 3. As for NV products for the WAN, they are becoming a reality and are in trial phases.
What do you expect the reality will be for network virtualization in 2015?
Ozdag: We will see NV products that provide tighter integration with Layer 4-7 devices (both physical and virtual) in the data center, with some new large-scale, multivendor NV deployments that focus up to Layer 2 or Layer 3 in the WAN.
Thanks Recep. Sounds like it will be another big year for NV products. Is that Anshu Agarwal, VP of marketing at ConteXtream? Why it is! What a surprise. It looks like you have a moment between shows — what did you find interesting in network virtualization this year?
Agarwal: What I found most interesting was the progress that we made as an industry to advance the network virtualization charter. Not only did we come along on commercial products based on open source projects such as OpenDaylight, but we also saw different use cases emerge, such as virtualization of functions in the mobile core, IMS/SMC virtualization, EPC virtualization, virtual private network services over existing IP. This demonstrates the flexibility and the range of products that can be deployed to make all parts of carrier and enterprise networks programmable.
Wow. The virtualization industry really took off this year. What do you expect for the industry in 2015?
Agarwal: In 2015, we are going to see many of these use cases move out from labs to field trials, and by the end of 2015, some of them will move to full-scale deployment. We may also see more M2M/IoT-type use cases develop during the course of the year.
Thanks Anshu. It’s been a big year for NV use cases. Wait a second. Is that Doug Murray, CEO of Big Switch Networks? I thought I recognized you. Before we wrap up, would you mind sharing some of your predictions for bare-metal switching, since it can be a element of network virtualization?
- By the fourth quarter of 2015, bare metal will exceed 15 percent of ports shipped.
- Two more of the publicly held networking vendors will embrace a modern disaggregated approach.
- At least 10 percent of the global 2000 will move from testing to deploying bare metal and/or SDN products.
- More consolidation occurs in the NPB space (at least one independent NPB vendor will be acquired).
Thanks Doug. It will be interesting to see these predictions come to light. Only time will tell.
I’d like to thank everybody for “stopping by” and taking the time to share insights with us.
I encourage those of you who would like to continue to participate to leave your comments below. It will be fun to return to this piece next year, comments included, and see what really happened.