The Rayno Report held another one of our social events on CrowdChat, LinkedIn, and Twitter on July 27. The topic was #NFV, or Network Functions Virtualization. The event covered the emergence of NFV, which will make it easier for service providers and cloud providers to deploy new communications and network services by deploying software on industry-standard hardware.
NFV is attractive because it can lower the capital expenditures (capex) and operating expenditures (opex) of service providers looking to deploy new services. Instead of building purpose-built infrastructure, as has been the practice for years, they can deploy commodity servers and swap services in and out via software only. This means that just about any service requiring a specialized hardware appliance could be moved into the cloud as a software service.
Recep Ozdag, director of marketing with Cyan Inc., the sponsor of the chat, said that virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) is the most common NFV application. “Virtual Firewall [vFirewall], vEncryption, and vRouter are the applications within the vCPE use case that are most commonly deployed,” said Ozdag on the chat, which got more than 300 views, reached more than 1 million Twitter timelines, and drew 100 message posts.
Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor of software-defined technology site SDxCentral.com, pointed out that, while many service providers are moving slowly on NFV, real progress is being made. “Telefonica is doing a virtual CPE trial that started in Q1, IIRC,” he said.
I pointed out the results of an Infonetics survey in 2014 that said that 97 percent of providers are likely to deploy Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and 93 percent are likely to deploy NFV.
One participant on the chat asked if the lack of standards was impeding NFV adoption.
Ozdag said that service providers are “definitely” expressing frustration in this regard. “I would say 70% of our customers have taken the wait-and-see approach,” said Ozdag, with refreshing frankness for a technology vendor.
“Personal bias: I’m rooting with the 30%, Recep,” said Matsumoto. “I wonder if fear of a lack of standards is a bigger barrier than the actual lack of standards.”
“You are absolutely right,” Ozdag replied. “It is the ‘fear.’ Because they are used to standards.”
“@CenturyLink and #colt are great examples of #vCPE use cases for #NFV,” commented Ozdag.
Indeed, you can read about the partnership between Cyan and CenturyLink to deploy NFV services here. A transcript of the NFV chat is here.