The Impact on Your IT Department of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

Joel Stradling
Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • NFV will dramatically reduce the number of expensive hardware appliances that carriers and large enterprises need to deploy throughout the data centre and network
  • Instead of so many hardware boxes, networks will be able to deploy cheap-as-dirt high volume server infrastructure with VMs running on top to replace all those functions previously occupied by hardware
  • SDN promises control of the network fabric with more of this control extending to the enterprise in due course

SDN and NFV are garnering attention in the industry with exciting benefits being promised to consumers of network and IT services. The longer term view of NFV is that VMs running network applications on mass-market low cost server infrastructure will replace expensive dedicated appliances. The implication of this for owners of extensive network and data centre infrastructure is ultimately far lower costs, since adding VMs on servers means procuring cheap-as-mud standard servers as opposed to far more expensive dedicated equipment such as switches, routers, deep packet inspection boxes, firewalls and session border controllers. Moreover the amount of technical and engineering support required to manage significantly virtualized network components such as  CDN, carrier grade NAT, and other services, is far less because provisioning and on-going management is automated and managed by customers is supplied using a client facing dashboard. This is a futuristic view, and we anticipate such possibilities from 2014 and beyond.  Continue reading “The Impact on Your IT Department of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)”