If you pay even a bit of attention to what’s new and what’s next in the area of networks and services – and the fact that you’re reading this indicates that you do – you already understand how very big and important network functions virtualization and software-defined networking have become to network operators. But what you may not know is that NFV and SDN are also, in effect, making networks (or at least parts of them) smaller.
Here are a couple examples.
Ken Dilbeck, vice president of collaboration and R&D at TM Forum, in a recent interviewwith me noted that NFV and SDN are not just changing the requirements for carrier OSS and BSS systems, but also the very constructs of such solutions. While these back office systems have traditionally existed as unique systems within the telecommunications infrastructure, in the new world, the OSS or BSS will become just another virtualized resource within the IT infrastructure, said Dilbeck. Following network transformation, he adds, OSS and BSS will be realized not as large specialized systems, but rather as loads in containers that are moved around the cloud infrastructure as needed.
“It is a change in the way you think about management and the way you approach it,” he added. “It’s not a siloed thing that exists over here and is special. I think it has implications in how you architect your OSS BSS systems. You’ll have more flexibility as you go forward; these solutions will be less stacks and more modular.”
It seems that switches in the SDN arena are also getting smaller, at least in some cases.
As reported earlier this week by NFV Zone, Northbound Networks has launched a Kickstarter campaign for what it calls the world’s smallest OpenFlow SDN switch.
“The Zodiac FX provides many of the features of an OpenFlow switch costing thousands of dollars, but it’s small enough to fit in the palm of a person’s hand,” says Paul Zanna, founder of Northbound Networks. “We expect it to be a game changer, and we’re grateful to our supporters on Kickstarter for helping us bring the project to life.”
This week on the NFV and SDN front also saw a variety of vendors announcing their memberships to industry consortiums, and variety infrastructure provider partnerships.
For example, virtual CPE platform provider ClearPath Networks Inc. this week formally announced it has joined the OpenDaylight Project. This move came on the heels of the appointment of Marc Cohn, who was already an OpenDaylight board member, as ClearPath’s vice president of marketing.
Meanwhile, Allot Communications Ltd. joined the HP OpenNFV Partner Program. Allot will provide its virtual Traffic Detection Function and security services on the HP OpenNFV platform.
And Dell has certified 6WIND’s Virtual Accelerator as a standard product for its NFV Platform starter kit. The 6WIND Virtual Accelerator offers improved performance for virtual network functions, and without requiring existing software. Dell ran the 6WIND Virtual Accelerator on a Dell PowerEdge R630 rack mount server with a commercial OpenStack platform during the certification process.
Speaking of NFV, NFV Expo, a new event that will take place Oct. 6-8, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, has been announced.
“The NFV market represents the biggest disruption and opportunity in carrier spending this decade,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMC. “NFV Expo will focus on leading this change by bringing cutting-edge discussions and sessions to the conference agenda.”
Read more on NFVZone.