SDN/NFV – When?

April 2, 2015

SDN-outlook1SDN and NFV are important technologies for providers with Carrier Ethernet, IP VPN and hybrid Layer2/Layer networks. SDN/NFV solutions are being deployed by network operators to make services and associated applications easier to manage, maintain, grow and monetize. The customer experience also benefits as emerging implementations promise to provide new offers, more timely provisioning, simplified adds and changes, advanced features, and improved service performance.

Vertical Systems Group’s Year-End 2014 Ethernet/IP VPN/Fiber and LEADERBOARD Survey asked network providers throughout the world about their Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) deployments and plans for Ethernet and IP VPN services. Our analysis of the responses shows that nearly one-third have already started to implement SDN/NFV in their networks – or plan to in 2015. Additionally, more than half are planning or considering implementations in the 2016+ timeframe.

Service providers in the planning process cited a number of challenges, including researching SDN/NFV technologies, undertaking proof of concept projectsquantifying customer benefits, and forecasting the impact on OPEX and CAPEX.

There is a lot at stake as the potential of virtualized services unfolds during the next several years. The transformation of existing carrier service platforms is a larger undertaking as compared to the ongoing virtualization of data center, hosting and cloud environments. Overall, the current outlook for Ethernet and IP VPN service providers is that SDN/NFV benefits are enticing, but the challenges are considerable.

Posted by Rosemary Cochran

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