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Poll: NFV Will Be Massive

Ray Le Maistre

Is network functions virtualization (NFV) going to have a significant impact on the communications networking industry and become a feature of telco networks, or is it a lab experiment that has gotten out of hand?

Well, we'll know for sure in 10 years' time, but there's certainly a lot of optimism that NFV can deliver operational and financial benefits according to the results of our reader poll. (See: Is NFV Just Wishful Thinking? )

Currently, 338 readers have responded to the question "Will network functions virtualization (NFV) make it into telco networks or is it just a lab experiment that has got out of hand?"

Of those, nearly 53 percent voted that "It's going to have a massive impact on costs and efficiencies -- it's a game-changer."

But there is still skepticism. About 28 percent voted in favor of "It's great in isolation but too hard to deploy in production networks," while nearly 14 percent chose the option "NFV won't get out of the test lab -- it's all hype."

Just 6 percent hadn't been caught up in the NFV hype and voted for "NF what?"

NFV is turning into one of the biggest debates in the telco sector in years, and there is plenty of support and momentum from major operators to virtualize network functions, and reduce the number of bespoke network elements that need to be deployed and maintained.

For more on NFV:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
9/2/2013 | 3:43:57 PM
NFV Momentum
There are several additional factors that point to huge impact of NFV and that will add to its growing momentum in the industry.

First, industry support for NFV quickly expanded beyond the original 7 telecom network operators.  At the 1st meeting of the ETSI NFV ISG held in January 2013, membership had grown to 59 network operators, telecoms equipment vendors, IT vendors and technology providers.  The ETSI website now lists 60 members and 76 participants.  A significant NFV ecosystem is growing rapidly.

In addition, NFV ecosystem programs such as the recently announced CloudNFV effort are being formed to gain implementation experience and address practical issues such as software interoperability.  CloudNFV is a group of vendors (6WIND is a founding member) dedicated to creating a technical framework and demonstration platform for NFV based on cloud computing and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies in a multi-vendor environment. CloudNFV and others are working on reference platforms and proof-of-concept systems that will go a long way to overcoming the natural question "will this stuff work together?"

Probably the largest boost to NFV momentum is the fact that industry sectors other than telecom see benefits and are evaluating NFV strategies, in particular data center networking.  Virtualization is already an established technology in the data center compute arena with well understood benefits. When applied to the networking subsystems, similar cost savings in areas such as hardware and power along with increased service creation flexibility should drive NFV into this sector equally fast.

Add the NFV investments of those serving the cloud computing markets to the investments by the telecom equipment providers and you've got big momentum!

Charlie Ashton

VP Marketing and Business Development

sam masud
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2013 | 10:57:36 AM
It's for real
Considering that the push for NFV is coming from the big network operators, in contrast to vendor hype, I don't see how it would not have a big impact on the industry.
User Rank: Light Beer
8/21/2013 | 11:15:56 AM
Seems like hype has taken root
Against all better judgement, it does seem like NFV might jump the dip in the hype cycle. At a customer event at the TMF's MW, a vendor polled their customers asking when they expected to deploy NFV and the most common response was "within the next 18 months".  My knee-jerk reaction was to think, "yeah right".  But, all the subsequent chatter seems to say that you're right, Ray... NFV may be different.

Of course, the tricky thing about hype is what comes next... It'll be interesting to see how far things have come this time next year.
User Rank: Blogger
8/20/2013 | 3:58:55 PM
You gotta love the confidence, right?
There's something different about NFV.... like a steely determination that something will come of this from the Tier 1 operator side.... I don't think this will fizzle.
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