& cplSiteName &

Dell Builds Its Service Provider NFV Case

Dan O'Shea
3/27/2014
50%
50%

Dell continues to chip away at the data center market status quo, this week having announced a new dynamically scalable data center switch and a fabric controller that uses SDN principles to enable NFV support for service providers and other data center operators.

The Dell Networking Z9500 switch and Active Fabric Controller also play as further evidence of efforts Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) has been making in recent months to grab a larger chunk of the data center market and extend itself into the service provider sector by embracing open networking and a practical approach to supporting NFV. (See Dell Unveils Data Center Switch, Active Fabric Controller, Dell Has Big NFV Plans, and Dell Opens Arms to Cumulus OS.)

The Z9500 is significant in that it employs a pay-as-you-grow model, allowing customers to activate more ports as their data center needs increase, rather than having to buy more backplanes and line cards. "You can initiate 36 ports, 86 ports or 132 ports, so that gives you the flexibility of building out small, medium or large data center designs. You can build to micro scale, macro scale and hyper scale," says Arpit Joshipura, vice president of product management at Dell.

That flexibility, along with a total 10Tbit/s capacity across the switch, low-latency performance and low power consumption, make the switch ideal for burgeoning SDN and NFV environments, Joshipura argues.

Meanwhile, the new Active Fabric Controller supports OpenStack for the integration of physical data center infrastructure, and uses OpenFlow to interface with data center switches. "Today cloud operators are looking at three stacks -- the VMware stack, the Microsoft stack and OpenStack," Joshipura says. "While OpenStack has plug-ins, the infrastructure still has to be stitched together." The new Dell controller allows the entire data center infrastructure to be managed and orchestrated, with policy control and visibility, on a "zero touch" basis, he adds.

The ability to dynamically stitch together physical data center infrastructure also further positions Dell to support NFV use cases in which dynamic scalability is needed to meet multi-tenancy requirements. "The Active Fabric Controller automates OpenStack on the enterprise side and on the carrier NFV side," Joshipura says. "We think the same building blocks can be used on both sides. You see a lot of write-ups these days suggesting that if it's enterprise, then its SDN, if it's carrier, then it's NFV. The enterprise just happens to be mature enough from an SDN perspective that we can extend it and expand what we're doing there to support NFV."

These notions are not lost on the service provider market, according to Heavy Reading senior analyst Caroline Chappell. "Our research shows that advanced operators realize that the development and implementation of SDN and NFV have to progress hand in hand," she says. "SDN is about setting up and tearing down flows through the network. Those flows are going to involve network functions and at the same time need to support virtual network functions (VNFs), providing connectivity between the virtual machines that constitute the VNFs."

Chappell says that in general the integration of SDN and NFV is going to be a hot topic in coming months and that the roles of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV ISG and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) look set to become more closely aligned. (Update: This article initially noted that a proposal to merge the ETSI NFV ISG and the ONF had been made, but suggestions of any such merger have not been made by either the ETSI group or the ONF, and are not being considered by either. The two organizations, though, have forged a partnership -- see ETSI & ONF Hold Hands Over SDN & NFV.)

However, Chappell's fellow Heavy Reading senior analyst Roz Roseboro notes that while SDN and NFV may take an integrated path forward, "neither is dependent on the other being in place."

Rest assured, Dell isn't the only vendor that sees this happening. Having infrastructure components that support NFV may better position Dell to win service provider business, but it won't come easy. Roseboro says, "I listened to a presentation from Telefónica, where it talked about hardware and software requirements for NFV. One of the issues raised was that the data plane workload needs high and predictable performance -- something that isn't as critical when dealing with server workloads. This impacts how things need to be architected when virtualizing the networking domain. My feeling is that the traditional WAN suppliers may be more credible than the enterprise guys in terms of understanding some of these sorts of nuances." (See Telefónica Looks to SDN for Network Flexibility, Telefónica Unveils Aggressive NFV Plans.)

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
clarkede
50%
50%
clarkede,
User Rank: Lightning
3/27/2014 | 8:27:18 PM
ETSI NFV ISG
There are no plans to fold the ETSI NFV ISG into the ONF or any other body. Discussions are being progressed within the NFV ISG on what comes after the initial two-year phase which ends in January-February 2015. The NFV ISG leadership recommends an extrapolation of the NFV ISG the outline of which was introduced to the NFV ISG plenary meeting in Malaga last month. This basic proposal has a broad base of support amongst network operators and the NFV ISG will be asked to decide how to move forward at the next meeting in Okinawa in mid-May. Don Clarke, Chair, Network Operator Council (ETSI NFV ISG).
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Technology Innovation to Fuel Power Efficiency

6|30|16   |   07:21   |   (0) comments


Managing energy costs and consumption as cable operators deploy new services requires new levels of innovation from technology partners. In this video, Dave Fellows, co-founder and CTO of Layer3 TV and chief scientist of the SCTE/ISBE Energy 2020 program, discusses such ambitious objectives as achieving a second 500% increase in efficiency in outside plant ...
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning to Service Agile Networks

6|30|16   |     |   (0) comments


Packet optical networks are transitioning from proprietary converged systems to open disaggregated platforms. This video will describe the Fujitsu 1FINITY disaggregated platform, explore how 1FINITY interoperates with the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE platform and explain how 1FINITY is designed for software control, like with Fujitsu Virtuora NC.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Nokia's Advancement Plan: Bring Old Skills to New Roles

6|29|16   |   7:57   |   (1) comment


Nokia's Sandy Motley advises women to change their mindsets; get aggressive about advancing their careers; develop strong, diverse support networks; and always bring forth learned skills to take on new challenges and different roles.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff

6|28|16   |     |   (1) comment


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast: Prepping Next-Gen Video Services

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this LRTV interview, Comcast's Elad Nafshi outlines where MSO stands with cloud DVR, OTT video, college and gigabit services.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Creating Unique Standards for Cable's Unique Networks

6|28|16   |   09:30   |   (0) comments


Cable's unique network requirements require a specific set of standards for operators to increase power efficiency, according to Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee, and Ian Oliver, managing director of the Trenchant Group and a member of the ...
LRTV Custom TV
Masergy: 'Now Is the Time for NFV'

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Hear Ray Watson, VP of Global Technology at Masergy, talk about the advantages that enterprises can leverage using Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and how Masergy takes a unique approach to solving customers' problems. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Masergy Leads the Charge With NFV Capabilities

6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Hear Tim Naramore, CTO at Masergy, talk about how focusing on solving specific customer challenges, providing self-service automation tools and being laser focused on the customer experience has enabled Masergy to be a leader in the NFV space. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Private Company of the Year - Affirmed Networks

6|27|16   |     |   (0) comments


At BCE 2016, Steve Saunders speaks to Hassan Ahmed about Affirmed's success.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Brexit: It's Hard to See an Upside
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 6/29/2016
Qualcomm Readies Lower-Band 5G Testbed
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/27/2016
Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/27/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.