SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- NFV & the Data Center -- Virtualization can make data centers a lot more dynamic, but an added benefit is it's also the greenest choice for an operator, according to Orange Silicon Valley's senior research scientist.
Speaking here on Tuesday, Christos Kolias, a senior research scientist at Orange Silicon Valley, explained how NFV can bring the most energy efficiency to a data center, which is a top consideration in these massive, power-hungry facilities. It may not be the primary driver to deploy NFV, but it's a positive side effect, and also helps telcos on the regulatory front.
"You have to dispose of telecom hardware, but when we move things into software, it becomes more eco-friendly," Kolias said. "It might be easier to start implanting NFV in the data center because you have less compliance to deal with."
Kolias also cited other benefits of "cloudification" -- a term he admitted he hates. For example, consolidating multiple physical network infrastructures in a cloud-based EPC can lead to less complexity in the network and produce better scalability and flexibility for service providers in support of new business models, he noted.
In his work at Orange's Silicon Valley, the French operator's US subsidiary, Kolias has helped put together a number of proof-of-concepts with Orange's vendors to showcase what NFV can do in the data center. (See Orange on the Partner Hunt in Silicon Valley and Telcos Report From NFV Front Lines.)
The next step beyond PoCs, he said, is to make sure they can match the performance that hardware delivers and do it at scale. The company is already working on these type of virtualized platforms at its test bed in San Francisco, but Kolias said they are far from commercial ready. (See Google's Andromeda Relieves Cloud Strain.)
"To me, performance is still a question mark," he said on a panel later in the day. "What do we need to do that? Google with Andromeda platform says latency is not an issue… We know we can get there, but what will it take? 2020 is a bit aggressive to expect everything to be virtualized."
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading