VNF, DevOps, IaaS and FTTdp are among the technology acronyms that came into increasingly common usage in 2014.

Dan O'Shea, Analyst,

December 31, 2014

2 Min Read
Some Abbreviated Thoughts on Acronyms

We at Light Reading live for acronyms: They are inescapable elements of the telecom vernacular that we use every day to tell our stories.

In 2014, we saw a handful of technology acronyms comes into frequent usage. Here are some that became seared in our souls, and probably yours, too.

VNF (virtualized network function)
Not to be confused with NFV, except that it is easy to confuse them because the same three letters are involved and they are, in effect, blood brothers. What's next? FNV (Functions of Networks, Virtualized)? In any case, VNF was one of the hottest acronyms of 2014. (Would it be too nerdy to get a "VNF" tattoo?)

Short for collaborative effort between software development and IT operations teams. We can debate about whether or not this is technically an acronym, but instead let's talk about how it reminds us of the completely unrelated, but much cooler, term 'Black Ops.' The guys in DevOps probably don't get to carry guns -- or do they?

IaaS, PaaS, UCaaS, DRaaS, etc.
Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Services, Unified Communications as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service. There are more aaSes than we're identifying here -- the industry is literally full of aaSes -- but you get the idea. When the hardware apocalypse is finally complete and all of us and our gear are virtualized or rendered into software, there will be even more, but perhaps by then we can just collectively refer to them as EDTaaS: Every Damn Thing as a Service.

FTTdp (Fiber to the distribution point)
We've never been fully on board with capitalizing the abbreviation for 'to the' in Fiber to the Curb, Fiber to the Building, etc. (Especially when we don't do the same for 'as a' in acronyms like IaaS, PaaS and so forth.) Now, with FTTdp, someone has somewhat absurdly decided that 'to the' is worth capitalizing, but 'distribution point' is not. (We've also seen the even more non-sensical 'FTTdP.') The lower case 'dp' makes it sound like a distribution point, generally speaking, is a less worthy destination for fiber than a curb, which seems a little discriminatory, doesn't it?

FTTdp models are enabled by, a technology you can read a lot more about in our dedicated gigabit content channel here on Light Reading.

What other increasingly common acronyms have you had stuck in your head this year? Let us know by posting to the comments section.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Dan O'Shea


You want Dans? We got 'em! This one, "Fancy" Dan O'Shea, has been covering the telecom industry for 20 years, writing about virtually every technology segment and winning several ASBPE awards in the process. He previously served as editor-in-chief of Telephony magazine, and was the founding editor of FierceTelecom. Grrrr! Most recently, this sleep-deprived father of two young children has been a Chicago-based freelance writer, and continues to pontificate on non-telecom topics such as fantasy sports, craft beer, baseball and other subjects that pay very little but go down well at parties. In his spare time he claims to be reading Ulysses (yeah, right), owns fantasy sports teams that almost never win, and indulges in some fieldwork with those craft beers. So basically, it's time to boost those bar budgets, folks!

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