I spent last week in Dusseldorf Germany at the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress, where (despite the title of the event), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) had a “2nd Birthday” coming out party and was the talk of the show. Unlike many “standards”, NFV has been championed by network operators more than vendors (in fact many vendors have actively opposed it!), and in a very short timeframe NFV has moved from the drawing board into labs and now into the real world.
There were a number of major NFV happenings that were announced at the show. We announced an EANTC test report validating PacketLogic/V (Procera’s NFV solution) at 40Gbps performance with the CPU at less than 45% utilization – we simply ran out of I/O on the Intel servers that we were testing on. Brocade announced 80Gbps of routing on a similar Intel platform. There was an ETSI NFV “POC Zone” at the event where many companies (Procera included) were demonstrating multivendor Proof of Concepts of NFV use cases sponsored by network operators. Although the POCs are not necessarily going to be deployed tomorrow, all of them show relevant deployment use cases.
The clear message from the network operators is that they are ready for NFV today, not tomorrow. There are still some big challenges and hurdles to overcome (orchestration in a multi-vendor environment begin the biggest), but it is clear that NFV is ready to go for prime time in 2015.
Cam is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Sandvine and responsible for Sandvine's overall global marketing. He is an avid follower of and the author of the Global Internet Phenomena Report on network trends. He also loves football (the real kind played with a round ball) as well as an active blogger for Sandvine on a wide range of technology and business issues. Areas of expertise: internet trends, virtualization, analytics, network optimization, enterprise services