The most striking visual from the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) hit you right as you walked in the door:
Intel launched a new technology called RealSense for which Intel employed a collection of dancing spiders (one of which was very reminiscent of your worst science fiction nightmares and a swarm of smaller ones) to demonstrate new ways to interact with devices, applications, and enable new collaboration technologies. We even got to snap a few camera shots using RealSense technology with Bill Nye the Science Guy!
This year’s version of IDF felt very different than past versions. Intel highlighted the “cool” aspects of what their solutions could enable – a lot of emphasis on wearables, cloud services, and (the area that Procera focuses on) the network. As we have talked about many times on the blog, Procera is a big believer in Network Function Virtualization (NFV) (interested? Check out this link) and Intel is one of the driving forces behind NFV. I sat on a panel chaired by Murray Cooke from Intel at the Network Builder’s Summit event that was titled ”Facing Down the Challenges of NFV Deployment” with panelists from Juniper, F5, Genband, and Wipro. Each member of the panel gave their perspective on where virtualization and NFV were in the adoption curve with telco customers today (further than you may think!) and what they saw as the challenges to overcome. Operators are deploying virtualization today where it makes economic sense, but have not yet realized the full benefits of NFV due to the delay in achieving full MANO functionality. Most of the vendors have already sold virtual products to their customers, and expect that to accelerate over the next 12 months.
However, the tide also seems to be turning towards operators wanting to receive one of the second big benefits of NFV – service agility. All of the panelists (and Murray) specifically mentioned that customers are now starting to talk about how they can launch new services faster, and deploy them in places where they could not previously. One of Procera’s early virtualization customers, Boingo Wireless, is a WiFi operator that can now deploy a Procera solution anywhere in the world that they want at a touch of a button. If they need to deploy additional capacity, they can simply add another VNF instance and they are set. This is how we expect to see networks built going forward. If you are interested in making your network dynamic with NFV, contact us and we will be happy to help!