Virtualization Featured Article

This Could Be the Year for SDN and NFV Rollouts

January 07, 2016

Lots has been written about software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV), but are we beyond the talk stage?

The reality is that for all the stories written about SDN and NFV, and all the trials, much of the adoption of these two technologies has yet to occur. But at least according to Moor Insights & Strategy, 2016 could be the year.

“While the market is headed in that direction, it is taking a little longer than most had expected—but it is still happening,” noted the company in an industry prediction piece last week.

This year SDN will start to see some real action in pockets that revolve around emerging workloads such as Big Data, private cloud and the Internet of Things, according to the blog post.

What’s moving faster is traction around NFV.

That’s because NFV is being pushed by carriers and they are the primary customers for NFV. For that reason, acceptance of the technology is ahead of SDN, and deployments are starting to happen.

As Moor Insights & Strategy noted, the proof of concepts are mostly being driven by actual customer environments. This means that once these proof of concepts have shown their strength, it is a short distance from concept to commitment; carriers that are testing NFV successfully will be eager to roll out the solutions and know how to put NFV into play right away.

Of course, NFV will cause less of a dramatic change in network architectures than SDN, but partially for that reason it might win out in the race to actual deployment; expect to see NFV go from the testing stage to rollout in 2016, while SDN rollout still is more limited.

Even with the comparatively slow rollout of SDN and NFV, this does not diminish its transformational potential. We just have to be patient as all the talk starts to translate into actual implementations.

For that, 2016 should be a good year.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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