SDN, NFV and Swivel-Chairs

SDN, NFV and Swivel-Chairs

Over the past 18 months, the NFV story has grown, and dramatically so. It was only back in January 2013 that I took the weather with me from Chicago to Sophia (South of France), where I participated in the inaugural ETSI NFV ISG meeting. Nearly 100 of us were stuck in our hotels in beautiful Sophia when the city ground to a halt because of unseasonably cold weather and snow. There’s some irony here. Parallels can be drawn to the situation operators face with vendor lock-in. Perhaps it was karma catching up with vendors.

Having recently attended Light Reading’s NFV and the Data Center show in Santa Clara, it is clear that in the time since that formative meeting, network operators have moved beyond the what and why of NFV and are in the midst of working through the when and how...

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What is "Open"?

What is

Last week I had the pleasure of being a panelist at Intel’s Network Builders event. The topic of the panel was “Building an ecosystem around open platforms for NFV”. But the discussion covered more than the ecosystem aspect and went further to analyze what it means to be open, why it is important for NFV and SDN, the role of standards and open-source solutions and what the industry should do to promote a multi-vendor and open ecosystem. Here are some of observations based on the discussions and audience questions…

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Top 10 Things to Look for in a Metro 100G Platform

Top 10 Things to Look for in a Metro 100G Platform

While 100G is already widely deployed in core networks, the enthusiastic adoption of cloud-based services, video streaming, and other on-demand applications is fueling the need for higher speed and higher capacity closer to end-users.  The good news is that advances in commercial off-the shelf (COTS) technology are continuing to drive down the cost per bit for transport, allowing service providers to begin migrating to 100G and 100GbE in their metro and regional networks. These strategic upgrades require careful planning to ensure that the metro solution deployed for transitioning to 100G will satisfy end-user demands, while also meeting the service provider’s cost-points today, as well as over the long term. The “Top 10 List” below also provides a guideline of important features and functions service providers should demand in a metro 100G platform. Are your metro hardware vendors following this path?

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The Future of Internet 2014: Defining Software Defined Networks

The Future of Internet 2014: Defining Software Defined Networks

Last Friday, I attended the Internet Society’s “The Future Of Internet 2014: Defining Software Defined Networks” event, which took place in Colorado. During the morning sessions, vendors shared product and technology visions and the afternoon sessions were focused on operator and end-user perspectives. My take? The organizers did a good job creating a lively atmosphere in which we could assess the realities of today’s SDN and NFV positioning/solutions and the needs of network operators. Many of the trends discussed were common and well understood themes; but there was clear consensus on the direction the industry needs to go. Here are some observations about the discussion:

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Changing of the Guard - An Observation from the Lightwave Summit

Changing of the Guard - An Observation from the Lightwave Summit

So I’m standing there against a wall, listening. The setting is the Renaissance in Austin, Texas at the Lightwave Optical Innovations Summit. The session was the keynote, which was originally supposed to be someone from Facebook, unfortunately - he was a no show. So instead, we are all listening to five industry analysts talk about the optical industry and ancillary issues that affect the market. 90% of this discussion was harmless coverage of things such as global markets, consolidation, use cases and more.

But then they started talking about SDN and NFV and it got a bit less—harmless. One of the things that I love about industry analysts is that they provide quick access and perspective from many different sources. Those sources include potential customers and many competitors. The result is that when you speak or listen to them, they often include anecdotes or speaking points based on either customer observations or vendor interactions - which is helpful in creating market messaging.

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Cyan Launches Planet Orchestrate: One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Network Operators

Cyan Launches Planet Orchestrate: One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Network Operators

OK, so maybe I’m guilty of major hyperbole with that title. It seems a bit much to compare the launch of an orchestration application with the technical achievements that launched mankind to the moon in the late 1960s. That said, we feel that the introduction of Planet Orchestrate is pretty significant. Here’s why.

The popularity of cloud computing-based services and applications, enabled by broadband connectivity has skyrocketed. Operators often perceive cloud-based services and particularly over the top (OTT) services as a threat to their businesses as they feel that they have invested significantly in network infrastructure, but have been reduced to “dumb pipes” and not been able to capitalize on this infrastructure at the same level as the content providers.

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The Rise of NFV-Enabled Ethernet

The Rise of NFV-Enabled Ethernet

In the past, we’ve spent some time explaining what we believe is the first great use case for carrier SDN. Well, let’s continue that discussion with the first great use case for NFV. Driven by global customer interest and the multi-domain orchestration capability of Cyan’s Blue Planet, we’re proud to introduce the concept of NFV-enabled Ethernet. And we believe it’s critical to the future growth of service provider revenue streams on existing network services.

Let us explain.

Common of the shelf (COTS) servers are comprised of commodity CPUs that have become ubiquitous. Not only are they deployed in mega-scale data centers but also in many PoPs and COs, as operators convert hundreds or thousands of such premises to generic telco data centers…

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Last Week’s SDN and OpenFlow APAC Congress

Last Week’s SDN and OpenFlow APAC Congress

SDN has come a long way in a very short time. 

Michael Howard, founder and principal analyst at Infonetics revealed some very interesting information gathered from his latest research on SDN drawn from carriers representing more than 50% of worldwide carrier CapEx.  97% of those are planning to deploy SDN – SDN is a forgone conclusion.  The overwhelming majority of those pursuing SDN are doing so as a way to generate new revenue.  This was confirmed at the conference as we are seeing SDN beginning to happen in APAC.  Here are some highlights.

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APIs, Awards, and Collaborations

APIs, Awards, and Collaborations

It has been a busy couple of weeks for us over here at Cyan. Besides attending the Network Virtualization and SDN World Conference in London last week, we have made a number of important announcements and won another industry award. Since this is all happening at a fast and furious clip, we thought we’d sum up the last 30 days activities in a in a short blog.

1. Deterministic NFVTelefonica, Cyan and Red Hat announced a collaboration focused on the development of a deterministic NFV architecture. What does that mean? Each VNF or virtual appliance has performance requirements to ensure that the application performs as designed. Unfortunately, when orchestrating across a virtualized infrastructure, it can be unclear as to what hardware resource is being used to instantiate a VNF…

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KVH's New SDN-enabled Ethernet Service: etherXEN

KVH's New SDN-enabled Ethernet Service: etherXEN

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” - Vince Lombardi

If you listen to the pundits and incumbent hardware vendors, they will tell you that SDN and it’s use in the network is years away, because “the network is too complex to virtualize or orchestrate.” KVH has proven otherwise.

Today, KVH launched etherXEN, a next-generation Ethernet services that is on-demand and dynamic, fast and scalable (from 1Mbps to 100Gbps), and cheaper - 30% less expensive than the competition. These are precisely the kind of highly scalable, on-demand services required by today’s dynamic cloud and data center applications.  So, by offering “more for less,” etherXEN put KVH in a position to differentiate and take market share.

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