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:
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 a large social media company, unfortunately - he wasn’t able to attend. 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 of Cyan’s 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.
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.
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 off 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…
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.
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 NFV — Telefonica, 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…
“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.
It’s Spring, yes, even in Chicago, and that means it’s the time of year when industry event organizers are trying to separate vendors from their marketing budgets. The only thing more popular at these events than giveaways, hotel bars, and SDN hype seems to be all the talk about orchestration.
Whether at events or at the customer site, I often get asked by customers for a definition of orchestration. It has come up so often, that I thought a blog might be in order.
To define orchestration clearly, it might help to take a step back and look at the evolution of carrier networking over the past 18 months to provide some context. As most know, there have been two transformative technologies that have come to the forefront of late in the network operator space—SDN and NFV…
Most agree that service providers and network operators around the world need to transform their operational models to drive faster growth, lower costs, and to offer services that meet end-customer requirements for dynamic network control.
But what are the cornerstones of this network transformation? Are they hardware-based or software-based? The answer, obviously, is both.
For example, packet-optical technology plays a critical role in simplifying and scaling network infrastructures by collapsing the layers of the network and delivering a clear alternative to expensive and complex router-based architectures. This simplification leads to an easier path for software-driven automation and control. SDN and NFV promise to deliver that automation and control, allowing network operators to transform their business models by providing a virtualized, programmable, and elastic network that adapts to the demands of business and applications. And the combination of these two technologies creates incredible leverage to modernize and transform legacy network infrastructures for the foreseeable future.
We know that Carrier Ethernet delivers both high-performance connectivity across the WAN and scalable, standardized, highly-reliabile services with QoS and service management. As a result, Carrier Ethernet is the service of choice for many applications including enterprise business connectivity, content distribution, video, wireless backhaul, financial services, and more. But, as the network transforms to meet the world of mega data centers and cloud services, a question comes to mind. Is Carrier Ethernet enough?
During last week’s MEF quarterly in Budapest, Hungary, I hosted a round-table on “Cloud Services and Carrier Ethernet.” Participants included service providers Colt, PCCW Global, Orange, Oteglobe, Tata, Verizon; members from the Cloud Ethernet Forum (CEF) members; as well as members from MEF’s Cloud Ethernet Focus Group and SDN Focus Group. This was a very interesting and open discussion. We focused on an enterprise to data center, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) application with Carrier Ethernet connectivity and bandwidth on-demand across the WAN. Here are a few highlights: