Last week I presented in the webinar, “SDN and NFV: Lessons Learned Moving from the Lab to Commercial Service,” hosted by Infonetics and featuring Michael Howard, Senior Research Director for Carrier Networks, and my peers at Accedian Networks and Nakina Systems in a roundtable discussion. It was an opportunity to go beyond the stylized diagrams of SDN and NFV to discuss some of the real-world challenges in moving from the lab to real-world scale and commercial deployments.
As mobile operators seek to deploy software-centric networks, they undeniably need virtualized technologies such as SDN and NFV. SDN offers advantages such as flexible control of the network to deliver OpEx savings, while NFV offers the ability to pool resources and simplify the network infrastructure for both CapEx and OpEx gains.
During the webinar, we all agreed one thing is abundantly clear: no one can solve this on their own. The challenge is choosing the right deployment model without sacrificing performance. I pointed out that as the complexity of network functionality and use cases increases, flow performance suffers. Hence, even with the industry’s high-level objective to move a majority of today’s network functions into virtualized software modules orchestrated in an NFV infrastructure, you still need high performance hardware to classify the millions of data flows coming into the data center from the network core and then distribute these flows to thousands of Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs).
It is the combination of SDN-enabled intelligent networking systems such as Radisys’ FlowEngine, combined with racks of COTS servers running the VNFs, that delivers a strong architectural framework to achieve carrier-scale SDN and NFV deployments. Therefore, industry success will require a strong, dynamic ecosystem to be successful.
Software-centric networks are the way of the future and Radisys is dedicated to enabling mobile operators to scale their SDN/NFV environments with our FlowEngine technology.
I strongly encourage you to download the archived webinar and learn how to achieve the SDN promise of flexibility while maintaining carrier-grade performance.