Tag

SDN

Hype Machine: NFV/SDN Versus Automation – Are They The Same Thing?

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Before I waste any time let me go ahead and answer the question in the title with a resounding NO…now let’s get into why that is the case. A recent Light Reading article on the “cost of automation” says, “…automation is the end game for virtualizing network infrastructure and services using NFV and SDN.” While the article doesn’t outright say it, it pretty strongly implies that the way to automate your network is to virtualize it. The problem with this mindset is that virtualization in and of itself does nothing…absolutely…

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Ops Automation: A New Year, Same Old Challenges…With New Answers

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As we move into a new year some things have become very clear. Some of these are things we have known for a while, some are revelations from working with clients, and some are things we SHOULD have known all along. There are many efforts going on within service providers and enterprises alike at the moment. There is the work to maintain legacy operations and service offerings under the weight of declining, or at best stable, revenue with a constant, and sometimes increasing, cost of maintenance. There is the effort…

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Quantum NFV: The Future Is Closer Than You May Think

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I am constantly thinking about just how network functions are going to become virtualized effectively enough to impact carrier transport networks, where you see the need for very large bandwidth circuits. The current state of virtualized network functions (VNF) is such that you wouldn’t even consider going down this path due to the limitations that exist today. The coming containerization of VNFs is not going to fix this issue either. What might fix it? Well, believe it or not, quantum computing. Before we decide I have gone off the deep…

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That Overhyped Thing Called SDN…

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So what is up with SDN, and is it living up to the hype? Is the hype even still there like it used to be? I think the answer to these is that it is still out there. People are still working on it. And, kind of. Using the Gartner Hype Cycle on Emerging Technologies we can see that SDN has pretty much topped the peak of inflated expectations and is headed into an area where things either persevere and survive or fall by the wayside. As we enter this phase…

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Operational Challenges Abound, and Not Always Tech Related

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This is a topic I have written on a while back, but it is so important it seemed to deserve a revisit, with a slightly different view than I approached it from before. In the last few weeks we have been discussing with a client this very issue. This client is nearing the launch of a production trial of their NFV environment with a small group of friendly customers. We have worked with them on processes, the issues they can expect to see, and what they should do if/when each of…

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NFV Induced Operational Complexity and the Absent VNF Supplier Support Myth

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An article on SDxCentral.com yesterday points out a few major issues facing Service Providers when it comes to NFV and the operational complexities involved. It focuses most attention on the maintenance of VNFs and how the software model will be very different than the traditional, hardware-based model Service Providers are used to. I have to take exception with comments about VNF support from vendors in the following excerpt from the article: “Often, when service providers ask incumbent suppliers for VNFs, suppliers merely produce virtualized versions of existing boxes, writes Aloke Tusnial, VP…

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Are You Abusing The Term “SDN”?

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I had an interesting conversation today after a client meeting with a vendor they are using. I was being introduced to one of the newer members of the vendor team that I had never met and was asked the following question while describing the work Itential does: “So, when Itential says SDN what do you mean?” At first I was taken aback because this is a vendor that is a pretty major player in the SDN space, and my initial reaction was to think he didn’t understand what SDN was….

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The Current State of NFV: Introduction

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We are going to be posting a series of blogs over the next few weeks to cover where we see the NFV landscape right now, the issues we see still outstanding, an assessment of the maturity of various layers to the NFV reference architecture (considering both the ETSI NFV and AT&T ECOMP frameworks), and where we see things moving in the future. Itential has spent the last 2 years or so working with clients in a hands-on capacity trialing various tools and solutions for SDN and NFV. We have at a…

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Is Culture > Technology?

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One of the interesting points presented in the keynotes, and a theme through many other sessions, at the OpenStack Summit a few weeks ago in Austin was the idea that culture trumps technology many times when it comes to seeing real improvement and innovation. This is true in any domain, but can be especially true in the areas we operate in day to day. There is this laser focus on the technology, the next release, the next hot feature, the next open source project you can add to your lab, etc. We…

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Why is young talent not flocking to the SDN/NFV world?

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Many of us can agree that the networking world as we know it is changing.  The adoption of programmable networks is not a discussion of “if” it will happen but “when”.  It has been our experience that technology shifts of this magnitude occur about once a decade.  Skill-sets and technology can very quickly become obsolete as the demand for new solutions scale rapidly.   As a result, we experience a very significant resource gap that favors job applicants with relevant experience.  In the 90’s when we went through the shift…

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