The future requires networks that are qualitatively more flexible, scalable, efficient and manageable. Network function virtualization and software defined networks are the way forward
The rate at which telecom networks are growing and changing is nothing short of fantastic. It’s always risky to embrace a new paradigm, but for network carriers and customers, the risks of waiting could be greater.
Network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined networks (SDN) represent a radical departure from the traditional way of building, managing and evolving telecom networks. It’s often described as a switch from proprietary boxes to commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. While there is a potentially significant cost-savings in making such a switch, cost-savings is not the main driving force. The ability to quickly implement new business models, to deliver applications on demand, and to automatically provision and tear down resources are what make NFV and SDN so potentially disruptive.
Not your father’s networks
The growth in telecom traffic over the last 25 years has been mind-boggling. Since introduction of the Mosaic web browser in 1993, Internet traffic has grown by a factor of 10 million. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, mobile data traffic has grown by a factor of 1,000.