10 SDN/NFV Trends You Should Follow Closely

1 - Everything as a service will dominate as software defined data-center initiatives mature.

More vendors and network equipment manufacturers are ensuring their products work via a standardized Open REST API framework. New NFV and SDN solutions will not even offer a GUI or CLI and must be provisioned via automation.

2 - Open Source initiatives will be mainstream.

With every major commercial product vendor having a free offering, Open Source can’t help but become mainstream. Just look at the examples from 2014 with news that Midokura and Microsoft have both taken their initially closed source solutions and released the source code. OpenStack has become the de-facto cloud management solution for many organizations with over 8,000 attendees at the Paris Summit. OpenDaylight and OpNFV are gaining steam and have some big backing. All these solutions have big company backing and lots of investment. Growth is accelerating and many commercial products are due to be released in 2015.

3 - Customers will go to hybrid private/public IaaS services for the entire software development lifecycle.

As competition increases and public cloud providers now offer feature parity with legacy private cloud services, customers are leveraging hybrid private/public IaaS services for the entire software development lifecycle including testing and production. This hybrid cloud adoption is accelerated by orchestration solutions that allow bursting of workloads to public IaaS cloud resources for less critical functions where security controls can be relaxed.

4 - Software as a Service cloud based DevOps tools such as Jenkins and Git will enable Network Testing to be included as part of a rich Continuous Integration Pipeline.

These cloud based services will work connect to in-house infrastructure where the most precious Intellectual Property (IP) is kept. Initially an easy choice for smaller companies and startups wanting to minimize their capital equipment investment, more established companies are choosing to buy these services instead of building their own.

5 - As predicted last year, most security appliance vendors now offer versions of their products in the app store of public cloud providers.

New for 2015 are the vendors making these products available for private cloud on the OpenStack platform and supporting multiple hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere ESXi, RedHat CentOS Debian Ubuntu KVM, or Citrix Xen. In order for this to take off, NFV vendors will need to ensure their VNFs support an automated provisioning standard such as CloudInit and there’s an ability to work for an initial setup or evaluation period without a license being applied.

6 - YANG/Netconf will become more mainstream.

Also as predicted, legacy infrastructure can be orchestrated with scripts and YANG/Netconf will become more mainstream in 2015 with organizations pushing for greater automation and orchestration of physical network appliances in their legacy data centers. This is the "Meat versus metal" discussion organizations are having when adopting the “Everything as a service” model.

7 - The new buzzword for 2015 is “context.”

We all understand that the software defined datacenter is dynamic and workloads are mobile, even between cloud providers. The new buzzword for 2015 is “context.” The automation capabilities are in place. The policy engines are up and running. Now what do we do? We need context aware apps with Meta data to self-provision the policy and automate the infrastructure profiles to be built out in the cloud.

8 - Expect resistance to the “putting all your eggs in one basket” and less of an appetite for that “one throat to choke” concept.

Customers seem to be disillusioned that any vendor or reseller can provide everything needed and are looking to diversify the investments. If anything these new Open SDN (OpenDaylight) and NFV (OPNFV) initiatives have given the enterprises and service providers, it’s the idea that they can use multiple suppliers and just the product of the day (firewall du jour anyone?) swapping out virtual services based on continuous security testing results, cost, and other criteria such as performance and ease of use.

9 - The push for leveraging commodity hardware is not just for compute and networking.

Storage as a Service will see strong growth as OpenStack implementations reach the limits of what their traditional solutions can provide. Expect to see innovation here from solutions with enhanced IO drivers, Integrated intelligent management plane, and distributed “run anywhere” capabilities. These solutions will be faster, scale larger, and cost less that existing options. There will be a lot of competition in the storage market with testing becoming more important to understand the pros and cons.

10 - Did we mention Open Source already?

That was more about software and services. 2015 will see the Open Compute hardware projects pick up steam and become more mainstream. Expect big things from OCP servers AND network equipment with Cumulus taking the lead to deliver commodity switches with enhanced features and support on par with the legacy vendors.

What are your thoughts on trends in the SDN/NFV space? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

comments powered by Disqus
× Spirent.com uses cookies to enhance and streamline your experience. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies.