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BTI Systems 2014 Predictions - Virtualization to Transform Network Infrastructures in 2014/2015

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Eve Griliches, Director of Solutions Marketing, BTI Systems

Virtualization to Transform Network Infrastructures in 2014/2015

The growth of data centers globally continues to be fueled by the explosion in cloud traffic, which is anticipated to increase fourfold between 2012 and 2017, reaching 7.7 zettabytes by 2017 (Cisco Global Cloud Index). And in 2017 nearly two-thirds of all workloads will be processed in the cloud and nearly two-thirds of all data center traffic will be cloud-based. But perhaps the most interesting statistic is that 80 percent of cloud traffic is staying within the metro/regional areas, causing content providers to build up to six or more data centers in each locale. When you multiply that by the number of metropolitan areas around the world, it is no surprise that the cloud now presents a significant capacity planning and traffic engineering challenge, particularly due to fluctuating workloads and the dynamic traffic growth between data centers.

Network Infrastructures Have to Change or Providers Will Be Left Behind

Legacy network infrastructures were not designed to handle anything close to these levels of cloud traffic. They are too rigid and too expensive. Change is imperative and the adoption of new open standards of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are helping to drive the creation of new infrastructures. The changes that must be invoked include using distributed network models when it makes sense, and centralized network models for simple operations and long tail functions. The urgency to make infrastructure changes is fueled by the escalation of network issues with services velocity and the overall decline of revenues for service providers. Legacy networks take up to 24 months to deliver a new service to market, which is way too long to meet consumer and business demands of instant access and ‘click to order' content.

Virtualization is a Big Step

As we all know, hardware lifecycles are short and product development cycles are relatively longer. In order to enable next generation networks, software must be ‘untethered' from hardware to enable new technology innovations to be applied and quickly tested. SDN and NFV serve as inflection points in driving this separation and will enable more elastic network layers that will provide the key to deploying new applications and services. NFV and policy-centric application integration - leveraged with simplified network layers - will enable operators to host virtualized network functions at various points in the network with the ability to unify them to facilitate innovative revenue-generating services in a cost-optimized way. This service agility is important in connecting data centers in metro and regional deployments, because it is providing end-to-end optimization, monetization and simplification of the growing metro/regional networks.

SDN and NFV Drive an Open Networking Environment

SDN and NFV are in Proof-of-Concept now and we see simple meaningful trials unfolding in 2014. Open networking platforms, with intelligence, and applications enablement, are already creating a new model of simplification, virtualization and monetization, providing cloud to colocation host, hosting provider to customer and customer to customer interactions.

SDN and NFV bring automation and centralization to certain network infrastructures. Industry influencers believe this will be a very gradual process. But it depends on the market. Companies such as Amazon and Facebook are investing heavily in Internet infrastructures to reduce costs, improve performance and ensure capacity to support low latency customer demands for online video, photos, games and other OTT applications. The vendors who respond with intelligent, virtualized network infrastructure solutions that will transform the network to an open platform are the ones who will help providers move quickly to improve operational costs and performance while increasing the opportunities for monetization and optimal utilization of network resources.

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Published Monday, December 30, 2013 1:01 PM by David Marshall
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