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CenturyLink 2016 Predictions: Network Virtualization Gets Operational Support, In Demand and Strategic

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by James Feger, VP Infrastructure Support, CenturyLink

2016: Network Virtualization Gets Operational Support, In Demand and Strategic

Riding on the strengths of server virtualization and a strong cloud ecosystem, network virtualization is moving fast. In just a few short years, network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) have gone from hype to POCs to live deployments. In 2016, expect even faster progress.

1.  Operational support and enablement will advance.

As we continue to virtualize network assets and provision more virtual services such as firewalls and routers, network operations centers must have the right tools to support and manage these new environments. You can't just send a data center technician out in the field or use traditional, fixed management probes to gauge service levels. You need visibility into the entire virtual network environment, coupled with automated intelligence. In 2016, we'll start to see advanced management tools to monitor and maintain customers' operational performance and security expectations.

2.  Client demand for NFV/SDN will rise as more mature products and services fill the ecosystem.

Even though carriers' customers now understand the value of NFV and SDN, there hasn't been an extremely compelling story. In 2016, as more mature products and services hit the market, that will change and more enterprises will leverage network virtualization to boost infrastructure agility. A business will be able to spin up a new service-such as a VPN or SD-WAN-within minutes and pay for it on a per-use basis.

3.  ‘Virtualization First' will become the major carriers' business strategy.

In 2016, expect the major carriers to shift from controlled network virtualization development to ‘Virtualization First' in all new technology and product development and delivery. Despite what some might see as hesitation in moving from hardware to software-based networks, the major carriers joined forces early on to develop standards that will allow their telecom equipment to run on commercial servers and to define industry-standard NFV specifications.

The carriers are very active, building and deploying virtual gateways, virtual CPEs, virtual routers and more.

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Published Monday, December 28, 2015 9:47 AM by David Marshall
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