Last week I spent a few days in sunny (and crowded) San Jose, California at the NFV World Forum. The theme this year was largely about open environments and interoperability, ushered on by the standardization efforts behind NFV, along with the related topics of carrier-grade service assurance and reliability. I was fortunate to speak about how Radware is actively investing in open environments as the architecture becomes common platforms for commercial implementations. Radware is implementing SDN and NFV in network security and application delivery domains to help service providers achieve radical cost reduction while benefitting from the advantages of cloud-based application services.
SDN is a key technology for a service provider security strategy. Security and SDN together are a perfect pairing for adding network level intelligence to security while slashing OPEX with SDN automation. Carriers can harness multi-level telemetry and OpenFlow in an SDN environment to create a multi-layer Cyber Defense Network. This Intelligent, learning network can defeat the nemesis of ever increasing application threats to their wireline and wireless networks. Using rich mediation layer software, the Cyber Defense Network can be provisioned, configured and managed seamlessly across Carrier networks. While fending off multi-vector security attacks, an SDN-based Cyber Defense Network can detect and mitigate in a way that scales without manual intervention.
Like SDN, NFV aims to reduce OPEX while offering increased flexibility, especially in the area of application delivery control. Carriers faced with skyrocketing network data consumption coupled with higher operating costs are looking for a long-term fix to their margin squeeze problem – namely, holistic solutions that help lower network total cost of ownership. A panacea may arrive sooner than later, with the industry largely adopting NFV leadership efforts to standardize on commercially off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.
COTS hardware with the capability of running advanced network functions software on it has the effect of reducing the “procure-design-integrate-deploy” repetitive cycle that most carriers face. Taking it a step further, network automation is a key enabler for operational simplification. Automation requires the integration of network functions with cloud/virtualization orchestration. Putting it all together, the potential gains of NFV include reduced OPEX and CAPEX, reduce power usage, greater flexibility in assigning Virtual Network Functions to hardware, and rapid service innovation.
Together, SDN and NFV are poised to change the business model for Carriers. These technologies yield a formidable business and technological blend, bringing forth a promise to create for Carriers the following overall benefits:
- More intelligent application delivery and security deployments
- Simpler implementations
- Lower solution costs
- Higher scalability
- Easier and abstracted operation
This translates to smarter networks and a smarter business. For more information on Radware solutions, come see us exhibit and speak at the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Vancouver in May.