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Entries in Network Functions Virtualisation (12)


What the cable operators are planning for NFV and SDN

Cable operators may be quieter than the telecom operators about network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) but what they are planning is no less ambitious.

Cable operators are working on adding wireless to their fixed access networks using NFV and SDN technologies.


Don Clarke“Cable operators are now every bit as informed about NFV and SDN as the telcos are, but they are not out there talking too much about it,” says Don Clarke, principal architect for network technologies at CableLabs, the R&D organisation serving the cable operators.

Clarke is well placed to comment. While at BT, he initiated the industry collaboration on NFV and edited the original white paper which introduced the NFV concept and outlined the operators’ vision for NFV. 

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ETSI embraces AI to address rising network complexity

The growing complexity of networks is forcing telecom operators and systems vendors to turn to machine intelligence for help. It has led the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, ETSI, to set up an industry specification group to define how artificial intelligence (AI) can be applied to networking.

 “With the advent of network functions virtualisation and software-defined networking, we can see the eventuality that network management is going to get very much more complicated,” says Ray Forbes, convenor of the ETSI Industry Specification Group, Experimental Network Intelligence (ISG-ENI).

Source: ETSI

The AI will not just help with network management, he says, but also with the introduction of services and the more efficient use of network resources.

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Verizon's move to become a digital service provider

Verizon’s next-generation network based on network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) is rapidly taking shape.

Working with Dell, Big Switch Networks and Red Hat, the US telco announced in April it had already brought online five data centres. Since then it has deployed more sites but is not saying how many.

Source: Verizon

“We are laying the foundation of the programmable infrastructure that will allow us to do all the automation, virtualisation and the software-defining we want to do on top of that,” says Chris Emmons, director, network infrastructure planning at Verizon.

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WDM and 100G: A Q&A with Infonetics' Andrew Schmitt

The WDM optical networking market grew 8 percent year-on-year, with spending on 100 Gigabit now accounting for a fifth of the WDM market. So claims the first quarter 2014 optical networking report from market research firm, Infonetics Research. Overall, the optical networking market declined 2 percent, due to the continuing decline of legacy SONET/SDH.

In a Q&A with Gazettabyte, Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research, talks about the report's findings.


Q: Overall WDM optical spending was up 8% year-on-year: Is that in line with expectations?

AS: It is roughly in line with the figures I use for trend growth but what is surprising is how there is no longer a fourth quarter capital expenditure flush in North America followed by a down year in the first quarter. This still happens in EMEA but spending in North America, particularly by the Tier-1 operators, is now less tied to calendar spending and more towards specific project timelines.

This has always been the case at the more competitive carriers. A good example of this was the big order Infinera got in Q1, 2014.

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NFV moves from the lab to the network 

Service providers have long covetted the efficiencies achieved by hyperscale data centre operators running applications on servers. The telecom operators want their networking functions to run on servers in the cloud, instead of having to buy - and maintain - custom boxes running proprietary software for each new service.  


Dor Skuler

In October 2012, several of the world's leading telecom operators published a document to spur industry action. Entitled Network Functions Virtualisation - Introductory White Paper, the document stressed the many benefits such a telecom transformation would bring: reduced equipment costs, power consumption savings, portable applications, and nimbleness instead of ordeal when a service is launched. 

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OFC 2014 industry reflections - Part 1

Gazettabyte is asking industry figures for their thoughts following the recent OFC 2014 exhibition and conference: the noteworthy developments and trends, what they learnt at the show, and the topics to track in the coming year.  

T.J. Xia, distinguished member of technical staff at Verizon

The CFP2 form factor pluggable - analogue coherent optics (CFP2-ACO) at 100 and 200 Gig will become the main choice for metro core networks in the near future. 

I learnt that the discrete multitone (DMT) modulation format seems the right choice for a low-cost, single-wavelength direct-detection 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)  interface for data ports, and a 4xDMT for 400GbE ports. 

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Ericsson and Ciena collaborate on IP-over-WDM and SDN

Do company partnerships work? Ericsson and Ciena certainly think so, and provide a compelling argument for their collaboration in the areas of IP-over-WDM and software-defined networking (SDN). More such partnerships should also be expected.


Jan Häglund

Ericsson and Ciena have signed a global strategic agreement that provides Ericsson with Ciena's optical networking technology, while Ciena benefits from Ericsson's broader service provider relationships.

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