Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Amitabh Sinha

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, SDN Journal, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

The Future of Network Appliances | @CloudExpo #Cloud #NFV #IoT #SDN

How to make Network Functions Virtualization work effectively so it will deliver on its promise

We live in a hyper-connected, mobility-enabled world, one in which carriers must make drastic changes to how they do business if they are to survive and thrive in the future. Accordingly, great strides have been made over the last three years to prove the viability of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). Many Proof of Concept (PoC) trials have proven that workloads can be migrated to virtual environments running on standard hardware, and there are even examples of carrier deployments using NFV.

The next step is to determine how to make NFV work effectively so it will deliver on its promise. The issue is no longer whether a service can be deployed using NFV, but whether we can manage and secure that service in an NFV environment. In other words, the challenge now is to operationalize NFV. How can we ensure that NFV is ready for this challenge?

Network appliances are needed to manage and secure services - specifically, appliances that can monitor and analyze network behavior. A recent survey by Heavy Reading on behalf of Napatech called "The Future of Network Appliances" provides insight into how network appliances are being used today, progress on migrating network appliances to virtual environments and insight into the challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the success of this migration.

The survey found that 47 percent of respondents considered network appliances for network management and security to be essential, while a further 39 percent considered them valuable, reflecting a broad appreciation for the operational value of appliances. Survey responses also show that network management and security appliances are broadly deployed, especially for applications like network and application performance monitoring, test and measurement as well as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and data loss prevention.

Despite these findings, the survey also revealed that progress is being made in migrating network appliances to virtual environments, especially for the most widely deployed applications. Seventy-three percent of carriers indicated that they intend to deploy virtualized appliances over the next two years. Network equipment vendors are responding, with 71 percent indicating that they intend to deliver virtualized appliances in the same time frame.

Challenges remain with regard to delivering and deploying virtualized appliances. The top three challenges that respondents chose were interworking with other vendor solutions (81 percent concerned or extremely concerned), security (79 percent) and throughput (80 percent).

A surprising finding most likely almost presents the greatest challenge: the extensive deployment of 100G network data rates in not just the core but also the metro and, most surprisingly of all, the access network. Survey respondents were asked to indicate the most common planned data rate for the core, metro and access networks in 2018. The responses showed that 75 percent of respondents planned for 100G as their most common data rate in the core and 71 percent planned to use 100G in the metro, while 58 percent planned to use 100G in the access network.

These plans are ambitious and necessary, but they offer the greatest challenge when it comes to virtualizing network appliances over the next three years. The first 100G physical network appliances are just now being introduced to the market. They are based on standard servers, as the majority of physical network appliances are today. However, they rely on high-performance network interface cards capable of providing the throughput required at these data rates.

Even at data rates of "only" 10G, standard Network Interface Cards (NICs) cannot provide the performance required for these kinds of applications. Recent benchmark testing of NFV solutions, which are based on standard NICs, have shown that there are serious performance challenges in using these kinds of products for high-speed applications even when using Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) acceleration. Solutions based on bypassing hypervisors, such as Single-Root Input/Output Virtualization (SR-IOV), provide some relief, but come at the expense of virtual function mobility and flexibility.

In order for virtualized networks to operate successfully, effective network management and security solutions must be in place. These solutions will need to work at rates of 100G by 2018. This will require ingenuity, hard work and alternative NIC solutions in NFV deployments. Network management and security virtualized applications come up against the same performance issues as other virtual appliances at high data rates.

Network administrators have overcome this barrier in the physical data center; it remains now to apply these solutions to the virtualized environment to create operational NFV at high data rates.

More Stories By Daniel Joseph Barry

Daniel Joseph Barry is VP Positioning and Chief Evangelist at Napatech and has over 20 years experience in the IT and Telecom industry. Prior to joining Napatech in 2009, he was Marketing Director at TPACK, a leading supplier of transport chip solutions to the Telecom sector.

From 2001 to 2005, he was Director of Sales and Business Development at optical component vendor NKT Integration (now Ignis Photonyx) following various positions in product development, business development and product management at Ericsson. He joined Ericsson in 1995 from a position in the R&D department of Jutland Telecom (now TDC). He has an MBA and a BSc degree in Electronic Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.