SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Mat Mathews, Newswire, David Smith, Tim Crawford, Kevin Benedict

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Research and Markets: A Step Forward for Operations in Virtual Networks

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "A Step Forward for Operations in Virtual Networks" report to their offering.

This report will show that there is no excuse for waiting on network infrastructure evolution before deploying O&M solutions that can support the new network and the business, when they are ready.

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) were hot topics at Mobile World Congress in 2013. Consider that a mere dress rehearsal. While attendees at the 2014 event later this month might not see these emerging architectures overtly hyped in the conference program, rest assured that NFV and SDN will be part of many speeches, sessions and sales meetings. The elevated buzz will quickly spread to the rest of the industry as attendees return home. How could these topics not be part of sessions like: "Mobile Operator Strategies," "Creating the Next Access Networks," or "Optimizing User Experience with Intelligent Network Assets?" No doubt, by the close of the telecom industry's largest annual event, nobody will be asking, "What is NFV?" Networking professionals will be asking lots of questions, but they will be moving beyond definitional questions to more practical ones about where to start and how. They will be asking about the risks, about the maturity of available technology and about standards. They will be looking around for examples of NFV in action, and for signs of carrier-grade SDN. At this stage, they will be hard pressed to find them. But there are signs. Communications service providers (CSPs) and their suppliers of network and software infrastructure solutions are progressing through the early stages of planning and development of virtual networks together.

Together, they are also working their ways through various proof-of-concept trials, driven both independently and as part of sponsoring organizations such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the OpenDaylight Project, the Open Networking Foundation, the Open Data Center Alliance and others.

Product roadmaps are being defined. Implementation options are being discussed. Published here and there, are snippets of news about real-world deployments. These are early-stage deployments to be sure, which may not resemble the fully-realized NFV and SDN deployments, but such is the nature of new technology implementation. What the industry needs to be on the lookout for are those meaningful, early-stage initiatives that call to mind astronaut Neil Armstrong's reference to one small step and what it means for the future of networking.

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