5 Predictions for 2014
Sometimes wrong but never in doubt, here are my predictions for networking in 2014.
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
NFV will continue to be a point of focus with Communications Service Providers (CSPs). Its promises of reducing cost and enabling service innovation make it a compelling area for them. We will see a number of NFV deployments in CSP networks this year.
Carrier Class Orchestration
As a result of the focus on NFV, orchestration will continue to grow in importance. Carrier class orchestration includes expanding beyond the data center, accounting for variable cost of resources and a providing for a flexible operational workflow. All of these capabilities are needed to support the move of virtualization from the data center into the central office or customer site.
For more on this topic, please see “What Does Orchestration Mean for NFV?”
Software Defined Networking (SDN)
In contrast to the reality of NFV and orchestration, there has been an excessive amount of hype surrounding the rapid growth of SDN in the CSP space. While I believe that SDN will eventually expand beyond the data center, I don’t think that this will happen in 2014.
There has been some talk of the death of routing, with its function being replaced by layer 2 protocols and/or by SDN-type architectures. I don’t buy it. IP is the protocol of choice today, and IP routing is how IP networks are built. In fact, the availability of virtualized routers will lead to a renaissance. Routing will find its way into all sorts of new applications.
There will be at least two mega-mergers among CSPs.