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The Emerging Network Functions Virtualization Opportunity


Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is one of the hottest trends in the networking industry. NVF has the potential to fundamentally change the way service providers (and ultimately enterprises) build out and operate their networks. Industry analysts forecast the annual market for NFV solutions to reach several billion dollars by 2018.

So what exactly is NFV, how is it related to Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and what are the implications for network equipment vendors?

What is NFV?

NFV was originally conceived by a consortium of communications service providers to reduce their dependency on proprietary networking hardware. NFV lets service providers avoid special-purpose network devices (firewalls, session border controllers, WAN optimizers, etc.) by implementing network functions in software on virtualized industry-standard servers. By consolidating a variety of networking functions onto common hardware, providers can contain CAPEX and OPEX, accelerate time-to-market, and improve service agility.

How is NFV related to SDN?

NFV is complementary to SDN. Both are critical for enabling on-demand applications and elastic services. SDN improves automation by decoupling the network’s forwarding plane (the networking infrastructure) and control plane (the control logic) and by providing abstract, network-wide programming interfaces.

NFV optimizes the networking infrastructure itself by decoupling the networking functions from the underlying hardware. NFV brings all the benefits of virtualization to networking, helping service providers eliminate cost and complexity, while enabling highly scalable and flexible services.

What is the implication for network equipment vendors?

The era of high-margin proprietary networking hardware is coming to a close. Going forward, many communications service providers will specify NFV-based elements for new network designs. Some communications service providers may upgrade existing infrastructure to support NFV or choose NFV-based elements for network expansions. Cloud providers and data center operators will also make heavy use of NFV solutions. Network equipment vendors will need to introduce software-based solutions to remain competitive in the new virtualized world.

Accelerate the move to NFV with HP

Whether you are an upstart NFV player or a traditional networking equipment vendor making the move to a more software-oriented approach HP can help you jumpstart your success. From industry-standard servers that support higher core counts and greater VM densities, to software-based SDN controllers, SDN-ready switches, and software-defined storage systems HP has the technology platforms you need for your next-generation NFV solutions.

Learn more

To learn how HP can help you accelerate your NFV success visit




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