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SDN + NFV = SDNFV

Jun 27, 2016

Dan Pitt discusses the convergence of SDN and NFV into SDNFV, and why you should be using it.  

SDN and NFV are converging physically and acronymically. No longer does the industry hold the view that one does not require the other; it is now clear that SDN and NFV should accompany each other. From this convergence comes the simplification of the terms into one – SDNFV. In my recent article for Light Reading, excerpted below, I cover exactly what SDNFV means and why the industry should be using it. To read the full piece, click here.

Industry perspectives on the relationship between network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) are evolving, and for the better.

NFV has long been championed by telcos as a way first to reduce capex by eliminating proprietary appliances, and more recently as the key to virtualizing much of their operations. SDN was described as orthogonal and complementary, but not essential for NFV; neither SDN nor NFV depended on the other.

Boy, that sounded good. But it was bogus.

SDN is now seen as an essential foundation for many virtualized network functions (VNFs), where SDN abstracts the infrastructure and provides interconnection, while NFV virtualizes what the network does. Our position has always been that any VNF that requires the network infrastructure to actually do something (such as directing packets, dropping malicious traffic, or accelerating certain application flows) needs SDN to convey those instructions to the infrastructure. Even within hypervisors, SDN has enabled service function chaining. Because SDN accompanies NFV almost everywhere it is deployed, these two approaches are converging. The greatest benefits can be achieved when both are deployed, and the industry is embracing this perspective.

In my complete article, I share some thoughts from my experience at Light Reading’s Big Communications Event (BCE) and go into further detail on the converged term SDNFV. You can read the article in its entirety on Light Reading.

– Dan Pitt, Executive Director