Network functions virtualization and software-defined networking are set to boom over the next three years, according to the latest research from Infonetics Research, which reported that it expects global carrier SDN and NFV hardware and software to grow from less than $500 million in 2013 to over $11 billion in 2018.
Indeed, NFV and SDN have been the hottest topics on The New IP over the last two months in addition to the trending issues of cyber security, the Internet of Things (IoT), enterprise cloud and industry collaboration.
To look back over the first two months of the site, I've pulled together The New IP Top 5 coupled with eye-opening quotes to give you a pulse on the industry and some insight into what we can expect as we head into 2015.
#5 Cyber Security
"There is a whole new line of deny, disrupt, destroy type of attacks. A lot of these fit into the hacktivist and ideology type of a bucket but, in that world again, we are talking about deny, disrupt, destroy and not the conventional data breach, so to speak. The targets of those attacks could be, on the one hand, a very obvious website and the network denial of service, and on the other hand they could go after devices [such as] telephone systems. But in particular where we are really seeing those go in an alarming fashion is around industrial control systems and critical systems that underlie the nations' critical infrastructure." -- Byran Sartin, Director, Risk Team, Verizon. (See It's a Tough Job Securing the IoT and Verizon's IoT Security Reality Check.)
#4 Internet of Things
"When you look at the adoption rates for machine-to-machine deployments, they're still relatively small and tend to be consolidated within a group of early adopters. But there is another group that wants to participate in the ability to generate new revenue streams and offer more consistent service levels to their customers but they can't get beyond the complexity. If you study this market, it's a little bit overwhelming when you realize how many pieces are required to come together, and how many companies the client has to work with to deliver a simple solution. A partner ecosystem is absolutely essential to solving these problems." -- Mark Bartolomeo, VP for Internet of Things, Connected Solutions, Verizon Communications Inc. (See Verizon Connects IoT Dots to Dollars.)
"Perhaps not immediately, but in the coming years, a combination of Web Scale IT, Hybrid Cloud, Personal Cloud, Mobile Enterprise and the Internet of Things have the potential to bring significant changes for the working environment. For example, the architectural approach Web Scale IT is particularly gaining ground. Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of global enterprises, up from less than 10% in 2013, will be using the model popularized by web giants such as Facebook, Google and eBay. That said, companies are still going to demand managed hosting, private cloud and collocation for a long time to come. I would therefore say that for enterprises active in the cloud, it is important to recognize how cloud technology will evolve in the coming years whilst ensuring existing infrastructure is optimized."-- Tom Homer, head of EMEA and the Americas Enterprise, Telstra Corp. Ltd. (See Telstra's Enterprising Vision.)
#2 Standards Groups
"First, there needs to be a clearer understanding of which groups are actually 'standards' groups... ETSI NFG is not a standards group. It's really a talking shop to try and get some terminology markers in the ground. They have never said they are going to standardize anything." -- Heavy Reading's senior analyst, Caroline Chappell.
In addition, Chappell advocates changing the traditional standardization process and a shift to "agile alignment" instead of standardization to avoid getting "bogged down in the detail of standardization." Ultimately, the industry needs to recognize that innovation is "really hard to deal with but it's a good thing," she says. "As a service provider you can't avoid being actively innovating, otherwise you are going to be at the mercy of me-too technology and not differentiate." (See Poll: The NFV/Open Source Group Bandwagon.)
"Most of the operators have some level of engagement in various other industry bodies, depending on their business interests," says Steven Wright, AT&T Services. "Typically, that is different personnel involved in different committees -- you may have your management experts at TMF and your wireless experts at 3GPP. But in the case of NFV, this sort of transformation to horizontal layering means that it is not a matter of getting virtualization experts to learn about management and wireless guys, it's getting the management and wireless guys to understand how virtualization impacts them. And then scale that out so we end up with compatible solutions across all the different field of applications where we need virtualization to apply." (See Poll: The NFV/Open Source Group Bandwagon.)
These top five are just a snapshot of industry trends. What do you think looks poised for a boom year in 2015?
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, The New IP