The New IP readers are not exactly specific when voting in our highly scientific polls, it turns out. For example, in our most recent poll, "Virtualization Impact," we asked the question, "Where will virtualization impact the network first?" Most respondents seemed to say that virtualization would happen everywhere first when they voted for "all of the above."
We aren't even sure that's possible, but interestingly enough it does show the disparity of views in the industry when it comes to the New IP technology mainstays, network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Either everyone wants their specific space to be first -- or confusion is reigning supreme. We here at the New IP suspect it is the latter.
So let's break the poll results down. Coming in first with 25% of the vote was "all of the above," as I mentioned previously, but what does that "all of the above" include? Well, it includes the network edge, customer premises, mobile evolved packet core (EPC) and supporting the cloud. (See Virtualization Impact.)
Coming in second on the poll were "mobile EPC" and "to support the cloud" tied with 14% of the vote. These two areas are likely candidates of early adoption areas, for sure, with NTT already making noise in the NFV for the cloud thanks to its acquisition of Virtela. (See NTT Launches NFV-Based Cloud Services.)
For mobile EPC, the demand for virtualized mobile core is real, according to Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown, who wrote last year that there would be a long period of development of virtual EPC, for reasons of technical maturity and operator investment cycles. "In practice this means adoption will be piecemeal and initially focused on less-critical, smaller-scale use cases," he said. (See The Rise of Virtual EPC.)
Third place in the poll went to "the network edge," which definitely is a likely candidate. In fact, according to AT&T's Andre Fuetsch, the service provider will virtualize its connected car applications first. "We're starting with our Connected Car applications and our MVNO services this year. We're also virtualizing components of our enterprise and consumer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) architecture, including Voice over LTE (VoLTE), so it all runs on one network," he told the New IP last week. (See AT&T Details Software Shift.)
Last place in the poll went to the customer premises equipment (CPE) with only 8% of the vote. This could be wrong because it seems that Cox Communications has quiet but big plans for virtual CPE. In fact, Light Reading's Editor-at-Large Carol Wilson reported from Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Technologies and Strategies event in Denver last week: "Through an ambitious proof-of-concept known as Athena, Cox Communications is intending to move the complexity of in-home networks into the cloud, to make things easier for its customers and tech support staff and better for its own bottom line." (See Cox's Athena to Virtualize Home Network.)
Wherever virtualization impacts the network first, one thing is certain: it will have a huge impact on the carrier software-defined networking (SDN) and NFV market, according to Infonetics Research, now part of IHS Inc., which predicted the carrier market will reach $11 billion by 2018. (See below for an eye-popping bar chart the likes of which the industry hasn't seen for a while.)
Infonetic's SDN and NFV Market Forecast
How 'bout them virtual apples?
After you've digested those numbers, hop back over to the New IP home page where I'm asking readers what they think of the "white box" future predicted by Cisco's John Chambers in his Light Reading interview with Steve Saunders
. Check it out and vote. (See A White Box Future
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, The New IP