SDN blogs: Distributed NFV; what is network virtualization?

SDN bloggers discuss distributed network functions virtualization, integration and automation, and what is real network virtualization?

Lessons from distributed NFV

The evolution of network functions virtualization (NFV) may surprise those looking to manage the technology down the road, writes CIMI 'Corp.'s Tom Nolle. On CIMI's public blog, Nolle explains why Service Assured Access communications solution company RAD's "distributed NFV" challenges the traditional picture of NFV. Details of RAD's approach to NFV won't be available until early October, but according to Nolle, they include the idea that virtualized functions should be hosted either on-premises or at least at the carrier edge, forcing the industry to take a broader look at how NFV can be architected.

As a result, NFV could do more than what was originally expected. Although this may not come as a surprise to its founders, those looking to implement and support NFV face some challenges. The management evolution of NFV is essentially going to be the most important, and challenging, element of NFV in the long term.

Check out more of Nolle's arguments for distributed NFV and how this will impact the management of NFV down the road.

IT integration isn't a 'one-off' event

IT integration isn't a one-time thing, and the real power of automation lies on the edges of silos coming together, writes Plexxi's Mike Bushong. But many look at integration as a one-shot deal, resulting in a long-time gap in IT that's gone unnoticed. Troubleshooting programs is a clear example of this, requiring there to be a better system put in place to combat against operational silos, Bushong writes.

A data services engine could be the answer to this problem. But in order for it to work, a central point of integration needs to exist. Having a central format and means of grooming data is a good starting point to fully automating and orchestrating workloads.

Read more of Bushong's post on integration, automation and working with a centralized data services engine.

What is real network virtualization?

On his ipSpace blog, Ivan Pepelnjak writes that it's harder than many think to virtualize the network. Pepelnjak breaks down what's really happening when one attempts storage virtualization, and he explains the problem with "tight coupling" when it comes to virtual networking. Cisco's Nexus 1000v comes close to "doing the real stuff," he writes, but the best example of true network virtualization can be seen in VMware's NSX.

View Pepelnjak's thoughts on why real network virtualization is hard to come by.

Is DIY network virtualization possible?

Although it may be difficult, it is possible to recreate VMware's NSX solution on your own by using tools like iptables, strongSwan, OpenVPN and Open vSwitch, writes Scott Lowe on his blog. Lowe reviews the key components of a network virtualization solution and then compares them with his DIY solution. He concludes there are a couple of key components that his version of network virtualization is missing, which could result in operational concerns, and he questions how feasible it would be to build your own network virtualization versus going with NSX.

Check out Lowe's post to see his comparison of VMware NSX with a DIY network virtualization solution.

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