This is a guest post by Don Bowman, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Sandvine. Dell OEM and Sandvine are collaborating on a virtualized SDN architecture. We are pleased to share this advanced solution on our blog.
On Wednesday, September 18 at 10:00AM EDT Sandvine and Dell OEM Solutions will be participating together in a Light Reading webinar entitled “Reap the Rewards of a Subscriber-Centric SDN & NFV Approach”. So what is SDN and NFV, why talk about it now, and how can CSPs benefit from a Sandvine-Dell virtualized SDN model?
In the world of providing Internet connectivity, communications service providers (CSPs) are continually looking for cost-effective ways to meet the growing subscriber demand for bandwidth, and many are exploring the promise of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). These distinct, but related, technologies have the potential to dramatically lower capital expenses (CAPEX), operating expenses (OPEX) and time-to-market (TTM) by abstracting network infrastructure from the network control and application layers, and thereby enabling centralized auto-provisioning of network resources.
SDN abstraction allows a service provider to expand the bandwidth capacity and geographic reach of the network, flexibly and easily, across a multi-vendor network of devices, from a centralized management center. Subscribers will benefit by gaining a better experience as a result of rapid network adaptation to demand and the introduction of new services which previously might not have provided sufficient return to justify the investment.
NFV drives further economies of scale by proposing virtualization of network infrastructure elements, and their respective application functions, on commodity high-volume servers, eliminating the need for vendor-specific hardware (and all the associated costs that come with installing and maintaining this special-purpose equipment).
So how soon will NFV and SDN be commonplace in modern networks? Standards are still under development, but a number of leading edge CSPs around the world are currently working with Sandvine on virtualization pilot projects in order to help usher in the next generation of networking, and tackle the challenges that come with the introduction of any new architecture.
As part of these pilot projects, Sandvine and Dell OEM Solutions are collaborating on a SDN & NFV solution that combines Sandvine’s industry leading network policy control solution, and its flexibility to apply subscriber-centric services, with Dell’s high performance PowerEdge™ blade server platform. SDN allows effective utilization of network resources along a path, but it needs to work in concert with network policy control which enforces subscriber and application based actions at a point in the network, in order to implement network service chaining.
Why does the Sandvine-Dell OEM Solutions initiative result in an optimal solution? When Sandvine started in 2001, it made the decision to design and build exclusively on the Intel x86 processor architecture. In doing so, Sandvine has been able to spend over a decade optimizing our software solutions so that they are the best performing network policy control solution on the market, whether a CSP chooses to run it on our purpose built hardware, or Dell’s industry leading, high-performance hardware.
Additionally, our decision to run on x86 based infrastructure made it incredibly easy to virtualize our products. In fact, much of our current product development and testing is done in a virtualized environment. So, it is an easy transition to migrate Sandvine software and solutions onto Dell’s x86 based hardware platform.
But what advantage do CSPs gain from choosing Dell as the platform for their NFV initiatives? Not only does Dell offer some of the highest performing server hardware in the industry, perfectly suitable for flexible resource allocation, but also Dell’s presence in practically every IT data center allows CSPs to benefit from more efficient procurement and integrations services in order to reduce CAPEX and more efficient operations, maintenance, service and support capabilities to reduce OPEX.
We look forward to seeing you — virtually anyway — at our webinar.