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Open Source and Partner Ecosystems Can Improve NFV

December 02, 2015

An industry blog post printed the first of this December notes that major corporations are beginning to turn to open source network functions virtualization (NFV) to gain a competitive edge over their counterparts. It points to notable industry heavyweights and makes the observation that open software allows corporations to better access and share data among their various branches.

The post comes from VanillaPlus, written Sanjay Bhatia, the vice-president of solutions marketing at GENBAND. It begins by providing a quick list of some of the major NFV software now on the market. Enterprises have OpenNFV, OPNFV, OpenFlow, Open vSwitch, ONOS, and many others to choose from. All those programs mean to allow IT admins easy access to the functions of their software; they also provide methods of organizing how disparate programs interact with one another.

This method of providing network control, Bhatia continues, also extends to the software itself and the cooperative nature of how software providers are offering their products. Instead of trying to create software that acts as a panacea, software creators – especially those focused on NFV – have taken to joining partner ecosystems. These groups of software providers and NFV infrastructure developers can deliver a host of applications from a single location and become the panacea that individual software developers may once had hoped to achieve.

Image via Pixabay

What this means for software developers is that there is, and must be, cooperation across the board. Instead of operating in their own silos, they can rely on cooperation from other not-dissimilar vendors. As fair play, they then must also be willing to offer their assistance to program partners.

Operators and enterprises can then attach themselves to all the products that emanate from these partner ecosystems. They can grab the software they need to function, organize it through a software-based networking environment, and expect everything to work well together. Gone are the days of trying to piece together disparate software from dozens of vendors that never speak to one another.

What needs to come next with these partner groups is improved security. With multiple applications expecting to work well among the group, network controllers need to be able to handle their calls for file organization, data encryption, and other security concerns. The various network management applications mentioned above can provide network functions that handle file storage, bandwidth, cloud creation, and workload processing, among many other duties. However, all this still must endure some growing pains before it becomes mature enough for reliable, widespread use among global enterprises.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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