7 Communications Technologies to Watch in 2015

NFV

SOURCE: www.eetimes.com

--2/11/2015 00:07 AM EST

--Olga Shapiro, Program Manager, Frost & Sullivan Test & Measurement Practice.

LTE & LTE-A, VoLTE & HetNets, 802.11ac, NFV, IoT, and 5G will all make significant forward strides in 2015, from development to deployment.

A buzzing topic in 2014, NFV (network functions virtualization) saw significant investments and is here to stay. NFV technology supports the virtualization of components, allowing a flexible network infrastructure that supports shifting of applications and services to the cloud. NFV is expected to bring efficiency to networks and business operations and will allow operators to effectively support subscriber demands.

Though virtualization has been around for about 50 years, interest in the technology was recently reinvigorated by enterprises looking for ways to deliver less expensive, more efficient IT services. Virtualization dynamically allocates physical server resources—processors and memory—among multiple applications and workloads. In a virtualized environment, applications are deployed as all-inclusive VMs (virtual machines) containing application codes, an operating system, and configurations. Because the operating and deployment logic reside with the application code (they aren't installed separately on the server), the VM can be moved and loaded onto any hypervisor-equipped server hardware through a management console—it's as easy as moving a file.

Businesses are implementing virtualization in their private data centers at four times the rate they are adopting cloud services, according to recent Frost & Sullivan analysis. The research also adds that, today, virtualization is widespread, and 65 percent of all businesses report that they have implemented server virtualization in their data centers. With adopters enthusiastically embracing virtualization, the market holds significant growth potential.

In addition, control plane elements—the policy server, charging entities, and subscriber database, or HSS (home subscriber server)—are being virtualized for elasticity in the IMS (Internet Protocol multimedia system) core. There is a need to prove the performance quality of a physical device as the industry is moving away from the physical to a virtual device running on off-the-shelf hardware.

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