NFV adds value and flexibility while reducing physical space and costs for data centers.
Cloud adaptation and spending priorities continue to press enterprise data centers toward rethinking the viability of a traditional IT hardware-based model when compared to the burgeoning Network Function Virtualization (NFV) systems. Founded in 2012 by some of the world leading telecom networks, NFV can offer a number of key benefits for enterprise data centers.
The Rising Cost of Hardware-Reliant Data Centers
Enterprise data centers, like the telecoms had been doing, rely on a complex array of proprietary hardware with single function boxes that, by their very nature, are difficult to maintain and evolve. They require floor space, power, trained staff and more. The costs of new equipment, new training and software updates suddenly make choices difficult when it’s time to update or reconfigure to match pace with innovation.
The 2016 data center industry survey by the Uptime Institute notes that 50% of enterprise IT budgets have been either flat or shrinking over the last five years, and that 55% of enterprise server footprints have been either flat or shrinking as well.
“We find that deflation is likely to be severe in both the case of compute and storage with compute services deflation likely the worse of the two,” writes Tiernan Ray of Barron’s. “Those who survive or thrive will find ways to sell innovation….”
Data centers struggle with integrating legacy, proprietary, hardware-based networking components with modern methods like cloud computing, Big Data, mobility and IoT. Short lifecycles of equipment lead to costly upgrades or replacement as well as missed opportunities to innovate. And when the network reaches across several locations, the labor-intense activity of network upgrades can be crippling in both time, cost and lost opportunities.
At VIMRO, we noticed a significant increase in network hardware consolidation projects over the last several years. Our clients consistently look for ways to reduce their physical IT footprint by upgrading their systems and software to handle Network Function Virtualization and reduced equipment means less space, less power usage, and lower maintenance costs.
The Benefits of Network Function Virtualization
According to CISCO, NFV “will allow those leading-edge network teams with a multitude of branches to more easily provision, chain and scale branch network services.”
Migrating to NFV provides the following key benefits to data centers:
Flexibility: The shift from fixed network hardware to virtual machines allows new services to be installed more easily and employed more quickly, especially through all data center branches.
Cost: As budgets remain tight, equipment consolidation and utilizing the economies of scale, along with decreased power consumption, yield real dollar savings for capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operational expenditures (OPEX).
Scalability: With industry standard software and servers, capacity can be flexed to meet demand so that resources are not idle during times of low demand, and capacity for new services does not require the lead time and planning when rolling out new hardware.
Security: The biggest challenge of any system, operators can manage the network while customers can run their own firewalls within it.
Virtualization: Everything is available through a single device or group of adjacent devices that can reduce network control traffic by 70% . And it’s available from anywhere in the world.
Analysis: Software-based Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) can provide better, quicker analysis capabilities and make it easier to deploy, update and scale.
It remains clear that NFV adds value and flexibility while reducing physical space and costs for data centers.
Need help deciding on or implementing NFV solutions? Talk to the VIMRO experts for custom-tailored advice that’s best for your business.