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Testing of NFV Requires Industry to Mature
Denise Culver | Research Analyst
Network functions virtualization (NFV) promises many changes, especially shorter time to market and lower capex and opex.

Due to these promises, test vendors are scrambling to add NFV to their product portfolios.
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NFV Testing Provides Critical Step in Virtualizing Networks
Network functions virtualization (NFV) completely changes how networks are designed, built and managed. It pulls the functions necessary to run networks off of the current proprietary hardware and places it on open-based computer servers that can be deployed where they are needed most. Functions can be deployed and scaled on demand, greatly improving infrastructure utilization and significantly bending the network cost curve growth.

In a virtualized network environment, assurance solutions and processes must transition from traditional, reactive monitoring to proactive, real-time intelligence and analytics, tightly integrated with and coupled to the network and services, as well as orchestration and policy systems. Also, assurance solutions must span multiple services, including Ethernet/IP, video and mobile.

As the statistics suggest, M2M will likely experience rapid growth over the next several years, which makes this is a critical time for test vendors. Obviously, it's impossible for anyone to know for certain how much growth will take place or how many devices ultimately will be connected to the Internet.

While monitoring-system costs have been growing almost linearly with the growth in network traffic, tomorrow's solutions must break this growth curve by leveraging virtual agents for intelligent network probing, coupled with streamlined data collection and storage. As with all network technology transitions, the legacy technology does not disappear for some years and, therefore, assurance solutions and processes must deliver an approach supporting both virtualized and non-virtualized environments, enabling a transition from today's networks to future software-defined, orchestrated virtual networks.

NFV supports multi-versioning and multi-tenancy of network functions and allows use of a single physical platform for different applications, users and tenants. It also enables new ways to implement resilience, test and diagnostics, service assurance and security surveillance. Additionally, it facilitates innovation toward new network functions and services that are only practical in a pure software network environment.

Traffic and application visibility, performance management, mediation, correlation and real-time analytics are necessary and critical capabilities. These enable dynamic assurance and troubleshooting functions spanning both virtualized and non-virtualized networks, while providing a non-linear cost relationship between assurance solutions (delivering monitoring, analytics, testing and troubleshooting) and traffic levels.

NFV Testing Provides Critical Step in Virtualizing Networks examines the market for testing NFV, analyzing what types of NFV applications are being tested and looks at areas of growth expected in the market over the next two years. It discusses drivers and challenges in the industry and includes a comparative analysis of solutions available. Finally, this report examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that are likely to occur in the industry over the next 18-24 months.
Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (mni1214_toc.pdf)
As shown in the following excerpt, the strongest driver for testing of NFV is that it shortens time to market for new services. This can be accomplished in several ways, including by removing the siloed business models into which carriers are currently locked. Additionally, almost all service providers express concern that revenues are not keeping up with the increased demand for bandwidth and network capacity. While opex and capex savings from NFV are considered a given, the primary driver for NFV is the ability it provides operators to rapidly deploy new, revenue-generating services. Combining NFV with SDN, operators hope to offer customers these new services in an automated fashion on an as-needed basis and at a scale that is tailored to the customer's needs..
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: Aeroflex Inc.; Aricent; Cyan Inc. (NYSE: CYNI); EXFO Inc. (Nasdaq: EXFO); Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ); Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA); JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU); Procera Networks (Nasdaq: PKT); QualiSystems; Spirent Communications Plc (LON: SPT); Wind River Systems Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC).
Total pages: 24
OCTOBER 2014
Growth of M2M & IoT Networks Drives Need for Testing
This report examines M2M and IoT testing market, analyzing the testing most commonly used, as well as drivers expected in the market. It discusses industry challenges and includes a comparative analysis of solutions available. Finally, it examines the market's geographic landscape and details trends that may occur over the next 18-24 months.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
AUGUST 2014
Smartphones Create Exacting Testing Ground for Vendors
This report examines the smartphone testing market, analyzing how smartphones are being tested today, as well as drivers expected in the market over the next two years. It discusses challenges in the industry and includes a comparative analysis of solutions available.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
JUNE 2014
MNOs Hold the Keys to Success for Connected Cars
This report examines the connected car market, analyzing how mobile network operators are likely to become involved in the connected car arena, as well as areas of growth and key trends that are expected in this market over the next two years.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
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CONTRIBUTING ANALYST
Danny Dicks
Danny is an analyst and consultant with over 20 years' experience in technology markets who contributes regularly to Heavy Reading Insider.
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Danny Dicks
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ANALYST
Tim Kridel
Tim writes for both Mobile Networks Insider and Cable Industry Insider. He has previously covered the wireless and cable industries for a number of research firms, including Heavy Reading.
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Tim Kridel
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ANALYST
Tim Sanders
Tim, president of The Final Mile Inc., is a frequent author, analyst, and industry speaker.
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Tim Sanders
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