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Getting to Network Functions Virtualization faster

I recently returned from speaking on a panel at SDN World in Barcelona where I joined leading service providers in discussing the latest developments in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The clear message from this panel — and from the numerous customers I’ve visited around the world over the last few weeks – is we need to come together as an industry to truly deliver NFV.

Today’s best effort, one size fits all cloud, doesn’t meet the needs of service providers, who are looking for greater agility, efficiency and economics. NFV’s promises this, but operators cannot make this transition to virtualization alone. NFV deployment is a complex and challenging process and it requires collaboration, network experience and cloud know-how to build this new architecture. There are many smart and innovative vendors and operators making significant contributions to specific parts of NFV and by surrounding ourselves with like-minded partners we can make the journey to NFV faster.

To deliver the network benefits promised by NFV, application providers, platform providers, platform technology vendors and service providers need to work together. This will allow us to optimize platforms like CloudBand™ for the needs of apps performance, operational improvement and cost targets. It will allow applications providers to take full advantage of the many capabilities of an NFV platform, such as distribution optimization, automated data centers and life cycle management. And it will allow service providers to set the tone by pointing us all the right direction.

So today, Alcatel-Lucent is launching the CloudBand ™ Ecosystem Program, the first open community to encourage and facilitate the NFV exchange, exploration and collaboration between service providers, network solution vendors and solution partners that will empower the industry and drive NFV forward. Besides providing a central location that will fuel innovation through collaboration, we will provide community access the CloudBand NFV platform for onboarding applications, make available free tools, resources and use cases that will help accelerate change and create new business opportunities. By more closely partnering with service providers – we can make sure their needs are clear and met.

This is an exciting time for NFV, which will bring about a better kind of network and cloud for the industry. It requires building, changing and adapting to new ways of doing things. What we do together will have unprecedented impacts on the telecommunications industry and each of us has an important role to play in this NFV transformation. So, let’s collaborate!

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