At Intel, this is a story we understand well. We have a long history of leadership in efforts to move disruptive technologies across the chasm. That was the case with the integration of USB technology into computing systems, the move to Gigabit Ethernet networking, and the shift to multicore processors.
Today, Intel continues in this leadership role in its work to enable the move to software-defined infrastructure (SDI) with technologies like Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) and the Intel approach to telemetry. Intel VT makes virtualization practical by eliminating performance overheads and improving security, while Intel telemetry exposes infrastructure attributes through industry APIs to enable optimal provisioning and run-time management of services running on SDI.
In cases like these—whether it’s USB technology or SDI—the timeline from early adoption to mainstream adoption can be longer than some would desire it to be. While that’s natural, it leads to the inevitable rise of naysayers who argue that the transition is not going fast enough.
In the communications industry, we are now witnessing the same trends in the transition from fixed function proprietary network communications equipment to software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV). This time around the naysayers are questioning what might appear to be the slow adoption of SDN and NFV among communications service providers.
This is a fair concern. While network transformation has fast become part of the road map for equipment vendors, operators, and other suppliers in the industry, many see the transition from hardware- to software-based network functions as daunting and challenging. Service providers worry that NFV/SDN solutions are based on maturing technology with a handful of proven solution integrations, and limited reference architectures.
At Intel, we understand these concerns, and we are doing something about them. We are working with our ecosystem partners to advance the development of standards-based NFV and SDN solutions that service providers can deploy with confidence. That’s the idea behind the new Intel® Network Builders Fast Track program.
This outgrowth of the well-established Intel® Network Builders initiative is designed to accelerate the development of interoperable NFV solutions, encourage the adoption of standards-based technologies using Intel® architecture, and hasten the arrival of integrated, ready-to-deploy solutions for communication service providers CSPs.
Needless to say, I’m excited by the potential of the Intel Network Builders Fast Track. Through this program, Intel is investing in broad collaborations to accelerate optimizations of the solution stack, develop proven solution blueprints, and enable faster solution interoperability. I feel confident in saying these efforts will do exactly what the Fast Track program was designed to do—accelerate the widespread adoption of mature, commercially available SDN and NFV solutions among CSPs.
Eventually, all service providers, both large and small, will integrate new virtualized network technologies into their environments. To stay competitive, they are replacing fixed-function equipment that is slow to adapt to emerging network and application requirements with agile SDN and NFV solutions based on industry-standard technologies that enable new revenue generating services to be deployed and better customer experiences.
The key is to cross the chasm—a goal that is at the heart of the Intel Network Builders Fast Track program.
For a closer look at the program, and to learn how your organization can join the effort, visit Intel Network Builders.