Network Functions Featured Article

Dell Looks to VMware for NFV Innovation as EMC Acquisition Set to Close

September 01, 2016

Dell is poised to close its acquisition of EMC next week, giving the company a controlling interest in VMware. The two companies presented a united front at the VMworld event this week, seizing on a pivotal moment to strengthen their play into the service provider space by way of network functions virtualization (NFV).

Burgeoning NFV and SDN technologies offer a logical path to growth and a convenient way for VMware to transition from IT into the service provider market. VMware made a slew of SDN and SDDC announcements at the event, cementing its role as a virtualization pioneer and also firming up its existing partnership with IBM.

CEO Michael Dell and Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, came together at the event to discuss the companies’ joint plans as well as continuing autonomy for VMware’s development efforts. Dell has been supportive of keeping the VMware ecosystem open, and also encouraged the company’s continuing partnership with competitor IBM. 

“The open ecosystem of VMware is absolutely critical to its success,” said Dell. “We're not going to change it.” The comments indicate a growing understanding among traditional tech players about how networks are changing and transforming in the era of virtualization. By some estimates, the combined NFV and SDN markets will be worth more than $18 billion by 2020, a clear indicator of the value of open networking and interoperability.

VMware already has a business unit dedicated to NFV, focused on applying virtual data center principles to network servers, storage and device management. Dell has those areas covered on the hardware side, creating a prime opportunity for the companies to work together.

“Every time you hear the words network function virtualization -- NFV -- that means a telco function that can now run on an X86 server,” said Dell. “This is a huge opportunity for us, a huge upside. We're already seeing a nice growth among service providers and telcos with early deployments and PoCs and tests going on. There is definitely the industry headed in our direction as NFV takes hold in the telco world.”

According to Gelsinger, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a major part of NFV uptake. As service providers scramble to expand and strengthen their infrastructure to accommodate the rigorous demands of an always and everything-connected world, SDN and NFV offer a natural migration path.

Edited by Alicia Young

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Events and Activities

NFV & Carrier SDN

September 13-14, 2016, Denver, CO

Cable-Tec Expo

September 26-29, 2016, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Convention Center

SDN & OpenFlow World Congress

October 10-14, 2016, World Forum, The Hague, Netherlands


November 7-10, 2016, Hilton Inner Harbor Hotel, Baltimore, MD

Carrier Network Virtualization (CNV)

December 12-14, Santa Clara Convention Center, California

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