Industry Trends

Interoperability is the Key to Successful SDN/NFV Implementations

By Abel Aberra | May 24, 2016

The key to success in the emerging world of white box hardware, SDN, NFV, NFV Orchestrators (NFVO), and Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) is interoperability.  The promise of a new kind of network - easy to provision, flexible, easy to automate, and most critically, a source of new value-added functions is dependent on a whole range of disparate elements working together.

This is no easy task, and it’s made no easier by the fact that there are still no widely adopted standards for interoperability. However, that did not stop the New IP Agency from inviting its members to participate in an interoperability test to support a Live Interoperability Showcase that will take place this week at Light Reading’s Big Communications Event. Fortinet was up to the challenge, and agreed to have our Fortigate-VM – in NFV speak it is a VNF providing next gen Firewall Security Functions – be a part of the test.

In the end, 12 vendors participated in a weeklong exercise of working together to show how real functionality could be built using virtual functions. It was at times frustrating and challenging, but in the end it was rewarding to be the only pure-play security vendor working to demonstrate how security functionality (and other things) could be delivered by carriers to their end customers.

Fortinet was tested in various orchestrated service chains, working in concert with solution elements from Adva, Ciena, Ubiqube, Juniper, and Ixia. The Fortigate-VM showed its stuff as both VNF and VCPE. It even played a role in demoing how bandwidth could be borrowed from one traffic flow for use on another. It was a week well spent, and we’re looking forward to the live demo at the show. Drop by and see us if you can. Fortinet will be presenting the results of one of the test cases on Wed, May 25th, at 1:45 in the Main Hall.

If you can’t be at the show, take a look at the test results here. Fortinet is serious about Assuring Security in the Evolving Carrier Network. See what we’re doing here.