Ciena and BlackRidge Doing Their Part to Drive NFV Market For Telecommunications Firms

By Kimball Brown, Sr. Director Alliances

Let’s start by gauging how big are the SDN and NFV markets. Infonetics has been gathering data in this early market for nearly two years and is projecting (published November 2014) the global service provider SDN and NFV market to reach $11 billion in 2018. SDxCentral has forecast (published July 2015) that the network functions layer will grow from under $5B in 2015 to $32B by 2020. One way or another, the market for SDN and NFVs are shaping up to be huge.

The NFV market is being driven by customer demand for lower capex and lower opex, ease of implementation, and vastly improved time to market. Instead of ordering, receiving, installing and verifying the equipment part of an offering, the promise of NFV is that once the NFV infrastructure has been installed, all further VNFs are downloaded, installed and verified within minutes/hours via a software acquisition infrastructure.

Shift from Client/Server to Cloud/Mobile driving the need for NFV

The overall shift from client/server architectures to cloud/mobile has been enabled by the shift from proprietary networking equipment to commodity servers and switches. Google, Facebook and others do not use hardware routers or firewalls in their data center architectures. Routers, Firewalls, Security and other networking functions are implemented in software running on standard Intel-based servers, rather than on proprietary network equipment.  The commercial service provider market is now wanting in on the action. Customers are demanding the ability to implement networking in this new software-based architecture. However, the infrastructure to implement NFV is still in its infancy. Since VNFs are software, a new infrastructure is needed to distribute, install and verify the virtual network functions. Ciena and BlackRidge are on the cutting edge of enabling this NFV infrastructure.

Introducing Ciena Agility Matrix with BlackRidge Network Security

Ciena announced their Agility Matrix infrastructure in December, 2014.  The Agility Matrix distributes third party VNFs via software running on Ciena’s private cloud and a server installed at the customer site. In July 2015, the BlackRidge TAC VNF was installed and verified in Ciena’s NFV lab. Now that the NFV infrastructure and the VNF in our new product release have been tested and verified, Ciena and BlackRidge are currently entertaining proof-of-concepts with interested companies.

BlackRidge Transport Access Control (TAC) technology defends against attacks and insider threats in NFV deployments.  For instance, TAC can defend against management and control plane attacks, stop network scanning and enumeration, defend against DDoS and other brute force attacks, and protect against the lateral movement of malware. Read the following article to learn more about our defensive behaviors for common attack scenarios

Should you be interested in learning more about Ciena’s Agility Matrix and BlackRidge TAC products, please contact us at