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Network providers need to coordinate their centralized network functions virtualization (NFV) hosted in the provider network, distributed NFV hosted in universal CPE (uCPE) on the customer premises or at the service provider edge, and WAN/cloud interconnection services.


  • NFV makes it possible for network providers to support enterprise-dedicated virtual devices at the premises, at the edge of the provider network, and at the point where the enterprise WAN meets cloud services.
  • Enterprises should value a consistent, comprehensive customer portal for monitoring and management across customer premises, inside their networks, and at their cloud edges.
  • Equipment vendors have described unified NFV visions; to date, Verizon and Masergy have coordinated NFV services; AT&T and Telstra are closing in on the ability to unify distributed NFV, centralized NFV, and WAN/cloud interconnection.

Features and Benefits

  • Describes today's disjointed NFV environments and setbacks operators may risk if they don't think bigger in their NFV plans.
  • Learn the management and operations benefits for enterprises that a cohesive NFV vision can bring.
  • Understand the relationship of NFV to cloud connect services and how SD-WAN can influence NFV.
  • Assesses some leading managed NFV services that are approaching a more unified vision.
  • Understand some of today's large enterprise challenges that NFV does not resolve.

Key questions answered

  • What are some of the most progressive network providers in NFV services, and what are their offers?
  • Why is it so important to coordinate virtual network functions across customer premises, network edge, and cloud?
  • How should enterprises think about NFV? Where are the benefits in virtualized network functions?
  • What issues can NFV address for enterprises? What issues does the technology not address?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for service providers
  • Recommendations for enterprises

Early NFV offers present an incomplete enterprise WAN solution

  • NFV set the stage for upheaval
  • Service providers are evolving their commercial NFV perspectives

Filling the cloud functionality gap

  • When the cloud interconnection point lacks an enterprise edge

Distributed NFV on-premises and in the network

  • What uCPE means today
  • The role for branch-office NFV

Distributed NFV and centralized NFV align

  • Verizon and Masergy extend the uCPE model and support hosted NFV
  • WAN/cloud interconnection point as customer edge

Putting it all together for unified NFV – WAN, cloud, and uCPE

  • One partner responsible for holistic enterprise view and control
  • Unified managed NFV service provider examples

Enterprise stance on the holistic NFV vision

  • Early days of NFV and pragmatic reality check
  • Enterprise issues that unified NFV does not address


  • Further reading
  • Author

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