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February 2014 Vol 5 / No.1

Does SDN change everything in network architectures?

Some experts predict that the network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) mean that physical network equipment will soon be a thing of the past. Not true! While new virtual overlays are required as technology evolves, beneath them the physical network will persist. And that network will still need upgrades. The current evolution is unique in that core equipment upgrades must lend themselves to a next-generation network migration. Both the short- and long-term impact of SDN and NFV must be considered. So, too, the potential impact of WebRTC, the open source technology that promises to enable video, talk and text through Web browsers.

This issue of Network Evolution will help network engineers assess the looming changes, determine how fast they might arrive and guide them in determining how to keep physical networks functioning in the meantime.

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