September 24, 2014 — OEMs, such as SpiderCloud, believe that Network Function Virtualization (NFV) can offer significant advantages in running applications locally in carrier-driven small-cell deployments in the enterprise within the virtualized environment. Edge clouds, as SpiderCloud calls them, are small cells linked by their controller to the mobile core. Such networks can link to the core and run applications such as security, analytics, content filtering and content delivery. This can significantly improve overall network performance and optimize loading and network dynamics.
NFV virtualizes network functions previously carried out by dedicated hardware. Its focus is to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry-standard, high-volume servers, switches and storage. This model works in well with the cloud philosophy of placing hardware in one central location and virtualizing the hard points of the network.
Virtualization is the next generation of wireless networks, offering lower cost, higher efficiency and increased network agility.
Ernest Worthman is the editor of AGL Small Cell Magazine