Do you speak NFV? Time to go back to school and learn

Software – not shelves – is the answer, whatever the other kids may say

Sales people tell fibs

A data centre architect specialising in a certain major storage vendor recently revealed that he had developed a nervous tic at the words "just add a shelf”. Got a problem with a filer? Don't change anything to make it more efficient, just add a shelf. Any problem, any time, just add a shelf.

Over time, he has learned the nitty gritty of how the filers work. He can fine tune them to perform much, much better for a given workload than they will as provided by the vendor. To his eternal frustration, actually implementing any of this knowledge isn't allowed, because of support contract tomfoolery, but he knows enough to call bullshit pretty much any time the salesdroid opens his or her mouth.

Pick a vendor – any vendor – and we could find similar stories.

I've seen plenty of administrators choose the more resource-intensive – and expensive – NFV option simply because they didn't feel it was possible for the more efficient offering to do everything that was claimed with so few resources.

When pressed, however, the administrators in question couldn't put a figure to what kind of resources should be required for a given workload, nor had they ever tried creating NFV VMs of their very own.

NFV is about to become a very important part of our data centres, if it hasn't become so already. It is worth taking the time to learn about, even if all we do with that knowledge is call bullshit when required.

Everything old is new again. It's time we unlearned what we think we know about NFV in order to learn what we need to. ®

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