Worldwide revenues from network function virtualization infrastructure (NFVI), which stood at $564 million in 2017, will grow dramatically, with a 58.1% compound annual growth rate through 2022, according to and NFV infrastructure forecast from International Data Corporation.

IDC cites the youth of the technology for its low revenue total in 2017. But that figure will grow quickly as networks grow their carrier network infrastructures (CNI) to develop new business network services and create new revenue streams, as well as to improve their operational efficiency, the researchers said.

NFV Infrastructure Forecast
The research firm sees five segments in the CNI domain: network storage, software-defined computing, networking, storage, management and orchestration. The orchestration segment will be the fastest growing area, according to IDC, because companies need to facilitate their network services across an increasingly complex array of physical and virtual network functions. The research firm also expects  software-defined networking to grow significantly due to the growing need to programmatically manage network flows in response to a dynamic market and an application/use case environment.

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Wireless infrastructure is the largest contributor to the NFVI forecast today and will continue to be the largest contributor throughout the forecast, followed by the routing category, according to IDC, which sees 5G as a large driver of wireless infrastructure NFVI growth. The move to virtual routing in edge and access use cases will enable routing NFVI growth to outperform the overall market, researchers said.

“Communications service providers globally recognize the need to digitally transform their network infrastructure and build more customer-centric business models,” said Rajesh Ghai, IDC research director, carrier network infrastructure, in a prepared statement. “Embracing software-defined networking principles and deploying network functions in virtualized form factors are a strategic necessity not only for carriers as they invest in their future but also for vendors supplying those solutions to the market.”

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