In 2012, seven service providers joined forces to publish the\u00a0first network functions virtualization (NFV) whitepaper\u00a0detailing how service providers could lower costs and more easily improve their networks by virtualizing communications applications on general-purpose servers.\nToday, that effort has grown dramatically.\u00a0 Nearly 40 leading service providers, and 220 companies worldwide, are part of the NFV Industry Specification Group at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).\nThis unprecedented level of development and collaboration has seen significant contributions from open source and open standards efforts, including\u00a0OpenStack,\u00a0OpenDaylight, and the\u00a0Open Networking Foundation\u00a0\u2013 just to name a few. Indeed, many of the key NFV technologies and use cases have emerged from these efforts, which include representation from across the industry.\nThe\u00a0Intel\u00ae Open Network Platform Server Reference Design\u00a0(Intel\u00ae ONP Server Reference Design), which we launched in September as part of the\u00a0Intel\u00ae Xeon\u00ae processor E5 v3\u00a0announcement, is a culmination of Intel\u2019s embrace of these open standards and open software efforts and our development of a broad ecosystem of communications industry innovators.\u00a0 It\u2019s an open, standards-based reference architecture that brings together key hardware and software elements in a design that\u2019s optimized for NFV and software-defined networking (SDN). We believe providing the industry with reference design like this will help drive ecosystem innovation and accelerate proofs of concept, trials, and deployments.\n\u00a0More Than a Reference Design\nBut the term \u201creference design\u201d doesn\u2019t convey the flexibility that\u2019s built into the Intel ONP Server Reference Design. It\u2019s really more a set of tools and designs that telecom or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can use individually, interchangeably, or in combination with their own software or hardware to build innovative virtual networking products.\nThe Intel ONP Server Reference Design is powered by the latest Intel\u00ae processor and networking products and technologies, including the Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 and 10 and 40 Gigabit Intel\u00ae Ethernet Controllers, and\u00a0 Intel\u00ae QuickAssist Technology, which delivers hardware acceleration for specialized processing tasks such as encryption or compression.\n\u00a0An open virtual switch (vSwitch) built on the Intel\u00ae Data Plane Development Kit, or Intel\u00ae DPDK, delivers data to and from those virtual appliances up to 10 times faster than a non-accelerated open vSwitch.\n\u00a0There are also optimizations for OpenStack, compatibility with OpenDaylight, and Intel DPDK, Intel QuickAssist Technology, and Intel Ethernet drivers to maximize the performance of virtual appliances running on the platform.\nThe industry is innovating on Intel Architecture\n\u00a0Over last year, we\u2019ve worked with our partners to develop innovative SDN and NFV solutions on Intel architecture-based servers, including the Intel ONP Server Reference Design, through the Intel\u00ae Network Builders program. Over 85 communications industry leaders have joined the program since its inception a year ago, and in that time we\u2019ve created numerous POCs, trials, and reference architectures. Nearly 30 partners are joining us at IDF this week in our Intel Network Builders community, and even more participated in our NFV Summit, discussing the recent developments in NFV.\nService providers are deploying NFV on Intel Architecture-based systems\nWhile many companies are trialing SDN and NFV, some are already deploying these technologies on open source solutions running on Intel architecture-based systems.\nOne great example of the power of this type of an open solution is a project that Spanish service provider Telef\u00f3nica is conducting in Brazil to simplify the consumer premises equipment (CPE) it provides to its customers.\nThe company is moving all specialized networking capabilities, such as network address translation, DHCP, firewalls, and others, from dedicated CPE appliances to virtual appliances running on Intel Xeon processor-based servers in the carrier\u2019s network.\nNot only does this dramatically reduce the cost of the CPE, Telef\u00f3nica believes it will be able to provide new customer services in half the time it currently takes.\u00a0 The solution leverages Intel DPDK technology as well as technical guidance and support from Intel in developing and testing the applications.\nWith the Intel ONP Server Reference Architecture, we\u2019re making it easier to develop, test, and deploy NFV solutions such as these. Over the next several days, you\u2019ll be able to read blogs from some of our key development partners, who will share their thoughts on the network transformation that\u2019s taking place and how they\u2019re collaborating with Intel to develop innovative and exciting new products.\nIf you\u2019re interested in learning more about the Intel ONP Server Reference Architecture, see this white paper:\u00a0Intel\u00ae Open Network Platform Server Reference Architecture: SDN and NFV for Carrier-Grade Infrastructure and Cloud Data Centers.\n\u00a0The Intel ONP Server Reference Architecture Release 1.1 documentation with performance benchmarks and system configurations can be accessed at: https:\/\/01.org\/sites\/default\/files\/page\/intel_onp_for_servers_release_1.1_solutions_guide_v1.1.pdf.