Infographic: Reinventing Networks Through NFV

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It’s difficult to get an industry with a long depreciation cycle for capital equipment to support any sort of revolution, but networking is facing one at this moment and that is NFV (Network Function

What is Network Function Virtualisation – NFV?

Network functions virtualisation is a network architecture concept that leverages the technologies of IT virtualisation to virtualise entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may connect or chain together, to create communication services. In other words, NFV is an initiative to virtualise the network services that are now being carried out by proprietary dedicated hardware.
Network functions virtualisation relies on, but differs from, traditional server-virtualisation techniques, such as those used in enterprise IT. A virtualised network function, or VNF, may consist of one or more virtual machines running different software and processes, on top of standard high-volume servers, switches and storage, or even cloud computing infrastructure, instead of having custom hardware appliances for each network function.
Example: A virtual session border controller could be deployed to protect a network without the typical cost and complexity of obtaining and installing physical units.

What are the NFV Drivers and Enablers?

Few NFV drivers and enablers are listed below.
(A) Drivers:
1. Time to Market
2. Targeted Service Introduction
3. Energy Savings
4. R&D Agility
(B) Enablers:
1. Virtualization Machanisms
2. Industry Standard Servers
3. Open APIs for Management

How big is the NFV market?

NFV market size is increasing at a rapid pace. In 2015, the Asia/Pacific SDN/NFV market had a value of approximately 600 million euros. The market is expected to grow by 15x times by 2023.

Where is NFV Today?

Network functions virtualisation has made significant progress in 2015, moving from lab tests to pilots and early deployments. The technology is proven, deployable, scalable and reliable for a wide variety of applications, including Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), analytics, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), security, IMS (Information management System, policy, video servers and edge routing.

What are the network functions being virtualised?

NFV decouples the network functions like:
1. Network Address Translation (NAT)
2. Firewalling
3. Intrusion Detection
4. Domain Name Service (DNS)
5. Caching
from proprietary hardware appliances so they can run in software.

How is NFV being deployed?

Network Functions Virtualization deployment follows a pentad of steps, that are penned below.
Step 1: Physical Network Function
Step 2: Bare Metal Solution on COTS Server
Step 3: Virtual Network Function on COTS Server with Hypervisor
Step 4: Elastic/Auto-scale Management with Orchestration
Step 5: SDN Integration

What are the applications of NFV?

Example of NFV Applications include the following:

  • Virtualized Load Balancers
  • Firewalls
  • Intrusion Detection Devices
  • WAN Accelerators

To conclude,

In near future, industries will look for new business services for the Internet of Things (IoT) with Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

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  • Avery

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