Check out our NFV Definitions to learn how network functions virtualization (NFV) offers an alternative way to design, deploy, and manage networking services. It is a complementary approach to software-defined networking (SDN) for network management. While they both manage networks, they rely on different methods. While SDN separates the control and forwarding planes to offer a centralized view of the network, NFV primarily focuses on optimizing the network services themselves.
With hardware-based appliances limiting the ability to achieve higher revenues and growth, service providers looked to standard IT virtualization technologies. They soon realized that in order to speed up the deployment of new network services, NFV was the answer.
NFV is designed to consolidate and deliver the networking components needed to support a fully virtualized infrastructure – including virtual servers, storage, and even other networks. Utilizing standard IT virtualization technologies that run on high-volume service, and switch and storage hardware to virtualize network functions. It is applicable to any data plane processing or control plane function in both wired and wireless network infrastructures.
Whether for enterprise or providers, NFV provides the potential for faster and agiler provisioning, reduced OpEx and/or CapEx, as well as more comprehensive network visibility and maintenance. To learn more about NFV and what it means to the industry, the market, and to you, we provide a primer on NFV resources, including the fundamentals of network functions virtualization and how to integrate it with networks today.