The NFV architecture enables network functions to be standardized, allowing for the construction and management of function or functions that best support the organization’s environment. This makes it easy for service providers and enterprises to deploy new services faster, while maximizing their investments in existing platforms.
As described in the introduction, there are three major components to an NFV framework:
- VNFs – the virtual implementation of a physical network function.
- NFVI – the physical resources (compute, storage, network) and the virtual instantiations that make up the infrastructure.
- NFV MANO – the management and control layer that focuses on all the virtualization-specific management tasks required throughout the lifecycle of the VNF.
These components fit together in the architecture depicted in the diagram below. Note that this report focuses on the NFVI at the bottom left of the diagram and the MANO element, the pieces on the right side of the diagram. Next month, the second part of our NFV series will focus on VNFs.
These components depicted in the diagram each contain a number of different NFV technologies which organizations can deploy to achieve the flexibility, scalability and efficiencies they require. Let’s look at the technologies/solutions contained within each component (functional block) of an NFV architecture, focusing on NFVI, as well as the elements in MANO including the VIM, the VNFM, and the NFVO.