This blog post is part of a series called “CommScope Definitions,” in which we will
explain common terms in communications
Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a new approach to the deployment of services and applications
in carrier networks. Historically,
each network function– routers, firewalls, deep packet inspection, 4G baseband
units, session border controllers, etc.–has been implemented using a dedicated network appliance.
use of these different appliances has some major
- Many different dedicated appliances to
- Hard to determine upfront
- Slow to deploy
NFV is a technology that aims to resolve
these pain points by implementing network functions in software and running
them on a common hardware infrastructure.
removes the need for dedicated appliances, in a similar way the smartphone made
series of specialized devices like calculators, cameras, watches and game
computers disappear out of our lives. They were all replaced by smartphone apps
that simply share the same screen, compute power and storage on a single
device. Switching between applications and installing new ones is fast and
easy. And the pace of development and innovation is tremendous with new apps
becoming available every day.
to achieve these same benefits with NFV; a greater flexibility and agility to deploy new services, and an increased
the pace of innovation without
requiring the development of new dedicated appliances.
applied at a network scale, virtualization also brings elasticity by pooling
the common hardware infrastructure and shifting workloads around–in particular
when used in combination with Software
Defined Network (SDN). For example, heavy mobile traffic because of a
sporting event may use up to 80 percent of the CPU processing one night, while
the next morning the same hardware (but different app) is busy fending off a
hacker launching a denial of service attack.
Key Takeaway: NFV replaces
traditional network appliances by their virtualized software equivalents. This
enables service providers to use standardized hardware infrastructure in
resource pools, with the ability to scale up and capacity based on the demand, and
increase speed of deployments of new applications and services.