What is Network Function Virtualization?
NFV or Network Function Virtualization, is a concept coined back in 2012 and it refers to the virtualization of a network’s services and key elements in its infrastructure.
Any network requires a range of services such as firewalls, routers, load balancers, and accelerators – to name a few. These services are normally implemented using hardware physically connected at different points across the network.
The concept of NFV aims to simplify the network’s infrastructure by replacing physical hardware with virtual cloud-based software, serving the entire network, easily accessible & manageable from a central point, and negating the need for hardware installation, monitoring & management.
NFV is quickly growing in popularity in recent years, owing to its simplification of network management and dramatic cost reduction when compared with hardware based networks. NFVs are optimal for a number of uses, namely in Network Functions as a Service (NFaaS), data center segmentation, branch networks, mobile base centers, and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).
Will NFV still be here tomorrow?
So it’s clear what the NFV concept is and why it’s is growing in popularity, but what has the future got in store for Network Function Virtualization? As the world moves towards a connected future, it only seems natural that network optimization tools will be an important part of such a future.
NFVs allow a high degree of flexibility and scalability, the key advantage is the ability to update and configure software on demand, without the need to physically alter hardware at various points along the network. So, as network abilities evolve, an NFV based network will be able to implement them and evolve, whereas a hardware based network will require more time to implement changes.
Another point is the progress made in the fields of automation and IoT, areas that require various forms of connectivity. Integrating function virtualization elements into automated infrastructures will keep them evolving, updated and easily managed from the network edge.
It seems that the future networks will become more complex, while more applications & services will become connected in the next few years. Function virtualization is predicted to become an integral part of future networks, allowing networks to become more complex, secure and flexible.
What do you think about the NFV? Let us know in the comments below.
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