One of the essential characteristics of the digital revolution around us is the acceleration of change. Technologies that led to digital revolution over the past few decades are experiencing ever-faster innovation cycles- for instance, just ponder how rapidly mobile phone technology has advanced and been adapted.
Today, majority of service provides have plunged into an initiative to migrate their IP networks from purpose-built platforms to virtualized, software-based platforms ushering in a new era of ‘programmable networks’. Service providers are increasingly looking to implement Network Function Virtualization network (NFV) and Software Defined Network (SDN) technologies to evolve their networks to become more elastic, flexible, better managed with automation, thus lowering CAPEX and OPEX. But before we get into the technical part, let us enlighten you all about NFV network and SDN. So let’s begin-
The initial concept NFV network concept was introduced by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute that became highly relevant when deploying NFV in any business. The basic idea of NFV is to virtualize network services and abstract them from the dedicated hardware. NFV network deployments usually use commodity servers to run software versions of network services that earlier were hardware-based. All these software services are called the Virtual Network Functions (VNF) and would only run in NFV environment.
The adoption of public and hybrid clouds, the widely-distributed nature of network resources, and the requirement to locate data, applications and security at the edge make SDN a much favored approach to network management. Basically, SDN enables granular control of networks, enabling segmentation to differentiate among security settings based on new sources of traffic or the sensitivity of the information being analyzed. Traffic can also be dynamically prioritized on the basis of processing demands, with the need for real-time processing taking priority over processing that can bear greater tolerance latency. Centralized network management and the ability to quickly provision, secure and optimize network resources are amongst the key reasons to consider an SDN strategy over NFV network.
SDB vs NFV Unleashed
What is the difference between SDN and NFV? Software Defined Networking is more of an idea of separating the control plane of a network from the data plane that forwards the network traffic. The goal of this disintegration is to make a network that is centrally managed and programmable. However, there are some SDN implementations that use a software-based management platform that helps control commodity network hardware. However, other approaches include integrated hardware and software approach.
On the other hand, NFV network run software versions of network services that previously were hardware based. And these software-based services are called as Virtual Network Functions (VNF) . For instance, VNFs examples include routing, firewalling, load balancing, encryption, and WAN acceleration.
The new virtualized infrastructure is largely dependent on open standards for SDN and NFV. By virtualizing network functions, NFV network enables network functions to be placed anywhere in the infrastructure and the moved as required. However, by separating control plane and data plane functions, SDN allows individual packet flows to be routed through the significant service layers as needed.
In order to facilitate the on-demand service turn up while keeping up with the maintaining service quality, service providers require a solution that provides real-time visibility all the way down to the VNF later with real-time views and alerting functionality. This distinct level of visibility can also become part of the automation layer that allows the elasticity of networks with virtualization. And in this way, service providers can transition their network and services to NFV network and SDN with confidence.