Network Function Virtualisation Resources

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) explicitly targets the two biggest problems facing network operators: bringing costs in line with revenue growth expectations and improving service velocity.”
Rajeev Tiwari.

Two helpful opinion pieces regarding NFV are shown below:

  1. Why Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)?? by Rajeev Tiwari
  2. WTF is… NFV by Tony Smith

The network functions described by Mr Tiwari as suitable for virtualisation include (but certainly not limited to):

  • Application-level optimisation: CDNs (Content Delivery Networks), Cache Servers, Load Balancers, Application Accelerators
  • Mobile networks: HLR/HSS (Home Location Register/Home Subscriber Server), MME (Mobility Management Entity), SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node), GGSN/PDN-GW (Gateway GPRS support node / Public Data Network Gateway), Base Station, EPC (Evolved Packet Core)
  • Home environment: home router, set-top-box
  • Security functions: Firewalls, intrusion detection/protection systems, virus scanners, spam protection
  • Tunnelling gateway elements: IPSec/SSL VPN gateways
  • Traffic analysis/forensics: DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), QoE measurement
  • Traffic Monitoring, Service Assurance, SLA (Service Level Agreement) monitoring, Test and Diagnostics
  • NGN (Next Generation Network) signalling: SBCs (Session Border Controllers), IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem)
  • Converged and network-wide functions: AAA (Authentication / Authorization / Accounting) servers, policy control and charging platforms
  • Switching elements: BNG (Broadband Network Gateway), CG-NAT (Carrier Grade Network Address Translation), routers

A graphical view of the historical approach versus the NFV approach to network functional elements

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