Network Functions Virtualization FAQs
What is the difference between NFV and VNF?
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a framework built upon the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV architectural model to virtualize networking infrastructure and platform resources such as compute, storage, and networking. The individual functions that become virtualized in software implementations, such as firewalls, routers, route reflectors, and broadband network gateways (BNGs), are called virtual network functions (VNFs).
What are the advantages of NFV?
Unlike networking platforms that are built upon service-specific hardware, NFV supports a software infrastructure that is independent of the hardware. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) x86 server hardware acts as a common compute platform for the virtual machines (VMs) that deliver the network functions. Server compute, memory, and storage resources can be flexibly shared by multiple VMs simultaneously to tailor performance and scale for each service while optimizing costs. Unlike dedicated hardware platforms that support a single service and are amortized over time, NFV supports the agility to scale-out and scale-in to match service demand while hosting multiple services on a single physical server to achieve economic efficiencies.
What is the relationship between a VNF and a VM?
A VNF can be implemented as a single VM on a single server or it can be disaggregated and implemented as multiple VMs across multiple servers. Software disaggregation allows components of the service to be delivered from different platforms and/or locations – such as the control plane from a regional data center and the user plane from an edge cloud – to optimize performance, latency, scale, and cost. As a service, a VNF may be implemented using multiple applications, each run within its own VM, to tune the performance and scale of that application without the need to instantiate an entirely new VNF.
How will NFV enable the 5G future?
5G is the fifth-generation mobile network, and it has been designed and implemented using NFV and cloud principles. NFV brings increased automation, operational agility, and reduced CapEx to all areas of the 5G infrastructure, from the 5G Core to the 5G RAN.
How does NFV work?
Based upon the ETSI NFV reference architecture, hardware resources like compute, storage, and networking are abstracted using a virtualization layer called a hypervisor. The hypervisor creates and runs VMs that share the underlying hardware. One or more VMs are used to implement a VNF. NFV management and orchestration, known as MANO, is handled by higher-level applications to automate the lifecycle of the NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) and VNF services. Networking of the VMs and services is the responsibility of a software-defined networking (SDN) controller, which automates subnet membership and policy enforcement.
What NFV technology/solutions/products does Juniper offer?
Juniper offers a comprehensive set of SDN, automation, and VNF solutions for enterprise, service provider, and cloud operator data centers. These solutions include Contrail Networking SDN, Apstra Automated Data Center, and Paragon Automation for building and deploying automated NFV solutions. As one of the world’s leading networking vendors, Juniper offers virtualized networking solutions for routing, cloud AI, and security to simplify the transition to NFV.