Virtualization is the ability to simulate a hardware platform, such as a server, storage device or network resource, in software. All the functionality is simulated while retaining the ability to operate just like the traditional hardware solution.
Why we apply virtualization to networks
When applied to a network, virtualization creates a view of the networking resources. The physical networking devices are simply responsible for the fast forwarding of the data packets, while the virtual network simplifies the deployment and management of network resources.
NV and White Box Networking
Network Virtualization (NV) creates one or more overlay networks on top of a physical one. This enables the reduction of capital expense (CAPEX) when building a network because it can be constructed using "white box" network components. Network virtualisation also reduces operating expenses (OPEX) by relying on the intelligence to support network functionality.
Network virtualisation can be used to create virtual networks within a virtualised infrastructure. This enables support for the complex requirements of a multi-tenancy environment such as isolation and security, load balancing, etc. Moreover, NV can deliver a virtual network within a virtual environment that is truly separate from other network resources. In these instances, NV can separate traffic into a zone or container to ensure traffic does not mix with other resources or the transfer of other data.
Network Functions Virtualisation
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) offers a new way to design, deploy and manage networking services. NFV decouples the network functions, such as network address translation (NAT), firewalling, intrusion detection, domain name service (DNS), and caching, to name a few, from proprietary hardware appliances so they can run in software.
It’s designed to consolidate and deliver the networking components needed to support a fully virtualized infrastructure – including virtual servers, storage, and even other networks. It utilizes standard IT virtualization technologies that run on high-volume service, switch and storage hardware to virtualize network functions. It is applicable to any data plane processing or control plane function in both wired and wireless network infrastructures.
The Benefits of NFV
NFV virtualizes network services via software to enable operators to:
- Reduce CapEx: reducing the need to purchase purpose-built hardware and supporting pay-as-you-grow models to eliminate wasteful over-provisioning.
- Reduce OpEX: reducing space, power and cooling requirements of equipment and simplifying the roll out and management of network services.
- Accelerate Time-to-Market: reducing the time to deploy new networking services to support changing business requirements, seize new market opportunities and improve return on investment of new services. Also lowers the risks associated with rolling out new services, allowing providers to easily trial and evolve services to determine what best meets the needs of customers.
- Deliver Agility and Flexibility: quickly scale up or down services to address changing demands; support innovation by enabling services to be delivered via software on any industry-standard server hardware.
A virtualized solution is typically much more portable, scalable and cost-effective than a traditional hardware-based solution. Find out more about our technologies here .