What is NFV and what are its cost, performance and scaling benefits?


Network functions virtualization (NFV) enables IT pros to modernize their networks with modular software running on standard server platforms.

Over time, NFV will deliver high-performance networks with greater scalability, elasticity, and adaptability at reduced costs compared to networks built from traditional networking equipment.  NFV covers a wide range of network applications, but is driven primarily by new network requirements, including video, SD-WAN, Internet of Things and 5G.

+Also on Network World: Getting grounded in intent-based networking; SD-WAN: What it is and why you’ll use it some day+

Defining Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

According to ETSI, the goal of NFV is to transform the way that network operators architect networks by evolving standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many network equipment types on to industry standard high-volume servers, switches and storage, which could be located in the data center, in the network or at end-customer premises.  NFV replaces traditional, custom-designed network equipment (black boxes) that continues to dominate the installed base of networks.

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