You will find yourself hearing a lot about Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) over the next couple of years, so here’s a little guide to make sure that you understand what it is and how it can help you manage your system or your business.

[easy-tweet tweet=”#NFV is a new process for designing, deploying or managing a #network service” hashtags=”virtualisation”]

Essentially, NFV is a new process for designing, deploying or managing a network service. With NFV, you can decouple the network’s key functions (firewalling, NAT, DNS, intrusion detection and caching) from your proprietary hardware so that you can then run these actions through visualised software.

NFV has been designed to combine all of your standard networking components in a way that makes it easier for you to manage and install system modifications without having to physically go in there and change them yourself.

How does it benefit my system?

As we all know, operating and installing equipment in a system can be an incredibly complex operation. There is a huge amount of equipment with lots of different needs and requirements. NFV simplifies this operation and makes it easier to manage your system.

The key benefit of NFV is that it gives system managers the potential to quickly scale their systems up or down in response to whatever the system needs at that exact moment. Being flexible and having the capability to respond to any ad-hoc requests is an absolute must for any person working in the modern systems industry.

Another benefit is that you will also no longer need to spend capital on new software just so that you can build a service chain. This is possible because server capacity can now be increased through software, rather than building an over-provisioned system.

Is it compatible?

Installing NFV shouldn’t be seen as replacing your system. In fact, NFV will compliment your existing system and should work as part of a more holistic system management operation. The business benefits of NFV become quickly apparent, you can install or deploy services in a matter of seconds – something that used to take a few weeks to complete now takes moments. Time is a luxury in systems management so anything that gives you more of that has to be seen as a bonus.

The more quantifiable benefits of NFV include things such as reduced capital and operating expenses, this is due to the systems now requiring less space and power. You can also reduce the need to start building unnecessary infrastructure and wasteful over-provisioning.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The idea that network function virtualisation isn’t compatible with #SDN simply doesn’t hold true” hashtags=”NFV”]

The idea that NFV isn’t compatible with SDN simply doesn’t hold true, you can do SDN with or without NFV. The technology merely compliments your existing product strategy by making it more efficient. This is achieved through reducing capital costs and increasing productivity.