Network Function Virtualization – NFV

Network Function Virtualization

In this Topic we will discuss about Network Function Virtualization so called NFV benefits, Architecture, Framework and understanding of the whole Concept along with market Trend/dynamics. But before discussing anything first of all we would understand the industry challenges and needs/demand which actually drives the development of NFV.

Industry need -:

  1. Flexibility, efficiency, new service offerings
  2. Capex/Opex optimization.
  3. Cloud based Delivery model for all the application/services.
  4. Common standard for Core network element.
  5. Ecosystem collaboration, coordination and testing
  6. Carrier-grade service performance.
  • What is Network Function Virtualization – .? – (NFV) is the concept of replacing dedicated network appliances—such as routers/firewalls/Switches/Load Balancer—with software running on commercial off-the-shelf servers.
  • The aim of NFV is to transform the way communication service providers (CSPs) architect networks and deliver network services. Network operations are transformed as network function software is dynamically instantiated in various network locations in the network as needed, without requiring the installation of new equipment. The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group created Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to extend the use of IT technologies into the telecom network as a means to reduce the dependency on dedicated hardware, improve service agility, and lower costs. NFV allows network operators to deploy network functions as virtualized software instances, called virtual network functions (VNFs) that can be run on industry-standard high-volume servers, network, and storage platforms located in data centres, network nodes or end-user locations.

E.g – In today’s Scenario if any company/industry wanted to setup their IT infrastructure for at least 200-400 users typically they required n No of Layer2 Switches, Routers, Firewall, IPS, IDS, Voice Gateways, Application Management/Acceleration, Load Balancer and etc and there are n no of OEM’s for providing these kinds of Hardware and applications. Again choice is difficult to select between all these OEM’s because some features are good in one appliance and some good in other and IT Team have to buy each appliance for availing particular services. NFV concept is bought 1 single bare metal device which can support functionality of many OEM’s, now IT Guy can simply purchase licence for particular services which will be available on cloud platform and use any of the services on Pay per use Model.



OPNFV –Open Source Reference Platform for NFV.

OPNFV is a carrier-grade, integrated, open source platform to accelerate the introduction of new NFV products and services. As an open source project, OPNFV is uniquely positioned to bring together the work of standards bodies, open source communities and commercial suppliers to deliver a de facto standard open source NFV platform for the industry.

  • OPNFV Project Goals – Develop an integrated and tested open source platform that can be used to build NFV functionality, accelerating the introduction of new products and services
  • Include participation of leading end users to validate OPNFV meets the needs of user community
  • Contribute to and participate in relevant open source projects that will be leveraged in the OPNFV platform; ensure consistency, performance and interoperability among open source components

 OPNFV Architecture Framework



MANO – Management and Orchestration – This architecture, the Management and Orchestration (MANO) framework provides a central role in the definition and deployment of NFV-based services. MANO specifies the management and orchestration of all cloud resources, including computing, networking, storage, virtual machines (VMs) and VNFs. Basically it works as an Interface and provide compatibility between API’s and other useful resources which help to automate the processes associated with on-boarding new services, performance management, event correlation, termination and policy management for NS Instances.


Global Market Trend – With a promise to drive significant CapEx and OpEx reductions, NFV is poised to transform the entire telecom infrastructure ecosystem. It is estimated that the overall global market for NFV will grow at a CAGR of 83.1% between 2015 and 2020. NFV revenues will reach $ 8.7 Billion by the end of 2020.

Globally there are around 20-25 OEM’s like (Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Huawei, 6WIND, Allot, Arista, Brocade, CloudNFV, Nakina, Intel, Meta Switch) who have already done the NFV Product development and started discussion with different Telecom Operator globally. Telecom Operator are taking interest and started POC for intend to demonstrate NFV as a viable technology.

Akshay Sharma

AKshay has a rich experience of 10+ years in data and telecom domains. He is working as a solution architect in a reputed Telecom in India from the last 5 yrs and has diversified experience in providing robust network solution to SMB and enterprise segment. His core expertise is in DSL broadband/IP/MPLS/Routing and switching with hands on multiple telecom equipment’s and had done multiple certifications into his long career.

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