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Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Infrastructure provides networking, compute, storage, and management to assure the capabilities to run network services. With the economic advantages of virtualized x86 computing platforms and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies, it can significantly improve the service-delivery cost structures, reduce the CapEx and OpEX, and deliver agility to accelerate time-to-market.
The most important development in the networking industry is to adopt network functions virtualization (NFV) in cloud applications, which replaces network hardware with software that runs in the cloud. NFV is not about incremental improvements, it is a complete paradigm shift in network services and architecture. NFV architectures provide the necessary network function flexibility to enable service delivery models that reduce total cost of ownership by leveraging common off-the-shelf hardware.
A Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Cloud Server platform can be run on a hypervisor. The role of a hypervisor is to control the capacity of operating systems so they are allocated in central offices, enterprises and data centers, or anywhere in network cloud services. The key benefits of cloud servers are to provide flexibility, scalability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness to customers.
Due to an increasing density of x86 CPU cores and virtual machines in data center servers, there is a serious network traffic bottleneck at the physical network interface. To offload CPUs and improve performance, service providers are turning to programmable “Smart NICs” as an ideal solution.
A virtual CPE (vCPE) is a way of delivering broadband services to subscribers. Most of the CPE software functions are pulled into the operator’s network using a Cloud Appliance and located near the service edge. Services as IPSec, firewall, NAT, routing, and VPN are delivered by Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) running at the Telco data center for broadband subscribers.
Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) consolidates compute, network, storage and management tools into a single infrastructure stack running on x86 servers for the rise of software-defined data center and cloud services. Convergence comes in many forms; at its most basic, convergence simply brings together existing server computing and network switching technologies as Server Switch solutions, or by combining server computing and storage technologies as Server Storage solutions. The major benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) are to reduce complexity and costs in the data center, and bring a modern approach to optimizing networking and storage resources with fast and scale-out solutions.