OpenStack Use Case: Network Function Virtualization (NFV)


Networking is the backbone of any data center, and its critical role has often meant a slow evolution. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is rapidly evolving how network functions, such as routers and firewalls, are deployed and maintained — quickly becoming the foundation upon which next generation networks will be built. NFV is replacing dedicated networking appliances with software and automation, offering agility, flexibility, and simplicity. As such, it’s become a key use case for telecommunication companies deploying OpenStack.

NFV with OpenStack

Next generation service provider and telecommunication networks can accelerate NFV deployments with OpenStack. NFV allows physical network appliances to become software running within virtual machines or containers. NFV decouples software from hardware, making network functions — such as firewalls, load balancers, and packet inspection, among others — independent from underlying hardware. As functions move to more flexible API-driven software, new opportunities for innovation emerge. Barriers for cutting-edge services are reduced, and new capabilities can be brought to market faster.

NFV runs best on OpenStack because it is “essentially a fit-for-purpose cloud for deploying, orchestrating, and managing virtual network functions.”1 Because OpenStack is open source and modular by design through its myriad core and big tent projects, it enables telcos to deploy bespoke-on-commodity systems and eliminate unnecessary components and features.

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