NFV uses generic hardware such as x86 and virtualization technologies to decouple software from hardware. Network functions (NFs) serving as software operate on standard server, reducing costs of dedicated devices. In addition, NFV technology allows resources to be fully and flexibly shared, and implements automatic deployment, elastic scalability, fault isolation, and self-healing based on actual service requirements. Thus, it improves the resource usage efficiency of the entire network and reduces the network construction cost of operators. NFV technology reduces the time of deploying new services and helps to seize new market opportunities and improve returns on investment. The combination of NFV and SDN (Software Defined Network) technologies achieves the synergy of cloud and network, helps operators improve network resource utilization, reduce network O&M costs, improve operation efficiency, promote service innovation, and becomes the core technology of digital transformation.
ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) has defined the basic NFV architecture, including NFV infrastructure (NFVI), VNF (virtualized network function), VNFM (VNF Manager), VIM (Virtualised infrastructure manager) and MANO (Management and Orchestration).