Glossary Library


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NFV = Network Function Virtualization

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).

NFVI (NFV Infrastructure) is the foundation for hosting VNF (Virtualized Network Function), which uses standardized virtualization technology to build a unified and shared resource pool to support multiple -tenants based on generic generic hardware, thus to provide resource for different types of VNF on demand.
NFVI includes the virtualization layers (hypervisor or container management systems such as Docker) and physical resources (e.g. COTS servers, switches, storage devices, etc.). NFVI can be deployed across different geographical locations, at which point a network that provides data connections to these sites is also known as part of NFVI.

Orchestration, first appeared in the art field, means to arrange various music and dance elements according to a certain purpose, in order to achieve the best effect.

NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) is a functional entity of the NFV network management MANO (Management and Orchestration). The MANO consists of NFVO (NFV Orchestrator), VNFM (VNF Manager) and VIM (Virtualised infrastructure manager).

The NFVO manages the lifecycle of Network Service (NS), and coordinates the NS lifecycle management, coordinates the VNF lifecycle management (with the support of VNFM), and coordinates the management of various NFVI resources (with the support of VIM) to ensure the optimized configuration of various required resources and connections.

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