Virtualization of network features represents an essential evolutionary step of modern networks. We have become accustomed to server-, application- or data centre virtualization, but the virtualization of network services on a large scale is still ahead of us. Nonetheless, there are already many technologies available, allowing for virtualization of network features. Similarly to separating applications from specific hardware in data centres, we can eliminate piles of specialised communications hardware, converting their functions into virtual instances.

Separation of network features from hardware allows for their simpler administration and quicker deployment according to momentary needs. Ideally, we would need a communication infrastructure with an open programmable interface, and therefore NFV is combined with SDN. The open nature of SDN is an ideal platform to implement virtual network services.

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Distributed Network Functions – uCPE

In connection with SDN there are discussions about applications that are offered by this open network architecture. There is a new application interface that offers access to applications without regional boundaries while network functions are virtualized. The term Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is often mentioned in this context – it means functions that are in fact independent of SDN, while NFV can utilize the open nature of the SDN interface to the maximum. We need to deliver applications (network functions) to the customer dynamically, based on customer’s current needs. Majority of such virtualized functions will remain in the data center, being allocated to customers dynamically. But there are also functions that we would wish to virtualize, and these must be implemented at the customer. We need an open platform for terminal devices that would allow us to allocate network functions dynamically as needed, thus we need distributed NFV.

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Data Center Application Access

The number and the capacity of data centers grows along with the volume of data being transferred and stored. It is expected that monthly data transfer of more than 6 million users is going to exceed 1TB next year. Until recently, an average smartphone user would do with a data tariff of hundreds of megabytes per month, while today we are aiming at tens of gigabytes. Data centers require uninterruptible source of power (with a backup), cooling, security control, firefighting measures, suitable HW and SW incl. redundancy, high-capacity and multiple network infrastructure, incl. data traffic security and control. It is the data traffic security and control that we specialize in.

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Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) is a specific subsection of the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology, applied to WAN networks. These are most often used for interconnecting enterprise networks, regional and global branches and data centers, including private and public clouds.

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