With rapid increases in application usage, data services, and connected devices, service providers everywhere are testing new ways to evolve their networks in order to reduce costs and address massive growth. To protect and grow their revenue, they also need to deliver new & more differentiated services cost-effectively to their customers.
Network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) enable service providers to transform how they build and scale their networks into more flexible and agile architectures. These next-generation architectures can enable service providers to deliver new services and pursue profitable new business models rapidly.
NFV architecture – high level overview
No one vendor can yet provide all the necessary components of NFV. Service providers are looking for vendors that take leadership roles within emerging NFV ecosystems by partnering with other technology companies and standards bodies. F5 is committed to integration and interoperability efforts to promote the growing capabilities of virtual network functions. As service providers look to ETSI and similar organizations to help solidify product requirements for NFV architectures and upcoming deployments, they will find a number of powerful use cases that speak to the advantages of including F5 technologies.
Telstra has joined with NFV ecosystem partners F5 Networks, Nuage Networks, and HP to develop a Networks Functions Virtualization (NFV) proof of concept (PoC) solution. This multi-vendor solution has been certified by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), providing communications service providers (CSPs) with a documented, repeatable framework that can be referenced in deploying NFV technologies.
The Telstra PoC is a substantial step towards opening up the opportunity for the service provider (Telstra) to leverage this SDN and NFV architecture to provide high availability network services that can be easily provisioned, launched quickly and efficiently, and that provide new benefits for their enterprise customers.
The breadth of Layer 4-7 Services that are provided by F5 in this PoC (as Virtual Network Functions or “VNFs”) are key in allowing Telstra to create multiple new revenue generating use-case scenarios where their enterprise customers can self-provision and consume hosted virtual network services on demand such as Network Firewall, Network Address Translation (NAT), SSL-VPN, Web Application Firewall (WAF), DNS, and Load Balancing - all these network services on demand are powered by the F5 Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) that are integrated, enabled and orchestrated within the SDN and NFV architecture.
In addition to F5’s rich portfolio of hardware-based Big-IP products, we also offer a full suite of virtual Big-IP solutions for immediate deployment in NFV environments. F5’s carrier-class solutions are deployed in core strategic points of control in the network spanning across the data, signalling, and application planes. These highly scalable solutions help you optimize and secure the most critical applications and services in your network including the SGI, Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Diameter signalling, and IMS networks.
Whether you need to virtualize elements in your S/Gi network (such as policy management, Gi Firewall, CGNAT, or intelligent traffic steering), or virtualize your control plane (using DNS and Diameter signaling), F5 VNFs can help you achieve your goals.