Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) is an architectural framework created by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
It defines standards to decouple network functions from proprietary hardware-based appliances and have them ran in software instead on standard servers.
It defines how to manage and orchestrate the network functions.
Network function refers to a function performance by a physical appliance such as a firewall or router function.
Some benefits of network functions virtualisation are similar to the benefits of server virtualisation:
- Reduced capital expenditure (capex) and operational expenditure (opex) through reduced equipment costs and efficiencies in space, power and cooling
- Faster time to marker because virtual machines and containers are easier to deploy than hardware
- Improved return on investment from new services
- Ability to scale up and down in capacity and demand
- Openness to the virtual appliance market and pure software networking vendors
- Opportunities to test and deploy new innovative services virtually and with low risk