Virtual Network Functions (VNF)

A virtual network f unction is a virtual or software version of a network function.

It runs as a virtual machine on a hypervisor.

Virtual network functions are commonly used for Layer 4 to Layer 7 functions, such as those provided by Load Balancers and Application Delivery Controllers, firewalls, intrusion detection systems and WAN optimisation appliances.

They are not limited to Layer 4 to 7 applications though – they can perform lower level functions through functions provided by routers and switches.

Some examples are Cisco virtual network functions, such as:

  • Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000V
  • Cisco Cloud Services Platform 2100
  • Cisco Integrated Services Virtual Router
  • Cisco NextGen Firewall Virtual Appliance
  • Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Firewall




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