Toward a software-based network: Integrating software defined networking and network function virtualization
Communication networks are changing. They are becoming more and more software- based. Two trends reflect this: the use of software defined networking and the use of virtualization to exploit common off-the-shelf hardware to provide a wide array of network-resident functions. To truly achieve the vision shared by many service providers of a high-performance software-based network that is flexible, lowercost, and agile, a fast and carefully designed network function virtualization platform along with a comprehensive SDN control plane is needed. The shift toward software-based network services broadens the type of networking capabilities offered in provider networks and cloud platforms by allowing network services to be dynamically deployed across shared hosts. Combining this with an SDN control plane that recognizes the power of a dynamically changing network infrastructure allows network functions to be placed when they are needed and where they are most appropriate in the network. Our system, SDNFV harmoniously combines the two fast moving technological directions of SDN and virtualization to further the goal of achieving a true software-based network.