There are numerous benefits that enterprises can gain if they adopt NFV to simplify IT network infrastructure and make it more agile in response to business:
a. Lowers capital expenditures
With the network functions now available in virtual form that can run on the standard virtualized host, the initial capital in proprietary appliances for every network function is pointless. Further, cut in the capital is realized, when the redundancy feature is natively and readily available by just providing additional resources, i.e., processing power and memory – from the underlying x86 server.
b. Lowers operational costs
Since NFV enables managing these network functions centrally, especially deployed with SDN, there is a further reduction in engineers’ time/effort to manage their network by not doing in a device-by-device manner. Further reduction in operational expense is realized because of reduced energy consumption and real-estate hardware footprints.
NFV also brings in much-needed flexibility in the network infrastructure due to virtual forms of the network functions. The enterprise can consume the network functions for a short time, i.e., on-demand basis, and then terminate the function. Also, it makes it easy to bring up any network functions in the test environment, before integrating it into the production environment.
The software versions of network functions allow improved scalability (scale-in/scale-out), which can follow business traffic demand patterns very closely. NFV enables scale-up (increased throughput or performance) if there is an increase in traffic load and scale it down, once the load surpasses. There is little no impact to performance is nearly stable irrespective of the traffic size.
The provisioning of the network functions has accelerated because there is no need to go through the hardware logistics, no need to plan for power and rack space, no need of mounting and cabling work. The new network function is just another VM that can run on the standard virtualized platform. The entire ordering process time and effort has dramatically been reduced.
f. Enhanced security
Enterprises face steep challenges in counter-attacking the cybercrimes on their network within the data center in east-west traffic. With the virtual forms of the firewall available, these can now be installed inside the hypervisor itself, bringing security nearer to the applications VMs, i.e., micro-segmentation.
g. Improved security experience
Due to NFV, there is no appliance failure concern, which results in improved MTTR (mean-time-to-repair) with little or no impact on the business. With NFV, the VM of the network function can be simply migrated to another common platform, which helps in giving better SLA than with appliance-based network functions.
By using Northbound API, the SDN controllers are now able to make quick changes in the network in response to the applications and to optimize the traffic. Also, this brings in the capacity to leverage the automation techniques by creating templates to create network and applications configuration. This also allows dynamically applying the access lists and deliver QoS on a need basis.