SDN Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Machine Learning , @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo

SDN Journal: Blog Feed Post

The Intersection of SDN and NFV

Comparative review of some recent articles comparing and contrasting SDN and NFV


The hot topics of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) have spurred several articles comparing and contrasting them. This blog provides a brief survey of these articles in chronological order, including a synopsis of each. I also included a rating of each, based on relevance and readability.

Uniting SDN and NFV- 4 stars

Tom Nolle of CIMI writing at CIMI’s public blog – November 13, 2013 – 927 words
This blog is one of the earliest to tackle the intersection of SDN and NFV. It focuses on the announcement of the 6WINDGate product from 6WIND. Tom describes how this type of product and approach could unite the two concepts:

This capability is useful in three ways; first, you can use it to improve how servers manage things like virtual networks, and second you can use it to host network-related applications like firewall, NAT, DHCP, and even IMS components. Second, you could use it to create a network appliance, as some appliance vendors already do using 6WIND software. The best thing is that when you visualize network functionality as a hardware overlay usable either by servers or embedded-control-based appliances, you can decide where to host things—network or server—based on all the possible technical and business considerations. If operators really want to drive NFV to the ultimate hosting of all non-packet-forwarding functionality on servers, that’s fine. If they want some tightly coupled things hosted on appliances optimized and located for maximum performance, that’s fine too. In theory, a “service cloud” could be created from the software with network devices and servers both playing their optimized role, and with a common orchestration process putting it all together. That’s compatible with the vision that the NFV operators show in their white paper, but it’s also at the minimum a better way of migrating from current discrete-device networks to a more server-hosted model.

NFV and SDN: What’s the Difference? – 5 stars

Prayson Pate of Overture writing at SDNCentral – March 30, 2013 – 992 Words
I wrote this guest blog because our team and our customers kept asking “what’s the difference between SDN and NFV?” This article provides a brief definition of each based on the controlling documents, and provides an example showing how they can be used in conjunction. It also includes a table comparing SDN and NFV, which was later converted into the infographic below. As of this writing, it is still the most popular guest blog at SDNCentral.

Comparison of SDN and NFV

SDN & NFV: Where’s the Synergy? - 3 stars

Sam Masud writing at Transformed Datacenter – May 31, 2013 – 561 words
This blog explores some of the characteristics of SDN and NFV with quotes from some industry experts. One of the interesting points in this article is the lack of consensus on Northbound APIs for network controllers.

According to Rob Sherwood, principal architect at Big Switch Networks, quoted in SearchSDN, “Without a northbound API, all network applications must come directly from equipment vendors [or from their partners], which makes it more difficult to innovate in your network.” In fact, there are said to be about 20 different SDN controllers supporting different APIs. Some also make the argument that a standardized northbound API is not really necessary.

NFV vs. SDN: How Will They Affect the Industry? – 5 stars

Yaakov Stein of RAD writing at RAD.com – May 2013 – 532 words
In this article Yaakov provides some background on the problems that spurred NFV and SDN. He then goes on to define each and give some of potential benefits of each. Yaakov always likes to be a bit provocative, and this article is no different. Its summary provides an interesting estimation of the long-term impact:

If NFV completely captures the market, equipment vendors will essentially become specialized software development houses. If SDN completely replaces conventional networking protocols, the very differentiation between computation and communication will disappear, and with it the networking industry as we know it.

Understanding the relationship between SDN and NFV – 4 stars

Tom Nolle of CIMI writing at SearchSDN – June 2013 -1075 words
Tom provides some of the historical drivers for SDN and NFV, along with an overview of three different models for SDN. He provides some interesting thoughts on the intersection of SDN and NFV, along with the impact of cloud / datacenter principles for implementing each. Tom also provides some thoughts on expanding beyond the datacenter:

NFV’s use of virtual network overlays could also drive an expansion of this SDN model beyond the data center where it’s focused most often today. If NFV allows services to be composed of virtual functions hosted in different data centers, that would require virtual networks to stretch across data centers and become end-to-end. An end-to-end virtual network would be far more interesting to enterprises than one limited to the data center.

In mobile networks, SDN and NFV mean service orchestration – 3 stars

Indranil Chatterjee of OpenWave Mobility writing at SearchSDN – June 2013 – 940 words
Indranil relates some of the issues currently faced in mobile networks, and describes how SDN and NFV could be used to build solutions. He describes an interesting application related to simplified application development:

The second challenge that could be addressed by SDN and NFV is a concept that is interestingly not talked about as much in the context of SDN — separation of application logic and enforcement from corresponding subscriber data. In many applications today, such as the policy and charging rules function (PCRF) and home subscriber service (HSS), the subscriber data and application logic/enforcement are banded together, usually in a proprietary interface, resulting in subscriber data that resides in multiple silos leading to data duplication, storage inefficiencies, data errors, complexity in the application related to HA and ultimately increasing the complexity and time to market for new applications.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
With privacy often voiced as the primary concern when using cloud based services, SyncriBox was designed to ensure that the software remains completely under the customer's control. Having both the source and destination files remain under the user?s control, there are no privacy or security issues. Since files are synchronized using Syncrify Server, no third party ever sees these files.
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
"We are an integrator of carrier ethernet and bandwidth to get people to connect to the cloud, to the SaaS providers, and the IaaS providers all on ethernet," explained Paul Mako, CEO & CTO of Massive Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
I believe that this may finally be the year that the CIO role ‘crosses the Rubicon,' leaving behind its traditional, IT-focused orientation. But I don't believe that either of the previous predictions of this outcome — fading into oblivion or rising to a business executive level — is correct. Instead, I think this is the year that we will see the role of the CIO transformed into something altogether different.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
CI/CD is conceptually straightforward, yet often technically intricate to implement since it requires time and opportunities to develop intimate understanding on not only DevOps processes and operations, but likely product integrations with multiple platforms. This session intends to bridge the gap by offering an intense learning experience while witnessing the processes and operations to build from zero to a simple, yet functional CI/CD pipeline integrated with Jenkins, Github, Docker and Azure...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Sanjeev Sharma Joins November 11-13, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @CloudEXPO New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.