Software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are hot topics. They are clearly related, but how exactly are they similar? How are they different? How do they complement each other? Are you new to SDN or NFV? This video explains what a Software Defined Network (SDN) is as well as Network function virtualization (NFV).
The first impact of SDN is that for the first time the network’s control plane and its data plane will be able to be separated. In today’s networks, the control plane and the data plane are tied closely together. The network switches that compute the routing tables are the same devices that then implement the routing tables. A side effect of this is that this means that both the control plane and the data plane are currently being provided by the same vendors.
SDN completely changes this. The control plane and the data plane are pulled apart. The control program can run on one set of servers and the Network Operating System can run on a completely different set of servers
On the other hand, NFV is a network architecture concept that uses the technologies of IT virtualization to virtualize entire classes of network node functions into building blocks that may connect, or chain together, to create communication services.
NFV relies upon, but differs from, traditional server-virtualization techniques, such as those used in enterprise IT. A virtualized network function, or VNF, may consist of one or more virtual machines running different software and processes, on top of standard high-volume servers, switches and storage, or even cloud computing infrastructure, instead of having custom hardware appliances for each network function.