How Easy is it to Create Your Own Custom NFV for SD-WAN?

Building custom NFV for SD-WAN via drag and drop - simple as 1+1Last week we talked about Software Defined Networking (SDN) and how it will impact the networking industry. One of the areas that SDN will have an impact on is the WAN (Wide Area Network) side of the network, primarily because of the power of NFV (Network Function Virtualization).

SDN, when applied to WANs, can drastically improve how WAN links are managed and orchestrated for both large enterprises and SMBs. This is possible because within the SDN framework certain capabilities and features, namely NFVs, can be pushed southbound in real-time to the SD-WAN routers and switches.

What does this mean in practice? Why is being able to push NFVs to the edge switches relevant?

Well, this means that once you deploy your SDN-capable WAN orchestration appliances, from then on, you have an agile WAN network that you can keep adding new features and functions to, without replacing your hardware, by simply pushing NFVs to the appliances. It also means that, if your WAN Orchestration platform supports it, you will be able to build custom features, namely, custom NFVs, that fit your network and services like a glove and push them southbound.

Let’s take a real-life example. Say your organization chose not to upgrade your MPLS bandwidth because of cost reasons, but rather decided to add cost-effective broadband lines at your branch locations. Now you would like to add real-time WAN orchestration capabilities for your VoIP / SIP traffic that will go over your MPLS, as well as your broadband internet lines, providing both SLA improvements as well as adding real-time redundancy. With an SD-WAN router that supports custom NFV, you will be able to “build” an NFV via a user-friendly interface. This means in a few minutes, you can build your custom NFV that fits your traffic profile and network requirements and deploy it down to your SDWAN routers in your branches. This will not only extend the life cycle of the x86-based SD-WAN routers but will also slash the operating cost of the network, as well as the ongoing bandwidth cost.

Flexibility in creating and deploying NFVs will be the defining aspect of the SD-WAN solutions. As an IT manager, if you can imagine an NFV – a chain of packet processing nodes that you want your router to implement for a specific type of flow – and can easily create that NFV with ease, that is a game changer.

Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc. 

Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.


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