Enterprise network functions virtualization, or NFV, can simplify the network design, deployment, and reduce costs at remote branch sites.
Many enterprise organizations have a problem: the proliferation of networking hardware at branch sites. A typical branch site might have a mix of devices to provide routing, telephony service, security, wireless LAN control, WAN acceleration, and Layer 2 switching. Traditionally, each function requires its own box (oftentimes a simple, general-purpose compute platform that runs software implementing a function), resulting in high cost and long deployment and upgrade times.
Upgrading and configuring numerous devices at each branch consumes a lot of network staff time, and potentially requires the shipment of new hardware to each branch. Also problematic is getting new or upgraded hardware properly connected to the existing hardware and transitioning from the old to the new. Software upgrades are typically an all-or-nothing switch because the platforms often can only run one instance of the software at a time.
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