Due to the intrinsically inefficient service provisioning in traditional networks, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) keeps gaining attention from both industry and academia. By replacing the purpose-built, expensive, proprietary network equipment with software network functions consolidated on commodity hardware, NFV envisions a shift towards a more agile and open service provisioning paradigm. During the last few years, a large number of NFV platforms have been implemented in production environments that typically face critical challenges, including the development, deployment, and management of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). Nonetheless, just like any complex system, such platforms commonly consist of abounding software and hardware components and usually incorporate disparate design choices based on distinct motivations or use cases. This broad collection of convoluted alternatives makes it extremely arduous for network operators to make proper choices. Although numerous efforts have been devoted to investigating different aspects of NFV, none of them specifically focused on NFV platforms or attempted to explore their design space. In this paper, we present a comprehensive survey on the NFV platform design. Our study solely targets existing NFV platform implementations. We begin with a top-down architectural view of the standard reference NFV platform and present our taxonomy of existing NFV platforms based on what features they provide in terms of a typical network function life cycle. Then we thoroughly explore the design space and elaborate on the implementation choices each platform opts for. We also envision future challenges for NFV platform design in the incoming 5G era. We believe that our study gives a detailed guideline for network operators or service providers to choose the most appropriate NFV platform based on their respective requirements. Our work also provides guidelines for implementing new NFV platforms.

NFV Platforms: Taxonomy, Design Choices and Future Challenges

Cerroni W.;
2021

Abstract

Due to the intrinsically inefficient service provisioning in traditional networks, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) keeps gaining attention from both industry and academia. By replacing the purpose-built, expensive, proprietary network equipment with software network functions consolidated on commodity hardware, NFV envisions a shift towards a more agile and open service provisioning paradigm. During the last few years, a large number of NFV platforms have been implemented in production environments that typically face critical challenges, including the development, deployment, and management of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). Nonetheless, just like any complex system, such platforms commonly consist of abounding software and hardware components and usually incorporate disparate design choices based on distinct motivations or use cases. This broad collection of convoluted alternatives makes it extremely arduous for network operators to make proper choices. Although numerous efforts have been devoted to investigating different aspects of NFV, none of them specifically focused on NFV platforms or attempted to explore their design space. In this paper, we present a comprehensive survey on the NFV platform design. Our study solely targets existing NFV platform implementations. We begin with a top-down architectural view of the standard reference NFV platform and present our taxonomy of existing NFV platforms based on what features they provide in terms of a typical network function life cycle. Then we thoroughly explore the design space and elaborate on the implementation choices each platform opts for. We also envision future challenges for NFV platform design in the incoming 5G era. We believe that our study gives a detailed guideline for network operators or service providers to choose the most appropriate NFV platform based on their respective requirements. Our work also provides guidelines for implementing new NFV platforms.
Zhang T.; Qiu H.; Linguaglossa L.; Cerroni W.; Giaccone P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/790252
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