The digital transformation of network infrastructure
The digital transformation of network infrastructure through Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) is plying a central role in 5G’s commercialisation. There are several major architectural obstacles facing 5G networks, which can only be overcome leveraging NFV and SDN. In fact, there are various ways that NFV and SDN technologies are addressing those challenges and how 5G NFV will enable 5G future.
What is 5G?
The 5G acronym refers to the fifth generation technologies and standards for mobile network. It is an enabling technology for innovative services that regard the way people live and move or the way they produce the companies. It’s intended to support the flow of devices that require a mobile internet connection. Based upon the foundation laid by 4G LTE, 5G will enable people to send messages, make phone calls, download videos and surf the web, while significantly increasing the speed that data is transferred across the network.
The role of NFV
The basic idea under NFV is to decouple software from hardware. With NFV, service providers can deploy various network functions, such as firewall or encryption, on virtual machines (VMs). Whenever a customer requires a new network function, service providers are able to spin up a VM for that function automatically. Leveraging this technology, network administrators do not need to invest in high-priced, proprietary hardware to set up a service chain of network-connected devices. And unlike proprietary hardware.
These network functions can be installed in weeks instead of months. It seems to be clear that to 5G NFV will help virtualise multiple appliances in the network. Specifically, NFV will enable 5G network slicing, allowing various virtual networks to run on top of a single, physical infrastructure. Also 5G NFV will allow a physical network to be divided into various virtual networks capable of supporting multiple radio access networks (RANs). NFV can also address barriers to 5G by optimizing resource provisioning of the virtual network functions (VNFs) for price and energy, scale VNFs to ensure VNFs consistently to operate properly.
The role of SDN in the digital transformation of network infrastructure
A Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is an innovative and programmable networking architecture, representing the direction of the future network evolution. It is intended to minimise hardware bond.
The purpose of introducing SDN is to abstract lower level functions and move them towards a normal control plane, which manages network behavior through Application Program Interfaces (API). From a software-based, centralized control plane, network administrators can provide services through the network despite the connected hardware components. With available spectrum, 5G is going to push the limits of what is achievable.
This is the focus point: SDN is used to provide an overall framework to enable 5G to function across a control plane. It provides better data flows as data moves across the 5G network. In addition, SDN architecture can minimize network bandwidth and boost latency.
Finally, it provides a way to manage and automate network redundancy from a centralised control plane, circumnavigating major outages by determining optimal data flow in real time! It means that the digital transformation of network infrastructure is already here!