What is VNF in virtualization

VNF (virtualized network function)

Virtual network functions (VNF) are virtualized network functions. In contrast to classic network functions that run on existing hardware, virtual network functions are implemented using software.


In general, all network functions can be virtualized and implemented on virtual machines. Corresponding services are available for landline and cellular networks. For example the security functions of firewalls, the Domain Name System (DNS), the translation of network addresses or Network Address Translation (NAT). In cellular networks, it could be the Evolved Packet Core (EPC), the Mobility Management Entity (MME), the Home Subscriber Service (HSS), various gateway functions, network nodes and other network functions that are virtualized. Corresponding services can be implemented by service providers or in companies.

As far as the architecture of the virtual network functions is concerned, they are based on the virtualization layer of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which supports virtual network computing, virtual networking and virtual storage. The NFV functions are carried out on the NFV infrastructure (NFVI), with the various protocols and processes being harmonized by a VNF manager.

Virtual network functions can be linked in a service chain, which simplifies the provision and processing of the functions.