Intel Software Adrenaline

Simplified Networking Based on SDN and NFV

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WHITE PAPER IntelĀ® Architecture Processors Networking and Communications Open, Simplified Networking Based on SDN and Network Functions Virtualization Part I of series discusses how network functions consolidated onto standard, high-volume servers, switches and storage reduce equipment, operational costs and time to market for new services. Introduction Today's networks are overly complex, partly due to an increasing variety of proprietary, fixed-function appliances that are unable to deliver the agility and economics needed to address constantly changing market requirements. This is because network elements have traditionally been optimized for high packet throughput at the expense of flexibility, thus hampering the development and deployment of new services. Another concern is that rapid advances in technology and services are accelerating the obsolescence of installed hardware; and in turn, hardware isn't keeping up with other modes of feature evolution, which constrains innovation in a more network-centric, connected world.1 Flexible networking architecture enables network operators to react more quickly and economically to an ever-evolving market landscape. In response, the industry has begun to develop more interoperable solutions per the principles outlined by Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and a complementary initiative, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). At the heart of these two approaches is the decoupling of network functions from hardware through abstraction. The end result is software workloads will no longer be tied to a particular hardware platform, allowing them to be controlled centrally and deployed dynamically throughout the network as needed. Moreover, network functions can be consolidated onto standard, high-volume servers, switches and storage, further reducing time to market and costs for network operators. This white paper, written in three parts, describes an SDN/NFV-based network architecture using open building blocks, and provides implementation details for a switching model that combines physical and virtual switches. After reading these papers, one will be able to explain the rationale for this network transformation, describe the relationships among the various relevant components and open standards, understand how physical and virtual switching will co-exist, and learn how IntelĀ® reference designs can help reduce development time.

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