Improve your network’s agility and bandwidth with network function virtualization (NFV)

Published October 5, 2020


There are a host of reasons why retailers want their enterprise network to be agile, and the need to adapt and innovate in a digital world really leaves them no choice. The problem is that it’s not always easy to understand the “how’s” and “what’s” of adopting technologies to get your retail business on a digitally competitive playing field. That’s why you should know a lot about network function virtualization (NFV) and what it can do to help you leave your legacy network behind—for good.


So what is NFV and how can it help you?

Let’s say you’re the VP of operations for a major global retail chain. Your stores are located throughout the world and you’re still relying on a physical enterprise network that runs its software on its hardware. That’s limiting, costly and doesn’t generate much ability to adopt new digital capabilities. And that can present problems for your customers, if they aren’t able to make mobile payments, they’re likely to shop somewhere else. NFV can help.

Simply put, NFV is a way for you to virtualize your network services, like routers and firewalls that typically run on (expensive) proprietary hardware. It replaces old standard black boxes for a more open architecture that allows for more scalability—so it’s much easier to adopt new technologies.

An NFV solution also separates your software from your hardware (called decoupling), helping you avoid being locked into a particular hardware or software; you’ll also gain the agility and speed to bring new services to market faster. Operations are simplified through virtualization and automation with the flexibility to scale up and down as needed, and your carrier server providers can easily change networking vendors. Through NFV, retailers can reduce upfront and reoccurring costs and decrease time (and the money it takes) for deployment.

But is the NFV market, using this relatively new technology, mature enough to take advantage of these potential benefits? It appears so. The overall global (NFV) market size is projected to grow from USD 12.9 billion in 2019 to USD 36.3 billion by 2024, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.9 percent.  And a survey by Ovum found that 60 percent of service providers expect to achieve widespread NFV adoption in the next two years (rising from just 20 percent in 2020).

So, how do you develop a rapid deployment plan for an NFV solution?  And what are some of the considerations to consider for ensuring a successful migration to a new network?  Let’s take a look at some of the elements that should be included in the rapid deployment NFV plan. 

Your NFV solution should be mapped to a European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV architecture, with an overlay of services that include design, deployment, maintenance and management of the NFV solution. NFV orchestration can include instantiation, service chaining, management and scaling of virtualized network functions (VNF). And VNF management elements should be documented to include configurations, profiles and policies for each VNF, including the router, firewall, WANx, SBC and SD-WAN.

NCR Telecom & Technology offers NFV services that deliver all the efficiencies and benefits the flexible technology has to offer. We have a broad range of NFV offerings that include field, remote and professional services so you can confidently deploy, maintain and manage next generation networks across the globe. 

Check out NCR’s enterprise networking solutions now

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