NFV(Network Functions Virtualization)

  • What is it?
    Traditionally, the functions and services required to manage a network have been provided by specialized, proprietary hardware with embedded software. These functions include those found universally in all networks such as routers, firewalls and load balancers to more application-specific ones used in mobile cellular networks such as a PGW (Packet Data Network Gateway) or MME (Mobility Management Engine).

    Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a new technology which virtualizes these functions, moving them from being hardware-dependent to being purely software-based. These functions can now be applications in containers or virtual machines, managed by a hypervisor and running on common, off-the-shelf x86 server equipment.

  • Why do you need it?
    Since they are now purely software based and no-longer dependent on specialized, proprietary hardware, the deployment and management of these network functions is much more scalable and elastic – for example, you can now instantly scale up or down your load balancing or firewall capacity simply by adjusting a software setting, and no longer need to purchase and install a new hardware device.

    NFV technology can greatly reduce both hardware purchasing and operating costs – since common, off-the-shelf servers (such as GIGABYTE’s rack server systems) can be used to run these functions that be a lot cheaper to purchase than specialized, proprietary hardware from vendors such as Cisco. And if different functions can all be run on the same type of hardware, management and maintenance costs also will be a lot cheaper. 

    Being purely software-based also makes NFV a lot more agile, shortening time to market and development cycles, since new network services and applications can be deployed on demand as soon as they are developed, rather than requiring new hardware to be installed into the data center.

  • How is GIGABYTE helpful?
    GIGABYTE’s family of RackHigh Density & Edge Servers make ideal platforms to run virtualized software applications such as NFV. They feature either a single or dual-socket processor architecture that support the full range of SKUs from Intel or AMD, and can scale from providing high-efficiency compute at low power to high core-count and clock speed SKUs that can support a huge number of virtual machines or containers. GIGABYTE’s range of servers also feature an industry-leading number of expansion slots per form factor or platform type, allowing for a large number of high speed Networking Interface Cards (NIC) to be installed which are necessary for servers to be used in networking applications.

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    Success Case

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    GIGABYTE’s E-Series Edge Servers are the highlight of MWC Barcelona 2021. This product line is the fruition of GIGABYTE’s long history of providing 5G and edge computing solutions for key clients, including Taipei Music Center, which wanted to stage VR concerts, and ITRI and New Taipei Police, which needed to maintain order during the Pokémon GO craze. The E251-U70, the first model in the E-Series, exemplifies industry know-how and design philosophy distilled from previous success cases. It has been chosen by NVIDIA to be part of its Aerial Developer Kit.
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    With the proliferation of 5G communications technology, edge computing—the practice of performing computing tasks as physically or logically close as possible to where data is created and commands are executed—has begun to permeate the modern world of smart technology. In this article, we explore the concept of edge computing in detail, and explain how it offers many excellent advantages, especially in terms of latency reduction for applications that rely on real-time decision-making.
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