< back to overview

SDN + NFV: Avoiding Silos

Nov 3, 2015

Introducing ONF’s latest technical report: TR-518, Relationship of SDN and NFV.

Image_FINALAs NFV gained mindshare over the last few years, it was natural to ask how NFV related to SDN. It was apparent that VNFs needed to be interconnected, which could best be done with SDN, but the wider ramifications required further analysis. ONF is pleased to announce the publication of technical report “TR-518, Relationship of SDN and NFV,” which addresses this question.

This document was developed in the ONF Architecture and Framework Working Group. To best understand the NFV perspective, the Architecture WG met jointly with ETSI NFV ISG in June, and exchanged subsequent liaisons and comments. Without implying that TR-518 represents an ETSI NFV ISG position, the contribution of ETSI NFV ISG and its members is gratefully acknowledged.

To summarize the wider relationship, SDN is broadly responsible for accepting service requests, marshalling the necessary resources, and configuring them to satisfy the requests, while isolating services from one another and ensuring optimum use of resources through feedback control. Some of the resources available to an SDN controller may be VNFs or NFV network services, which may in turn have been interconnected via SDN. As illustrated in the figure, SDN and NFV are intimately interrelated at many levels. SDN and NFV address somewhat different aspects of the problem space, but can be used in strongly synergistic ways, each to provide services to the other.

The key takeaway of the report is to point out the risk that if SDN and NFV were conceived as disjoint disciplines, they could be implemented in silos with hard interfaces, rather than as a seamless continuum. This would be to the detriment not only of deployment and execution environments, but also of the evolution of ideas.

For more information, please read “TR-518, Relationship of SDN and NFV.”

– Dave Hood, Chair of the ONF Architecture and Framework Working Group and Distinguished Engineer at Ericsson