More and more mobile service providers are embracing network function virtualization (NFV)—and for good reason. NFV enables telecom infrastructure to function more like cloud infrastructure; adapting dynamically to demand, and scaling up and down as required. The result is greater versatility and flexibility, with dramatically lower costs.
However, service providers need to tread carefully as they deploy NFV. If you choose different technology vendors to support every function, also known as a ‘best-of-breed’ approach, it’s easy to dilute many of the cost benefits associated with NFV. Integrating multi-vendor solutions into the higher layer orchestration system can be expensive, time consuming, and technically challenging.
The F5® BIG-IP® system, which combines multiple network functions into a single platform, can be used in both the S/Gi-LAN interface in 4G networks and the N6 interface in 5G networks. A select range of VNFs can be deployed as pre-packaged, preconfigured NFV solutions, developed by F5 to simplify a service provider’s virtualized network.