NFV-S: Next-Generation Security for Enterprises, Service Providers and the Cloud

April 7, 2014

Alan Zeichick, Principal Analyst, Camden AssociatesA new security extension for Network Function Virtualization aligns businesses and carriers at the forefront of cloud computing.

What is a network? That question was fairly easy to answer a decade ago. Today, it’s not so easy. A network encompasses enterprise infrastructure, carrier networks, cloud networks, and virtual networks— and that represents challenges to organizations implementing networks, or offering network services.

Let’s look at what NFV means, and introduce an important extension, Network Function Virtualization for Security, or NFV-S.

Network Functions Virtualization. The core premise behind NFV is that any network management function that historically required dedicated, proprietary hardware on a physical network should be able to be executed through software in a real or virtual network – and in a standardized way through standard interfaces.

NFV promises to allow commodity-priced PC-based network devices to provide the same services on local networks, virtual machines and in the cloud.
For some organizations, agility is the primary benefit behind NFV. Service providers can enjoy the ability to offer new services to their customers, no matter how large or small, or where those customers are located.

Security is one such service.

Network Function Virtualization for Security.It’s hard enough to implement and manage connections that may span multiple buildings, multiple carriers and multiple cloud providers. The challenge is multiplied when you want those connections to be secure. Network Function Virtualization for Security, or NFV-S, is up to the challenge.

NFV-S, pioneered by Wedge Networks of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, leverages all the important attributes of NFV to provide elastic, on-demand security services that immediately contain and remediate threats as they occur.

The security functions in NFV-S can be implemented by any service provider and any customer, no matter the location, the bandwidth and the persistence of the network connection needing protection.

By

Alan Zeichick, Principal Analyst, Camden Associates

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