Research Challenges for Network Function Virtualization - Re-Architecting Middlebox for High Performance and Efficient, Elastic and Resilient Platform to Create New Services -


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E101-B   No.1   pp.96-122
Publication Date: 2018/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2017EBI0001
Type of Manuscript: INVITED SURVEY PAPER
Category: Network
network function virtualization,  software-defined networking,  service chain,  policy management,  resource management,  

Full Text: FreePDF

Today's enterprise, data-center, and internet-service-provider networks deploy different types of network devices, including switches, routers, and middleboxes such as network address translation and firewalls. These devices are vertically integrated monolithic systems. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are promising technologies for dis-aggregating vertically integrated systems into components by using “softwarization”. Software-defined networking separates the control plane from the data plane of switch and router, while NFV decouples high-layer service functions (SFs) or Network Functions (NFs) implemented in the data plane of a middlebox and enables the innovation of policy implementation by using SF chaining. Even though there have been several survey studies in this area, this area is continuing to grow rapidly. In this paper, we present a recent survey of this area. In particular, we survey research activities in the areas of re-architecting middleboxes, state management, high-performance platforms, service chaining, resource management, and trouble shooting. Efforts in these research areas will enable the development of future virtual-network-function platforms and innovation in service management while maintaining acceptable capital and operational expenditure.