Network function virtualisation (NFV)

Network Function Virtualisation

SURF is conducting research into new network technologies that could enhance its network, including the virtualisation of network functions. SURF is working on a proof of concept environment, with a virtual firewall being the first function to be tested.

Scalable and flexible network

Network function virtualisation (NFV) allows us to replace a network's physical hardware components with an unlimited number of virtual, software-based components. NFV is therefore an excellent way to make the network more flexible and more scalable.

Proof of concept

SURF is currently working on a proof of concept environment with NFV. The network architecture we are developing will support the provision of high-availability and high-performance virtual network functions. The aim of the proof of concept is to set up a framework that can be used as a foundation for virtualising various types of network functions, depending on the wishes and requirements of institutions.

Virtual firewall

The proof of concept is starting by testing virtual firewall functions. The advantage of a virtual firewall is that, as an institution, you no longer need to invest in hardware over a lengthy period of time. The firewall functions shift into a virtualised environment and are software-based. Virtual firewall functions are therefore easy to change whenever your wishes or requirements change, and this is what makes a virtual firewall scalable and flexible.

Project phases

The infrastructure for NFV is constructed in a number of phases:

  • Initial implementation of a virtual firewall
  • Execution of performance testing
  • Testing availability approaches
  • Start of a pilot project with a number of institutions

Would you like to take part in the pilot project?

If your institution would like to participate in a pilot project involving virtual firewalls, or if you want to share your ideas about NFV in education and research, then please contact Richa Malhotra.

More information

Start date
01 Jan 2017
Verbindende infrastructuren
Latest modifications 01 Feb 2018