Network function virtualisation in a virtual reality environment

SURF conducts research into new network technologies that could enhance its network, including the virtualisation of network functions (NFV). During a demonstration at SuperComputing 2016, visitors wearing VR glasses used network functions to process their 3D image in a virtual reality environment. View the animated video.

Man met VR-bril met wijsvinger uitgestoken

Scalable, flexible network with NFV

Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) is one of the technologies we are researching with a view to enhancing the SURFnet network. With NFV, the functions conventionally performed by specialised network equipment are migrated to a virtualised environment. Examples of these network functions include rate limiting, firewalling and intrusion detection. NFV allows such network functions to be implemented in a flexible and scalable way.

Demonstrating that NFV actually works

Visitors to SuperComputing 2016 were able to see for themselves that NFV actually works. They were able to put on VR glasses and then activate various network functions in a virtual reality environment. This allowed them to programme the network. The result was real-time processing of the visitor's 3D image.

Chain of network functions

During the demo, visitors were able to add or remove network functions at any time and in any order. In order to make this possible, the Network Service Header was used during the demo. This protocol makes it easy to place different network functions in a chain, one after the other, in any order.

More information

Read the blog about the demo Demonstrating network functions with virtual reality

Result of: Project SURFnet8