Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Over the past decades, virtualization technology has been quite evolving for computing resources to the extent that virtual resources are becoming available on local computers or standardized servers as in data centers to increase the flexibility and remove hardware dependencies.

The communication network, in fact contains several functions that are available on monolithic hardware equipment such as firewalls, CDN, DPI or mobile network nodes. Therefore, an initiative was taken in 2012 by mobile operators calling to adopt the virtualization concept to network functions as well, what is called Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) [1] 

NFV aims at hosting network functions as software instances on standardized capable hardware, without the need for special equipment to obtain these functions.


Figure from: [2]


NFV brings several advantages to today's networks as such:

  • Hardware independency which is a driver for cost reduction and energy savings
  • Network scalability through dynamic resources allocation
  • Network flexibility and dynamic instantiation
  • Facilitation of introducing new network functions 

NFV is tightly coupled with the concepts of cloud computing and Software Defined Networking (SDN). Where cloud computing acts as a deployment platform which hosts and orchestrates the virtualized network functions, SDN enables more control and dynamic programmability. 

Figure modified from: [1]

Our research interest

  • NFV for mobile network functions
  • Placement of virtualized network functions
  • Decomposition of network functions
  • Orchstration of NFV-enabled networks

Related publications

[1] "Network Function Virtualization, white paper", SDN and OpenFlow World Congress, Darmstadt, Germany. Oct. 2012.

[2] "Network Functions Virtualization—Everything Old Is New Again, white paper", F5 Networks "Service Provider", 2013.

LKN related publications

[3] A. Basta, W. Kellerer,  M. Hoffmann, K. Hoffmann, and E. D. Schmidt. "A Virtual SDN-Enabled LTE EPC Architecture: A Case Study for S-/P-Gateways Functions", IEEE SDN4FNS, 2013.


For more information, please contact

Arsany Basta