Network VirtualizationNetwork Virtualization

SDN – Software Defined Network

The Open Network Foundation (ONF) is the organization that manages the OpenFlow standards. The ONF defines SDN as “The physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, and where a control plane controls several devices”. Learn more about SDN in this blog post, “Introduction to Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is Cisco’s version of SDN. ACI is essentially a “policy-driven” network. Network policies are defined by the network administrator, and the network implements those policies. ACI design involves two pieces of infrastructure: a new line of Nexus switches: the Nexus 9000, and the “Application Policy Infrastructure Controller” (APIC). Learn more about Cisco ACI in this blog post, “Introduction to Cisco’s ACI Application Centric Infrastructure

NFV – Network Functions Virtualization

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is a telecommunications industry effort to transform how network services are delivered and deployed. Much like the server virtualization wave of the last few years, the goal of NFV is to deploy Network Functions (switches, routers, firewalls, etc.) as virtual machines using general-purpose servers, storage and hypervisor technologies. Learn more about NFV in this blog post, “Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)


NFV and SDN (Software Defined Networking) are not mutually exclusive; they are complementary technologies. Since NFV defines the virtualization of the network function, Software Defined Networking centrally controls the forwarding path of traffic through a network. By combining SDN technologies with NFV, greater flexibility and control of packet flows through the services chain are possible.

In addition to our IT Design & Implementation work directly with enterprise clients, Datatrend has extensive experience working with ISVs to integrate and deploy NFV functions, such as soft switches, in-network with leading telco carriers and service providers.

Please contact us or call 800.367.7472 to explore how we can leverage network virtualization to meet your technical and business goals.