Virtualization technologies are now being applied to nearly every part of the IT application infrastructure. Improved equipment utilization plus other efficiency and economic benefits are the basis for much of the growth.
Having already applied virtualization to applications, the industry is now considering how to apply the same technology on the network infrastructure itself. Network functions are currently carried out by specialized proprietary and dedicated hardware. NFV or Network Functions Virtualization is an initiative to take these same network functions and make them virtual running on standard industry server platforms.
Numerous network devices can now run virtualized on Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) hardware but require significantly more processing performance to handle cryptography and compression algorithms. By offloading these algorithms to accelerators in the chipset, valuable processing cores can be freed up and virtual machine capacity significantly increased.
This document will describe NFV in more detail and discuss how current proprietary equipment designers can adopt a staged transition to commercial off the shelf platforms by leveraging Intel® QuickAssist technology for the integration of built-in hardware accelerators required to meet higher throughput needs.