If you’re curious about learning the difference between Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and how they relate, here’s a good article for you. I’ve written a quick summary.
How they’re different:
SDN is about separating the control and data planes, centralizing control, and programming network behaviour. Control is the operative word, especially as data centers continue to expand and the use of virtual machines proliferates.
NFV was developed by a group of service providers who wanted to deploy new network services faster but were hindered by the variety and complexity of hardware appliances. NFV virtualizes and consolidates this equipment onto industry standard servers.
How they relate:
SDN and NFV can be used separately, but can also complement each other if used together. NFV can support SDN by providing the infrastructure on which SDN software can run. The article shows an example of this where NFV virtualizes the function of a router, while SDN separates the control and data planes. The result is faster performance through an optimized data plane, greater agility and efficiency due to virtualization and central control, and lower capital equipment costs from switching to “generic” devices.