Network Functions Virtualization
NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) is virtualizing Layer 4-7 functions such as firewall or IDPS, or even load balancing (application delivery controllers).
NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) uses best practices as base policies and configurations for different network elements. If you have a specific tunnel you’re punching through the infrastructure, you can add a firewall or IDS/IPS to just that tunnel. The popular functions for this are firewalls and IDS/IPS systems from companies like PLUMgrid or Embrane.
NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) runs on high-performance x86 platforms, and it enables users to turn up functions on selected tunnels in the network. The goal is to allow people to create a service profile for a VM, or flow, and leverage x86 muscle to build an abstraction on top of the network (the tunnel) and then build virtual services on that specific logical environment. Once in place, NFV saves a lot of time on manual provisioning and training.
NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) also reduces the need to overprovision: rather than buying big firewall or IDS/IPS boxes that can handle a whole network, the customer can buy functions for the specific tunnels that need them. This reduces initial Capex, but the operational gains are the real advantage. NFV can be thought of as a parallel to VMware, with a few boxes running a lot of virtual servers, and a point and click provisioning system.