Network function virtualisation (NFV)
In the case of NFV, network functions such as routing, switching, firewalls, SD-WAN, and gateway functionality are installed on standardised hardware as required. The applications can be provided by different manufacturers. A central network management system (orchestrator) manages the applications, their distribution and operation of the hardware concerned.
Disaggregation means that the firmware/software, and hardware comes from different manufacturers. Particularly in the case of complex network components like routers, broadband network gateways or aggregation switches, there’s a marked trend towards disaggregation. Network operators benefit because functionalities (software), which they require, can be added to powerful hardware. Furthermore, this functionality can also be used on various hardware platforms belonging to different manufacturers.