The growth in network function virtualization (NFV) technology has fueled the rise of virtual routers, providing a substantial advantage over physical routers. Along with a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), scalability, and flexibility, virtual routers also showcases a pay as you grow model that ensures it’s a more feasible alternative to a hardware-based Layer 3 IP router. The virtualization of NFV technology allows multiple functions to run on a standard server, lowering both capital costs and operational expenses due in part to more efficient use of resources.
While communication service providers (CSPs) such as Cisco, Juniper Networks, IBM, and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd have invested heavily in developing NFV powered virtual routers for services purposes, software’s such as Connectify and Virtual Router Manager have ensured that every user with WiFi enabled electronic device can host their own independent hotspot. While improving network agility and an efficient scale out, the rise in demand for NFV technology has also given rise to software-defined networking (SDN).
To support business services like IP/MPLS VPNs, the most common virtual routing cases used today are as a virtual Provider Edge (vPE), along with as a virtual Route Reflection (vRR). They are also gaining traction as the routing component of virtual Customer Premise Equipment (vCPE) solutions, where they are often used in conjunction with the other virtualized network functions (VNFs) such as firewall and NAT. Virtual routers are also seeing deployment as Virtual Broadband Network Gateways (vBNGs)/Virtual L2TP network servers (vLNS) in support of residential and wholesale broadband services.
The rise in demand for virtual routers would fuel the growth of the market in the future. According to a recent report by Allied Market Report, the global virtual router market is expected to reach $515.00 million by 2025, registering a CAGR of 24.4% from 2018 to 2025. The growth is supported by the benefits of virtual routers over physical ones, especially providing of cost-efficient cloud networking solution. In addition, having routing functionality available as software separate from hardware means users can try it in lab environments using their existing computer infrastructure, or even in a public cloud. This approach provides a way to evaluate and validate use cases more quickly and cost-effectively than similar hardware-based activities.
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