Read These Before You Deploy a Network Virtual Appliance (Part I)

Planning to deploy a network virtual appliance (NVA)? Well! That’s a great step if you want to simplify your cloud migration, enhance the availability of your cloud applications, have a secure network boundary, and much more.  However, with great power comes great responsibility, and that you must have done thorough research before you plan to deploy an NVA. For your help, we have come up with this article telling you the basics of NVA that include:

  1. What is a Network Virtual Appliance (NVA)?
  2. Why You Need a Network Virtual Appliance (NVA)?
  3. What are the Benefits of a Network Virtual Appliance (NVA)?

So, let’s begin the journey!

What is a Network Virtual Appliance (NVA)?

To know network virtual appliance let us first know what is a virtual appliance. 

A subset of the comprehensive class of software appliances, a virtual appliance is a virtual machine image, which is pre-configured and ready to run on a hypervisor.

And, as the name signifies, a network virtual appliance is a virtual appliance that mainly focuses on network functions virtualization. In a typical NVA, you have multiple layers four to seven functions such as routers, WAN optimizer, load balancers, SD-WAN edge, IDS/IPS, application delivery controllers, firewall, proxies, and more. 

A Network Virtual Appliance in the Cloud!

An NVA is usually a full Linux virtual machine (VM) image that comprises a Linux kernel and has user-level services and applications.  The first thing a VM does after it is created is booting the Linux kernel for initializing the system. Only then it instigates any management services or applications that are required for making the NVA functional. While you rely on the cloud service provider (CSP) for the compute resources, the image used for representing the software stack of the virtual appliance is usually provided by the independent software vendors (ISVs). 

Why You Need a Network Virtual Appliance (NVA)?

A network virtual appliance is used in cloud applications for enhancing high availability. It is used in cases when you need to have an advanced level of control over the traffic flows. For instance, when you build a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) in the cloud. An NVA provides a secure network boundary by checking all the incoming & outgoing traffic and allowing only those that meet the set rules. 

What are the Benefits of a Network Virtual Appliance (NVA)?

There are many benefits of an NVA, however, here are the top two:

#1: Simplifies Your Cloud Migration

Network virtual appliances help you in dealing with issues like optimization of your WANs, application delivery controllers, and security through encryption and firewalls. 

#2: Simplifies Deployment of Innovative Hybrid Network Scenarios

NVA streamlines the execution of even the complex hybrid scenarios. The best part is CSPs like Microsoft Azure supports an extensive list of third-party NVAs that includes WAN optimizers, web application firewalls (WAF), application delivery controllers (ADC), and firewalls, gateways/routers. Not just that, most Azure migration experts support NVA deployment just in case you need one. 

Wrap Up

So, now when we know what NVA is, why it is used, and what are its benefits we must have gained some better insights into deploying an NVA. But that’s not all, there is a lot more to learn if we want a successful deployment of the NVA. In our next article “Read These before You Deploy a Network Virtual Appliance (Part II)”, we will discuss the precautions that need to be taken for NVA deployment, and the scenarios where it should be deployed.