Brief Introduction of Service Chaining

5 min readMar 26, 2021

Service Chain

Service Chaining simply consists of a set of network services, such as firewalls or application delivery controllers (ADCs). All are interconnected through the network to support an application.

But SDN and NFV can make the service chain and application provisioning process a whole lot shorter and simpler.

Network Service Chain

Also known as service function chaining (SFC). Is a capability that uses software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities to create a service chain of connected network services (such as L4–7 like firewalls, network address translation [NAT], intrusion protection) and connect them in a virtual chain.

This capability can be used by network operators to set up suites or catalogs of connected services that enable the use of a single network connection for many services, with different characteristics.

Advantage of Service Chaining

The primary advantage of network service chaining is to automate the way virtual network connections can be set up to handle traffic flows for connected services.

For example, an SDN controller could take chain of services and apply them to different traffic flows depending on the source, destination or type of traffic

The SFC capability automates what traditional network administrators do when they connect up a series of physical L4–7 devices to process incoming and out coming network traffic, which may require a number of manual steps.

In this Lab you will learn the following

  1. Basic concept of service chaining
  2. Implementation of network service chaining with examples


Scenario 1:

Look at the example below, we will apply service chaining on it.

In the example above there are two networks “Fixed Networks” and “Mobile Networks”, both intend to reach to the other end i-e Internet.


Wajid Hassan is a Ph.D. Fellow in Technology Management at Indiana State University, USA. He is a Technology Evangelist and a fierce promoter of STEM Education