The 12th meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG) was held in Jersey City, N.J., just across the Hudson River from New York City. Backdropped by the stunning Manhattan skyline, the locale offered an excellent venue for the industry group driving the NFV ecosystem.
Verizon was the host operator for the meeting, with Intel and Ericsson co-hosting. On the opening day, Verizon executives shared Verizon’s network transformation plans in a workshop, “Transforming the Service Provider’s Network.”
Adam Koeppe, VP of network technology for Verizon, commented: “Collaborative meetings like ETSI NFV ISG provide a much-needed forum for Verizon and companies up and down the ecosystem to hold intelligent and deliberate discussion. Verizon embraces the NFV and SDN paradigm shift that will require re-envisioning, re-tooling, and re-training to transform our network and the business.”
John Healy, general manager of Intel’s Software Defined Networking Division, stated: “The NFV transformation is a journey founded on collaborative pathfinding and industry milestones. It starts with the communities, like ETSI NFV, coming together to tackle real barriers to deployment such as performance, service assurance, security, interoperability, all based on open source and standards. Intel is investing with the community to lead the transformation.”
Stephan Skiba, strategic product manager, Ericsson, on behalf of another co-host for NFV#12, commented: “Ericsson believes that the transformation to the network society has already begun. Mobility, broadband, and cloud will enable significant change and growth in all sectors. ETSI is in a unique position due to the participation of many industries. Good specifications have the chance to be adopted widely and significantly simplify the transformation.”
ETSI NFV ISG by the Numbers
Network Operator Council (NOC): 38 operators
Participants: 289 member companies
Mailing List: 1,300 individuals
Participants (NFV#12): 222 attendees
ETSI NFV ISG Chairman Steven Wright of AT&T, commenting on the continued momentum, observed: “Among our most important 2015 goals was to foster interoperable implementations rather than creating new standards activity. Exiting our final meeting for the year, we are pleased with the progress and entertaining proposals for 2016 work items, which will continue to guide the entire industry on the direction for NFV.”
A significant outcome resulting from NFV#12 was the completion of “Report on SDN Usage in NFV Architecture Framework.” This study was conducted over the past 12 months, with 40 contributors from across the industry, and motivated 35 recommendations for the ISG. The report analyzed SDN use cases for NFV, highlighting lessons learned from 14 ETSI NFV PoCs using SDN and NFV, along with open source SDN controllers. The ETSI authors consulted with ETSI NFV ISG liaisons, including ONF, OPNFV, OpenDaylight, and IEEE, along with ITU, 3GPP, TM Forum, MEF, and ATIS.
ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Marie-Paule Odini from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, who served as editor for the report, stated: “Many of the operators are interested in leveraging the highly intelligent, logically centralized network control provided by SDN. As a result of our report, we are evaluating enhancements to our existing work as well as additional NFV work items to capitalize on the value of SDN and NFV.”
Collaboration with leading standards developing organizations (SDOs) remains a key objective of the ETSI NFV ISG. On that note, the ISG is organizing a multi-SDO workshop on information modeling in January 2016.
ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Michael Brenner of ClearPath Networks, who will co-chair the workshop, elaborated: “ETSI NFV ISG recognized early on the importance of information and data modeling (IM/DM) to the success of NFV. In order to deliver a common NFV information model, we must leverage the expertise of SDOs and open source projects to harmonize ongoing information modeling efforts at the joint workshop.”
Another important collaboration is with the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), which is working with the ISG to refine the NFV requirements and architectural framework through implementation experiences, a continuous integration methodology, and coordination with the upstream projects. At the recent OPNFV Summit , ETSI NFV ISG Chair Steven Wright delivered a presentation in the OPNFV/SDO Collaboration session “ETSI NFV Relationship With OPNFV,” which highlighted the areas of collaboration with the OPNFV open source project. (Refer to the OPNFV White Paper for additional details.)
Looking ahead to 2016, the NFV Network Operator’s Council and ISG plenary entertained a series of new feature proposals for the new year reflecting the ISG’s priorities including:
- Guidance for VNF developers
- Common information models
- User stories on NFV-based end-to-end services
- NFV best-practices
The NFV technical program will focus on:
- Connectivity provisioning involving existing networks
- Security management
- Information model consolidation
- Testing procedures
- Continuous integration and the application of DevOps
ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Bruno Chatras from Orange observed: “The NFV ISG’s primary goal is to offer guidance to, but avoid overlap with, other industry groups, SDOs, and open source projects. Operators provided actionable feedback and a range of proposals which serves as a strong indicator of their commitment to the ISG and refinement of their individual strategies.”
As the ETSI NFV ISG enters its fourth year, emphasis will be on implementations, initial deployments, and establishment of an open ecosystem, fueled by strong collaboration with the NFV/SDN SDOs and open source communities that are reshaping the entire industry. Expect even more announcements on deployment progress by NFV#13 in February, as 2016 is emerging as the Year of NFV (once again).
For additional details refer to: ETSI NFV site