THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which basically kicked off network functions virtualization (NFV) five years ago with an NFV white paper, is now in the process of creating a new group — the Zero-Touch group.
The ETSI NFV industry specification group (ISG) laid the foundation for the majority of network virtualization work. Now, ETSI thinks it might be time for a second ISG group to bridge the mostly static realm of service providers’ operations support systems (OSS) to their virtualized networks.
At this week’s SDN and NFV World Congress event in The Hague, Don Clarke, chair of the network operator council of ETSI NFV ISG, told SDxCentral that ETSI is going through the process of forming a new ISG. Four service providers are leading the initiative: China Mobile, Deutsche Telecom, Telefonica, and NTT Docomo.
“They are scoping the requirements from industry that will enable full automation and operations of NFV infrastructure,” said Clarke. The four service providers are also having discussions with several vendors about the formation of the new group.
When ETSI NFV ISG was created, it limited its scope to new virtualized networks. “We had to begin where everybody understood where we were and where we wanted to go,” Clarke said. “It was genuinely new. We kept out of scope everything north of the orchestrator. We expected the orchestrator to take commands from the OSS in order to assemble the network.”
The group didn’t want to mess with service providers’ OSSs while it was beginning the NFV journey.
“Operators have very strong views about OSS, but those views are very specific to each of them,” said Clarke. “If you would have attempted to reach alignment from the beginning with operators, you wouldn’t have been able to achieve any kind of consensus.”
ETSI NFV ISG reduced the scope so everyone could participate. Clarke said, “DT, from the beginning, has been vocal about the need to transform the OSS to be an automation environment. It has taken five years to manifest.”
The new Zero-Touch ISG group, if it comes to reality, will work to create specifications that are OSS agnostic, while meeting the downstream requirements of ETSI NFV.
Clarke said the time is ripe for this new group. “Now that the spec work of ETSI has reached a point, literally this summer, where we’ve published specs of sufficient detail between MANO, VIM, VNFs, and the VNF packaging specs, all have been specified to a degree of detail that I never expected five years ago.”