The ETSI Industry Specification Group on NFV wants to make the network functions virtualization (NFV) ecosystem as open as possible. Its goal is for VNFs to be independent of the vendor supplying them or the service provider consuming them. And it wants to ensure that VNFs are interoperable with independently-developed management systems and the underlying hardware.
Diego Lopez, the head of the ETSI ISG NFV, said the group has been working toward this goal from its inception.
“We’ve been trying from the beginning to build specs that are useful, to address the hottest topics when it comes to deploying NFV, and to identify potential show-stoppers,” said Lopez. The group started with proof of concept (PoC) trials that had to involve at least two vendors plus an end user such as a telco operator. The PoC results were reported back to the group to help guide its work.
Later, ETSI ISG NFV began conducting plugtests to bring together a number of engineers to work on interop tests. It was a practical approach over a whole week of running the tests, identifying ambiguities, and reporting the results.
The group has held two plugtests so far: the first in Madrid, Spain, in 2017 and the second just recently in Sophia Antipolis, France. “We’re planning a third one with OPNFV,” said Lopez. This will bring together ETSI’s plugtests with OPNFV’s plugfests.
OPNFV and ETSI ISG NFV
OPNFV just recently announced that it was creating a OPNFV Verified Program (OVP) to bring consistency to certification of NFV components at the infrastructure level.
Chris Donley, the certification and compliance chair within OPNFV, said the new OVP program continues the group’s plugfest effort in a more formalized way. Donley said, “The verification program to test commercial products gives some assurance about the products [service providers] are seeing from the vendor community. It’s similar to what they see when it comes to standards compliance.”
It seems that much of the work being done by OPNFV and ETSI ISG NFV overlaps, and as Lopez said, they’re even working together. So why does ETSI want to pursue its own work?
“We are concerned that the NFV technologies have as much momentum as possible,” said Lopez. “It’s about making the market as wide and open as possible.”
For the record, ETSI ISG NFV also collaborates with the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) group as well as the Open Source Mano (OSM) group. “Many of the people within ONAP were previously participating in ETSI NFV,” said Lopez. “Many people are looking at both sides.” And of course, ETSI ISG NFV works closely with OSM because both groups are under the ETSI umbrella.
Asked which service providers are the most active in ETSI ISG NFV, Lopez named: NTT Docomo, KDDI, KT, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, BT, Orange, AT&T, Verizon, Bell Canada, and Rogers. Many of these same operators are also active in ONAP and OPNFV.
Since its creation, ETSI ISG NFV has produced over 60 specifications and reports. It’s currently running a short survey to understand which of these specifications are the most useful to the industry.
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