Ericsson and Cisco already have a broad-reaching partnership. But Nokia and Huawei are fierce competitors with each other as well as with Cisco and Ericsson. But apparently, service providers need these top telecom vendors to work together to test the interoperability of virtual network functions (VNFs) in multi-vendor environments.
The NFV-ITI members will test the interoperability of NFV elements in specific customer situations to accelerate commercial implementations in services providers’ networks.
The companies also want to create alignment on generic principles for NFV interoperability testing.
In their announcement today, the companies acknowledge there are already several forums for NFV interoperability testing. Those include the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Testing working group, OPNFV testing projects, and the Network Vendor Interoperability Testing (NVIOT) testing.
The NFV-ITI members plan to use best practices from the existing interop groups. And, according to today’s announcement, “NFV-ITI shall be well-aligned with the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group and the OPNFV project.”
The four companies say all “relevant NFV vendors are welcome to join this initiative by ratifying the NFV-ITI MoU.”
Most large telecom equipment vendors have created end-to-end NFV offerings to help de-risk NFV for service providers. But today’s announcement indicates that at least some large customers want a multi-vendor environment, and they want it all to work together.