ETSI NFV is part of the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) is an independent standardization organization that has been instrumental in developing standards for information and communications technologies (ICT) within Europe. It was created in 1988 as a nonprofit by the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration (CEPT), which has been the coordinating body for European telecommunications and postal organizations since 1959. Currently, the not-for-profit organization has more than 700 member organizations representing more than 62 countries around the world.
How ETSI NFV Operates
Most of the work of the Institute is done in committees and working groups made up of experts from member organizations. They tackle technical issues and the development of specifications and standards to support the needs of the broad membership and the European ICT industry at large.
Committees, often referred to as Technical Bodies, typically meet one to six times a year. There are three recognized types of Technical Bodies:
- Technical Committees – semi-permanent entities within ETSI organized around standardization activities for a specific technology area.
- ETSI Projects are established based on the needs of a particular market sector and tend to exist for a finite period of time.
- ETSI Partnership Projects are activities within ETSI that require cooperation with other organization to achieve a standardization goal.
Industry Specification Groups (ISG) supplement the work of Technical Bodies to address work needed around a specific technology area. Recently, a group was formed to drive standards for network functions virtualization (NFV).
ETSI NFV’s Role
Service providers came together and formed an industry specifications group within ETSI called the “Network Functions Virtualization” Group with over 100 members. The Group is focused on addressing the complexity of integrating and deploying new network services within software-defined networking (SDN) and networks that support OpenFlow.
They are working on defining the requirements and architecture for the virtualization of network functions to:
- Simplify ongoing operations
- Achieve high performance, portable solutions
- Support smooth integration with legacy platforms and existing EMS, NMS, OSS, BSS and orchestration systems
- Enable an efficient migration to new virtualized platforms
- Maximize network stability and service levels and ensure the appropriate level of resilience
The group is currently working on the standards and will be delivering the first specifications soon.