Today, twenty-three network operators published a white paper to guide the industry on priorities for NFV to deliver the industry vision for 5G systems: “Network Operator Perspectives on NFV priorities for 5G”. The network operator co-authors include Bell Canada, BT, CableLabs, CenturyLink, China Mobile, China Unicom, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT, NTT, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Portugal Telecom, Rogers, SK Telecom, Sprint, STC, Swisscom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, and Vodafone. As managing editor for this white paper, I worked closely with colleagues from these leading organisations to document some key consensus requirements that we want the 5G standards community to take into account in their upcoming specification work.
Network Functions Virtualisation
NFV in ETSI
Founded in November 2012 by seven of the world's leading telecoms network operators ISG NFV became the home of the Industry Specification Group for NFV.
Four years and over 50 publications later, the ISG NFV community has evolved through several phases, its publications have moved from pre-standardization studies to detailed specifications (see Release 2 and Release 3) and the early Proof of Concepts (PoCs) efforts have evolved and led to interoperability events (Plugtests). This large community (290+ companies including 38 of the world's major service providers) is still working intensely to develop the required standards for NFV as well as sharing their experiences of NFV implementation and testing.
ISG NFV, like any other ETSI Industry Specification Group is open to ETSI members and non-members alike, with different conditions depending on ETSI membership status. If you would like to participate in this work, please contact the NFV support team.
Building the Software-Defined Network
Modern telecoms networks contain an ever increasing variety of proprietary hardware. The launch of new services often demands network reconfiguration and on-site installation of new equipment which in turn requires additional floor space, power, and trained maintenance staff.
The innovation cycles accelerate and require greater flexibility and dynamism than hardware-based appliances allow. Hard-wired network with single functions boxes are tedious to maintain, slow to evolve, and prevent service providers from offering dynamic services.
In the same way that applications are supported by dynamically configurable and fully automated cloud environments, virtualized network functions allow networks to be agile and capable to respond automatically to the needs of the traffic and services running over it.
Key enabling technologies for this vision include SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation). SDN and NFV are complementary but increasingly co-dependent in order for the benefits of software-defined networking to be fully realized.
ETSI NFV ISG undertakes work in 2-year phases.
Documents published during the first phase (2013-2014) were considered as pre-normative studies, and are sometimes erroneously referred to as 'Release 1’.
After the first 2-year 'Phase', the ISG NFV community continued to work together (2015-2016) and decided to develop normative specifications with more formalism. They started to plan the content for their future releases. Release 2 development ended Q4 2016 when Release 3 started.
Going forward, ISG NFV will continue to develop specifications that meet the needs of the industry, and maintain its published documents. Progress in the industry will be monitored, including feedback from implementation, and the identification of gaps will be addressed.
In its first 2-year phase, the initial focus of the NFV ISG was:
- to drive convergence on network operator requirements for NFV
- to include applicable standards, where they already existed, into industry services and products
- to develop new technical requirements with the goal of stimulating innovation and fostering an open ecosystem of vendors
The original vision outlined in the joint-operator white paper published in October 2012 was:
- Defining requirements and architecture for the virtualisation of network functions
- Addressing technical challenges of network virtualization, which included:
- simple to operate, manage, and orchestrate (particularly alongside legacy management systems)
- high performing and portable virtualised network appliances
- co-existence with legacy hardware
- secured against attack and configuration errors
- stability of service and network during appliance load and relocation
- resilience to hardware and software failures
An important milestone was the publication in October 2013 of the first five ETSI Group Specifications (GSs). Four of them were designed to align understanding about NFV across the industry. They covered NFV use cases (NFV 001), virtualization requirements (NFV 004), an architectural framework (NFV 002), and terminology (NFV 003). The fifth document (NFV-PER 002) defined a framework for co-ordinating and promoting public demonstrations of Proof of Concept platforms (PoC) illustrating key aspects of NFV.
In 2014, the publication pace accelerated with the release of 11 other documents:
- NFV-INF 001 v1.1.1 "Infrastructure Overview"
- NFV-INF 003 v1.1.1 "Infrastructure Compute Domain"
- NFV-INF 004 v1.1.1 "Infrastructure Hypervisor Domain"
- NFV-INF 005 v1.1.1 "Infrastructure Network Domain"
- NFV-INF 007 v1.1.1 "Meth. to desc. Interfaces and Abstractions"
- NFV-INF 010 v1.1.1 "NFV Service Quality Metrics"
- NFV-MAN 001 v1.1.1 "Management and Orchestration"
- NFV-REL 001 v1.1.1 "Resiliency Requirements"
- NFV-SEC 001 v1.1.1 "Security Problem Statement"
- NFV-SEC 003 v1.1.1 "Security and Trust Guidance"
- NFV-SWA 001 v1.1.1 "Virtual Network Function Architecture"
This first set of documents closed the first 2-year phase of ISG NFV. At the time they were written the ETSI NFV community was considering these documents as “pre-standardization” work. They helped the industry to build a culture and share a common understanding on the important concepts to master when working in network virtualization.
Although these document were not developed with the formalism of standard specifications, they are very valuable and constitute a large documentation basis for the reader.
2015-2016: Release 2
The need to produce normative specifications to enable end-to-end interworking of equipment and services formed a fundamental part of this phase.
To fulfil that need, the ISG decided to group most of its normative work into a release: "NFV Release 2". Release 2 is a subset of the published documents during the 2015-2016 phase, it was defined by selecting and prioritizing a set of key capabilities for NFV and specifying them up to the level of requirements, interfaces, and information models.
As part of Release 2, the ISG NFV specified functional requirements applicable to the VIM, VNFM and NFVO functional blocks, and requirements applicable to the reference points. In addition, requirements, interfaces and information models related to different capabilities have been specified, including:
- Management of virtualised resources (IFA 005, IFA 006, and IFA 010)
- Virtualised resources information management (IFA 005, IFA 006, and IFA 010)
- Fault and performance management of virtualised resources (IFA 005, IFA 006, and IFA 010)
- Lifecycle management of VNFs (IFA 007, IFA 008, IFA 010, SOL002, and SOL003)
- Fault, configuration and performance management of VNFs (IFA 007, IFA 008, IFA 010, SOL002, and SOL003)
- Lifecycle management of Network Services (IFA 010, and IFA 013)
- Fault and performance management of Network Services (IFA 010, and IFA 013)
- Package and software image management (IFA 005, IFA 006, IFA 007, IFA 010, IFA 011, IFA 013, and SOL003)
- VNF Descriptor – VNF information modelling (IFA 011, and SOL001)
- Network Service descriptors – NS information modelling (IFA 014, and SOL001)
- Virtualised resources capacity management (IFA 005, and IFA 010)
- Hardware-independent acceleration (IFA 002, IFA 003, IFA 004, and IFA 010)
- A UML Information Model (IFA015) that consolidates the Information Elements developed in all other reference points specs (IFA004 to 008 and IFA011 to 14)
- Information modelling guidelines (IFA016, IFA017)
2017-2018: NFV Release 3
NFV Release 3 is under way: the "feature collection" initiative led to an initial set of 18 New Work Items (future publications) being approved as part of this third release, although other documents could be created and added during the development.
A "Release 3 Definition" identifies the work items that will be addressed by the ISG in the coming months.
As part of Release 3 and other release-independent work items the ISG NFV is currently engaged in:
- Information modelling (IFA016, IFA017 and IFA024)
- End-to-end multi-site services management (IFA022)
- Additional considerations on management and orchestration (IFA020, IFA021 and EVE009)
- Acceleration technologies (IFA018 and IFA019)
- Charging, billing and accounting (EVE008)
- License management (EVE010)
- Security analysis and management (SEC013, SEC014)
- Reliability and availability considerations (REL007, REL008)
- DevOps and continuous integration (TST006)
- Testing (TST004, TST007)
- Policy management (IFA023)
- Identification of "Touchpoints" with information Models of other organisations (IFA024)
NFV specifications publicly available
Find related NFV specifications in the public domain via the standards search:
where you can also filter and subscribe for alerts on updates of specifications.
Work in progress
For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.
News, comments and opinions from ETSI’s NFV Industry Specification Group
The direct link to refer to this blog is http://www.etsi.org/technologies-clusters/technologies/nfv?tab=3
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Authors: Diego Lopez, NFV ISG Chairman, Joan Triay NFV TSC Chair & Peter Wörndle NFV TSC Vice Chair
The ETSI NFV ISG has just concluded their last plenary meeting for 2016 (that was precisely NFV#16) with the attendance of 175 delegates from 60 organizations. NFV#16 was hosted from December 12th to 15th by Huawei in Shenzhen, China.
The meeting kicked off with a Huawei NFV workshop, specifically focused on the evolution of NFV, with the horizon that has become common when talking about the next generation of networking: the year 2020.
Next steps: ETSI’s NFV ISG and the road to 5G
The ETSI NFV ISG (Industry Specification Group) has a new chairman in Diego Lopez, Head of Technology Exploration & Standards at Telefónica, and a new lease on life. ISGs are supposed to kick-start technology areas, not permanently rule them, but NFV ISG has been granted a two year extension, in part to mesh NFV capabilities with 5G requirements.
NFV ISG: a long way in a short time with further still to go
Diego Lopez, Telefónica, explains why it is important to incorporate 5G into NFV ISG's analysis for the coming NFV release, since NFV is now recognised as an essential enabling technology for 5G.
The work program of ETSI NFV ISG for 2015 was very ambitious, with a majority of activities committed to conclude during this first year of the ISG two-year renewed term, and intended to produce the set of normative documents that were generally referred as ETSI NFV Release 2.
Many of these activities are completed or just awaiting the completion of the last procedural steps to be officially published. This announcement provides a brief report on these accomplishments, structured around an introduction to the completed (informative) reports and a preview of the Release 2 description, which we expect to publish by May 2016.
NFV#13 took place on 16-19 February in Dublin, Ireland at the impressive Croke Park stadium, the fourth largest stadium in Europe.
Thanks to the hosts Cobham Wireless and the sponsors OPENET, ETSI NFV ISG members were treated to a pre-event workshop on Monday 15 February that covered the state of the art of NFV initiatives, with presentations from Intel, Telefonica, Luxoft, Stratus Technologies and EANTC.
The week that followed was certainly intense for the 210 delegates – although the work was somewhat balanced by a very pleasant social event in the Croke Park Player’s Lounge.
ETSI NFV descends on the Big Apple for NFV #12
The 12th meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG) was held in Jersey City, NJ (USA), just across the Hudson River from New York City. Surrounded by the stunning Manhattan skyline, the locale offered an excellent venue for the Industry Group driving the NFV ecosystem.
Manhattan Skyline, from Jersey City, NJ, location for NFV #12
During their 11th Plenary in San Jose, California, ETSI ISG NFV Officials and Working Group chairmen provided an overview of the group's achievements to date (Phase 1: 2013-2014) together with a snapshot of the ongoing Phase 2 work due for completion early 2016.
This was done in the form of a set of 6 short tutorials, each presented by a Working Group Official. Telecom TV was present and filmed these tutorials which are now available as a good overview for NFV newcomers.
See the 6 videos here...
ETSI NFV Announcement on Document Availability
During the first six months of its second phase, the ETSI NFV ISG has been actively working on the development of normative specifications for the reference points identified by the NFV Architecture Framework, addressing the interoperability goals that constitute its key objective, and on continuing the exploration of NFV technical aspects in the essential areas identified during the inception of this second phase. This has been performed in a framework of continuous and tight collaboration with those external bodies (SDOs and open-source projects) most directly concerned with NFV technologies.
One important milestone in this development, aimed to facilitate open collaboration with external bodies and the industry and academia at large, has been the decision to make all NFV draft documents publicly available (see NFV ISG Open area).
ETSI NFV returns to Silicon Valley, in conjunction with the NFV/SDN community
Summertime is typically a time for holidays, family, and a break from the hectic pace of our professional lives. But not in Silicon Valley, where the 11th meeting was held for the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG). In fact, with the OpenDaylight Summit, MEF Quarterly meeting also being held in the same week, it remains as busy as ever.
NFV is happening and it’s big !!
Some metrics were shared during NFV#10. And the result is amazing!
- 100s of worldwide industry members and participants have produced more than 6000 contributions since day#1
- More importantly Phase#1 specifications are being leveraged for real implementations
- And we have accepted more than 35 multi-vendor POCs that prove NFV is happening for real!
First China Meeting, Open Source Approach on Document Transparency and Availability
Hainan Island, the southern-most tip of China, was the tropical setting of the 10th meeting (NFV #10) of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG) held in mid-May. The ~200 participants descending upon Sanya found it to be a spacious and hospitable venue to collaborate and experience the best of what China has to offer.
Figure 1 – Beautiful Sanya, site of NFV #10 hosted by Huawei
Source: Klaus Martiny, DT (Vice-Chair, NFV Network Operators Council)
Last week three events took place at the NOKIA headquarters in Helsinki: the NFV ISG leadership team met for a day to discuss progress and future direction for the ISG, the IFA Working Group held a 1-day joint session with 3GPP SA 5 to align their activities and this was followed by an IFA Working Group interim meeting.
You might need to refresh the page to be able to view the video.
Prague in February was the setting of the 9th meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG). Perhaps it was the delicious beer (Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other nation in the world), rich heritage (over 1,100 years) or prominence (largest city and capital of the Czech Republic, and one of the most visited cities in all of Europe). The 270 participants descending upon Prague found it to be inviting, and an ideal venue to collaborate.
New leadership, organization, and renewed focus on implementation
While much of the country was coping with sub-freezing temperatures, the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG) convened its 8th and final meeting under its original charter in the desert sunshine in Scottsdale. Intel graciously hosted the meeting, arranging excellent accommodations and hospitality throughout the week.
Video from 1st ETSI NFV PoC ZONE, October 2014 in Düsseldorf
The first ETSI NFV PoC ZONE was run from 15th to 17th of October during the SDN & Open Flow World Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Around 100 delegates made the trip to Sophia Antipolis in late September.
Summary of the week
The ISG made good progress toward closing the few remaining open issues in the current release of documents. Of the 167 open issues originally identified, 136 are now closed (about 81%).
With a few weeks remaining to NFV#8 in Arizona, we should be in good shape to close the remaining issues by the opening of the meeting. While closing open issues remains our number one priority, issues that cannot be resolved can be captured in the ISG gap analysis document for resolution in ongoing work.
Introducing OPNFV, an integral step towards NFV adoption
Two years later
Next month marks the two year anniversary of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which has taken the industry by storm and transformed the relationship between major operators and network standards.
As we plan to return to Germany next month for the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress, the event where the landmark NFV White Paper was published in October, 2012 and the ETSI NFV initiative was announced, many in the NFV community are reexamining a fundamental goal that has guided NFV from the beginning - Openness.
Openness means many things to different communities, as Matt Palmer summarized in his series: Defining Openness for Open SDN and NFV: A Primer for Network Operators.
Enjoy watching the interviews by key players filmed at NFV#7
New leadership, renewed charter, and an enhanced structure to facilitate the transition from requirements to implementation
Santa Clara, CA, USA
The future of ICT may learn from the past
Wandering through the Computer History Museum in Mountain View (at the social gathering of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group - ETSI NFV ISG), was like a trip down memory lane.
International Business Machines (IBM) mainframes (e.g., 360/370, which I spent many a night working on at the University of Missouri in the 1970s), Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) minicomputers (I was a systems manager for the PDP-11 and VAX-11/780 at McDonnell Douglas in the 1980s), and a slew of computers, calculators, and gadgets whose manufacturers have faded from memory.
A new article about how NFV changes the business of telecoms, written by Luis Jorge Romero, Director General of ETSI, has been published on Global Telecom Business, read the full article.
Expect constructive change as NFV continues to evolve
Settling into the meeting rooms at the sixth gathering of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG), we were impressed by the photographs bearing actual signatures of the leaders of the G8 who attended the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit back in July, 2000.
At that meeting, the G8 issued the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society, which carries the objective of delivering “greater prosperity and deeper peace of mind, and greater stability”.
While NFV may not wield such widespread influence, the 260+ participants at the meeting are intent on transforming the entire telecommunications industry, and could change the world like other telecommunications revolutions through the decades.
The TSC#23 meeting of the NFV ISG endorsed the proposed 2014 NFV research agenda aimed at providing guidance to the global research community on topics of relevance to the NFV industry.
Academic researchers and workshop organizers are encouraged to consider these topics as a source of inspiration for their research efforts. It is hoped that the results of research inspired by these topics will be useful in understanding the fundamental constraints of technology available, and assisting industry to evaluate alternative approaches.
Topics include (but are not limited to):
The links for the following webinars are available here
- Progressing NFV – live April 2, 2014 - Don Clarke, Chair, Network Operator Council, ETSI NFV ISG; Head of Network Evolution Innovation, BT
- Making NFV Work – live March 23 2014 - Francisco-Javier Ramón, Chair PER Expert Group, ETSI ISG NFV; Head of Network Virtualisation, GCTO, Telefónica
- Defining NFV – live April 3rd 2013 - Dr. Prodip Sen, Chair, ETSI NFV ISG; Director, Network Architecture, Verizon Network & Technology
Video – live on 17th October 2013 - Diego López, Technical Manager, ETSI ISG NFV, Head of Technology Exploration, Telefónica I+D
Enjoy the video of the NFV social event in Malaga – celebrating the achievements of year 1 and looking at the hopes and plans for year 2
Over the past few weeks two major events took place in the space of Software Defined Networking: the first was the Open Daylight Summit (ODS) and most recently the fourth installment of the Open Networking Summit (ONS). Both events were held in the Heart of Silicon Valley in the Santa Clara Convention Center.
ETSI NFV ISG leadership weighs in on the state of NFV
The fifth meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG) marked the one year anniversary of NFV, and a significant turning point for the organization.
ETSI members and delegates descended upon one of the oldest, and southernmost large cities in Europe- Malaga, Spain for NFV#5, as the NFV ISG took another step towards implementation. Interest in NFV remains sky high; meeting participation was capped at 250, and over-subscribed, for the capacity of the venue.
Way back in January, 2013, a group of NFV visionaries of 60 organizations, held the first meeting of the ISG at ETSI HQ on the Cote d’Azur. Since that time, the ISG has made considerable progress:
Don Clarke, chairman of the NFV ISG Network Operator Council (NOC) was recently interviewed by The Register in an article providing an overview of the NFV concept.
Special report - ETSI shaves years off NFV development time.
Watch the video:
The fourth ETSI ISG NFV plenary meeting was held on the 30th October to 1st November 2013, in Sunnyvale, USA, and was kindly hosted by Juniper and co-sponsored by IBM.
A new ISG NFV record was set, seeing 350 delegates participating to the busy NFV plenary sessions. Indeed such is the popularity of the NFV meetings especially when held in Silicon Valley, that registration had to be capped. Growth of membership is still high, and 14 additional companies joined ISG NFV in the weeks preceding the NFV#04 meeting, taking total membership to 170 individual companies.