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 45 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.
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.
The ETSI NFV ISG undertakes work in 2-year phases as agreed by the ETSI Director General.
Documents published during the 2013-2014 phase were referenced as ‘Release 1’ with subsequent tranches referenced as ‘Release 2’, ‘Release 3’ etc. Release 2 development ended Q3 2016 when Release 3 also started.
Going forward, the ISG 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 the 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 exist, into industry services and products
to simultaneously 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 in the first two years was the publication of the first five ETSI Group Specifications (GSs) documents (October 2013). Four of them were designed to align understanding about NFV across the industry. They cover NFV use cases, requirements, the architectural framework, and terminology. The last document defined a framework for co-ordinating and promoting public demonstrations of Proof of Concept (PoC) platforms illustrating key aspects of NFV.
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. Release 2 was defined by selecting and prioritizing a set of key capabilities for NFV and specifying then 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:
Virtualised resources management and change notifications
Virtualised resources fault and performance management
VNF packaging and software image management
VNF lifecycle management and change notifications
Granting of VNF lifecycle operations
VNF fault, performance and configuration management
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:
Phase 1 has been successfully completed and all documents were published early January 2013. Phase 2 is well under way with over 30 new Work Items. In addition to the technical work programme, members are focusing on 3 other areas: the start of the feature collection, the NFV ISG beyond 2016 and whether there will be some stage 3 standardization.
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.
The NFV opening plenary, where the goals for this meeting and the progress achieved by the ISG since NFV#15 were discussed, was the first specific ETSI NFV agenda item. After completing the Release 2 of the NFV specifications on requirements, interfaces and information models (aka Stage 2) earlier this year (further information is available in the NFV announcement). The ISG is currently working on Release 3, plus a number of other documents focused on identifying and making recommendations for further normative specifications, as well as on studying the evolution of the NFV technology. These activities run in parallel to the specification work of Release 2 Stage 3 being performed inside the ETSI NFV SOLutions (SOL) Working Group.
It would take too long to list here the progress of the individual working groups, the coordination meetings between (and even among) different combinations of these WGs, and by no means could we reflect the highly energetic interactions in the formal and informal discussions all around the meeting venue. Let us just highlight a few relevant points in this absorbing week:
Firstly, the start of the maintenance work on Release 2, an essential (and general) commitment of the ETSI NFV community to maintain the quality and correctness of the Release 2 specifications. For the maintenance the community appreciate feedback from the industry and researchers via the ETSI bug tracker.
Secondly, two documents were formally approved during the closing plenary: the report on the NFV information model (IFA015), providing a UML model for the information elements used in the NFV descriptors and interfaces; and a key security specification on the architecture for sensitive components (SEC012). The documents will be officially published by ETSI soon as endorsed by the whole ETSI NFV community, but it is worth emphasizing that all ETSI NFV ISG drafts are openly available.
Thirdly, looking beyond the current work program, the group had intense discussions on how the current NFV architecture can support the journey to 5G, and a joint session with the ETSI Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) ISG drew parallels between the work being done in the two ISGs as well as future ways for a continuous collaboration.
And finally, the group agreed the rules for the steering of a Special Task Force (STF, an expert group funded by ETSI) that will focus on a detailed gap identification between the specifications produced in Release 2 regarding virtualized infrastructure management (IFA005 and IFA006) and the current OpenStack APIs. The call for experts to the industry for this STF is available at the ETSI Portal. Peter Wörndle, (Ericsson LM) was appointed the Chair of the STF Steering group (SSG).
As the ISG did at the end of the previous NFV ISG term two years ago, the group acknowledged the work of a few outstanding members of the community and during a gala dinner on Wednesday awards were presented to Michael Bilca (OTD), Uwe Rauschenbach (Nokia) and Mehmet Ersue (former Nokia), as recognition of their hard work and engagement with the community.
With the satisfaction of having completed an intense and successful meeting on the present and future of network virtualization, the delegates headed home for a well-deserved Christmas break.
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.
5G "kind of different" from 2, 3 and 4G: extra harmony required
Janusz Pieczerak, Orange Poland, points out that it’s “kind of different from 2, 3, 4G” because of the range of services and the necessary global diversity of the players on the equipment side but it has to have a harmonized approach.
Bridging the gaps between NFV and 5G requirements
Tetsuya Nakamura, CableLabs, explains that the need to have a special workshop at this ETSI meeting shows a lack of understanding between the 5G and NFV camps, where many people are using the same terminology for different things.
The big question answered: Must you implement NFV to build 5G?
Bruno Chatras, Orange, explains that if you understand 5G as an overall concept, it appears logical to build an NFV infrastructure to support it since NFV should meet all the 5G requirements for network elasticity and agility.
Swisscom sees NFV as a prerequisite for the 5G journey
Marcus Brunner, Swisscom, sees an extremely close linkage between NFV and 5G - in fact between NFV and all the fixed and mobile access networks, NFV allowing a horizontal approach.
Vodafone's 'huge' network transformation on the road to 5G
Susana Sabater, Vodafone Group, explains that Vodafone is undertaking a great network transformation based on NFV and work from the TM Forum, IETF and ONF, putting NFV and 5G as complementary initiatives.
ETSI NFV Announcement on the Evolution of Its Release 2
Diego Lopez, ETSI NFV Technical Steering Committee Chairman
on 02 March 2016
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.
As a result of the decision taken by the ISG at the beginning of the past year, all draft documents produced by ETSI NFV have been publicly available, thus facilitating the feedback from all organizations and individuals interested in the NFV technologies, and a more direct interaction with other external bodies, both SDOs and open-source projects. We believe this has greatly increased the quality of the ISG results and the openness of the document development process.
The interaction with external bodies has translated in two aspects we think are worth noting. ]
First, the continuous identification of gaps between the NFV ISG normative work and other relevant (formal and de-facto) standards, that are being properly documented and in most cases addressed in collaboration with the corresponding external body.
Second, a workshop on NFV Information Modeling was organized under the auspices of the ISG, where fourteen organizations shared information and agreed on the risk of fragmentation and some next immediate steps to address it.
Reports Completed or Close to Completion
EVE003 - Report on NFVI Node Physical Architecture Guidelines for Multi-Vendor Environment
Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) have to reside and operate on physical hardware. The telecommunications industry is moving away from specialized, sophisticated, and possibly proprietary hardware; instead the goal is to move towards commercially available off-the-shelf products in terms of processors, disks, racks, and other physical elements.
This document provides guidance for an ecosystem of generic and commonly available sets of physical products and components for the industry. The guidelines will be beneficial to telecommunication equipment providers and other vendors as well as service providers in the development and acquisition of desired components for building NFVI Nodes.
EVE004 – Report on the application of Different Virtualization Technologies
Although the NFV architecture is not tied to hypervisor-based solutions, the current detailed specifications (e.g. GS NFV MAN 001) are biased towards these solutions. The hypervisor approach has some cost in terms of efficiency and the scalability may not be sufficient for cases where a huge number of virtualization containers need to be deployed and managed.
This document intends to identify the impact of using alternative virtualization technologies (e.g. Linux containers) on the NFV architectural framework and specifications, and provide an analysis of the pros and cons of these alternative technologies.
EVE005 - Report on SDN Usage in the NFV Architectural Framework
This document provides a technical report on the use of SDN in an NFV architectural framework, including guidance with a number of design patterns and recommendations for potential requirements and further work in the ETSI NFV ISG. EVE005 leverages existing work from ETSI ISG NFV, especially SWA, MANO and INF documents from Phase 1. It identifies use cases and defines typical design patterns on the usage of SDN within an NFV architecture framework, including position of SDN resources, SDN controller and SDN applications and the different combinations and associated reference points. This includes SDN Controller as a VNF, SDN Controller as a realization of the Infrastructure network controller, or SDN controller in the tenant domain. Network domains to be covered include datacenter SDN, datacenter-WAN interworking, access network and WAN. ETSI NFV PoC teams have been invited to study this topic and their feedback is included as an annex. A comparison of open-source network controllers has also been performed to identify the scope of an SDN controller.
This technical report supports discussions with other SDO and open-source projects such as IETF, OPNFV, ONF, OpenStack, OpenDaylight and others as appropriate. The report also makes recommendations as to whether normative work should be initiated as a follow-up activity.
REL003 – Report on Models and Features for E2E Reliability
This technical report provides models and methods for estimating end-to-end service reliability and availability, including high level implications of software upgrade, in NFV environments. In such an environment, there are several key points which need to be considered in the estimation of service reliability and availability as compared to traditional networks composed exclusively of PNFs. By investigating reliability-related topics including fault management from the viewpoint of lifecycle management, several conclusions can be made but there still remains a lot of work that needs to be done to more precisely estimate service reliability and availability.
In addition, some high level descriptions for software upgrade in an NFV environment are provided; the goal is to maintain high service availability and reliability during such upgrades. The report concludes with a method for utilizing data representing the service resilience requirements that provides the possibility for end-to-end service availability operation and management with service differentiation.
REL004 - Report on Active Monitoring and Failure Detection
This technical report proposes a framework for active monitoring and fault isolation for NFV environments. The document discusses the pertinent uses cases of fault isolation, periodic performance monitoring and capacity planning and the need to augment traditional active monitoring techniques with passive monitoring and NFVI analytics. The key focus is on describing methods that take into account the increased variability that multi-tenancy and multi-vendor scenarios introduce in NFV.
The report proposes two management entities as part of the active monitoring system – Test Controller and Test Result Analysis Module. It also defines the recommendations for implementation of these two entities and proposes the use of virtual test agents for increased network visibility and maintaining the monitoring point of presence in NFV based networks.
Additionally, the document also takes concepts from E2E service monitoring in cloud environment and discusses its applicability to NFV. At the same time, it presents the need to characterize SP centric services in terms of NFVI resource usage and to understand the performance impact of multiple services in a multi-tenant environment. Key aspects for QoE measurement are discussed and example methodologies for QoE measurement of E2E services are described as well.
REL005 - Report on Quality Accountability Framework
The NFV Quality Accountability Framework supports the quality management principles around customer focus, mutually beneficial supplier relationships, and use a factual approach to decision making. Clearly defining roles, responsibilities and demarcations is a quality management best practice because it clarifies accountabilities which permit any quality impairments to be rapidly localized, root causes to be identified and appropriate corrective actions to be determined that promptly restore service and drive continuous quality improvement.
This document defines key roles including NFV cloud service customer, provider(s) of NFV management, orchestration and/or infrastructure services, and their VNF suppliers and integrators.
SEC006 – Report on Security Aspects and Regulatory Concerns
A guide to assist with addressing the security aspects and regulatory concerns of NFV related documents and applications. This includes a template to assist the development of ETSI NFV deliverables and broader guidance for developers, architects and designers of hardware and software.
SEC009 – Report on Use Cases and Technical Approaches for Multi-Layer Host Administration
SEC009 addresses one of the enduring issues within complex administration domains: the provision of multi-layer administration within a single host. Several different use cases have been identified, and currently exist in various stages of detail. These include operator-service related use cases (e.g. multi-tenant hosting and IaaS as a service), security sensitive or security network monitoring functions, and compliance-related use cases such as Retained Data, Lawful Interception and customer data privacy.
The document describes recommendations, maps the use cases to the recommendations, and then describes some measures that could be used to meet these recommendations. The final section provides a description of three approaches to meeting the recommendations, addressing advantages and disadvantages.
SEC010 – Report on Retained Data Problem Statement and Requirements
The aim of this document is to provide a problem statement and articulate the existing requirements for Retained Data in the context of NFV. It examines the core underlying requirements for Retained Data such as those presented by ETSI TC LI (TS 102 656 and TS 102 657), and aims to identify solutions or mitigations to the problems identified.
TST001 - Pre-Deployment Testing; Report on Validation of NFV Environments and Services
This document is committed to provide recommendations for lab validation of VNFs, their interaction with the NFV functional blocks and the NFV blocks themselves, including guidelines for user and control plane performance validation along with reliability and availability features.
The TST001 report identifies the peculiarities of testing virtual network functions in an NFV environment with respect to their physical counterparts, discussing the impact of virtualization on testing methods and assuring that the System Under Test (SUT) and Test Environments are properly identified for the cases where either the NFV Infrastructure, the VNFs, the Network Service (NS) or the own NFV MANO stack are under test.
Additionally, the report provides step-by-step methodologies for common VNF and NS tests (e.g. VNF instantiation testing, data plane benchmarking, speed of activation of a NS, auto-scaling validation, etc.), which augment others commonly used in traditional physical environments.
TST002 - Report on Interoperability Testing Methodology
The goal of TST002 is to study how interoperability test methodology can be applied to NFV by analyzing the functional blocks and interfaces defined within the NFV architecture and the NFV capabilities enabled by the current release.
The TST002 report provides methodology guidelines for interoperability testing for NFV, including a review of basic concepts for interoperability testing and their fit in an NFV environment, and a methodology for the development of interoperability test specifications that is illustrated with examples related to NFV operations on specified interfaces. The report is completed by an overview of basic System Under Test (SUT) configurations and interoperability features enabled by the current release. TST002 can be considered stable, only pending some alignment with the latest development of requirements for NFV interfaces.
Preview of the NFV Release 2 Description
The ETSI NFV Release 2 Definition identified a set of capabilities to be supported by NFV solutions (not limited to):
Management and orchestration functions to support dynamic creation of VNF instances and maintenance of the VNF instance during its lifecycle
Support of monitoring and report of fault and performance information at different levels, from virtualized resources up to Network Service level
Management and exposure of hardware-independent acceleration
NFV Release 2 does not include any architectural changes and the list of capabilities part of the Release are thus aligned with the ETSI NFV Architectural Framework
NFV Release 2 comprised originally 13 normative Group Specifications. At present, some of the deliverables have been finalized, or are currently under approval by the Technical Body. The remaining deliverables are expected to be completed and ready for publication by middle of 2016.
Following is a list of the deliverables that have been finalized or are currently under approval by the ISG part of the NFV Release 2, with a short description of the capabilities covered.
IFA002 - Acceleration Technologies; Part 2: VNF Interfaces Specification
IFA002 specifies the requirements enabling the exposure of hardware and software accelerators to VNFCs in an implementation independent way and giving means to control acceleration within a VNF. Acceleration encompasses network traffic optimizations between VNFCs of a single VNF, network features offloads (e.g. IPSec), compute offloads (e.g. compression, cryptographic operations) or storage access acceleration.
An acceleration model has been defined around the concept of Extensible Para-virtualized Device (EPD) which is derived from an extension of the Virtio device model specified by the OASIS group. An EPD and its associated device driver are located in Virtualization Containers and communicate with a hypervisor domain backend that helps adapting to hardware or software implementation of the accelerated function. The EPD may receive software plugin and resources from the hypervisor domain to allow the most direct access to acceleration while preserving portability.
IFA003 - Acceleration Technologies; Part 3: vSwitch Benchmarking and Acceleration Specification
IFA003 specifies performance-benchmarking metrics for virtual switching, with the goal that the metrics will adequately quantify performance gains achieved through virtual switch acceleration conforming to the associated requirements specified herein. The acceleration-related requirements are applicable to common virtual switching functions across usage models such as packet delivery into VNFs, network overlay and tunnel termination, stateful Network Address Translators (NAT), service chaining, load balancing and, in general, match-action based policies/flows applied to traffic going to/from the VMs. The document provides deployment scenarios with applicability to multiple vendor implementations, and recommendations for follow-on proof of concept activities.
IFA004 – Acceleration Technologies; Part 4: Management aspects Specification
IFA004 provides requirements for the interfaces exposed by the NFVI to the VIM on the Nf-Vi reference point for NFV acceleration from an infrastructure management perspective. The set of requirements covered includes the controlling and management of acceleration resources, e.g. dynamic allocation, modification, release, reclamation of acceleration resources.
IFA005 - Management and Orchestration; Or-Vi Reference Point – Interface and Information Model Specification
The IFA005 deliverable specifies the requirements and the message flows and related information elements of the interfaces exposed by the VIM towards the NFVO over the Or-Vi reference point. The deliverable covers a number of capabilities defined in the NFV Release 2 Definition, shortly:
Management of virtualized resources supporting the necessary operations on compute, storage nd network virtualized resources, e.g., allocation, scaling, termination, etc., in order to instantiate and maintain VNFs during their lifecycle
Fault and performance management of virtualized resources supporting functions for the retrieval and notifications related to fault and performance of virtualized resources supporting VNF instances
Management of virtualized resources information supporting the retrieval of information about consumable virtualized resources
Management of software images, including functions that enable adding, deleting, updating, querying and copying software images in the image repository controlled by the VIM(s).
Management of virtualized resources capacity, supporting functions to retrieve information about the total capacity of the resources managed by a VIM instance, the consumable capacity available for new virtualized resources, and the utilization of the capacity, both on VIM global level and per resource zone
Management of virtualized resource reservations supporting function to create, update and terminate reservations for various types of virtualized resources, including compute, network and storage
Management of virtualized resource quotas supporting function to create, update and terminate quotas for various types of virtualized resources, including compute, network and storage
IFA006 - Management and Orchestration; Vi-Vnfm Reference Point – Interface and Information Model Specification
The IFA006 deliverable specifies the requirement and the message flows and related information elements of the interfaces exposed by the VIM towards the VNFM over the Vi-Vnfm reference point. The deliverable covers a number of capabilities defined in the NFV Release 2 Definition, shortly:
Management of virtualized resources supporting the necessary operations on compute, network and storage virtualized resources, e.g., allocation, scaling, termination, etc., in order to instantiate and maintain VNFs during their lifecycle
Fault and performance management of virtualized resources supporting functions for the retrieval and notifications related to fault and performance of virtualized resources supporting VNF instances
Query of information about consumable virtualized resources
Query of software image information in the image repository controlled by the VIM(s)
Query of information about virtualized resource reservations and quotas
IFA010 - Management and Orchestration; Functional Requirements Specification
IFA010 specifies functional requirements for the three Management and Orchestration functional blocks: NFVO, VNFM and VIM. These requirements are related to the set of capabilities further specified on the interface and acceleration related specifications. The deliverable also specifies general guidelines and requirements for NFV management and orchestration interface design.
The set of capabilities covered by IFA010 in terms of functional requirements is as identified in the NFV Release 2 Definition, including at large all capabilities related to management of virtualized resources, including fault, performance, reservation and quota; the management of VNF lifecycle, performance and fault; and the management of Network Services, including fault and performance.
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.
NFV#13 was an important milestone for the ETSI NFV ISG community and marked the start of the fourth year of work. However despite the maturity of the project, there is little sign of a decrease in energy or activity with 29 New Work Items being proposed, of which 17 were immediately approved and added to the ongoing NFV work programme as a kick-off of Release 3 at the end of this year. The 12 remaining new work items required more time for discussion.
The creation of a new Working Group (WG) to examine NFV solutions was also proposed in order to adapt the structure of the ISG to the evolution of the standards development and priorities of the industry. In order to correctly scope this important group an ISG-wide conference call will take place on 7 April with the additional purpose of reaching agreement on the remaining new work items.
3 final draft specifications were approved for publication and 9 others were WG approved and submitted to remote approval immediately after the meeting.
As usual the IFA WG was very busy and the Security WG appreciated a demonstration on SECURED by Professor Antonio Lioy & Marco Vallini from the Polytechnic of Turin. REL WG completed its work for Phase 2 and has now begun work on 3 new pieces of work.
The 3 tutorial sessions (1 advanced + 2 beginners) organized by the ETSI Secretariat were well attended. The aim being to provide delegates with the required skills to write high quality specifications, with clear, well formulated and unambiguous requirements.
Last but not least, Marie-Paule Odini, (HPE) ISG NFV Vice-Chair & TST WG Vice-Chair, initiated a new ‘Women in NFV’ community to encourage more dialogue between women both in and out of the meetings.
See you all in Atlanta for NFV#14 (02-06 May 2016).
Marc Cohn, ClearPath Networks
on 25 November 2015
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
Verizon executives discuss the implications of NFV and SDN at the Network Transformation Workshop held in connection with NFV #12
Adam Koeppe (VP, Network Technology for Verizon) commented “Collaborative meetings like ETSI NFV ISG provide a much-needed forum for Verizon and companies up and down the ecosystem to hold intelligent and deliberate discussion. Verizon embraces the NFV and SDN paradigm shift that will require re-envisioning, re-tooling and re-training to transform our network and the business.”
John Healy (General Manager of Intel’s Software Defined Networking Division) stated, “The NFV transformation is a journey founded on collaborative pathfinding and industry milestones. It starts with the communities, like ETSI NFV, coming together to tackle real barriers to deployment such as performance, service assurance, security, interoperability all based on open source and standards. Intel is investing with the community to lead the transformation.”
Stephan Skiba (Strategic Product Manager, Ericsson) on behalf of another co-host for NFV#12, commented “Ericsson believes that the transformation to the network society has already begun. Mobility, Broadband and Cloud will enable significant change and growth in all sectors. ETSI is in a unique position due to the participation of many industries. Good specifications have the chance to be adopted widely and significantly simplify the transformation.”
Network Operator Council (NOC): 38 operators Participants: 289 member companies Mailing List: 1,300 individuals Participants (NFV #12): 222 attendees NFV Proofs of Concepts accepted by the ISG: 38, addressing 100% of the NFV Use Cases
ETSI NFV ISG Chairman Steven Wright (AT&T) commenting on the continued momentum observed “Among our most important 2015 goals was to foster interoperable implementations rather than creating new standards activity. Exiting our final meeting for the year, we are pleased with the progress and entertaining proposals for 2016 work items, which will continue to guide the entire industry on the direction for NFV.”
A significant outcome resulting from NFV #12 was the completion of a Report Specification ‘Report on SDN Usage in NFV Architecture Framework’. This study was conducted over the past 12 months, with 40 contributors from across the industry, and motivated 35 recommendations for the ISG. The report analyzed SDN use cases for NFV, highlighting lessons learned from 14 ETSI NFV PoCs using SDN and NFV, along with open source SDN controllers. The ETSI authors consulted with ETSI NFV ISG liaisons including ONF, OPNFV, OpenDaylight and IEEE.
ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Marie-Paule Odini (Hewlett Packard Enterprise), who served as Rapporteur for the report, stated “Many of the operators are interested in leveraging the highly intelligent, logically centralized network control provided by SDN. As a result of our report, we are evaluating enhancements to our existing work as well as additional NFV work items to capitalize on the value of SDN and NFV.”
Collaboration with leading SDOs remains a key objective of the ETSI NFV ISG. On that note, the NFV ISG is organizing a Multi-SDO workshop on Information Modeling (IM) in January, 2016. ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Michael Brenner (ClearPath Networks), who will co-chair the workshop, elaborated “ETSI NFV ISG recognized early on the importance of Information and Data Modelling (IM/DM) to the success of NFV. In order to deliver a common NFV Information Model, we must leverage the expertise of SDOs and Open Source projects to harmonize ongoing Information Modeling efforts at the joint workshop.”
Another important collaboration is with the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), which is working with the ISG to refine the NFV requirements and architectural framework through implementation experiences, a continuous integration methodology, and coordination with the upstream projects. At the recent OPNFV Summit, ETSI NFV ISG Chair Steven Wright delivered a presentation in the OPNFV/SDO Collaboration session ETSI NFV Relationship with OPNFV, which highlighted the areas of collaboration with the OPNFV open source project. Refer to the OPNFV White Paper for additional details.
Looking ahead to 2016, the NFV Network Operator’s Council and ISG plenary entertained a series of new feature proposals for 2016 reflecting the ISG’s priorities including:
Continuous integration and the application of Dev-Ops
ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Bruno Chatras (Orange) observed “The NFV ISG’s primary goal is to offer guidance to, but avoid overlap with other industry groups, SDOs, and open source projects. Operators provided actionable feedback and a range of proposals which serves as a strong indicator of their commitment to the ISG and refinement of their individual strategies.”
As the ETSI NFV ISG enters its fourth year, emphasis will be on implementations, initial deployments, and establishment of an open ecosystem, fueled by strong collaboration with the NFV/SDN SDOs and open source communities that are reshaping the entire industry. Expect even more announcements on deployment progress by NFV#13 next February, as 2016 will emerge as the Year of NFV (once again).
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#11 - NFV ISG Background & Overview
Michael Brenner, Vice-Chair, ETSI NFV ISG talks through the background and overview of the NFV ISG. The success over the past few years in Phase 1 is also covered and structure and methodology is outlined going forward.
ETSI NFV#11- Reliability & Availability (REL) Working Group
Marcus Schoeller, Chairman Reliability Working Group introduces us to the Reliability and Availability working group. The results of Phase 1 are covered and we look forward at Phase 2.
ETSI NFV#11- IFA/MANO Working Group
Mehmet Ersue, Vice-Chairman of IFA Working Group with Rapporteurs Peter Wörndle, and Francois-Frederic Ozog talk through the achievements of Mano in Phase 1, look forward to the IFA Working Group in Phase 2 and overview acceleration advantages.
ETSI NFV#11- Security (SEC) Working Group
Igor Faynberg, Chairman SEC Working Group While NFV has its issues security wise, overall it actually presents some unique opportunities to address security problems, says Igor Faynberg. That seemed like an overstatement three years ago, but has been proven correct and the SEC group’s approach has been to ensure platform security first: “If we make that secure everything else can be built on to top,” he says. Lawful interception, however, is as yet an unsolved problem.
ETSI NFV#11- Evolution and Ecosystem (EVE) Working Group
Thinh Nguyenphu, Chairman of the EVE Working Group The group has two tasks: looking forward to intercept new topics to advance the architecture, and to reach out to other groups to collaborate. Evolution and Ecosystem Working Group Chairman, Thinh Nguyenphu, reports on progress.
ETSI NFV#11 - Testing (TST) Working Group
Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, Chairman of the NFV TST WG introduces us to the Testing, Experimentation and Open Source Working Group (TST WG). Looking at the need for the group, its performance in Phase 1 and the PoC framework.
Diego Lopez, ETSI NFV Technical Steering Committee Chairman
on 08 September 2015
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).
The results of the NFV ISG activities can be analyzed and commented on by all those interested in them, and incorporated into third party activities as soon as they become available (with all due caveats regarding their draft nature). The NFV ISG also expects to increase the quality of its results by having a tighter feedback loop with the wider community and more direct experimentation capabilities.
The ETSI NFV ISG second phase was launched with a very ambitious work program, in which the vast majority of activities were committed to conclude along the first year of the two-year phase lifetime. In what follows we provide a brief report of the work already completed (or very close to completion) and the status of those documents that had committed to achieve significant results during the first six months of the second phase term. This is intended to be the first of a succession of announcements to be made public with a six-month periodicity.
Documents Completed or Close to Completion
IFA001 - Acceleration Technologies; Part 1: Report on Acceleration Technologies and Use Cases
The report on NFV acceleration outlines a common acceleration abstraction layer, which allows deployment of various accelerators within the NFVI and facilitates interoperability between VNFs and accelerators. This document also categorizes the accelerators on the aspects of accelerator type, location, etc. with twelve supporting use cases to illustrate the usage of acceleration techniques in NFV environment. Work on this report is nearing completion, and it is not foreseen that further significant additions will be added in this release. Maybe some editorial changes are needed for the final release, but the technical changes are likely to be minor.
REL002 - Reliability; Report on Scalable Architectures for Reliability Management
The goal of this document was to provide a technical report providing a feasibility study of the use of the scalable architecture techniques currently adopted in cloud datacenters to enable reliability management in an NFV environment. In particular, two techniques have been described.
The first one, Migration Avoidance, enables dynamic scaling of VNFs when existing VNFs are unable to cope with unexpected bursts of incoming telecommunications traffic.
The second, termed Lightweight Rollback Recovery, enables the recovery of failed VNFs without degrading existing traffic flows, by instantiating a backup VNF to assume the role of the failed VNF immediately after the failure.
Results from lab tests on these techniques are provided in detail – they demonstrate the efficacy of these techniques for reliability management. The development of specific architectures to support these techniques in actual telecommunications network conditions is a topic for further study.
SEC002 - Security; Cataloguing Security Features in Management Software
This document is a survey of the security features in the open-source management software relevant to NFV, in particular OpenStack as the first case study. The document addresses the OpenStack modules that provide security services (such as authentication, authorization, confidentiality protection, integrity protection, and logging) together with the full graphs of their respective dependencies down to the ones that implement cryptographic protocols and algorithms. It also identifies a set of recommendations on the use of and enhancements to OpenStack as pertinent to NFV.
SEC004 - Privacy and Regulation; Report on Lawful Interception Implications
The present report provides a problem statement on implementing LI in NFV and identifies the necessary capabilities to be provided in NFV to meet the requirements outlined for telecommunications capabilities in general in ETSI TS 101 331. The document identifies the challenges of providing LI in an NFV, and it is intended to give guidance to the NFV community and to the wider LI community on the provision of LI in an NFV. It considers the generic global requirements for Lawful Interception, including their legal basis and general CSP obligations, together with a series of recommendations for the NFV implementation of LI requirements, and the challenges of applying legacy LI models to NFV against a consideration of specific NFV problem sets.
Status of Selected Documents
EVE005 - Ecosystem; Report on SDN Usage in NFV Architectural Framework
This document provides a technical report on the use of SDN in an NFV architectural framework, including guidance with a number of design patterns and recommendations for potential requirements and further work in the ETSI NFV ISG. EVE005 leverages existing work from ETSI ISG NFV, especially SWA, MANO and INF documents from Phase 1. It identifies use cases and defines typical design patterns on the usage of SDN within an NFV architecture framework, including position of SDN resources, SDN controller and SDN applications and the different combinations and associated reference points. This includes SDN Controller as a VNF, SDN Controller as a realization of the Infrastructure network controller, or SDN controller in the tenant domain. Network domains to be covered include datacenter SDN, datacenter-WAN interworking, access network and WAN. ETSI NFV PoC teams have been invited to study this topic and their feedback is included as an annex. A comparison of open-source network controllers has also been performed to identify the scope of an SDN controller. This technical report supports discussions with other SDO and open-source projects such as IETF, OPNFV, ONF, OpenStack, OpenDaylight and others as appropriate. The report will also make recommendations as to whether normative work should be initiated as a follow-up activity. At present the content is nearly completed. The team is collecting some feedback from external entities and from the open area, before finalizing the set of recommendations and the document.
IFA002 - Acceleration Technologies; Part 2: VNF Interfaces Specification
IFA002 focuses on making hardware and software accelerators available to VNFCs in an implementation independent way and giving means to control acceleration within a VNF. Acceleration encompasses network traffic optimizations between VNFCs of a single VNF, network features offloads (e.g. IPSec), compute offloads (e.g. compression, cryptographic operations) or storage access acceleration. An acceleration model has been defined around the concept of Extensible Para-virtualized Device (EPD) which is derived from an extension of the Virtio device model specified by the OASIS group. An EPD and its associated device driver are located in Virtualization Containers and communicate with a hypervisor domain backend that helps adapting to hardware or software implementation of the accelerated function. The EPD may receive software plugin and resources from the hypervisor domain to allow the most direct access to acceleration while preserving portability. At present, the defined requirements for the Common Acceleration Virtualization interface and EPD drivers have been defined. A number of abstract interfaces have been identified, together with requirements for some of them.
IFA003 - Acceleration Technologies; Part 3: vSwitch Benchmarking and Acceleration Specification
IFA003 specifies performance-benchmarking metrics for virtual switching, with the goal that the metrics will adequately quantify performance gains achieved through virtual switch acceleration conforming to the associated requirements specified herein. The acceleration-related requirements will be applicable to common virtual switching functions across usage models such as packet delivery into VNFs, network overlay and tunnel termination, stateful Network Address Translators (NAT), service chaining, load balancing and, in general, match-action based policies/flows applied to traffic going to/from the VMs. The document will also provide deployment scenarios with applicability to multiple vendor implementations, and recommendations for follow-on proof of concept activities. The document currently contains the definition of the vSwitch requirements (already formulated in the early drafts), the set of metrics, and a format defined to develop and document deployment scenarios. The plans are to complete the set of requirements (and any additional metrics) as well as define the deployment scenarios that combine these requirements together.
IFA005 - Management and Orchestration; Or-Vi Reference Point – Interface and Information Model Specification
This document is dedicated to the specification of the interfaces and related information elements exposed by the VIM towards the NFVO, and exposed by the NFVO towards the VIM over the Or-Vi reference point. It addresses requirements describing, at a high level, which interfaces are to be supported and what capabilities are to be supported over those interfaces. The detailed interface definitions describe the request and response messages used to invoke operations on the VIM, and list the information elements exchanged in those messages. Where necessary (typically if the information element has multiple attributes) the information elements are also defined. The interfaces currently considered in the document are those exposed by the VIM, and related to the management of VNF software images, virtual resources, forwarding paths, resource performance, and resource faults, as well as the notifications of resource changes. Although interfaces exposed by the NFVO towards the VIM are in the scope of the document, no such interfaces have yet been identified. Work on IFA005 is nearing completion, and it is not foreseen that further significant additions (new interfaces, or new operations on existing interfaces) will be added in this release. However, it is possible that activity in other ongoing documents (in particular, IFA010) could lead to some additions being required.
IFA006 - Management and Orchestration; Vi-Vnfm Reference Point – Interface and Information Model Specification
This document seeks the specification of the interfaces and related information elements exposed by the VIM towards the VNFM, and exposed by the VNFM towards the VIM over the Vi-Vnfm reference point. It considers requirements describing, at a high level, which interfaces are to be supported and what capabilities are to be supported over those interfaces. The detailed interface definitions describe the request and response messages used to invoke operations on the VIM, and list the information elements exchanged in those messages. Where necessary (typically if the information element has multiple attributes) the information elements are also defined. The interfaces currently defined by this document are those exposed by the VIM, and related to the management of VNF software images, virtual resources, resource performance, and resource faults, as well as the notifications of resource changes. Although interfaces exposed by the VNFM towards the VIM are in the scope of the document, no such interfaces have yet been identified. Work on IFA006 GS is nearing completion, and it is not foreseen that further significant additions (new interfaces or new operations on existing interfaces) will be added in this release. However, it is possible that activity in other ongoing documents (in particular, IFA010 and IFA007) could lead to some additions being required. In addition, the section on “Security Considerations” still needs to be addressed, and may also depend on the feedback from the SEC WG.
IFA009 - Management and Orchestration; Report on Architectural Options
The NFV architectural framework will appear in multiple different deployments. A deployment may use or combine functional blocks in a specific way to optimize for requirements of this deployment. The IFA009 report on architectural options outlines some of the major options that may be present. Since these options have had a direct impact on the normative specifications we produce, we thought it is crucial to document those options. The objective of the IFA009 work is to give the reader of the ETSI NFV IFA specifications some background information why certain conditional requirements for interfaces or the architecture exist. One of the present examples is the way in which resource management for VNFs is invoked. Another example is how a VNF Manager can be used standalone or be combined with a VNF or Element Manager. While the work on IFA is progressing IFA009 may be extended to further clarify existing options or outline new options that become relevant to document.
IFA010 - Management and Orchestration; Functional Requirements Specification
In order to guide the development of the specification of the interfaces exposed between the NFV-MANO functional blocks, IFA010 specifies functional requirements for three main Management and Orchestration blocks: NFVO, VNFM and VIM, and also specifies general guidelines and requirements for NFV management and orchestration interface design. The functional requirements are documented in IFA010 by identifying what functional capabilities of management and orchestration should be supported by those function blocks. IFA010 has developed a good amount of functional requirements for VIM, NFVO and VNFM related to virtualized resource management, aligned with those interface requirements specified by other documents (IFA05, IFA06...) The current results also include some basic functional requirements for NFVO, VNFM and VIM on other management aspects. IFA010 has also developed basic guideline and requirements for NFV management and orchestration interface design, and accommodated some different deployment options. IFA010 is still a work in progress, and continues to develop new and missing functional requirements for NFVO, VNFM and VIM, solve inconsistencies among requirements, address valuable feedback from external bodies, and fix technical errors in the existing functional requirements.
IFA011 - Management and Orchestration; VNF Packaging Specification
This document specifies the packaging for VNFs to be delivered to service providers. Standard packaging enables delivery of multiple vendor VNFs to service providers ensuring consistency in orchestration and management. A VNF package includes the required files and meta-data descriptors (e.g. VNFD) required to verify and successfully instantiate a VNF. The specification for VNF packages includes the definition of the structure of the package; how versioning, licensing and certificates are included; considerations on security and integrity, and the integration of VNF deployment templates. Work on IFA011 has been slow mainly due to conflicting priorities with other documents. As work in these other documents progress, IFA011 is expected to pick up momentum. Today the effort is largely around the VNF deployment template and there are promising contributions in this area that will help bring work back on track.
REL004 - Assurance; Report on Active Monitoring and Failure Detection
This technical report proposes a framework for active monitoring and fault isolation for NFV environments. The document discusses the pertinent uses cases of fault isolation, periodic performance monitoring and capacity planning and the need to augment traditional active monitoring techniques with passive monitoring and NFVI analytics. The key focus is on describing methods that take into account the increased variability that multi-tenancy and multi-vendor scenarios introduce in NFV. The report proposes two management entities as part of the active monitoring system – Test Controller and Test Result Analysis Module. It also defines the recommendations for implementation of these two entities and proposes the use of virtual test agents for increased network visibility and maintaining the monitoring point of presence in NFV based networks. Additionally, the document also takes concepts from E2E service monitoring in cloud environment and discusses its applicability to NFV. At the same time it presents the need to characterize SP centric services in terms of NFVI resource usage and to understand the performance impact of multiple services in a multi-tenant environment. Key aspects for QoE measurement are discussed and example methodologies for QoE measurement of E2E services are described as well.
SEC009 – Report on Use Cases and Technical Approaches for Multi-Layer Host Administration
SEC009 addresses one of the enduring issues within complex administration domains: the provision of multi-layer administration within a single host. Several different use cases have been identified, and currently exist in various stages of detail. These include operator-service related use cases (e.g. multi-tenant hosting and IaaS as a service), security sensitive or security network monitoring functions, and compliance-related use cases such as Retained Data, Lawful Interception and customer data privacy. The document describes recommendations, maps the use cases to the recommendations, and then describes some measures that could be used to meet these recommendations. The final section provides a description of three approaches to meeting the recommendations, addressing advantages and disadvantages. The document is nearing maturity and is expected to meet its planned publication date. Future work contemplates the improvement of use cases, the analysis of the different approaches with further descriptions and diagrams.
TST001 - Pre-deployment Testing; Report on Validation of NFV Environments and Services
This document is committed to provide recommendations for lab validation of VNFs, their interaction with the NFV functional blocks and the NFV blocks themselves, including guidelines for user and control plane performance validation along with reliability and availability features. The TST001 report identifies the peculiarities of testing virtual network functions in an NFV environment with respect to their physical counterparts, discussing the impact of virtualization on testing methods and assuring that the System Under Test (SUT) and Test Environments are properly identified for the cases where either the NFV Infrastructure, the VNFs, the Network Service (NS) or the own NFV MANO stack are under test. Additionally, the report provides step-by-step methodologies for common VNF and NS tests (e.g. VNF instantiation testing, data plane benchmarking, speed of activation of a NS, auto-scaling validation, etc.), which augment others commonly used in traditional physical environments. Work in TST001 is in an advanced stage where most tests cases can be considered close to their final definition. However, some activity is expected to split some test cases (creating more atomic ones when needed) and align the test descriptions to the formal methodologies under elaboration in other activities in the TST WG, prominently TST002.
TST002 - Testing Methodology; Report on Interoperability Testing Methodology
The goal of TST002 is to study how interoperability test methodology can be applied to NFV by analyzing the functional blocks and interfaces defined within the NFV architecture and the NFV capabilities enabled by the current release. The TST002 report provides methodology guidelines for interoperability testing for NFV, including a review of basic concepts for interoperability testing and their fit in an NFV environment, or a methodology for the development of interoperability test specifications that is illustrated with examples related to realistic NFV operations. While these sections are in a pretty mature state and can be considered stable, there is also active work in the areas of the definition of a generic SUT architecture and the collection of NFV interoperability features, which need to be aligned to the contents of the next interim specs from normative documents.
Marc Cohn, ClearPath Networks
on 14 August 2015
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.
It was fitting that Dell, Intel, Brocade, and Red Hat joined forces to sponsor the meeting, ensuring a comfortable and convenient venue for our global visitors and locals as well. Hosting the meeting in San Jose offered opportunities for a series of joint meetings with other key SDN and NFV industry groups and open source projects which prove to be instrumental towards progressing collaboration, NFV requirements refinement, and ultimately, adoption.
NFV ISG Chair Steven Wright stated “I’m encouraged about the significant growth of the NFV ISG and the NFV community. ETSI NFV ISG continues to play a major role in the evolution of NFV. From the beginning, we have embraced openness and collaboration with industry standards bodies, and open source projects as we strive towards expanding NFV adoption. ”
Figure 3- ETSI NFV ISG Leadership in Attendance at NFV #11 in San Jose
From L: Yun Chao Hu, Klaus Martiny, Bruno Chatras, Marc Cohn, Steve Wright, Raquel Morera, Joan Triay, Michael Brenner, Diego Lopez, Laurent Vreck
Source: Klaus Martiny (DT, Vice-Chair, NFV Network Operators Council)
ONF Executive Director Dan Pitt commented “ONF remains committed to supporting the NFV ISG, which is especially important with the growing interest in Carrier Grade SDN. The joint work on Information Modeling, including TMForum as well, is especially critical towards achieving the degree of openness and extensibility our operator members (and the operator community in general) are seeking as they move to automate their network provisioning with SDN.”
Open Source is playing an important role in shaping and validating NFV. Meetings with OPNFV and OpenDaylight provide an opportunity to channel the collective operator voice to guide major open source projects. In the true spirit of collaboration, joint meetings were also held between OPNFV and OpenDaylight and ONF as well.
OPNFV and the ETSI NFV ISG are in discussions to prioritize and assess the target use cases that may guide OPNFV development, integration, and testing moving forward.
OPNFV Technical Steering Committee (TSC) Chair Chris Price (Ericsson) stated “The OPNFV NFV reference platform will enable operators to validate NFV use cases and deployments, refine NFV platform requirements, and solidify ties with related open source communities. It is important that together we converge on, and realize, common use cases that satisfy the needs of our industry.”
Neela Jacques, Executive Director of OpenDaylight, an open source SDN platform, further commented “We recently surveyed our user base to understand when and how they were deploying OpenDaylight in production, andNFV emerged as the top use case across telco, enterprise and academic/research institutions.Our membership of over 50 companies along with our growing community of more than 500 developers are committed to working with both the ETSI NFV ISG, OPNFV and others in order to enhance NFV by enabling SDN.”
In addition to the joint meetings with the other NFV/SDN bodies, the ISG presented the high-level 2016 release planning process, which will determine the priorities for NFV Phase 3.
Klaus Martiny, Vice-Chair of the NFV Network Operator’s Council, indicated “Our operators are highly motivated to work together on the priority features for the next requirements release. Many operators are basing their NFV plans on the outputs from the ISG; specific features validation in the broader community is extremely important.”
Looking beyond the current requirements release, the ISG held an evening session to discuss the future of NFV/ISG beyond its current charter, which expires at the end of 2016. Whereas the focus of NFV Phase 1 was on establishing the architectural framework, and Phase 2 was adoption and interoperability, NFV Phase 3 (beyond 2016) is aimed towards establishing an open ecosystem as NFV is deployed.
ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair Bruno Chatras observed “As NFV continues to gain traction, it will be increasingly important to foster a vibrant ecosystem, which was integral to our vision from the beginning. NFV vendors large and small are key to proliferating NFV deployments, and addressing gaps between the requirements and open source implementations.”
NFV continuing to evolve and mature, guided by real-world insights gained from the many NFV PoCs underway, which has yielded solid collaboration between operators and vendors. The challenge remains to validate NFV requirements through additional PoCs, and the open source reference platforms, such as OPNFV. This will in turn yield new use cases, further refining NFV requirements to ensure that other SDOs and open source projects can capitalize upon the NFV ISG progress.
Marc Cohn, ClearPath Networks
on 01 June 2015
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)
Meeting host Huawei (who also hosted NFV #2 in Santa Clara) organized a workshop for ISG delegates where China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom endorsed the NFV ISG work program, and shared their individual deployment plans. China Mobile delivered a keynote at the plenary, highlighting their massive plans for NFV deployment beginning this year.
ETSI NFV ISG Chair Steve Wright (AT&T) commented “We recognize the global relevance of NFV technology and we were very excited to hold our first meeting in China. The strong contributions by Chinese network operators at the meeting enabled us to better understand their needs on directions and priorities for NFV and their presence was influential in prioritizing the ISG work to better meet their needs.”
Global interest in NFV continues to grow. The NFV ISG has grown to 270 organizations, including 38 operators representing a global constituency spanning the US, Europe the Middle-East and Asia. And the significant growth of contributions as shown in Figure 2, is a powerful indicator of the increasing investment in NFV innovation across the industry.
Figure 2 – Rapid Growth of ETSI NFV ISG Contributions Source: ETSI NFV ISG
An important objective for NFV Phase 2 is to ensure ISG work is timely and readily accessible to the open source communities involved in NFV. Towards that end, the ISG approved an initiative to make publicly available all the ISG draft specifications as they are developed. The NFV ISG also approved a process, administered by ETSI, to enable anyone to provide feedback on the draft specifications. By opening up the NFV ISG drafts, NFV/SDN industry groups, standards bodies, and open source communities can align their work with the ISG milestones.
Diego Lopez, Technical Manager commented “We must ensure timely delivery of our work to deal efficiently with the increasing volume of NFV ISG contributions. We encourage participants to prioritize their contributions to proactively address the most urgent work items. By opening up our ongoing draft specifications we will be more effective in communicating the requirements for NFV to those who are implementing it.”
Nan Chen, President of MEF, addressed the joint ISG / MEF activities resulting from the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) executed last year. Nan outlined MEF efforts to enable operators to rapidly activate Carrier Ethernet connections, and highlighted the role of NFV ISG to deliver the agility needed for fully automated provisioning. He also highlighted the key role of MEF standards to underpin the capabilities being developed within the NFV ecosystem.
Nan Chen stated “I am extremely pleased that we cemented the relationship we established last year, and are working closely together to develop a joint vision of NFV and LSO for Carrier Ethernet Services and for rapid NFV deployment/management. I am also very pleased that the ISG recognizes the importance of MEF and LSO as an enabler for their work.”
Figure 3 – Nan Chen, President of MEF, Addressing the ETSI NFV ISG Plenary at NFV #10 Source: Klaus Martiny, DT (Vice-Chair, NFV Network Operators Council)
While the NFV ISG was meeting in Sanya, the OpenStack Foundation was meeting in Vancouver. Many companies sent representatives to both the ETSI NFV ISG and OpenStack Foundation meetings to maintain close alignment. Recently OpenStack initiated a new activity to develop a general purpose VNF Manager (VNFM) based on the ETSI NFV ISG Management and Orchestration (MANO) framework. This is a very important endorsement of the ISG work, and a great step forward in encouraging implementation.
Raquel Morera (Verizon) Chair of the ISG Interfaces and Architecture (IFA) Working Group commented: “This is a welcome initiative by OpenStack. We need to clearly document VNFM functionality, interfaces and descriptors needed for VNF life cycle and performance management, and avoid deviating from our goal in order to deliver timely outputs to OpenStack and the broader industry.”
As delegates departed, there was a sense that the NFV ISG took another leap towards attaining its goal to establish the technologies on which the next wave of telecommunications networks will be built. There is no question the NFV ISG is playing a vital and central role to guide open source projects, new standards and new product development. Next on the list- continue to convert the many investigations and Proof of Concepts into deployment.
Figure 4 – ETSI NFV ISG Leadership Present at NFV #10 in Sanya
Don Clarke, Network Operator Council Chair commented “As we embark on this second phase of NFV, we are keenly aware that the work of the ISG is a critical enabler to grow the NFV ecosystem and it is extremely important that we remain focused on the priorities for the industry. Close collaboration is essential amongst all the stakeholders – vendors and operators alike, to avoid duplication of work, and ensure timely delivery of results in an open way to efficiently progress.”
Because of the widespread implications, expanding openness is a critical step, especially considering the transformative nature of NFV. Close collaboration among the community is well underway.
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.
The ISG chairman Steven Wright (AT&T) invited the ISG leadership team to a face-to-face session in Helsinki to coincide with an IFA interim meeting. The target of the meeting was to discuss the status of the ISG, future strategic goals and to discuss how to ensure momentum is maintained, and whether the original objectives for NFV were being met. The next face to face ISG plenary meeting will be held in Sanya-China hosted by Huawei. This mid-May meeting is the next important milestone to continue planning for the market success of NFV and facilitate the broader adoption by all the different types of ecosystem participants necessary for the success of NFV
The joint IFA / 3GPP SA 5 workshop was a follow-up action from the Prague plenary meeting to clarify information exchanged during the SDO workshop held in Prague, and to position the ISG Phase 1 documentation in terms of the SA 5 work. The EVE WG will organize discussions in Sanya regarding outreach arrangements with additional domain specific industry bodies that might be expected to adopt NFV principles and develop their own VNF specifications etc.
The week continued with an intensive 3-days meeting of the IFA Working Group. During that meeting the 67 delegates present went over 236 contributions and allowed to record good progress on the IFA drafts. They focused mainly on the drafts due to publication this summer.
Marc Cohn, Ciena Corporation
on 17 March 2015
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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.
This was a meeting of firsts - the first NFV ISG meeting in 2015, the launch for NFV Phase 2, the first joint SDO workshop, the same location as the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) Hackfest, and the highest attended ETSI NFV ISG meeting held outside of the U.S.
ETSI hosted the meeting, with excellent accommodations, with opening remarks by ETSI Director General Luis Jorge Romero Saro.
“I’m pleased to reaffirm ETSI’s commitment to our NFV Industry Specification Group. ETSI always seeks to develop and use best practices in standardization, and for this reason I’m excited to see the dialogue develop with the open source community”said ETSI Director General Luis Jorge Romero Saro.
As we enter 2015, interest in NFV remains strong and participation continues to increase. The NFV ISG has now grown to 260 organizations, including 37 operators. There are over 1,200 individuals on the mailing lists, 32 active work items, and 21 publications on the ETSI NFV public site.
ETSI NFV ISG Chair Steven Wright (AT&T) commented: ”As Phase 2 gets under way; the NFV ISG remains the center of gravity for NFV. Our goals include taking measured steps towards adoption, interoperability, and establishment of an open NFV ecosystem through close collaboration with the NFV and SDN community.”
To achieve its ambitious goals, the NFV ISG repositioned the organization for success, by establishing a new set of working groups representing the NFV Phase 2 priorities (see Figure 1). New leadership was elected for each of the working groups. For the first time, several of the new leaders represent the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs.)
In addition, two key new advisory roles were established in response to the NFV ISG’s goal to collaborate with the broader community. Yun Chao HU (Huawei) was appointed Industry Engagement Officer to advise on the impact of external industry groups on the ISG work programme. Andy Reid (BT) was appointed Regulatory Impact Officer to broaden ISG awareness of security and regulatory requirements.
An important underlying objective in Phase 2 is to adjust course and reprioritize as necessary to ensure the NFV ISG work program remains relevant and timely. The Evolution and Ecosystem (EVE) working group has been tasked with tracking NFV and SDN activities in other industry groups, standards development organizations, and open source projects to enable the NFV ISG to better coordinate with external groups.
Figure 1: NFV Phase 2 Leadership and Organizational Structure
The NFV ISG held a joint workshop (chaired by Klaus Martiny (DT), Vice-Chair of the ETSI NFV ISG Network Operator Council (NOC)) with 3GPP SA5, TMF, and OPNFV to broaden the dialogue on the role of each organization in the NFV community.
OPNFV co-located its first Hackfest with the NFV ISG meeting in order to encourage greater community collaboration during the Hackfest. This afforded an opportunity for both communities to exchange ideas and information, as well as contribute to the initial OPNFV release currently targeted for late April, 2015.
Margaret Chiosi (AT&T), President of OPNFV, observed: “It is no longer feasible to comprehensively analyze the requirements for the NFV Architectural Framework through specifications alone. OPNFV provides an open reference platform that enables the NFV community to refine requirements based on an actual implementation, accelerate adoption, and validate that a carrier-grade platform is feasible. OPNFV is helping bridge between the standards and Open Source worlds”.
Prodip Sen (HP), Chairman of the Board for OPNFV, and former Chair of the ETSI NFV ISG noted: "The open source based approach to interoperability is a more agile and faster approach than traditional standardization, which is absolutely suited to current market conditions. I am very encouraged with the level of engagement and discussion between the NFV ISG and OPNFV communities that we saw here in Prague, and am confident that we will be successful in adopting this approach for our industry. "
During NFV #9, the new Test Experimentation and Open Source (TST) working group hosted a session with representatives from the major upstream projects, including OPNFV, OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Open Networking Foundation, etc. The intent was to encourage collaboration and discuss what steps the NFV ISG can take to improve collaboration and accelerate the overall process to fulfill the requirements with reference implementation code.
Another theme from the meeting was that ‘Security Matters’ (see photo below):
The NFV ISG has received increasing feedback from government organizations about the need to devote attention to security in light of high-visibility breaches. At NFV #9, representatives from various government agencies urged the ISG to address security, privacy, lawful intercept and regulatory issues up front.
Hence, the NFV Security (SEC) working group will be continuing to rise in importance, while they explore how to improve awareness of the threats while issuing best practices, and leveraging significant recent progress for securing the cloud.
Diego Lopez (Telefonica), ETSI NFV ISG Technical Manager indicated: “The NFV ISG is increasingly aware of our responsibility to meet the evolving security needs of the highly diverse applications we are considering, from individual privacy to the support of critical infrastructure.”
Figure 2: NFV Security Task Force is on the move!
As the meeting concluded, there was a growing sense of urgency and purpose as the NFV ISG including both operators and vendors took to heart ISG Chair Steven Wright’s words:
Engage the industry with NFV
Focus on work that matters
Avoid duplication of efforts through collaboration
Accelerate adoption through coordination
Eliminate Not Invented Here (NIH) to achieve our goals
Don Clarke (CableLabs), Chair of the Network Operator Council took a pragmatic view “The NFV ISG is addressing work that cannot be taken on in any other body based on our charter, empowerment by our global operators, core competency and expertise, and unparalleled industry influence and engagement. However, we remain committed to collaborate with the broader industry, as no single industry body can address NFV and for that matter SDN on its own.”
As we enter a new, agile, era of industry transformation, operators are empowered to break the traditional waterfall model rules; the interaction between requirements analysis and software development will become blurred. Realizing that cooperation is crucial, the NFV ISG is continuing to pave an innovative path towards adoption. One thing is clear - Software will eat the world and SDN and NFV are the enablers.
Marc Cohn, Ciena Corporation
on 03 December 2014
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.
NFV #8 attendees were treated to a private rodeo by NFV#8 host Intel.
NFV #8 was the first U.S. NFV ISG meeting held outside of Silicon Valley, with no drop off in interest:
Number of operators: 37
Total number of organizations: 245
Number of individuals on the mailing list: > 1,200
After taking the industry by storm (literally) - attendees will never forget the unexpected and rare snowfall in the Côte d’Azur at the very first meeting of the ISG (February, 2013) - NFV Phase 1 successfully concluded, with the ISG achieving its stated objectives and defined work program. In recognition, parties sprung up by most working groups to celebrate their success.
“Operator participants are extremely pleased with the outcomes of NFV Phase 1. Few of us could have anticipated how fast this initiative would grow and how influential it would become. As we enter Phase 2, operators’ expectations continue to rise. We are very conscious of the fact that vendors are investing significant resources to develop NFV capability. It is therefore very important to stay focused and maintain our momentum to create opportunities for NFV deployment.” Don Clarke (CableLabs), Chair of the Network Operator’s Council
NFV operators have every right to be proud, as NFV has literally redefined the ground rules for telecommunications technology adoption by:
Avoiding the temptation to create new standards - the ISG instead worked to influence existing and emerging SDOs and open source projects
Highly collaborative engagement model:
Among operators, some of whom are fierce competitors
Between operators and vendors
Reinventing itself as needed to adapt to the challenges at hand
Adopting a pragmatic approach that emphasizes progress over completeness and implementations over technical elegance
Capitalizing on a familiar and well-established administrative model that permitted the ISG to concentrate on progress vs. process
“We are pleased that ETSI could enable the groundbreaking NFV ISG, which successfully forged an innovative standardization cooperation model, built upon assertive goals, pragmatism, lightweight process, and unprecedented collaboration. We applaud the ISG’s phenomenal accomplishments to date and believe that the NFV ISG is already influencing the entire industry.” Luis Jorge Romero, ETSI Director General
After months of planning, guided by the incoming ISG leadership elected at the prior meeting in July, the NFV Phase 2 work program commenced with a general agreement on the objectives and work scope:
Grow an interoperable VNF Ecosystem
Thoroughly specify reference points and requirements defined in Phase 1
Achieve broader industry engagement to ensure that NFV requirements are satisfied
Clarify how NFV intersects with SDN and related standards, industry, and open source initiatives
Steven Wright (AT&T), presiding over his first meeting since being elected Chair of the ETSI NFV ISG observed “I remain encouraged by the elevated enthusiasm by operators and partners alike. The NFV community that we have fostered has never been more robust. While we have challenges to overcome, broad industry participation has resulted in a healthy debate on our Phase 2 plans, which are converging as expected.”
In Phase 2, the ISG agreed to disband the existing NFV ISG Working Groups, and approved a new leaner working group structure better suited to the goals for Phase 2. While a healthy debate unfolded regarding the detailed Phase 2 scope and working group inter-relationships, a general consensus emerged, and the work began immediately.
The new working groups will focus less on requirements and more on adoption. Among the key areas that will be addressed include:
The ‘ilities’: Stability, Interoperability, Reliability, Availability, Maintainability
Intensified collaboration with other bodies
Testing and validation to encourage interoperability and solidify implementations
Establishment of a vibrant NFV ecosystem
Performance and assurance considerations
Continued attention to network management and operations, which is of particular interest to the Network Operators Council
The ISG also elected new technical leaders to guide the NFV technical agenda. Diego Lopez (Telefonica) was re-elected as the Technical Manager, and Joan Triay (DOCOMO) was elected Assistant Technical Manager, succeeding Tetsuya Nakamura (DOCOMO), who was recently elected Vice-Chair of the NFV ISG. Working group leadership will be elected at the next plenary meeting (NFV #9), scheduled for Prague in late February.
“I am pleased that the ISG reiterated their confidence in me as we approach NFV Phase 2. As our goals shift towards implementation and adoption, we will need more detailed specifications, and address functional gaps of the standards we adopt. In order to achieve our goals, it is critical that our working groups remain focused, operate with lightweight processes, and strive for interoperability in everything that we do.” Diego Lopez, Technical Manager for the ISG
As the ISG made a seamless transition, with a renewed charter, new leadership, and updated working group structure, the ISG has been energized to pave the way to adoption. Two years of use case assessment and prioritization, requirements analysis, architecture definition, document alignment, and countless conference calls, meetings, and drafts have resulted in a solid baseline for Phase 2.
“I am thrilled about the progress we made on the technical baseline in Phase 1, which required a great deal of collaboration and effort. Congratulations to all contributors for their commitment, dedication, and hard work without which, the leap to Phase 2 would not be possible.” Tetsuya Nakamura, ETSI NFV ISG Vice-Chair
Fittingly, Tetsuya, along with Michael Brenner (Alcatel Lucent), Joan Triay (DOCOMO), and Frank Zdarsky (NEC) were recognized by the ISG leadership with a special award for their outstanding contributions to Phase 1.
ETSI NFV ISG Chair Steven Wright(r) recognized Tetsuya Nakamura(l), NFV ISG Vice Chair for outstanding contributions in NFV Phase 1.
Given the accomplishments in Phase 1, there is increasing optimism that the ETSI NFV ISG will achieve its lofty goal to radically transform the entire telecommunications industry. 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the trial, leveraging over 25 Proof of Concepts, visible strides in product development, and leading edge operators planning for initial deployments.
Video from 1st ETSI NFV PoC ZONE, October 2014 in Düsseldorf
on 17 November 2014
Video from 1st ETSI NFV PoC ZONE, October 2014 in Düsseldorf
ETSI NFV PoC ZONE
on 24 October 2014
The first ETSI NFV PoC ZONE was run from 15th to 17th of October during the SDN & Open Flow World Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The PoC ZONE concentrated the demonstration of 14 multi-vendor NFV Proof of Concept (PoC) projects developed according to the NFV ISG PoC Framework. Over 40 different organisations from the NFV community provided active on-site support to run the demos, present their results and share their lessons learnt with visitors. It provided a unique opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge on NFV technology, current reality and next steps; as well as to give feedback to the PoC Teams.
"The ETSI NFV PoC ZONE was an important opportunity to gauge industry prowess on NFV implementation and to interact with the PoC participants to discuss their results, learn about the challenges they faced and what they see as the next steps for NFV implementation" - Don Clarke, Chair of the Network Operator Council, ETSI NFV ISG
“The ETSI team clearly put a lot of thought and preparation into the development of the NFV PoC Zone concept; it was very professional and well managed. I applaud their efforts in helping to recognize the work of PoC participants and providing them with a virtual stage to showcase some of the excellent work being done by ETSI member companies." – Ron Breault, WINDRIVER, PoC#22
"CloudNFV has gained tremendous visibility from its ETSI NFV Proof-of-Concept (PoC). The ETSI NFV PoC Zones provided a venue to showcase our NFV platform and eco-system and to gather invaluable feedback from industry leaders." – Dave Duggal, ENTERPRISEWEB, PoC#1
“The ETSI NFV PoC Zone at the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf provided an excellent opportunity for network operators and service providers to survey the current state of the industry. The ETSI NFV ISG is doing a tremendous job incubating this paradigm shift, and building a community of experts that are working together to define and drive virtualization of applications and services in carrier networks.” - Nirav Modi, CYAN, PoC#4
"ETSI NFV PoC Framework and the PoC ZONE is a visionary idea that dramatically reduces the feedback cycle from a standard body's work to running code and back, ultimately resulting better standards. Thank you for providing this open and vibrant environment for the industry." Wenjing Chu, DELL PoC#1
"The ETSI's PoC zone represents a new approach to developing multi-vendor telecom products and solutions. It shines an industry level spotlight on areas the standards are working, and also identifies areas where gaps exist. All in all this can speed up development of products and services in and around the communication provider ecosystem." Ajay Sahai, CONTEXTREAM, PoC#15
NFV Proofs of Concept are developed according to the ETSI NFV ISG Proof of Concept Framework. NFV Proofs of Concept are intended to demonstrate NFV as a viable technology. Results are fed back to the NFV Industry Specification Group.
Neither ETSI, its NFV Industry Specification Group, nor its members make any endorsement of any product or implementation claiming to demonstrate or conform to NFV. No verification or test has been performed by ETSI on any part of these NFV Proofs of Concept.
Successful NFV interim meetings held at ETSI as the ISG continues to push forward
Steven Wright, NFV ISG Chairman (AT&T Services)
on 13 October 2014
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.
In its first two years, the NFV ISG will have published 17 documents containing roughly 900 pages of text build through contribution and consensus. This is a significant achievement for such a relatively new standards group and reflects the level of interest and dedication of the participants.
Looking forward, I would note that the ISG has already succeeded in that there are now active NFV related standardization programs underway in several industry bodies external to the NFV ISG, (3GPP SA5, TMF, BBF, etc.) as well as various open source projects (OPNFV, OpenStack, OpenDaylight, etc.).
Marc Cohn, Ciena Corporation
on 01 October 2014
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.
This week the Linux Foundation announced the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), an open source software initiative intended to accelerate industry adoption of NFV. OPNFV intends to develop an ‘Open NFV Reference Platform’ that explicitly leverages a number of ‘upstream’ open source initiatives to catalyze and accelerate the development.
OPNFV is a new open source software initiative that aims to drive the evolution of NFV, through a reference platform in accordance with the ETSI NFV ISG Architectural Framework.
Over-arching objectives include:
Develop an integrated and tested open source platform that can be used to investigate and demonstrate core NFV functionality
Proactive participation of leading end-users to validate that OPNFV releases address participating operators’ needs
Influence and contribute to the relevant open source projects that will be adopted in the OPNFV reference platform
Establish an open ecosystem for NFV solutions based on open standards and open source software
Promote OPNFV as the preferred open reference platform to avoid unnecessary and costly duplication of effort
Figure 1 below illustrates the initial scope of the OPNFV initiative, relative to the ETSI NFV ISG Architectural Framework (specified in GS NFV 002). Specifics on the scope of the development projects are now being discussed in the OPNFV technical community. Like many other Open Source Software projects, released software will be made available through a common Apache License, Version 2.0.
Figure 1- NFV Architecture Framework indicating OPNFV scope (in red)
As a starting point, the OPNFV open reference platform could adopt several Cloud and SDN open source software projects, along with select proprietary components, including:
Over time, the list of open source projects adopted by OPNFV is expected to grow, as the scope of OPNFV steadily expands. From the outset, the OPNFV community intends to actively contribute to each of these projects to ensure they address NFV requirements and use cases.
How OPNFV relates to the ETSI NFV ISG
OPNFV has been established as an autonomous open source project by the Linux Foundation, similar to OpenDaylight, including a distinct governance, project leadership, and oversight structure. All technical decisions will be made by the OPNFV leadership, but will be influenced by the ETSI NFV ISG requirements and use cases, which have already been endorsed by the majority of the world’s network operators.
The OPNFV and the ETSI NFV ISG organizations are completely independent. To date, OPNFV and the ETSI NFV ISG have not entered into a formal arrangement. However, there appears to be a strong intent by both leadership teams to maintain a loosely coupled relationship that can be nimble and effective, similar to the ETSI NFV ISG relationship with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). The ETSI NFV ISG and ONF leadership collaborated for months before entering into a formal agreement in April, 2014.
“I congratulate the OPFNV founders on the formation of this new open source community supporting NFV. The NFV ISG’s mission is to facilitate the industry transformation and development of an open, interoperable, ecosystem through specification, implementation and deployment experience. The ISG recognizes the value of open source implementations to converge industry requirements and facilitate the development of the NFV ecosystem. I look forward to the future releases of the integrated open source infrastructure platform from OPNFV.” Dr. Steven Wright (AT&T), the newly elected Chairman of the NFV ISG
“From the beginning, we have been encouraged by the strong industry support for OPNFV spanning the major operators, vendors, and individual contributors. We feel especially confident, considering the extremely well-defined NFV use cases and architecture framework that guide the OPNFV baseline. We anticipate a close working relationship with the ETSI NFV ISG, other open source projects and the entire NFV community.” The Linux Foundation’s Executive Director Jim Zemlin
“The introduction of OPNFV is a critical step towards the long-term success for NFV. Open Source software projects have become increasingly important for all networking initiatives. We are excited about OPNFV’s decision to adopt OpenDaylight, which also emphasizes the importance of SDN as an enabler for NFV. Congratulations to each of the founding companies, many of whom already participate in ODL as well.” Neela Jacques, Executive Director of OpenDaylight
"OpenStack is already addressing the growing needs of the NFV community, starting with our upcoming release next month. Our congratulations to each founding member of OPNFV for their commitment to facilitate new cloud services and software, a fundamental objective of OpenStack as well. We are excited that OpenStack was selected for the OPNFV baseline, and look forward to OPNFV’s contributions moving forward." Jonathan Bryce, Executive Director of OpenStack
Unlike many open source projects, OPNFV was formed with substantive involvement from the stakeholders with the most to gain - the operators who anticipate deploying NFV over the long-term. OPNFV membership classes were formed to enable varying degrees of participation, including board representation for ‘Platinum Strategic End-User Members’. Among the founding operators for OPNFV include:
“Industry response to the OPNFV has exceeded our expectations. Many of the initial OPNFV members are also active participants in the NFV ISG, which shows the industry is taking the next step - accelerating the implementation of NFV. The goal is to expand the user community to include users who may be more focused on implementation and software”. Margaret Chiosi (AT&T)
“Leading operators participating in the ETSI NFV ISG believe that open source software is a critical success factor for development of an open ecosystem for NFV. I applaud the formation of the OPNFV project, and look forward to close cooperation towards achieving our common goals.” Don Clarke (CableLabs), Chairman of the Network Operator Council
As NFV Phase 2 continues to gain momentum, OPNFV has the potential to play an increasingly important role, enabling an open platform for NFV investigations to showcase/demonstrate select NFV functionality. Open source software will undoubtedly take on greater significance for the ETSI NFV ISG. OPNFV will likely pioneer open source development in the future, by aligning with the key stakeholders (i.e., ETSI NFV ISG), while encouraging participation by network operators. Ultimately, OPNFV aims to enable operators to focus on rapid delivery of differentiated services, and not be compelled to become enmeshed in the details of the underlying NFV Infrastructure.
Main players provide feedback at NFV#7 – videos online
on 10 September 2014
Enjoy watching the interviews by key players filmed at NFV#7
Repositioning for success at ETSI NFV#7
Marc Cohn, Ciena Corporation
on 06 August 2014
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.
But in an austere exhibit rests the system that truly changed the world - the IBM PC. Aside from its size, price point, and design, what made the PC different was IBM’s decision to open up the platform, decoupling the software from hardware, publishing open specifications, fostering the greatest ecosystem the world has ever known.
Three decades later, networking and telecommunications are bracing for a major transformation as communications platforms prepare to be opened by Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization, with similar impact to the opening of the computing world.
Defining the future
The 7th meeting of the ETSI NFV ISG was co-hosted by Ericsson and Citrix in the Santa Clara Convention Center, whose warm hospitality, comfortable surroundings, and ideal weather made for a highly successful meeting.
Attendance surged to over 300 people; not surprisingly the 3 highest attended NFV meetings were held in Silicon Valley (NFV #4 (355), NFV #7 (303), and NFV #2 (285)).
New leadership for the next phase
Over the past year-and-a-half, the ISG has grown beyond the capability of all but the largest corporate facilities:
37 operators spanning the globe (up 4 since NFV #6 held in May)
Mailing list approaching 1,200 participants
226 ISG members (up 18 since NFV #6)
23 Proof of Concepts (PoCs) accepted (up 5 since NFV #6)
15 active work items
NFV #7 marked the last meeting for the Chair (Prodip Sen (HP)) and Vice Chair (Uwe Michel (Deutsche Telekom)), who played a major role in the ISG’s growth and success to date.
Throughout NFV #7, the ISG focused on repositioning the organization for long-term success, an initiative loosely referred to as NFV Phase 2. Among the key outcomes:
Elected new leadership, as the current Chair and Vice-Chair stepped down
Facilitated the transition from the Requirements Phase to the Implementation Phase
Revisited the ISG operational structure in anticipation of the transition
Discussed high-level scope for 2015 and beyond
Open elections were held for the NFV ISG Chairman and Vice-Chairman, who recently stepped down from their posts at the previous meeting in May.
Outgoing Chairman Prodip Sen commented "Serving as a founding member and the first chair of the NFV ISG has been an extremely rewarding experience. We started out to create momentum in the industry, and provide guidance on the way forward to the vision. We have achieved these goals, but clearly much still needs to be done. The good thing is that with this global team we have created, there is no dearth of ideas and participation. I am fully confident that the new leadership will continue our positive trajectory towards long-term success."
Outgoing Vice-Chair Uwe Michel stated “When we started the NFV ISG back in 2012, we did not envision such rapid growth and enthusiastic validation. I feel fortunate to be able to work with such a strong leadership team, who are truly committed to achieving an industry vision for NFV.”
Steven Wright, AT&T, who formerly led the NFV Infrastructure (INF) working group, was elected the new NFV ISG chairman. "I am excited to guide the NFV ISG as we transition our focus from requirements to implementations. I would also like to thank Prodip Sen and Uwe Michel for their leadership and significant contributions, which have been instrumental to our success."
Tetsuya Nakamura, NTT DOCOMO, who formerly was the Assistant Technical Manager of the NFV Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and Chair of the Software Architecture (SWA) working group, was elected the new NFV ISG Vice-Chair. "I am honored to be elected vice chair of the NFV ISG at such a critical time, as the ISG repositions itself to focus on adoption. We are especially appreciative of my predecessor Uwe Michel, who has been a major part of our success from the beginning."
The ISG continues to make solid progress on the NFV Release 1 baseline. Eleven new deliverables from multiple working groups were made available for public reviews. A liaison statement was approved to invite comments from the many NFV ISG liaisons.
“I continue to be pleased with our progress towards NFV release 1, which is targeted towards December”, stated Diego Lopez (Telefonica), NFV Technical Manager and Chair of the NFV Technical Steering Committee. “Each of our technical working groups is making tremendous progress as we worked towards a solid technical baseline, which is critical as NFV Phase 2 gets underway.”
Requirements for Interoperability
Another major topic discussed at NFV #7 was the future of NFV ISG, referred to as ‘NFV Phase 2’. The original charter for the ISG, approved in late 2012, is scheduled to expire in January, 2014. Prodip Sen led a robust evening discussion on the future of NFV, assisted by Klaus Martiny, Vice-Chair, Network Operator Council (NOC) and incoming Steven Wright.
Key outcomes from NFV #7 regarding NFV Phase 2:
The ISG passed a motion to extend the NFV charter by 2 years, to continue to operate under the current ETSI Terms of Reference (ToR)
The ISG accepted a new NFV ISG mission statement, which shared the vision, mission, and values of the NFV ISG:
The NFV ISG’s mission is to facilitate the industry transformation and development of an open, interoperable, ecosystem through specification, implementation and deployment experience. . .
Several new contributions on NFV Phase 2 were submitted for consideration, many endorsed by multiple participants
The ISG leadership will hold an interim meeting in late September to discuss the proposals and suggestions for NFV Phase 2, in preparation for NFV #8 in mid-November
“Interoperability is a key objective for Network Operators”, commented Don Clarke (CableLabs), Chair of the NFV NOC. “In the next phase we intend to intensify our efforts towards achieving interoperability for NFV, which includes normative work where appropriate, formalized dialogue with other industry and standards organizations including open source communities, and a continued emphasis on encouraging open NFV implementations and Proof of Concepts.”
At the closing plenary, the new ISG leadership invited the NFV ISG plenary to proactively contribute to the future of NFV, through comments on our documents, proposals for new work items, and recommendations on the organizational structure to position the NFV ISG for long-term success.
Cooperation, openness and open source
While progress since the formation of the ISG (4Q2012) has been tremendous, there is a long way to go. The ISG will be shifting their focus outward, reaching out to the standards bodies, industry groups, and open source projects, to influence their future work programs. A proposal was shared to stimulate discussion on how the NFV ISG can engage with the research community, to leverage their innovations, resources, and ongoing work as well as to create new academic courses to train a new generation of students to be multi-skilled in networks and software. In today’s environment, collaboration is the norm, implementations the target, and speed trumps completeness.
The next meeting of the ETSI NFV ISG (NFV #8) will be held from Nov 17-21 in Chandler, AZ (outside of Phoenix). At that time, the new leadership will assume their responsibilities, and decisions are anticipated on the plan for NFV Phase 2.
NFV ISG Leadership - poised for success (NFV #7, Santa Clara, CA, August 1, 2014)
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.
The (near-term) future for NFV
Marc Cohn, Ciena Corporation
on 22 May 2014
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.
First NFV meeting held in Asia
The meeting was graciously hosted by KDDI R&D Laboratories and NTT on the lush and beautiful islands of Okinawa. The host organization was excellent, facilities outstanding and food delicious and meticulously presented. It was the region’s rainy season but even that couldn’t dampen our resolve.
From the time when the landmark NFV White Paper was issued (October, 2012 by 13 major operators), the number of operators has grown 2-1/2 times.
just since the prior meeting in February (NFV #5, Malaga, Spain), 2 new operators joined, along with 24 participants.
In October, the ISG published 4 end-to-end framework documents, which guide 15 active work items. As the requirements baseline began to solidify, the NFV Proof of Concepts (PoC) program was proposed to validate NFV use cases in a multi-vendor environment. As of NFV#6, the ISG has accepted 18 PoCs - double the number PoCs accepted since NFV #5, representing almost 80% of the NFV use cases.
NFV #6 represents a turning point for the ISG, as emphasis is clearly shifting from requirements analysis to accelerating implementations and interoperability, towards the ultimate goal of widespread NFV adoption. The transition coincides with the planned ISG charter expiration within ETSI in early 2015. Consequently, the ISG is reassessing the organizational structure and leadership requirements in order to position the NFV group for long-term success.
Towards that end, the ISG leadership announced that:
elections will be held for a new Chair and Vice-Chair at the next meeting, NFV #7, scheduled for July 29 – August 1 in Santa Clara.
Prodip Sen, NFV ISG Chair and Uwe Michel, Vice-Chair, will be stepping down for personal reasons by the end of NFV #7.
Both Prodip and Uwe were instrumental in the tremendous progress achieved by the ISG; their leadership and presence will be missed.
“I hope to remain engaged in this activity irrespective of my specific situation, since I truly believe in the importance of the effort we have jointly created and have made successful” ETSI NFV ISG Chair Prodip Sen
Another announcement involved Don Clarke, co-founder of the ISG and Chair of the Network Operator Council (NOC), who recently joined CableLabs, after spending over 40 years at BT. As a result of the move, the NOC voted to re-elect Don to maintain his critical role in the ISG leadership as Chair of the NOC. Don and wife Stephanie relocated to the other side of the pond to be close to family in the Mid-west. Wishing Don well in his new career.
“This is a very exciting personal and career move for me and enables me to continue helping the industry move forward on NFV. I could not be more pleased with the strong spirit of collaboration in the ISG and the fantastic progress achieved. I look forward to working with industry colleagues old and new to maintain the momentum we have built up over the past 18 months.” Don Clarke, co-founder of the ISG and Chair of the Network Operator Council (NOC)
On to Phase 2
One of the liveliest sessions of the entire NFV #6 meeting was a well-attended evening session to brainstorm the future of NFV, referred to as NFV Phase 2. During NFV #5 in Malaga, Uwe Michel (NFV ISG Vice-Chair) circulated an NFV Phase 2 proposal. That proposal and some new ideas were presented leading to an energetic discussion.
The intent was to offer a forum for the participants to share their thoughts, but not make decisions until later in the year.
“Our primary goal for NFV Phase 2 is to empower the implementer community to create a growing ecosystem and ensure they achieve our most important goal- multi-vendor interoperability” Vice-Chair of the NFV ISG Technical Steering Committee Tetsuya Nakamura (NTT DOCOMO)
Objectives for NFV Phase 2 include:
Fostering interoperable implementations
Facilitating development of an open ecosystem
Providing guidance to open source and open innovation efforts
Driving towards commonly defined operating environment that can support a variety of VNFs
Providing direction for NFV outbound messaging
Developing normative documents that provide requirements to relevant SDOs
In the NFV Phase 2 proposal, the NOC institution was maintained, to ensure executive oversight by the constituent with the largest stake in NFV- the Operators.
“We will reassess the organization and governance model, but in the interim, maintain the current structure. The initial emphasis will be determining our specific objectives and deliverables before considering any changes” Prodip Sen
“Our challenge for NFV Phase 2 is to preserve the collaboration and implementation focus that enabled us to succeed in Phase 1, without being constrained by process too much detail.” Diego Lopez, Technical Steering Committee Chair
While there are a plethora of ideas surrounding how to achieve the goals for NFV Phase 2, one that garnered a great deal of discussion is the role of Open Source software. Towards that end, a proposal for the Open Platform for NFV (OPN) was circulated among the ISG.
Drive NFV’s evolution through an OPN which the carrier and vendor community will benefit from
The scope and governance model are under development and will be determined by the active participants.
In accordance with the NFV guiding principles, the OPN is not only targeted towards the developer community, but also the operator community as well. In this way, the work scope and technology direction will be guided by the stakeholders who will benefit most- the NFV users. OPN will take input on use cases requirements, architecture from the NFV ISG.
“The proposed Open Platform for NFV benefits both operators and the vendor community, and creates a vibrant ecosystem committed to our ultimate goal of facilitating NFV adoption.” Margaret Chiosi (AT&T), lead for the Open Platform for NFV proposal
Next meeting late July in Silicon Valley (the venue for the two highest attendance ISG meetings: NFV #2 and NFV #4)
With the next meeting the ISG will:
• reach closure on the new leadership, organizational plan • progress the proposed open source software project
to propel NFV towards initial deployments in 2015. There is likely to be quite a bit of discussion until then.
Steven Wright, NFV ISG Chairman (AT&T Services)
on 20 May 2014
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):
Security of the virtualized infrastructure for network functions
Abstractions for networks and carrier‐scale network services in imperative and declarative languages
Impacts of data plane workloads on Computer Systems Architectures
Locality and latency in software implementations of large‐scale network services
Re‐architecting network functions (e.g. 3GPP) to recognize availability of cloud technology mechanisms for scalability and reliability
Evolution patterns to NFV, management of transition and heterogeneous scenarios
Portability mechanisms and management across NFV infrastructure realizations
Tools for validating network services and automating their deployment and management
Applying compositional patterns (Network Function Chains) for parallelism, control logic, performance, monitoring and reliability of network services
Monitoring and metering of carrier‐scale virtualized networks. Application of Big Data models
Addressing the privacy implications of the new virtualized network service models. Relying on NFV to increase user privacy at the network scale
Explore how the new virtualization support paradigms can facilitate new network concepts and architectures
Operationalization of NFV with diagnostic and support frameworks
Commercial and Economic impact of NFV on ecosystems
autonomic (self) management technologies in NFV (e.g., processing of alarms)
Complexity of NFV systems
Energy Efficiency of NFV systems
Performance optimization, trade-offs & planning rules for multiple VNF workloads
New service modelling and algorithms for automatic changes of virtual network services architecture
What "Next Big Thing(s)" will be enabled post‐NFV?
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
Happy Birthday ETSI NFV!
on 03 April 2014
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
Embracing NFV: Open Networking and Open Daylight Summits
on 17 March 2014
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.
The ONS attracted more than 1,500 attendees and 60 exhibitors, featured more than 40 speakers and 5 tracks spanning over three days (+1 for tutorials on a Sunday).
Keynote speakers included. Vinod Khosla, a VC pioneer and Founder of Khosla Ventures, who touched on a number of issues, including NFV and declared that SDN is the beginning of the software era; AT&T's John Donovan, Sr. EVP talked about how SDN can help transform AT&T's infrastructure, especially in its new realm of the Domain 2.0 program; Amin Vahdat, Google's Distinguished Engineer & Architect unveiled Google's Andromeda, a new software-defined network functions virtualization platform.
From my perspective Vahdat's talk stood out (in relevance to NFV) since I believe it was the first time that the search giant publicly demonstrated Google's interest in NFV, while he also focused on two specific use case studies within Google: cloud load balancing and network virtualization.
The conference had opened with a keynote panel around the subject of Openness, open compute, network, source (storage was not mentioned in the title but I am sure it is lurking somewhere).
As with most conferences nowadays (if there are not explicitly positioned as an SDN & NFV conference) there was, for the first time in ONS, a session dedicated on NFV+SDN synergy (unfortunately we had to compete with other parallel sessions on SDN Research and Hot Startups/VCs. Some of our ISG NFV members, Margaret Chiosi (AT&T, session chair), Tetsuya Nakamura (NTT DoCoMo), Andrea Pinnola (Telecom Italia) and Francisco-Javier Ramón Salguero (Telefonica) participated and presented on NFV use cases, POCs and NFV+SDN based Telco environments.
The 90-min session took place in a packed room (my prediction is that next year it will be a half-day track). At the closing of the conference ISG NFV Chairman Prodip Sen (Verizon) participated on a panel about the "state of SDN". There was obviously a strong presence from ISG NFV members - I had the pleasure of being a panelist on an investor track.
This year at the ONS there was a lot of emphasis on SDN applications, real deployments and useability of SDN with the goal to demonstrate the promise and delivery of the technology. My takeaway is that this year's ONS was a benchmarking event.
The Open Daylight Summit that took place earlier in February was the first conference for the less than one-year old poster child (actually baby) of the Linux Foundation. The organizers had apparently underestimated the interested crowd, resulting in a standing audience of more than 600. Neela Jacques, Open Daylight Project's executive director, delivered a great presentation opening the summit where he highlighted the importance of a "collaborative community". Linux Foundation's executive director, Jim Zemlin in his keynote address emphasized the importance of "Open Source" while ODP's Chair of BoD, Inder Gopal (IBM) shared his one-year retrospective and lessons learned. The 2-day summit featured more than 40 parallel break-out sessions (wish I could have attended them all). I was honored to be a keynote speaker and a panelist for the summit, and presented an overview and current status of NFV in a presentation entitled "NFV Unbound" as to highlight the barriers, norms and constraints that NFV promises to break.
It was absorbing to observe that there was some interesting cross-pollination between the two camps, namely Open Daylight and Open Networking, with an exchange of speakers and developer tracks. Both conferences exhibited the importance of development and hands-on training (ONS had a hackathon and I bet Open Daylight will have one next year as part of its program).
All in all, I believe that both these premiere events not only demonstrated the interest in SDN but they also showcased that SDN is actually happening in many areas and in many ways. Well done ONS and ODP ! I am already looking forward already to 2015!
Marc Cohn, Ciena Corporation
on 22 February 2014
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:
The Network Operator’s Council (NOC), the advisory panel guiding the effort now consists of 28 network operators, representing telecommunications and cable industries
Many webinars, presentations, and analyst briefings
During this week significant technical progress was made as well as in release planning. The plenary approved a plan which indicates the initial NFV release by the end of 2014. The release includes a consistent set of baseline deliverables (see figure below for the release plan).
ETSI NFV ISG Chair Prodip Sen (Verizon) said: "It is hard to believe that it's only a year since we started this effort , and that in this year we now have solutions consistent with our approach, and have generated multi-vendor interoperability efforts spanning many of the use cases we have specified. The degree of collaboration in this forum is unprecedented, and is helping us rapidly realize the NFV vision."
As Marco Stura (Ooredoo) representing the latest operator to the join NFV ISG commented: "NFV is offering the framework and tools to greater improve operational efficiency and lower the costs for deploying network services going forward. Ooredoo recognize the importance of NFV and we are proud to be the first Middle East Group to join ETSI NFV ISG."
Following the global call for Proof of Concept in July, 2013, the NFV ISG has accepted 9 Proofs of Concept, spanning over half of the NFV Use Cases defined by the ISG.
These PoCs exemplify the transition of the NFV ISG from specification to implementation. Each PoC consists of multi-vendor teams including at least one operator, and multiple NFV technology providers, including hardware, software, and silicon vendors. The NFV ISG encourages interested parties to submit new PoC proposals based on the freely available PoC framework. Table I below summarizes the NFV PoCs accepted by the NFV ISG to date.
Table I- NFV Proof of Concepts (as of February, 2014)
"We are very pleased with the industry response to our global call for NFV Proof of Concepts," commented Don Clarke (BT), Chair of the NFV ISG Network Operator Council. "We are looking forward to more PoC proposals appearing during 2014."
An agenda item of particular interest to many pertains to the future of the NFV ISG. When originally formed in Q42012, ETSI stipulated that the NFV ISG assume a lifetime in 24 months, formally winding down in February, 2015 (after the NFV#9 meeting).
Uwe Michel (Deutsche Telekom) NFV ISG Vice-Chair addressed the plenary with initial thoughts on how NFV will progress in 2015 and beyond. Uwe noted "It is important to provide clarity to the industry on the plans to drive NFV implementation over the long-term."
To accelerate the transition from requirements to implementation, the NFV ISG is considering how to create reference implementations that capitalize on open source software. In addition, the NFV ISG is actively influencing relevant Standards Bodies and Industry Forums to satisfy NFV requirements.
A new NFV Steering Board (NSB) is proposed to replace the current working group structure to streamline the organization, decision-making and operational process. In addition, focused task forces are proposed to address specific tasks and rapidly produce results, in a departure from the traditional telecommunications standardization model.
NFV ISG NOC member Margaret Chiosi (AT&T) observed: "NFV must overhaul the traditional standards adoption process, which typically requires years before implementations are available. We are seeking a Fast Fail Forward model that enables standards and their implementations to be iteratively developed, similar to the highly-successful open source software model."
Technical coordination responsibility will be within the proposed NSB. Current Technical Steering Committee (TSC) Chair Diego Lopez (Telefonica) commented "It is essential that we leverage our strong core technical expertise and collaborative relationships cultivated in the ISG over the past year. Our charter will evolve to quickly address implementation and operational challenges."
Current TSC Vice-Chair Tetsuya Nakamura (NTT DOCOMO) also shared: "As NFV products and solutions emerge there will need to be greater attention to non-functional requirements, such as availability, scalability, portability, and performance. The TSC will play a vital role in coordinating such activities."
At the next meeting of the NFV ISG in Okinawa in May, the NFV ISG plenary will be asked to approve the future direction for NFV, which will be refined throughout 2014. While a number of valid issues have been raised, the proposal appears to offer a solid baseline for further discussions.
NFV is gaining significant momentum in the industry. In response, the NFV ISG has set an aggressive timescale to release the initial set of technical documents in November, 2014. With the involvement of the world’s leading operators and technology vendors, the prospects for success are very encouraging.
Marc Cohn is a Senior Director for Ciena’s Market Development organization, focused on Ciena’s SDN strategy. He also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Market Education Committee for the Open Networking Foundation, and is a Delegate in the ETSI NFV ISG. For over 20 years, Marc has driven and promoted successful communications software products for the Data Communications and Telecommunications markets as the industry was transformed by the IP revolution.
Special report - ETSI shaves years off NFV development time.
Watch the video:
Highlights of the ISG#04 meeting
on 04 December 2013
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.
The fourth NFV meeting was characterized by a marked increase in the attendance by senior industry executives from ISG member companies. This can be seen as an indicator that NFV, and particularly the work of the NFV ISG is actively influencing product roadmaps across the industry.
Now that the five high level NFV deliverables have been published in October 2013 (see press release), the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) has agreed clear and ambitious proposals for the completion of the remaining ISG work over the remaining five plenary meetings before the end of the initial NFV ISG two year scope.
The TSC chair also presented the “Gap analysis” and the procedure for developing the document as contained in NFV(13)04_028. The gap analysis will provide a mapping of the WG tasks to relevant external bodies such as Standards Development Organisations (SDO) and open-source projects.
In their role of providing Operator advice and guidance to the ISG, the Network Operator Council (NOC) issued a formal reminder to the ISG that the working groups should focus their attention towards all of the reference points in the Architectural Framework with equal priority so that all possible deployment models can be implemented. The NOC also requested that the working groups agree on the definition and behaviour of the functional blocks in the Architectural framework while avoiding duplicated or overlapping functionality.
Throughout the week, the Working Groups and Expert Groups worked in both parallel and joint sessions in order to align their plans according to the proposed timetable issued by the TSC.
A plenary session was held specifically to discuss the NFV Proof of Concept (PoC) framework as contained in ETSI GS NFV-PER 002 V1.1.1. ETSI CTI also presented the NFV ISG PoC Page: NFV PoC where information about the framework, as well as past and present NFV PoC events will be stored.
The NFV ISG has an open approach to cooperation with other relevant organisations, and during the week the OpenDaylight Foundation presented a brief overview of their work as an open source, collaborative project under the Linux Foundation. Other relevant open-source communities will be invited to overview their work in future meetings or via webcasts. NFV ISG is actively receiving and replying to Liaison Statements from other SDOs requesting interaction and information. Output Liaisons from the meeting were approved to be sent to DTMF and NGMN. Another response LS to Apache CloudStack will be developed and approved by correspondence.
The ISG leadership has initiated consultations on how the industry can ensure that momentum on NFV can be maintained after the ISG completes the initial phase of work that is planned for completion in January 2015. The initial draft proposals on continuation of the NFV work will be presented to the ISG membership at the next Plenary meeting in February 2014 and will then be further evolved over the subsequent plenary meetings.
By observing the packed meeting room, as well as the busy socializing activities, it was apparent that the NFV plenary has become an important networking opportunity where the industry may foster relationships and explore new partnership opportunities. This dynamic community has rapidly grown to become as important as the output deliverables of the ISG themselves and will need to be maintained and developed.
Overall the NFV#04 meeting was deemed by many as a great success, both in the consolidation of the work done to date, and also in setting the direction for the next steps of the ISGs evolution.
The ISG leadership wishes once again to thank the meeting participants for the active input to the NFV ISG meetings, and also thanked the host Juniper Networks and the co-sponsor IBM and the ETSI support team for the excellent levels of hosting & support provided to ISG NFV in Sunnyvale USA.
The next ISG NFV meeting will be held in Malaga, Spain on 19th – 21st February 2014. See meeting details.