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The foundations for NFV-MANO interoperability have been set

With the publication of ETSI GS NFV-SOL005, the specification of the RESTful APIs exposed by an NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) towards operations support systems (OSS), the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) has successfully met its objective to deliver a full set of API specifications enabling an open ecosystem where Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) will be interoperable with independently developed management and orchestration systems, and where the components of a management and orchestration system are themselves interoperable.

Encouraging interoperability within an open ecosystem was a key objective for ETSI NFV when it was launched in late 2012 by global carriers.

These API specifications are the result of a wide industry consensus. Compliance to them permits a wide range of multi-vendors deployment scenarios. For example, a VNF can be managed by a generic VNF Manager (VNFM) function (stand-alone or combined with an NFVO), an NFVO can consume the services of a VNF-specific VNFM, and the services exposed by an NFVO can be consumed by higher-level service orchestration functions.

Furthermore, the ISG has completed revisions of two previously published API specifications which detail the REST APIs between an NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) and a VNF Manager (VNFM), and between a VNFM and a VNF or its Element Manager, respectively ETSI GS NFV-SOL 003 and ETSI GS NFV-SOL 002, completed in July 2017. Revised versions have been approved in December 2017, the main change being the support of a TLS-based option for controlling API access authorization (as an alternative to the use of OAuth 2.0).

Besides, an OpenAPI (a.k.a. Swagger) representation is being developed for each of the APIs documented in the aforementioned deliverables. Draft versions are available on the ETSI forge server and will be finalized during 2018 Q1. OpenAPI files are intended to be leveraged to foster the development, validation and adoption by the industry of the aforementioned APIs. Associated conformance test specifications will also be developed in 2018 by the Testing, Experimentation and Open Source (TST) working group of the ISG.

The ISG would appreciate any feedback from the industry at large on these specifications. Feedback can be provided via the on-line ETSI issue tracker. For each of these three published GSs, direct links to the corresponding issue tracker entry and OpenAPI description are available on the NFV Wiki.

The specification of the format and structure of a VNF Package, published in July 2017 (ETSI GS NFV-SOL 004) was revised as well, to add the capability to include inside a VNF package, artefacts that are not intended for use by NFV management and orchestration functions (e.g. YANG models for application configuration).

Work is still ongoing to develop the specification of a TOSCA profile for representing NFV deployment templates (i.e. VNF descriptors and Network Service Descriptors) in a way that make them processable by independently-developed NFV orchestration and management functions. This is a collaborative effort with the OASIS consortium. Furthermore work is also starting on an alternative YANG-based representation of these deployment templates.

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