Activity report 2018-2019

Industry Specification Group (ISG) Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV)

Chairman: Diego Lopez, Telefónica S.A.

Established to help enable the development of an open, interoperable, mature, industrial ecosystem for virtualised network functions able to run on Cloud-like infrastructures.

A key enabler for the success of 5G – and of equal application with other state-of-the-art and future telecoms network architectures – Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) mirrors common IT industry practices by consolidating heterogenous, hardware-based infrastructures onto standard servers, switches and storage. Simplifying roll-out of new services while reducing both deployment and operational costs, NFV has become an essential element of modern network design.

With the support of hundreds of organizations, the goal of our Industry Specification Group (ISG) on NFV is to create flexible specifications that can accommodate today’s and tomorrow’s network requirements.

During 2018 the group continued its Release 3 work, building on previous iterations in several significant areas. Structured around a continuous delivery process with successive ‘drops’, Release 3 addresses information modelling, end-to-end multi-site services management, network slicing, cloud native, acceleration technologies, charging and billing, security, licensing, reliability, testing and policy management.

During the year, the group revised a set of Release 2 API specifications to take industry feedback into account, and started the development of associated conformance test suites. ISG NFV also completed the specification of NFV descriptors based on the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA).

Collaborating with our Centre for Testing and Interoperability (CTI) team, ISG NFV continued to build on the success of previous well-attended Plugtests™ events with the organization of the 3rd NFV Plugtests event in our headquarters.

Open collaboration with other standardization bodies and with open source communities remained a high priority in 2018. ISG NFV continued to co-operate with ISG MEC and ISG ZSM, maintained close links with OSM (ETSI Open Source NFV Management and Orchestration project) and with OPNFV (the Linux Foundation Open Platform for NFV project that co-located its Plugfest with the 3rd Plugtests). The collaboration with these and with other open source communities including OpenStack and ONAP (the Linux Foundation Open Networking Automation Platform) improved during the year, heading clearly towards productive collaboration between the standards and open source development communities.

Look out for in 2019 – ISG NFV work in progress:

  • Maintenance of existing specifications, from experience gained from their application in new specs, and from actual implementation and deployments
  • Consolidation of the stage 3 work, to cover all the data models and protocols required to build and run an NFV-based network
  • Testing methodologies and procedures, focused on interoperability verification and validation of, and on the creation of more agile methods for function and service validation
  • Early discussion of features to be addressed in Release 4