Industry Specification Group (ISG) Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Activity Report 2019

Chair: Diego Lopez, Telefónica S.A.

Supporting the development of an open, interoperable and mature industry ecosystem for virtualized network functions running on cloud-like infrastructures.

A key enabler for the success of 5G – and relevant to other telecoms network architectures – Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) consolidates heterogenous hardware-based IT infrastructures onto standard servers, switches and storage. NFV is an essential aspect of modern network design, simplifying roll-out of new services while reducing deployment and operational costs.

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

Following delivery of enhancements to architecture, interfaces and information models, 2019 saw NFV Release 3 enter ‘maintenance mode’, primarily to address issues based on industry feedback.

As NFV-based deployments gather pace worldwide, work accelerated on Release 4 that considers recent technological advances such as such as 5G, cloudification, service-based architectures and novel fixed access network deployments.

Simplifying container-based network deployment, Release 4 also aligns with other current industry trends in network transformation. It addresses specific technical concerns including:

  • Evolution of NFV framework to support recent cloudification and virtualization techniques
  • Novel management architectural styles and operationalization aspects, leveraging virtualization characteristics to simplify deployments
  • Increased support for automation

See the list of all ISG NFV deliverables published in 2019.

A number of new studies were launched in Autumn 2019, including:

  • Service-based architecture design for NFV
  • Generic operations, administration and management (OAM) functions
  • Enablers for autonomous management in NFV-MANO

Further normative work launched during the year focused on enhanced support for container-based deployment of VNFs in the NFV framework, service interfaces for OS container management and orchestration, and requirements for the management and orchestration of container cluster nodes.

Collaboration with other bodies remained a priority. We continued co-operation with other ETSI groups including ISG MEC and ISG ZSM, while maintaining links with 3GPP SA5, OASIS Tosca and ITU-T SG11, and with the Open Source NFV Management and Orchestration (OSM) and Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) projects. Participation also continued in open source projects including OpenStack and the Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP).

Look out for in 2020 – ISG NFV work in progress

  • Specification of NFV Release 4, including extensions/revisions to previous Release 3 deliverables
  • Maintenance and updates to NFV Release 3 and Release 2
  • Group Specification (GS) on Release 2; NFV-MANO Architectural Framework Specification
  • Group Report (GR) on connection-based virtual services
  • GR on NFV MANO software modification
  • GR on reliability under failure and overload conditions in NFV-MANO
  • GR on support of real-time/ultra-low latency aspects in NFV related to service and network handling
  • GR on Evolution and Ecosystem; Report on Multi-tenancy in NFV
  • GR on Testing; VIM & NFVI Control and Management Performance Evaluation
  • Revisions to Group Reports (GR) on NFV terminology and NFV use cases from different industries such as manufacturing, energy and transportation