This blogpost provides a snapshot report on the progress of ETSI NFV standardization.
The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) has completed an essential step towards enabling an open ecosystem where Virtualised 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.
The ISG has completed 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. Additional specifications of the APIs exposed by an NFVO to other Operations Support Systems (OSS) will be completed by the end of this year. An OpenAPI (a.k.a. Swagger) representation of the specified APIs will also be made available on the ETSI forge server. As a follow-up activity, ETSI plans to develop a set of companion test specifications.
The specification of the format and structure of a VNF Package (i.e. the file archive that contains the VNF software images and associated metadata such as the VNF descriptor) was completed in June 2017. This specification (ETSI GS NFV-SOL 004) is based on the OASIS TOSCA Cloud Service Archive (CSAR) format. A TOSCA profile using YAML is being specified to enable exchanging interoperable deployment templates (i.e. VNF descriptors and Network Service Descriptors). This is a collaborative effort with the OASIS consortium, which should be completed by the end of this year.
These APIs and data model specifications fulfil the functional requirements described in previously published ETSI NFV Group Specifications.
The ISG continues developing a 3rd release of deliverables (NFV Release 3), with objectives to provide specifications and guidance for operationalizing NFV, and perform studies on forward-looking topics, such as enhanced security for all the NFV environment or considerations on applying NFV to network slicing.