Roundtable at NFV#45

March 18 2024

On March 18, the ETSI NFV cloud-native roundtable was held as an activity associated with the NFV#45 F2F meeting hosted by Orange in Orange Gardens, Paris. This roundtable focused on sharing the views, challenges for the current telco cloud and proposals for the telco cloud's way forwards with the joint efforts from standards and open sources. Representatives from European operators like Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Telecom Italia, and British Telecom, and Asian operators like China Mobile and NTT DOCOMO, as well as delegates from vendors worldwide come together to discuss the achievements, pain points, and future expectations of our industry.

Firstly, the insightful analyst James Crawford (Omdia) was invited to deliver a survey based on a neutral perspective on ETSI NFV and telco cloud. He pointed out that ETSI NFV can best help the industry by providing guidance to open sources regarding the telecom industry’s specific operational needs, supporting other industry initiatives such as Nephio and Sylva, and identifying how public cloud can best be used to support network functions hosting.

Philippe Ensarguet, VP of Software Engineering and Guillaume Nevicato, Telco Cloud leader from Orange, gave their views on cloud-native telco pain points, progress and future. Philippe introduced Orange's achievements and progresses in telco cloud-native. Guillaume gave an outline of the Sylva CaaS (Container as a Service) project. Calling for uniting forces to drive change in the Telco industry, Philippe and Guillaume proposed some key potential action points, such as promoting K8s LTS and driving GitOps transformation at ETSI NFV.

Carlo Cavazzoni, from Telecom Italia, made a presentation titled "Telco Cloud Native: A Possible Future Scenario Challenges and Opportunities". Towards federated cloud and telco cloud continuum, many operational challenges are still here. A common set of standard and PaaS tools could be leveraged for operational cost saving and enabling new business in telco.

Luis Velarde, Head of Infra and Cloud, Telefónica, introduced the idea of how the telco cloud could become more cloud-native. Luis highlighted the importance of telco cloud-native requirements such as on-demand timing, on-demand location, on-demand requirements and efficiency improvement. He also mentioned that ETSI NFV already defined the components requirement for multi-cloud architecture such as CCM and NFVO, and more capabilities could be involved where ETSI OSM could hold joint hands with ETSI ISG NFV.

In the first panel, Deng Hui from Huawei, Phillipe from Orange, Luis from Telefonica and Carlo from TIM shared their views on open-source standards collaboration. There is a common view that standards shall play a role in minimizing the customized configurations and dedicated interfaces for better inter-operability.

Vuk Gojnic, cloud-native platform lead and Michal Sewera, Squad Leader Cloud Native Combo Core, from Deutsche Telecom, provided an overview of the cloud-native map for DT techn1k. They introduced the new concept of CaaS, the cluster as a Service instead of container as a Service and DT's Das Schiff project focusing on automating on-premise K8s bare metal management.

Zhang Hao, director for network research at China Mobile Research Institute, introduced China Mobile’s consideration of future networks and AI.

Yoshihiro Nakajima, director of network virtualization platform at NTT DOCOMO, delivered the speech on DOCOMO’s perspective on the telco cloud way forward by jointly considering efforts from ETSI NFV standards and hyperscalers infrastructure.

Ranny Haiby, from the Linux Foundation Networking (LFN), introduced LFN’s newly established Cloud Native Telecom Initiative and its cloud native certification initiative. Ranny mentioned several key roles of open source in the cloud-native transformation of telco industry.

In the second panel, Philippe from Orange, Vuk from DT, Lingli from China Mobile and Yoshi from Docomo, shared their views on the Challenges, Trends, Opportunities toward the Next Decade of NFV. Cloud native potential security challenges were identified to avoid cross domain fault detection. Future how telco cloud native could help AI experience such as AIops and AIaaS, it will be one of most brightful direction for ETSI NFV move forward.

The ETSI NFV ISG will continue to reflect the views of worldwide operators, push forward collaboration with open source projects in the Cloud-native area and will continue to standardization works for the future of telco cloud.

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