The ETSI NFV community met September, 18th-22nd 2023 in Copenhagen, which has been a change after several meetings in ETSI headquarters. NFV#43 was hosted by Huawei and we had a wonderful location at the Royal Golf Club which was just next door to the DTW23 conference of TM Forum, which allowed some delegates to participate in both meetings. ETSI NFV organized a telco cloud executive round table on Monday afternoon, with delegates coming from analysts, global operators, vendors and hyper-scalers discussing NFV topics. For information on this round table, see our blog post at https://www.etsi.org/newsroom/blogs/technologies/entry/etsi-nfv-telco-cloud-native-executive-roundtable-at-nfv-43-plenary .
The NFV technical discussions covered topics from three releases. First studies on Release 6 topics have already been kicked off, Release 5 started normative work with the planning, and the feature work of Release 4 was finalized.
In more detail, during the opening plenary on September18th, latest achievements and background information were shared, including the planned schedule for the new releases.
On September 18th, during the NFV#43 plenary meeting, executive leadership members and technical experts from major operators, telco vendors and cloud providers were gathered together to share their companies experience on building the Telco cloud, to discuss the future of this concept, to provide their perspective on how NFV standards could help and/or how they should evolve in this context.
The roundtable started with ETSI ISG Network Function Virtualization (NFV) chair, Yoshihiro Nakajima’s opening speech. Yoshihiro introduced that during the past 10 years, ETSI NFV has provided 100+ specifications and 10000+ contributions, which help 90% of the operators worldwide to successfully move their business onto a modernized, virtualized cloud environment. Recently, ETSI NFV has continued to provide solutions on new key areas including Containerized NF (CNF), green NFV, physical infrastructure management and NFV Service Based Architecture (SBA). Especially for containerized NF support, NFV has published a set of new specifications defining the requirements and solutions for lifecycle management of CNFs, templates, interfaces of Container as a Service (CaaS) and container cluster management.
The emerging drone industry is undergoing significant growth and innovation. It provides services to a wide range of industries and applications, including security, safety and defense, disaster response, precision agriculture, environmental monitoring, measurement and inspection in constructions, shipping logistics, land surveying and mapping, aerial photography and video, etc. The variety of applications for drones is expected to expand.
The drone industry is leveraging continued advances in technology, including improved battery life, better obstacle avoidance systems, enhanced camera capabilities, specialized sensors, communications and the integration of artificial intelligence for autonomous flight and data analysis.
The integration of 5G technology with drones opens up new possibilities and revolutionizes the capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in terms of connectivity, remote operation, and collaboration between drones (drone swarms), etc. Furthermore, the 5G edge brings significant value to the drone industry by enabling low latency and reliability, providing scalable and efficient processing capabilities of data from their onboard sensors and camaras, ensuring data privacy and security and improving autonomy in drones that allows them to make faster and more intelligent decisions locally – without relying on continuous communication with a central server. This is particularly essential for critical real-time decisions required, for example, for safety applications. It also allows drones to react faster to changing environmental conditions and unexpected events. For example, they can adjust their flight paths, avoid obstacles or change their mission parameters in real time.
On Wednesday 21 June, 2023, a joint workshop between O-RAN Alliance and ETSI ISG NFV took place during the O-RAN Alliance face-to-face meeting in Osaka, Japan.
The goal of the workshop was to exchange information and foster discussion about the synergies and potential collaboration between the two organizations.
RAN Virtualization concepts by O-RAN Alliance
Although 5G core network (5GCN) virtualization offers the foundation over which the NFV concept can be demonstrated and the NFV‑MANO can be applied for the management and orchestration of the mobile network, the idea of disaggregating and virtualising the RAN, only recently has been endorsed by the industry.
O-RAN Alliance is trying to delineate the concept, provide a reference architecture, derive deployment models and standardize the relevant interfaces that will enable control, management, and orchestration of the virtualised RAN.
ETSI NFV and O-RAN Alliance common areas of activity
Following the same principles as in the case of 5GCN towards building open, virtualized, interoperable systems, when it comes to RAN virtualization, unique characteristics need to also be considered. These span several areas, such as the need of real-time control of network functions, advanced orchestration and management of infrastructure, network services and network functions, the ability to integrate third party applications into the system (i.e., rApps, xApps) and 5G transport network management (XHaul-based approach), just to name few.
In the group report document ETSI GR NFV-IFA 046 an initial attempt of profiling the ETSI NFV framework to the O-RAN solutions has been made. The document delves around four key issues, which are analyzed when considering an NFV-MANO aware O-RAN orchestration and management solution:
NFV-MANO can cope with multiple virtualization and cloud technologies and it considers almost all the dimensions when it comes to orchestration and management of network services and VNFs in the two predominant deployment environments, i.e., container or VM-based environments, or even in combinations of the two.
In this regard, the following can be considered as technical areas pertaining both SDOs from standards development perspective, including the four topics analyzed by ETSI GR NFV-IFA 046:
Network and network functions virtualization and cloudification,
Packaging and descriptors for network functions,
Fault and performance management of resources, network functions and network services,
Network provisioning and infrastructure resource management,
Management and orchestration architecture, and
Additional topics like energy consumption, intent management and PaaS management can also be anticipated as future areas of common research and standardization activity. All these areas are envisioned to consider the needs of network operators when virtualizing/cloudifying their networks. Hence, the derivation of architectural, functional, interface and modeling requirements based on network operator use cases is of critical importance.
The goal of the workshop presentations was to provide the insight and the appropriate technical background to better understand the great potential of reusing ETSI NFV specifications for vRAN, in various areas. ETSI NFV provided the following presentations:
Introduction of the ETSI NFV ISG, overall ETSI NFV ecosystem and relationship between ETSI NFV and other SDOs, presented by Yoshihiro Nakajima (ISG NFV Chair, NTT DOCOMO),
ETSI NFV concepts, architecture and highlights for Release 4 and 5 and upcoming Release 6 features, presented by Lingli Deng (ISG NFV TST WG vice-chair, China Mobile),
Support for containers in NFV and relationship with Kubernetes ecosystem, presented by Joan Triay (Rapporteur, NTT DOCOMO),
Summary of ETSI GR NFV-IFA 046, presented by Kostas Katsalis (Rapporteur, NTT DOCOMO), and
Analysis of what we can (and cannot) cover (and how) per O-RAN WG activity, presented by Joan Triay (Rapporteur, NTT DOCOMO).
While O-RAN Alliance presented about the following topics:
O-RAN overview, presented by Jiajin Gao (O-RAN SDFG co-chair, China Mobile),
O-RAN architecture overview, presented by Haseeb Akhtar (O-RAN WG1 Architecture Task Group chair, Ericsson),
O-RAN OAM, presented by David Kinsey (O-RAN WG10 co-chair, AT&T),
O-RAN Cloudification and Orchestration, presented by Paul Carver (O-RAN WG6 co-chair, AT&T), and
O-RAN security, presented by Mohamad Hajj (O-RAN WG11 representative).
The workshop presentations provided by ETSI NFV can be found here:
Both ETSI NFV and O-RAN alliance are expected to use their best endeavors, to enhance their collaboration on common matters related to virtualized RAN orchestration and management.
By following industry-ready ETSI NFV specifications, collaboration between ETSI NFV and O-RAN Alliance is expected to unleash the potential of virtualized RAN by means of orchestration and management and precipitate the adoption of O-RAN concepts by the industry.
In addition, NFV specifications are expected to be enhanced based on new challenging O-RAN requirements and compelling new functionalities like RT RIC and Near-RT RIC, rApps/xApps, need for CRDs and need for physical infrastructure management.
The ISG THz second face to face meeting was held between the 20th to the 23rd of June, 2023, in the historic city of Durham, famous for its Cathedral and Castle which accommodates some of the lucky undergraduate students. The meeting which was hosted by the department of Engineering at Durham University was attended by 35 participants representing academia, and industry both in person and online from across six European countries and several participants from China. We had relatively pleasant weather unlike the heavy rain that followed in July.
The ISG which has four working items: WI 1: Identification of use cases for THz communication systems WI 2: Identification of frequency bands of interests for THz communication systems, WI 3: Channel measurements and modeling in THz bands and WI 4: RF Hardware Modeling started by discussing the postive responses for its liaison letters which included the ITU-R, in addition to a number of liaison letters to be sent to other groups working on related topics to the four WIs.
To strengthen the relationship between the ISG and the European COST Action INTERACT, the meeting was attended by Laurent Clavier the Chair of the action who presented the activities of the action and discussed future collaborative aspects between the Action and the ISG.
The meeting then discussed all the technical documents submitted to the meeting for each WI. The first day and a half were occupied with the discussions of the use cases with several use cases being approved such as remote surgery, remote education and Holographic /XR telepresence. Other use cases were identified for further discussions such as massive twinning, high speed railway and Ultra-high throughput for indoor users.
The potential applications and frequency allocations of frequency bands in the coming World RadioCommunications Conference, WRC23 were discussed under WI 2 with members of the group encouraged to contribute where possible through their administrations with regards to frequency band allocations below and above 275 GHz. There was a discussion of the transmittance windows, which are currently defined for a standard atmosphere and a fixed link distance and the need to address different link distances with the broadest resulting band to be used to describe the frequency ranges. It was suggested that “transmission windows” might be suitable since transmittance comes from Optics.
In WI 3 Several measurements were presented in indoor, industrial, and outdoor in the frequency bands 140 GHz, 220 GHz and 300 GHz. Some measurements on building material penetration loss were also presented. It was agreed to make a list of available measurement equipment with their specifications to identify available capability in the targetted frequency bands and potential measurement scenarios for the identified use cases. The collaboration between the different group members with regards to modelling and combining measurement data for the channel models was also discussed. It was pointed out that an agreement on the methodology for the measurements and the data processing/analysis would be helpful for combining measurement data and modelling. Other THz-specific propagation aspects were identified for further discusssion via contributions: molecular absorption, weather, micro-mobility, scattering, reflections, diffractions, and near field.
WI4 rapporteur presented a draft report skeleton with a more complete summary to be presented in the next meeting.
During the meeting, the multi-band channel sounder of Durham University was set up for a demonstration for the in person attendees at 140 GHz.
Durham Channel sounder demo
Following the end of discussion on the second day of the meeting, a walk around the historic city of Durham including a visit to the castle was followed by dinner.
We look forward to more productive and exciting meetings both online and in person and look forward to seeing you all again in TU Braunschweig in September.
On June 29th during MWC Shanghai 2023, ETSI ISG NFV organized a “Telco cloud-native roundtable” to present NFV work and engage participation from Asian operators who were invited. The goal was also to learn their experience, feedbacks and drive the evolution of the future telco cloud. The roundtable offered a valuable chance for synchronizing the latest progress and vision of the ETSI NFV standard community with the key telco operators in Asia-pacific area who attended the event.
ETSI ISG NFV Chair, Yoshihiro Nakajima, gave the opening speech and pointed out that Asia-Pacific is pioneering the 5G SA global implementation, with NFV telco cloud providing the much-needed foundation for such deployments. Therefore, this roundtable was targeted to hear the learnings of the operators within this area and their thoughts on the NFV future evolution for supporting 5G-Advanced and beyond business. He also highlighted the main characteristics of the NFV community, being built on openness and collaboration; characteristics that were fundamental pillars for its 10-years successful journey to create globally adopted standards in the industry.
Meeting at ETSI headquarters of Sophia Antipolis in May-June has been always wonderful with a lot happening (local festivals, fun and adventure activities) in and around Nice, Antibes, Grasse and Cannes. It can be a time to rejuvenate yourself in this perfect weather. Some of us were happy to spend the weekend due to Technical Steering Committee (TSC) workshop on 1st and 2nd of June 2023. This year as well, we were greeted with gorgeous weather and wonderful gathering of NFV delegates onsite for NFV#42 happened between 5th to 9th of June. People who couldn't travel were able to join remotely for this plenary as well continuing the hybrid meeting practices.
During the opening plenary on 5th June, Madalin Neag (part of ETSI Secretariat) presented the agenda for NFV#42 plenary meetings, working group sessions and proposal for special ISG sessions during that week. ETSI ISG NFV chair, Yoshihiro Nakajima-san presented to the ISG on the latest accomplishments of the group and introduced the background on the special ISG sessions in NFV#42 plenary meetings. The special sessions were reserved to discuss the collaboration with other SDOs and to collect new ideas on, how to efficiently steer future work in the NFV. Madalin presented the progress made since NFV#41. The TSC manager, Ulrich Kleber then presented detailed status of Releases 4, 5 and 6, including:
- 24 normative specifications were published for edition 4.4.1 in Release-4. - 6 informative group reports were published in Release-5.
Diego Lopez, chair of NFV’s NOC (Network Operator Council), shared this group’s views on the future of ISG, the challenges with Versioning of the specifications, view on Convergence of network models and the analysis, prioritization of new features in Release 6. The details and insights shared were appreciated and appropriate actions were noted by the ISG to follow-up.
I am back again with a quick blog post, as I simply wanted to attract your attention to a nice Industry Panel that I had the pleasure and honor to organize at the IEEE ICC 2023 conference. This panel was on “Telco Edge Cloud evolution toward Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)”, and I was there also with my role of Chairman of ETSI MEC, and inviting many speakers coming from various companies and industry organizations, and also representing various projects (e.g. GSMA and CAMARA, to mention a few). In fact, as most of you well know, MEC is involved in a standardization activity (also in alignment with 3GPP) to put in place MEC Federation standards, also by considering the requirements from GSMA OPG (Operator Platform Group). The effort from the industry is also including open source and other business agreements, thus not only standards! That’s the reason for this great panel, i.e. bringing together various voices, also from partners, hyperscalers, and (why not!) also discuss legal implications for these multi-party collaborations. As we discussed at the panel, the ecosystem of NaaS stakeholders is thus quite huge and heterogeneous, including operators, edge service providers, cloud providers, vertical segments, SW companies, open-source and developers communities, etc… So, definitely, the common intention is to collaborate. The final goal will be certainly to provide more value globally to MEC ecosystem and all end-users! Enjoy the slides from the panel (here).
Stay tuned also for any further news and updates on this topic, if you are interested!
When ETSI ISG NFV met in Sophia Antipolis recently for their 41st plenary meeting, it was not only collocating the 10 year anniversary celebration (see separate blog post here) with a week full of technical discussions. It was also a major step to provide the next package of specifications in NFV’s Release 4. The new package contains edition 4.4.1 documents for both stage 2 and stage 3.
In stage 2, 14 documents were updated mainly with maintenance. In addition, 2 new group specifications were published:
ETSI GS NFV-IFA 048, which adopts the State-Task design pattern to specify the NFV-MANO policy information model. The information elements in the model are transferred through policy management interfaces over NFV-MANO reference points, which enable the enforcement of policies in the framework of NFV-MANO. Stack-Task design pattern supports representing different policy expression forms and provides more flexibility and extensibility in respects to policy.
ETSI GS NFV-IFA 047, which specifies the service requirements as well as service interfaces produced by the MDAF (Management Data Analytics Function). Following the recommendations from a previous Release 4 group report ETSI GR NFV-IFA 041 on enabling autonomous management in NFV-MANO, this specification specifies a new function named MDAF (equipped with AI/ML models) and its service interfaces, which improve decision making of NFV-MANO in automation processes especially for network service management and orchestration.
In stage 3, there were 10 updated documents. The major highlights are described below:
ETSI GS NFV-SOL 018 - Profiling specification of protocol and data model solutions for OS Container management and orchestration:
The biggest part of the updates was about Cloud-Native VNFs and Container Infrastructure management. After the big leap forward in the support of containerized workloads in the NFV framework, which the previous edition 4.3.1 represented, the recently published 4.4.1 edition has brought additional support and consolidation of the feature.
Two new management services interfaces, CIS MCCO (Managed CIS Cluster Object) and CIS instance, as specified in ETSI GS NFV-IFA 036 “Specification of requirements for the management and orchestration of container cluster nodes”, are added to the scope.
Consequently, the latest published version of the reference Kubernetes® API are profiled as NFV protocol and data model solution for the new management services. Three kinds of Kubernetes® resource objects (daemonSets, CRDs and PersistentVolumes) are mapped to the NFV objects of the CIS MCCO management service interface. One kind of Kubernetes® resource object (Node) is mapped to the NFV objects of the CIS instance management service. All mentioned resource objects are deployed as part of the cluster management.
For the above resource objects, their resource methods are profiled to match the corresponding NFV service interface requirements and flow sequence diagrams for the CIS MCCO and CIS instance operations are provided.
For the Support for the expression of virtual NIC interface requirements, the ‘cni’ capability specified and registered in the ETSI NFV NFVI Platform Capability Registry allows the expression in a VNFD of requirements related to secondary container cluster network and, based on them, allows MANO functions to select an appropriate CNI.
ETSI GS NFV-SOL 009 - RESTful protocols specification for the management of NFV-MANO:
The CIR function, container image registry, is added as a managed entity
In relation to the connectivity to primary cluster networks, support of address pools for load balancers and modelling of ingress is part of this edition.
OAuth2.0 scope values have been specified for the VNF LCM, the NS LCM and the VNF Package interfaces. They allow to restrict the authorization of the consumer to read or manipulate certain resources within an interface. In the next editions further scope values will be defined for other interfaces.
The VNF package specification was enhanced to align with the stage 2 provisions for licensing.
As an enhancement of “Flexibility with scalable VNF/NS instantiation”, new provisions were created that allow e.g. the consumer of the NS LCM interface to indicate the target scale level of a constituent VNF, or to specify in an NSD the target scale level of a nested NS.
RESTful protocols specification for the Policy Management Interface has added new provisions to align with the policy information model specified in the recently published ETSI GS NFV-IFA048.
After this big package it is planned to complete the Release 4 feature development in the next edition 4.5.1, which is planned for this summer.
The weather in Munich in late April was still a bit cold, but it did not prevent the ETSI NFV’s IFA working group (WG) from gathering in an interim face-to-face meeting under the warm hospitality of DOCOMO Euro-Labs. IFA WG is mainly responsible for delivering NFV stage 2 related specifications, including NFV architecture, interfaces and information model design, as well as informative work study on any new architectural related use cases exploring the evolution of NFV. This WG’s mission makes IFA an important WG within the ISG NFV, with always constant workload and substantial high-intense discussions.
The proposal for an interim IFA meeting was made during the NFV#41 plenary meeting, held in March this year, in order to address the amount of work to be completed by the WG by this summer. The proposal was endorsed by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and the ISG, as a whole. The interim WG meeting targeted to speed up the progress of active work items which are part of Release 4 and 5 and promote many of the work items to catch up with the upcoming summer release drop delivery timeline.
This interim meeting restarted the practice of past interim WG F2F meetings in ETSI NFV after 3 years’ hiatus due to the worldwide epidemic of COVID-19. The last memories of these interim meetings were from 2019, when IFA and SOL WGs jointly held interim meetings in Munich (same city, but with different hosting company) in March 2019. We would like to thank DOCOMO Euro-Labs for kindly hosting the interim WG meeting this time. Seven WG colleagues participated to the meeting on site and a dozen of other colleagues attended remotely.
It was a really nice and fruitful meeting experience in which more than 120 contributions were discussed, comments exchanged, revisions reviewed, and consensus reached in just only 3 days. Several Release 4 and 5 work items made very good progress and were identified for reaching finalization status in the upcoming one or two months, including:
Release 4: Feature (FEAT) 17 on "Cloud-native VNFs and container infrastructure management", in particular on the new group specification (GS) development about CCM-VIM interfaces (work item DGS/NFV-IFA052), FEAT20 on "NFV automation", specifically for the new GS development on intent management service interface (DGS/NFV-IFA050) andFEAT21 on "NFV support for 5G", with a special emphasis on the related normative work development to support PaaS services in NFV.
Release 5: FEAT19b on "NFV connectivity integration and operationalization", to continue the development of the new group report (GR) about NFV network connectivity (DGR/NFV-IFA035), FEAT28 on "Fault Management models", with the development of the new GS to define and specify alarms within the NFV context (DGS/NFV-IFA045), and FEAT31 on "Flexible VNF deployment", to steadily progress the normative work with change requests (CR) to update existing NFV-MANO specifications.
Other than these, below Release 4 and 5 work items also made some progress in this meeting, but the WG required to see more contribution inputs for determining when would the work items reach their stable drafts, including: FEAT24’s new GS development on "VNF generic OAM" (as part of the work item DGS/NFV-IFA049), FEAT19a on "NFV container networking", under the umbrella of the new GR development on container networking (DGR/NFV-IFA043), and The release independent work item on VNF management gap analysis with open source (DGR/NFV-IFA051).
With much time now spent on the work items, we expect more slots of future WG meetings will be available for accommodating new features and work items to be started as part of the upcoming Release 6. When telco virtualized networks are evolving towards cloud-native in this era, the conflicts between traditional standard development processes and more dynamic and agile requirements from cloud native world is increasingly prominent, which makes WG a focus point to resolve the conflicts and gaps.
The WG meeting also handled several contributions that influence general ETSI NFV ISG matters, such as the agenda proposal for a joint workshop with O-RAN planned to be held in June, improving the efficiency of the WG working procedures, offloading workloads among EVE, IFA and SOL working groups for better WG working coordination in the future. Some of the above discussions will provide valuable inputs for NFV future workshop sessions in the next NFV#42 plenary.
The time to parting is always reluctant, even more when WG colleagues have fallen in love with the daily supply of specialty drinks offered during the coffee breaks, lingered with some other local delicacies including the typical Bavarian pork knuckles that some of the delegates enjoyed at a social dinner. Delegates will start a new journey of next F2F meeting carrying the harvest from this meeting!
See you all in June at ETSI headquarters for our upcoming NFV#42 plenary!
Augmented Reality (AR) mixes in real-time spatially registered digital content with the experience of the real world. The Industry Specification Group on Augmented Reality Framework (ISG ARF) is defining a framework for the interoperability of AR components, systems, services, focus on advancing the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies in industrial applications.
The ARF Industrial Group is made up of representatives from companies in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. The group aims to promote the use of AR and VR in industrial settings by specifying functional requirements, developing technical specifications, and promoting awareness of the benefits of these technologies.
The NFV#41 opening plenary was held at the very beginning of the week. ETSI ISG NFV chair Yoshihiro Nakajima started by highlighting the achievements from the NFV#40 - ETSI ISG NFV continues to deliver with very good pace. As well, he took advantage to briefly announce the 10th anniversary event -a good opportunity to not only celebrate the accomplishments that NFV has made in the past 10 years, but also to look forward to the future.
The TSC manager, Ulrich Kleber presented in depth the description of Releases 4 and 5, but also an overview of the Release 6. The updated schedule for those releases was detailed showing our group’s intention to speed up the standards’ creation process and alignment with the industry fast progress in this area.
Diego Lopez, NFV NOC’s chair, started his speech by talking about the recently-published NOC's white paper. He continued by sharing recent operators’ considerations on the relationship between ETSI standards and other cloud-related standards and specifications. Some proposals for future actions were triggered for the ISG including a more direct and dynamic interaction with open-source projects and convergence of K8s and NFV network models.
The opening plenary was followed by the workshop dedicated to the anniversary of our group and by two extremely busy and productive days allocated to the WG sessions. More and more consensuses converged in the community on the visions, way forward directions and challenges reflected also in the two new NFV whitepapers created for the 10th anniversary milestone. Release 6 features kick off to fulfill these attractive objectives with concrete action plan.
The NFV#41 plenary meeting adopted an intensive schedule for its opening/closing sessions and working group meetings. During the past 3 months from NFV#40 plenary, several important ISG deliverables have been approved and published by the ISG, including:
ETSI GS NFV-006 v4.4.1: first Release 4 NFV architectural framework with supporting OS container management and orchestration
ETSI GR NFV-EVE 022 v5.1.1 on VNF configuration
ETSI GS NFV-IFA 048 v4.4.1 on MANO policy information model
ETSI GR NFV-IFA 044 v5.1.1 on flexible VNF deployment
ETSI GR NFV-REL 013 v5.1.1 on cognitive use of operations data for reliability
At NFV#41, not only 14 IFAed441 specifications (including maintenance and enhancement from Release 4 features), but also one new deliverable - ETSI GS NFV-IFA 047 - on MDAF service interface were approved by the ISG. 10 final drafts from SOLed441 work items were sent for approval process via remote consensus. All those were accomplished thanks to the great team cooperation between rapporteurs and contributors who have carefully followed the objectives and schedule of these work items.
Other highlights from NFV#41: 3 Release 6 and 1 Release 5 feature proposals being endorsed:
- New infrastructure for NFV - New application virtualization forms - Deterministic communication technologies
- Physical infrastructure management
One Release 6 NWI proposal on architectural support for NFV evolution will be feature independent and would be finalized in IFA
NWI proposals approved by the ISG:
- Continuation of the stage 2 work in release 4, define by a Super-WID with 16 NWIs. These form the edition 451 for IFA specifications and intend to complete the release 4 feature work.
- Specification of availability and reliability requirements in NFV automation
- Specification on Physical Infrastructure Management that will be sent for remote consensus
ISG approved one liaison reply that was sent out to ITU-T in response to SG11-LS46
In a joint WG session of IFA, SOL and SEC, transparent working procedures on stage 2/stage 3 were agreed for coordination of the development of security management features.
Until next plenary, having a very loaded work programme, ISG NFV will try to progress on Release 4, Release 5 and on the features proposals and crystallization for the upcoming Release 6. In parallel, in various meetings (at WGs and/or at leadership levels), we will continue to explore improvements on ISG organization, cooperation with other SDOs and working procedures which will help ISG NFV to follow the best path towards a successful evolution. All those will be consolidated during NFV#42.
In the early summer the ISG will meet again; hot discussions and debates on new organizational and work-programme-related topics are worth looking forward to.
ISG THz has had its first “post-kickoff” plenary on Feb 8-10, 2023. Pleasant sunny weather and occasional surprising wind gusts have greeted us in ETSI HQ in Sophia Antipolis; overall, a welcome weather change for most participants hailing from the northern European locations, myself included.
2022: major strides marked on the network automation transformation journey
Nurit Sprecher, ISG ZSM Vice Chair
Another exciting year in the AI/ML-powered network automation transformation journey is beginning during which the ETSI ZSM (Zero-touch network and Service Management) group will build on the significant achievements of 2022 – in the context of published specifications/reports, cooperation with SDOs, POCs (Proof of Concept) and the strong momentum created in the industry.
The ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) NFV has published the report ETSI GR NFV-IFA 039 titled " Report on Service Based Architecture (SBA) design ". This document is the first deliverable for the NFV Release 5 feature on “Service based architecture”.
Service based architecture (SBA) is an architectural style that places emphasis on the services provided by individual architectural components. Services are accessible over service interfaces, and are offered by service producers and consumed by service consumers. ETSI GR NFV-IFA 039 provides a feasibility study on the application of SBA design style to the NFV-MANO architectural framework specified in ETSI GS NFV 006. This includes - but is not limited to - studying aspects such as making interfaces independent from reference points, identifying new functionality related to NFV services like service registration or applying generalization for some services.
ETSI GR NFV-IFA 039 provides recommendations on the evolution of the ETSI ISG NFV specifications structure and on normative work to be carried out to apply SBA design patterns to the NFV architectural framework. Solutions and recommendations relevant for coexistence of SBA NFV-MANO with the non-SBA NFV-MANO systems are also proposed. ETSI GR NFV-IFA 039 identifies four possible target scenarios for applying SBA to the NFV-MANO, where two of them assume modifications of some existing services by introducing generalization and merger of services which provide the same type of functionality but operate on different types of NFV-MANO objects. Recommendations for migration of non-SBA NFV-MANO to any of target scenarios are provided. Finally, ETSI GR NFV-IFA 039 discusses possible steps in the future normative work to apply SBA design to NFV-MANO architecture.
ETSI ISG NFV initiated discussions to start normative work regarding SBA within NFV Release 5 scope.
During early winter season, friends from ETSI ISG NFV gathered again at the beautiful riverside of the Thames, to promote the progress of the current active work items and meanwhile, standing at the milestone of 10 years’ point of time, foresee the next decade’s evolution of NFV with Release 6 planning. This meeting hosted by Huawei, was co-located with Layer123 World Congress 2022, which was held in the same building, Queen Elizabeth II Centre from December 5th to 7th. It was a great pleasure to see many familiar old faces who had deeply contributed to ETSI ISG NFV standards.
It was still a very busy and fruitful F2F meeting week with about 50 people’s participation on site. Both the number of delegates and contributions increased steadily from the previous NFV#39 meeting. During the 3 months since NFV#39 meeting, 1 stage 2 ed441 New WID and 1 super WID including 12 stage 3 ed441 specifications were approved, 29 final drafts including stage 2 and stage 3 ed371 specifications were published, and 5 final drafts including NFV006ed441 on MANO Architectural Framework were in ISG approval via remote consensus process. Highlights of NFV#40 meeting include:
5 New WID proposals were approved by the ISG:
NWI proposal for CIS Cluster Management stage 3
NWI on NFV-SOL018ed441 (reopening specification for profiling the service interfaces offered by Container Infrastructure Service Management (CISM))
Maintenance of NFV terminology (NFV003)
NWI for transforming release description to a group report
NWI proposal on CCM-VIM Interoperability Interface and Information Model Specification
Second round of feature proposal discussion on NFV Release 6
Attend ETSI prospects workshop in Layer123 event
Joint WG session to share information about Release 4 features tracking, OpenStack Tacker feedback and OAuth 2.0 scope
In the opening plenary, Yoshihiro Nakajima, Chair of ISG NFV brought good news from ETSI board that ISG NFV’s request for two years’ extension was approved by ETSI Board #140 meeting. He emphasized again the importance of communication among people in different cultures, and invited people to participate and enjoy experience sharing during the subsequent events of the week.
Hello folks, I have again to ask apologies for my not-very-frequent blog posts, but really this 2022 is (was) a dense and interesting year! A lot of nice developments and progresses from MEC, as the group is ramping up with Phase 3 work (BTW, stay tuned for the forthcoming announcements on many outstanding deliverables!). In the meantime, I just wanted to inform you that at the MEC#32 plenary the ISG has approved the updated publication in our MEC Leadership webpage (here) with the list of recently appointed LS Officers for the Vertical Industries. They can be our ambassadors, to support on the dialogue with various organizations: in fact, as we know MEC is serving multiple use cases and vertical industries, and ETSI ISG MEC has already established collaborations with a number of external organizations (e.g. automotive), and plans to increase the other domains (e.g. industrial automation, drones, CDN/videostreaming..). Here, I expect nice progresses from the dialogue with these verticals, also related to possible impacts on the Work Item MEC 043 about “Abstracted Radio Network Information for Industries” (the study item will study use cases, key issues and recommendations related to exposing abstracted radio network information for the industries).
Finally, I wanted to exploit the opportunity to wish you all a good Holiday break. Please take care, enjoy a deserved rest, and recharge your batteries, looking forward for a great 2023!
The Internet standardization body, IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), just held its 115th meeting in London from the 5th to the 11th of November. An IETF - ETSI ISG IPE side meeting was held with over 40 people attending on-site, and around 30 connected remotely, including IETF participants (involved in are members of IAB/IESG, Area Directors of INT/RTG/OPS/SEC), and ETSI ISG IPE management team and rapporteurs. The side meeting increased the connection and collaboration between ETSI ISG IPE and IETF in terms of: (1) ETSI’s activities, including ISG IPE’s role and scope, use cases, working items, (2) open discussion on IETF IPv6 protocol deployments, and (3) answer open questions from the floor.
Main outcomes of this IETF – ETSI ISG IPE side meeting are:
Recognized that the work in ETSI ETSI (especially ISG IPE) is complementing the work of IETF
Recognized that ETSI (especially ISG IPE) is helping to increase the awareness and the deployment of the IPv6 standard specified by IETF
Emphasized that IPv6 is helping to accelerate the Digital Transformation
Expressed Interest to transform this side meeting into regular appointments for the coming IETF meetings or as a formal collaboration between the two SDOs
We at Nokia had the pleasure of taking advantage of the MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) global standardization conference that we hosted at our offices in Israel by organizing a unique exposure day on September 18, 2022 for Israeli technology companies which benefit or can benefit from operating in the 5G Edge Cloud ecosystem. To learn about the characteristics of the 5G edge cloud and the value it can create, see my blog on 5G Edge Computing.
To bring everyone up to speed, Shlomi Angi, our CTO of Nokia Israel, provided an informative introduction to 5G and edge cloud.
It was fascinating to hear from representatives of ELTA, Nexar, Eye-Net, Autotalks, Continual, Sensorz, Mov.ai, Onelayer, Qwilt, InceptionXR and Dataloop about innovative services and solutions that they offer in diverse fields.
Over 50 delegates participated to this 39th meeting of ISG NFV which took place under the beautiful blue skies and very refreshing weather in the south of France. Although some of us were still unable to travel due to constraints caused by COVID-19. The face-to-face meetings resumed at the 39th ISG meeting, and I am very happy to be back and able to meet with you face-to-face in the ETSI building.
The standardization discussions in each working group during the meeting week were very efficient and steady, taking full advantage of the face-to-face discussions. The number of contributions has increased since the last meeting due to the situation where the confusion by COVID-19 is calming down. Thanks to the standardization delegates for their hard work! Four new Work Items and 22 final drafts were approved and published between the previous meeting and the 39th meeting.
2 ETSI webinars ‘IPv6 Enhanced Innovation Global Vision’ and ‘Major Industry Scenarios’ took place on September 1st and 2nd respectively. Experts from government institutions, operators, manufacturers and research institutes, shared their vision and the progress made to date within ETSI ISG (Industry Specification Group) IPE (IPv6 Enhanced innovation).
Industry Specification Group (ISG) IPv6 Enhanced innovation (IPE) held its 7th plenary on 28 June 2022.
The current focus of the ISG is twofold: to publish best practices guidelines, to provide and demonstrate PoCs / test case descriptions to support innovation on IPv6 networking topics and validate standards-based approaches, whilst working on “IPv6 networking e2e reference architecture" spanning multiple IETF areas and defined protocols.
ISG IPE is steadily growing its membership passing 100 to become one of the largest ETSI ISGs in terms of members/participants. Many operators including AirLAN, Entel Chile, Megacable Holdings, Personal Paraguay, Sky Italia, Swisscom and Totalplay Comunicaciones recently joined, reaching 23 global operators involved. This testifies the need for operators to define IP transport strategy and confront within the industry on evolution guidelines.
The COVID-19 pandemic stopped ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) face-to-face meetings for more than two years. As a result, the ISG blog posts for the plenary sessions were interrupted as well. Although people have been used to regarding online meetings as normal in the past two years, it is time now to call people back to face-to-face meetings with the gradual relaxation of epidemic prevention policies in many countries.
This time, the ETSI ISG NFV met again at NFV#38 from May 30th to June 3rd 2022, in Sophia Antipolis, France. The meeting took a hybrid format, ETSI headquarters hosted 23 delegates from Europe, Asia and North America. Many other delegates participated in the meeting remotely due to their inability to travel. This is the first time that ETSI NFV has returned to a face-to-face meeting after the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020.
ETSI has published a new IPv6 Enhanced innovation (IPE) Group Report (GR) “5G Transport over IPv6 and SRv6” (ETSI GR IPE 005). A joint effort by Post Luxembourg, China Telecom, Globe Telecom, the University of Luxembourg and Huawei, this report discusses the role of networking technologies including Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and Segment Routing version 6 (SRv6) in supporting the current and future requirements of 5G networks and applications:
As 5G networks are deployed worldwide, new services appear and new requirements on the packet transport and backhaul networks arise. Current network architectures may still support the initial demand posed by 5G, yet it is fundamental to make packet networks ready to address the requirements of the coming services. Applications such as Massive Machine Type Communications (MMTC), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) and distributed Cloud services will push the demand well beyond the present capabilities.
The EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has sent a first draft of a standardization request (SR) to the European Standardization Organizations in support of safe and trustworthy artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) should be a tool for people and be a force for good in society with the ultimate aim of increasing human well-being. ETSI and CEN, CENELEC have indicated that the work covered by the request falls within their area of competence.
In ETSI, OCG AI will co-ordinate comments on the SR AI while the resulting technical work will be performed in the appropriate technical committees. At this stage, the European Commission does not expect ESOs to develop Harmonised Standards, since the AI Act is not yet adopted by the European Parliament and Council, but the work can contribute later to such necessary Harmonised Standards.
We live in a connected world with the Internet at the epicenter connecting every person, every computer and every cell phone. Each device connected to the Internet requires a unique identity – the IP address. In theory, the old IP version 4 (IPv4) provides approximately 4.3 billion addresses – not even enough to connect everyone, not to mention everything. Since 2019, all the regional Internet registries (RIRs) have exhausted their address pool. Some ISPs or organizations may still have some IPv4 addresses. As the scarcity of the IPv4 address space worsens, the price continues to increase, during the past year, the price of an IPv4 address has doubled and passed 55 USD – per address.
The ENI#21 meeting was online only as many countries were returning and still affected by travel restrictions or delegates not allowed to travel, and took place on 7-10 March 2022.
20 Industry Specification Group (ISG) members present
82 documents were handled
Let’s remind that the ISG is open to ETSI members and non-ETSI members alike. The different players in the value chain are welcome to join the ISG effort, contribute to the development of these key specifications and demonstrate Proofs of Concepts (PoCs). To join, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ETSI ENI Industry Specification Group was created in February 2017, today members come from operators, vendors and research institutes all over the world.
The meeting was productive and achieved progress. The report ETSI GR ENI 012 Reactive In-situ Flow Information Telemetry was published during ENI#21.
An open area is approved, where all stable drafts and previously published deliverables are available.
Hello again, and sorry for not writing so frequently. A lot of things happened in these busy months!
ISG MEC have updated some key Phase 2 specifications, and it is continuously progressing on the current Phase 3 work. I can only say “kudos” to the rapporteurs and actual leaders of this tremendous amount of work (you can find more information in the recent ETSI press release, and also details in this short summary.
ENI focuses on improving the operator experience, adding closed-loop AI mechanisms based on context-aware, metadata-driven policies to more quickly recognize and incorporate new and changed knowledge, and hence, make actionable decisions.
ENI has specified a set of use cases and the derived requirements for a generic technology independent architecture of a network supervisory assistant system based on the ‘observe-orient-decide-act’ control loop model. This model gives recommendations to decision-making systems, such as network control and management systems, to adjust services and resources offered based on changes in user needs, environmental conditions and business goals.
Release 2 has specified enhanced use cases, requirements, system architecture, and Proof of Concept (PoC) specifications.
On 16 November ETSI ISG IPE held its 11th online Rapporteur call with about 30 participants, including delegates from EDF, Cisco, HPE, Huawei, Verizon, China Telecom attending the meeting.
Cédric Lavenu, Expert Research Engineer at EDF (Electricité de France) and Chair of the G3-PLC Alliance Technical Working Group, shared experience with the deployment of the G3-PLC technology, which is designed to natively support IPv6.
In 2011, French DSO (Distribution System Operator) Enedis started its smart grid project with IPv6-based G3-PLC (Power Line Communication) smart meters, called “Linky”. In late 2021, the Linky deployment is almost complete and consists of nearly 35 million smart meters deployed in the low voltage grid, behind one of the 740.000 medium voltage to low voltage transformer substations. This makes Enedis one of the largest IPv6 operators in the world.
A lot of time has passed since my last blog post, sorry for not reaching out to you, folks! Very busy period. Also, a lot of nice things are happening, and ISG MEC is continuously growing in membership, attracting new companies that are actively contributing to the standardization.
Our collaboration with 5GAA (now joining MEC!) is also well established with the identification of two MEC observers, Maxime Flament (CTO, 5GAA) and Luca Boni (Stellantis) who are acting as 5GAA representatives in MEC. The collaboration with Akraino is now also moving forward with the guidance of Jane Shen (Mavenir, Akraino TSC member and ETSI MEC Technical Expert) and Oleg Berzin (Equinix, Akraino TSC Co-Chair and PCEI PTL). Finally, we’ve recently held the 2021 edition of the MEC Hackathon (see results here, published as part of our renewed MEC Wiki page, https://mecwiki.etsi.org/).The MEC Sandbox is continuously updated with new functionalities, also used for the MEC Hackathon.
ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) IPv6 Enhanced innovation (IPE) had its 4th plenary on 26 October. More than 40 members, participants and guests of ISG IPE registered for the plenary and the workshop.
The plenary began with the IPv6 workshop. Our distinguished guests, Mr. Satyen Gupta (India IPv6 Forum), Mr. Arnaud Braud (Orange France) and ISG IPE participant Tahar Schaa (Neuland@Homeland) shared their experience in IPv6 deployment and the impact of regulator policy for IPv6.
Mr. Gupta gave the talk entitled “Convergence of 5G, IoT and IPv6-Capacity Building for New Internet IPv6 Root Server”. The importance of IPv6 as a key component of the new Internet and some IPv6 killer applications were presented (such as broadband home, cloud computing, IoT, etc.). Then Mr. Gupta further introduced the government initiatives and IPv6’s economic value in India. The fast IPv6 adoption by ISPs like Reliance JIO has made India among the top IPv6 deployment countries, representing an example of how govern IPv6 policies and support lead to excellent results.
Mr. Braud presented GAIA-X. It concerns EU’s digital sovereignty and data sovereignty. Currently, EU only has 4% of the cloud platform business and the fragility of international supply chains shows the importance of GAIX-X as an EU-wide federation. IPv6 is fundamental to guarantee digital and data sovereignty in a cloud system.
Mr. Schaa emphasized the importance of digital sovereignty for Germany and IPv6 in the public administration of Germany. For Germany, IPv6 is more than a technical issue – it forces the government to think beyond the organizations. IPv6 also leads to new fields of action in the standardization of IT networks for regulatory authorities as well as politics. IPv6 only for internal network is the target, with IPv4 offered only for end users not able to access the government Services using IPv6.
ENI#19 meeting has taken place from 6 to 9 September 2021 and has been performed online because many countries were still affected by travel restrictions or delegates were not allowed to travel. In terms of most relevant figures that denote the heavy work carried out during the meeting, it should be taken into account that:
25 ISG members were present, and
96 documents were handled.
Let’s remind that the Industry Specification Group (ISG) is open to ETSI members and non-ETSI members alike. The different players in the value chain are welcome to join the ISG effort, contribute to the development of key specifications and demonstrate Proofs of Concepts (PoCs). To join, please contact: email@example.com.
The ETSI ISG was created in February 2017 and today members come from operators, vendors and research institutes all over the world.
Highlights of the meeting
The meeting was productive and progress was achieved in different areas. Deliverable GR ENI 012 on “Reactive In-situ Flow Information Telemetry” was reviewed and declared as stable and it will now proceed to ISG review and approval. It was also decided to re-open the Work Items for the Use cases GS ENI 001 V3.2.1 in release 3 as well as Requirements GS ENI 002 V3.2.1 in Release 3.
GS ENI 005 V2.1.1 on “System Architecture” (Release 2) has completed the Remote Consensus and will be published soon.
The Terminology report GR ENI 004 V2.2.1 is in Remote Consensus until 29 September 2021, after which it is expected to be ratified and published.
An open area where all stable drafts and previously published deliverables are available, was approved.
Approved by ETSI in October 2020, ISG (Industry Specification Group) IPE, as a follow-up of the ETSI ISG IP6, with the prime goal at producing best practices to promote global IPv6 adoption, reference e2e architecture including emerging business scenarios and recommendations to accelerate global IPv6 adoption. Starting with 9 reports, IPE has already published its first report on the IPv6 Gap Analysis involving more than ten stakeholders, pointing out the usability of IPv6 in all scenarios and the need to continue the IPv6 Enhanced innovation addressing the features of ubiquitous connectivity, ultra-high bandwidth, automation, low latency, deterministic quality and security.
Zero-touch network and service automation are essential to unleash the business potential of 5G and beyond. The ultimate automation target is a largely autonomous operation driven by high-level policies and rules, enabling self-configuration, self-monitoring, self-healing and self-optimization – without further human intervention.
Automation is not only about technology; it also requires changes in the mindset of people. Trust is a major barrier to adoption and striving to build it requires a continuous learning process. As more automation processes are deployed and operate safely and efficiently, human trust will increase and the requirement for a level of supervision/intervention will diminish. Having native security (e.g. an adaptive secured framework, access control, trustworthiness, data protection) can help to establish confidence and instill trust as the automated processes deliver the intended business outcomes.
The threat surface in the ZSM environment is extensive, firstly due to the openness of the ZSM framework. The framework is modular, extensible and service-based and expands across multiple domains. Its interfaces are open and offer model-driven services. Protecting the interfaces and the management services within and across the domains is essential to ensure the trustworthiness of the ZSM framework.
In addition, the ZSM services can be produced and consumed by new players coming from diverse industries (e.g. government, vehicle industry, energy, transport, etc.). Each player may require or support different trust levels according to its own deployment/execution environments, security policies and regulations. This variety demands flexible and adaptive security control.
The ETSI ZSM end-to-end network slicing specification has been released.
Network slicing is expected to become a fundamental enabler for value generation: a $300 billion global revenue opportunity by 2025, according to the GSMA. It has been designed to support a broad variety of use cases (including the unknown) with extreme requirements, providing tailored network capabilities for each individual service. But building a network that supports tens of thousands of individual slices – all of which can be created and set up, operated, scaled, assured to meet each slice’s service-level agreement (SLA), and torn down at a moment’s notice – presents several challenges.
The accelerated worldwide deployment of 5G networks poses a significant challenge to the way networks and services are created, orchestrated and managed. Full end-to-end automation becomes crucial for the delivery, dynamic adaptation and continuous assurance of the highly diverse services – each with its own broad range of requirements – while still ensuring economic sustainability. In addition, the network’s performance, coverage and capacity should be constantly assured to satisfy the requirements of the active services.
The ENI#18 meeting was online only as many countries were affected by travel restrictions or delegates not allowed to travel. It took place at 7-10 June 2021.
26 ISG members all of which were present.
Operators: Telefonica, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, NTT, Deutsche Telekom, and Portugal Telecom.
115 documents were handled.
Let’s remind that the ISG is open to ETSI members and non-ETSI members alike. The different players in the value chain are welcome to join the ISG effort, contribute to the development of these key specifications and demonstrate Proofs of Concepts (PoCs). To join, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ETSI ENI Industry Specification Group was created in Feb 2017, today members come from operators, vendors and research institutes all over the world.
Last March 2021, I’ve started my new journey in ETSI MEC, taking over the Chair position from my friend Alex Reznik (HPE). Sure, of course I’m not a “beginner” in this group (as most of you who know me can appreciate that I’m there in the MEC Leadership Team since the beginning of the Phase 1!). Nonetheless, given the great work done together in these amazing years in collaboration with all MEC stakeholders, I’m grateful of the trust of many companies who elected me and expressed their warm support in my new role.
A virtual event on NFV Evolution organized by ETSI in partnership with Telecom TV and sponsored by Huawei was held from 19 to 21 April 2021. The objective of the event was for the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) to get feedback from the industry on implementation experience with the ISG’s specifications and on future topics to be addressed in next specification releases. The event was also an opportunity for the participants to get updated on ETSI NFV’s activities, deliverables and future plans, as well as on the progress made in open source communities with regards to the convergence with the ISG’s standards. The event was held in parallel with the 34th meeting of the ISG. The choice was not accidental as this was the meeting where the ISG launched the process for collecting proposals from its members and participants on the features to be addressed within the scope of its next specification release (NFV Release 5).
The event programme featured six original presentations selected from the responses received to an open call, addressing deployment experience, new use cases and technical requirements:
Mr. Yuya Kuno, NTT DOCOMO, presented DOCOMO’s experience in developing and operating NFV and future expansion.
Mr. Pierre Lynch, Keysight Technologies and Ms. Silvia Almagia, ETSI CTI Technical Expert jointly presented “Measuring NFV Evolution: ETSI NFV Plugtests”.
Mr. Borja Nogales, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, presented “An NFV system to support service provisioning on UAV platforms: a walkthrough on implementation experience and standardization challenges”.
Dr. Lingli Deng, China Mobile, presented “From Orchestration Towards Automation”
Dr. Haopeng Zhu, Huawei Technologies Co., presented “Towards the future of NFV: Edge-native, Containerization, Networking-NFV convergence”.
Mr. Gianpietro Lavado, Whitestack, presented about the advances in deployment of standardized NFV Orchestration through ETSI OSM.
The ENI#17 meeting on 8-11 March 2021 was “online only” due to travel restrictions or delegates not allowed to travel.
26 were present, 29 were registered,
Operators were present from: China Telecom, China Mobile, TIM, Deutsche Telekom, and Portugal Telecom, Also, NTT, Telefonica & Vodafone (messaging the Chair),
121 documents were handled.
The meeting was very productive and achieved significant progress. The meeting progressed the work-items to stable output on the deliverables Draft report ENI 009 on Data Processing mechanisms planned to be approved at the end of March 2021. Report ENI 008 Intent aware architecture is in publication, the Group Report on the evaluation of categories report ENI 010 is published as v1.1.1 describing measures of automation of the Classes published in 2019 in report ENI 007 v1.1.1.
An open area is approved, for all stable drafts and previously published deliverables are available.
Last week I transitioned the position of Chair of ETSI MEC over to Dario Sabella from Intel. Having spent four amazing years serving as the Chair of this group, I am happy to see it in such good hands. For years Dario has been a significant contributor and an enthusiastic advocate of our work. He’s been the driving force behind many of our Hackathons. Moreover, Intel’s support and commitment for the group is a strong signal of our importance. The best days for MEC are in the future and this is where all of us should look. Still, leaving a position such as this, one does tend to reflect on one’s years of tenure and so for my last blog as Chair I am going to do just that.
2020 turned out to be an unexpected year, with the COVID19 pandemic adversely impacting the “normal” day-to-day lives of humans across the globe. However, even during this turn of events and unforeseen testing times, communication networks demonstrated their efficacy in keeping people and businesses connected. More concretely, Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) proved its feasibility by enabling the operators to gracefully manage high demand for network connectivity.
Undaunted by this situation, the technical experts at the ETSI ISG NFV continued to work tirelessly developing and delivering specifications that help get and keep “everyone/everything connected”. And the hard work paid off as ETSI ISG NFV delivered during the second half of 2020 new and updated "protocols and data model" (stage 3) specifications incorporating NFV Release 3 features.
The experts in the Solutions (SOL) working group completed stage 3 work on a subset of the NFV Release 3 features. One of the first features that was already finalised in 2019 was "Management of NFV-MANO" (FEAT11) with the release of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 009 V3.3.1. This document specifies a set of RESTful protocols and APIs that can be used to manage different aspects regarding configuration, performance, fault and logging of entities implementing specified NFV-MANO functional blocks. The defined APIs leveraged the same RESTful principles used for NFV-MANO APIs in Release 2, i.e., the ones used for managing VNF instances, NS instances and on-boarding VNF Packages, NSDs and other artefacts.
New outcomes on the development of NFV-MANO APIs continued in 2020 with the release of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 011 V3.3.1, which specifies NFV-MANO APIs related to management across "NFV-MANO administrative domains" (FEAT08). These APIs are produced by the NFVO and allow different administrative domains to communicate over the Or-Or reference point to help coordinate the management of NS instances deployed on their respective administrative domains. The Or-Or reference point is set in between NFVO instances placed on different administrative domains, as specified in ETSI GS NFV-IFA 030. For instance, the APIs of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 011 enable reusing an NS instance deployed on a domain A and nest it into another NS instance deployed on a domain B. Due to the functional similarities with existing capabilities offered by the NFVO to other systems such as OSS/BSS, most of the APIs are identical or based on those specified in ETSI GS NFV-SOL 005.
The release of new API specification documents was completed in 2020 by the ETSI GS NFV-SOL 012 V3.4.1 "NFV; Protocol and Data Models; RESTful protocols specification for the Policy Management Interface". As its title hints, the document specifies a new NFV-MANO API based on RESTful principles that can be used for setting up a "Policy management framework" (FEAT07). The API, produced by the NFV-MANO functional blocks, offers the much needed management capabilities by the network operators to be able to transfer, update, delete, activate, de-activate policies, and subscribe to and get notifications related to policy management. Note that the specification of the data models and formats of the policy content is not within the scope of this document. Information and data modelling work on policy content is under development as part of the Release 4.
This year ending, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its effect, the COVID-19 pandemic, have devastated the planet. Its rapid expansion in the first weeks of 2020 was putting to the test the health systems of as many countries as they were touching, and demonstrating the difficulties - including, in many cases, the ineffectiveness - of the measures adopted to alleviate them. Among such measures, one of the most recurrent has been the identification of those affected (or possibly affected) and their isolation; a measure that relies on what is traditionally known as contact tracking or tracing.
However, contact tracing carried out the traditional, manual way, based on interviews with identified or suspected patients, presents known weaknesses from previous pandemics, such as the lack of memory of the interviewees when remembering who they have recently been in contact with, or the non-availability of the contact information of those strangers with whom there may have been some kind of encounter.
In this challenging context and in the 21st century, “digital”, which today permeates everything, could not fail to be present. Already from the first days of the pandemic, numerous initiatives began to emerge that tried to help tackle it with the help of the most varied technological solutions. In terms of apps alone, the Inter-American Development Bank, in an internal report, a few months ago surveyed more than 600 available applications related to COVID-19. Of these, today there are more than 100 oriented to digital contact tracing, which gives an idea of a true universe of applications.
The ENI#16 meeting on 7-10 December 2020 was "online only" due to travel restrictions or delegates not allowed to travel.
29 delegates were registered and 29 were present
Operators were present from: China Telecom, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT, Portugal Telecom, Telefonica and TIM
Government Ministry Institutes being members from Germany, China, Japan and South Korea
163 documents were handled
The meeting was very productive and achieved significant progress. The work-items were progressed to stable output on the deliverables Draft GR ENI 008 on Intent Aware Network Autonomicity and Draft GR ENI 009 on Data Processing mechanisms both planned to be approved at the end of December. Approval as final draft on the evaluation of categories Draft GR ENI 010 describing measures of automation of the Classes published last year in GR ENI 007 v1.1.1.
The ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) NFV has published the initial release of ETSI GS NFV-IFA 040 titled "Requirements for service interfaces and object model for OS container management and orchestration specification". This document is the first normative specification delivered for the NFV Release 4 feature on “Cloud-native VNFs and Container Infrastructure management”. The specification propagates the recommendations from the study in ETSI GR NFV-IFA 029 and formally specifies the new functions required for the management and orchestration of OS containers, the Container Infrastructure Service Management (CISM) and the Container Image Registry (CIR). The CISM is responsible for maintaining the containerized workloads while the CIR is responsible for storing and maintaining information of OS container software images.
To enable a consistent and generic system for the management of containerized VNFs, ETSI GS NFV-IFA 040 specifies an abstract NFV object model for OS container management and orchestration, including their relationship to the core information models of NFV-MANO. The abstract NFV objects are also expected to be used in specifications profiling APIs of de-facto standard solutions, to map the abstract NFV objects to objects of the specific de-facto standard solution. One of the introduced abstract NFV objects is the Managed Container Infrastructure Object (MCIO), an object managed and exposed by the CISM, characterized by the desired and actual state of a containerized workload. Managed objects from Kubernetes® such as Deployment or Service are examples which map to an MCIO. Another new NFV object is the Managed Container Infrastructure Object Package (MCIOP), a hierarchical aggregate of information objects including declarative descriptors and configuration files for one or multiple MCIOs. Helm charts as specified by CNCF® are an example which maps to an MCIOP.
Furthermore, ETSI GS NFV-IFA 040 specifies requirements on the list of services to be offered by architectural elements providing the CISM and CIR functions and on the interfaces for exposing these services to NFV-MANO and other consuming entities. The CISM shall provide services for the management of OS container workloads as well as for the management of OS container compute, storage, network resources and their configuration. The CIR shall provide a service for the management of OS container images. This document intentionally does not specify interface operations or information models but only requirements on the management service interfaces. This approach leaves further details to the specification of protocols and data models in the form of profiling de-facto standard open source solutions.
ETSI GS NFV-TST 010 (TST010) is a published API conformance testing specification for NFV Management and Orchestration (NFV-MANO) APIs. Specifically, it contains conformance tests for the APIs used on the following reference points:
Os-Ma-Nfvo, defined by ETSI GS NFV-SOL 005 (SOL005)
Ve-Vnfm, defined by ETSI GS NFV-SOL 002 (SOL002)
Or-Vnfm, defined by ETSI GS NFV-SOL 003 (SOL003)
The figure below shows the reference points supported by TST010:
The latest released version of TST010 is Version 2.6.1 (available from the ETSI website), which means that it supports the corresponding 2.6.1 versions of the above SOL documents (i.e. SOL02, SOL003 and SOL005). Version 2.4.1 is also available, and it similarly corresponds to the 2.4.1 versions of the SOL documents. This will always be the case going forward as well: the TST010 version will always match the corresponding version of the SOL documents specifying the reference points being tested.
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