NFV#42 plenary with key focus on rejuvenating ETSI-NFV activities for the future

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.

Continuing the momentum from 41st plenary and the discussions from the 10-year anniversary event in March 2023, the focus on efficient collaboration of ETSI-NFV with other industry standards development organizations and open source projects was maintained in NFV#42 as well. One dedicated session at ISG level was reserved to discuss on the possible joint meetings with external SDOs. The topics for ETSI-NFV and O-RAN joint workshop, scheduled during the next O-RAN face to face meeting in Osaka, Japan (on June 21st) were discussed during this cross SDO collaboration session. The topics to be presented in this workshop were finalized in this session and our ISG will look forward to actively collaborate and exchange the work with O-RAN. This joint workshop is expected to foster future collaboration between ETSI-NFV and O-RAN that benefits both organizations. There will be an ETSI NFV session at GSMA MWC Shanghai on 29th of June where Analysts, Asian operators and vendors will discuss about the actual benefits and pain points of deploying NFV-based telecom networks but also about the future relevant work that can be carried on within NFV.

In NFV#42 plenary, key focus was given on rejuvenating ETSI-NFV activities for the future. Two dedicated ISG sessions were arranged during NFV#42 to collect ideas and gather insights for the future of NFV. The outcome proposals from the TSC workshop (held on June 1st and 2nd) were presented to ISG members and the discussions were initiated to collect feedback in these two special sessions covering the below categories

  • NFV Mission and scope
  • Way of working
  • How to encourage participation
  • Fostering Adaptation of ETSI NFV Specs
  • Appeal of ETSI NFV activities
  • Enhance external coordination

The ISG sessions dedicated to the future of NFV were well represented with active discussions and suggestions. More and more consensuses converged in the community on the way forward directions. Key emphasis and focus on merging several correlated ISGs (NFV, ZSM, ENI and MEC) in ETSI to formulate an end to end automation TC with an enlarged scope, renaming ISG NFV to reflect more missions of future telecom clouds, the need to define a clear vision of NFV, optimizing the processes in handling the future work in different work groups and improving release planning were discussed. The scope and mission statements for NFV are to be relooked based on the current industry needs and technology evolutions. There were no decisions endorsed in this plenary, but key proposals will be taken forward for further evaluation in subsequent online ISG sessions to be scheduled after this plenary.

During NFV#42, significant progress was achieved in several work items with intense discussions at the level of working groups. Due to three special ISG sessions arranged during this plenary, there was less time for working group sessions, but these challenges had been handled by the delegates: all work groups reported good progress with many documents reaching either stable draft or near stable draft states. There were joint working group meetings held among IFA-SOL-EVE WGs and respectively between IFA-SEC WGs, coordination plans being discussed, and a way forward agreed.

Based on the excellent progress made in the work items related to FEAT28 (Fault management models), FEAT31 (Flexible VNF deployment) and ENH02.06 (Support for parameter mapping artifacts for MCIOP input), IFA WG endorsed a proposal to deliver part of the functionalities in these features in Release-4 against the initial plan of releasing them in Release-5. FEAT28 has been approved for the release change and ratified by ISG to be moved to Release-4. TSC will evaluate the applicability of early content publishing for FEAT31 and ENH02.06 in Release-4 and provide input to ISG.

Out of the 5 new item proposals in NFV#42, following 3 are approved by ISG:

  • Release 4: Management of Open API work program (SOL008)
  • Release 4: Continuation of SOL011 and SOL018 for ed451
  • Release 6: Report on Architectural support for NFV evolution (IFA054)

Below 2 are planned to be revised and revisions will be sent for remote consensus approval

  • Release 6: Report on new infrastructure resources for NFV
  • Release 6: Report on latency aspects for NFV

In NFV#42, ISG approved one liaison reply to be sent out to ITU-T SG13 on the new work item “Cloud Computing – functional architecture for container and container management”. On another LSReply to ITU-T SG13 LSin on the new work item “Requirements and framework on network function enhancements of IMT-2020 networks and beyond from the energy efficiency perspective”, ISG will seek approval by remote consensus after NFV#42.

Drop 5 of Release-4 (ed451) specifications are targeted to be final drafts in July and there is plenty to be done till the next NFV plenary. The working groups will work towards achieving this target. The future ISG meeting dates and venues are still under discussion. NFV#43 is likely to be in Copenhagen, Denmark and NFV#44 in Tokyo, Japan.

NFV42 1

NFV42 Drone

This NFV#42 plenary happens to be the last meeting for few delegates: Raja (Ericsson) and Chidung (Orange). Pleasant memories were exchanged during closing session and Yu Chao (Huawei) took photos and video with drone camera. Looks like NFV found the next official photographer!

Wishing you all the best and next ISG will meet again with continued debate on new organizational and work-programme-related topics. Best wishes to all.

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