NFV#43 transitions to Release 6 studies and Release 5 normative work

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 .

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.

  • Release 4 feature work will be completed in the fourth quarter of this year; Release documentation and testing specifications may come a bit later. After this final edition 4.5.1 of the Release 4 features, a maintenance/correction version 4.6.1 is envisaged, which will not include new functionalities. Some feature work unfinished in Release 4 will be postponed to Release 5.
  • Release 5, having already published several study documents, will provide first normative specifications in the first quarter of 2024. It is planned to have 3 drops of feature deliveries in Release 5, with publications every 6 months. A maintenance delivery for Release 5 is planned as fourth drop, concluding Release 5 in late 2025.
  • Release 6 already started some studies and will finish its study phase in the beginning of 2025.

The early studies on Release 6 included brainstorming on general architectural aspects, requirements related to simplification and backward compatibility to support NFV evolution, and first skeleton proposals for technical reports for new infrastructure resources, as well as latency aspects and new communication technologies.

Technical work in stage 2 standardization (main focus of the IFA working group) was on Release 5 topics and also included planning of the Release 5 features, the affected specifications and delivery drops. It also included architectural discussions on the physical infrastructure management.

Stage 3 work reached stable drafts for most Release 4 work items during the NFV#43. Some work will be carried over to Release 5, to keep a stable schedule of the deliveries.

Furthermore, the NFV#43 meeting had two plenary sessions to continue discussion on the Future of NFV. Several of the already identified topics have evolved to concrete actions. These include not only optimizations and improvements of the ways of working in the ISG, but also thoughts to re-focus the mission and scope of ISG NFV. A major step for ETSI NFV as a standardization group is to continue and enhance the collaboration with open source communities.

During the closing plenary, liaison statements were approved notifying other organization about NFV new specification on intent management (IFA050) being published and the work on physical infrastructure management being started. Other liaison statements were presented and approval via remote consensus is expected, including replies to 3GPP SA3 (on Authenticated Vulnerability Testing) and ZSM (on AI enablers) as well as to multiple organizations about the published work on energy efficiency (EVE021) and the introduction of certificate management.

Also new documents were approved to be published after the final editing. These include 5 specifications for Release 4, completing stage 2 work and 3 studies for Release 5 (on network connectivity integration and operationalization, on VNF management gap analysis with open source projects and on evaluating reliability for cloud-native VNFs).

New work items were presented and will seek approval via remote consensus, including stage 3 specifications on intent management and policy models, and 3 security specifications on security assurance.

NFV is looking forward to the next meeting in the middle of December which will be hosted by NTT Docomo in Tokyo, Japan.

Let’s conclude with a final view on the golf course:

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