The NFV community met for the 21st time (NFV#21) from February 26 to March 2, in a familiar setting:

ETSI-snowflakes-NFV21-2018ETSI headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France.

The flawless organization, the friendly faces greeting us, the countless wonderful coffee machines, everything was normal. What was less familiar: it snowed. On the Cote d’Azur. Twice(!). For a total of approximately 15cm. This is very rare in this region. Apparently, the last time it snowed was during NFV#1, back in January 2013. While we are solving the challenges for NFV, the weather is telling us we can easily deal with another one!

Despite the predictable flight delays resulting from the frigid European weather, the event was well attended by over 80 members of the core team. And it was a busy, productive week.

Work on Release 3 is well under way. There are currently 17 new features being actively developed, along with 15 active work items related to Release 3. In addition, multiple Release 2 deliverables (13 as of now) are being currently propagated to Release 3 (with their corresponding work items). At NFV#21, a third maintenance cycle for Release 2 work items was also approved, so the maintenance work will continue for the first half of 2018. That’s a lot of balls up in the air at the same time, and it’s a remarkable achievement that this highly focused group can pull this off.

The results of the 2nd ETSI NFV Plugtests were center stage at this meeting: the findings were presented to the plenary and discussed within the TST working group who will incorporate the feedback into their documents going forward. Clearly the industry is progressing with more energy compared with just one year ago. The Plugtests results will be summarized in a separate blog post and presented at upcoming conferences.

Two new working group leaders were elected since the last plenary meeting: Julien Maisonneuve (Nokia) and Ulrich Kleber (Huawei). Julien brings extensive leadership experience, while Uli brings new perspectives including valuable open source experience. These roles require a lot of personal commitment and long hours across multiple time zones. We are very grateful to both of them.

Almost every packet on a digital network is part of a "flow", a sequence of packets from the same source to the same destination. These flows are of two types:

  • they either carry a continuous stream of data such as an audio or video signal
  • or transfer information between processes running in computers, as in a TCP session

We can think of the former as "AV" flows and of the latter as "IT" flows. For many applications, AV flows are sensitive to "latency", which is the time between a packet being transmitted by the sender and received at its destination; in a phone call, for example, longer delays make it difficult to have a natural conversation. New applications proposed for 5G, such as those involving augmented or virtual reality, or tactile feedback, will have even more severe requirements. For IT flows, if latency is important at all it will be the average over time that matters, whereas for AV flows it is the delay for the slowest packet.

Current-generation networks were originally designed as IT networks, carrying IT flows, and have had various features added to assist AV flows, which increase complexity but still do not provide the best service for these flows.

With the publication of ETSI GS NFV-SOL005, the specification of the RESTful APIs exposed by an NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) towards operations support systems (OSS), the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) has successfully met its objective to deliver a full set of API specifications enabling an open ecosystem where Virtualized 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.

These API specifications are the result of a wide industry consensus. Compliance to them permits a wide range of multi-vendors deployment scenarios. For example, a VNF can be managed by a generic VNF Manager (VNFM) function (stand-alone or combined with an NFVO), an NFVO can consume the services of a VNF-specific VNFM, and the services exposed by an NFVO can be consumed by higher-level service orchestration functions.

Furthermore, the ISG has completed revisions of two previously published API 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. Revised versions have been approved in December 2017, the main change being the support of a TLS-based option for controlling API access authorization (as an alternative to the use of OAuth 2.0).

One of the main drivers for the formation of ISG NGP was operators' need to make more efficient use of spectrum. While New Radio allows more bits to be carried, by some estimates half of those bits are unnecessary overhead. NGP is investigating how these overheads can be reduced, while at the same time providing the kind of performance (such as lower latency) that the new services proposed for 5G will need.

ETSI NFV industry adoption survey

2018-02-07 Posted by NFV support 2568 Hits

The ETSI Industry Specification Group on NFV is developing a set of specifications and reports with the goal to enable an open NFV market, where Virtualised Network Functions (VNFs) are interoperable and packaged in a way that is independent of the vendor supplying them or the service provider consuming them, are interoperable with independently developed management systems, and are operable in a manner that is independent from the underlying hardware.

Since its creation the ISG has produced over 60 specifications and reports. It is of paramount importance to the ISG to make sure that the specifications it produces meets the expectations of the industry.

The ISG has created a survey to help understand which of these specifications are the most useful to the industry. Should you wish to participate to this survey, please follow this link:

The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) met on 4-8 December 2017 for its twentieth plenary meeting (NFV#20) at ETSI Headquarters in Sophia-Antipolis, France. This time, the breezy and sunny Provence & Cote d’Azur in the spring changed to a rather chilly and icy setting, but nothing that our brave ETSI NFV ISG delegates could not handle perfectly with heated discussions and some extra coffee (or tea).

As reported in previous posts, the NFV ISG has been planning and progressing the set of Release 3 feature reports. The latest interim NFV Announcement report provides an overview of the progress made by the different NFV ISG working groups until and up to NFV#19. At the NFV#20 meeting, a significant step forward was achieved with approval to create the related normative work items. But this meeting wasn’t all about Release 3, as the working groups were also very busy completing the second round of Release 2 maintenance work.

Describing all the great work performed by the working groups and NFV ISG delegates worldwide is not an easy task. The meeting venue was again the perfect setting for many intense interactions and discussions. As Technical Manager, my sincere appreciation and thanks go out to all the delegates for the work achieved as well as the excellent collaboration between the working groups.

Among the many highlights at NFV#20, there was one shadow; NFV#20 was the meeting in which, unfortunately, we said goodbye to Yun Chao Hu (EVE WG Chairman, Huawei), a long-standing NFV contributor from the inception of NFV. Yun Chao has worked exceptionally hard to help our work. An award for Yun Chao’s outstanding work and support to the NFV ISG was delivered by our ISG Chairman, Diego Lopez (Telefonica). We wish to Yun Chao “all the best in your future professional tasks, and hope to see you again in other places”.

Photo of Yun Chao Hu and Diego Lopez at NFV20

Anyway, let us highlight a few relevant achievements from NFV#20.

NFV-19-1smallLast week in Denver, CableLabs hosted over 130 delegates from all over the world to the 19th plenary session of the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group, the cradle and main playground for the Network Function Virtualization technologies that are bringing radical transformation to the telecommunications industry. With over 300 member companies including 38 global network operators, ETSI NFV is the leading forum developing the foundation international standards for NFV.

This blogpost provides a snapshot report on the progress of ETSI NFV standardization.

Home-of-NFVThe 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.

Pierrre-LynchI'm the Vice-Chair of the Testing, Implementation and Open Source (TST) Working Group at the ETSI NFV ISG.

In the test industry for the past 20 years, I have been working at Ixia for the past 11 years, always in the product management team for wireless test products. Most of my experience has been with mobility testing: GSM, UMTS, LTE, etc.

ETSI, through its Center for Testing and Interoperability (CTI) recently held its first ever NFV PlugtestsTM event in January. In addition to the wise decision to hold it in Leganes, Spain, just outside of beautiful and sunny Madrid, I would qualify the event a technical success. I explain why below.

ETSI NFV ISG Plugtest Results

2017-03-10 Posted by NFV support 3771 Hits

Interviewed at MWC, Diego Lopez Senior Technology Expert at Telefonica, and Chairman of ETSI NFV ISG, discusses the results of the first NFV Plugtests in Madrid, the publication of Release 2 specifications and the Release 3 work.

Bilbao-Spain February 21-24, 2017

The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group met for its seventeenth plenary meeting (NFV#17) in the beautiful city of Bilbao in northern Spain hosted by the University of the Basque Country, Faculty of Engineering. In many ways this was a milestone meeting, a new leadership team was elected, key NFV specifications were approved for publication, a joint session with the Open Source MANO (OSM) community was held, and the latest joint-operator NFV white paper outlining the priorities for 5G was timed for publication during this meeting.


Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Today, twenty-three network operators published a white paper to guide the industry on priorities for NFV to deliver the industry vision for 5G systems: “Network Operator Perspectives on NFV priorities for 5G”. The network operator co-authors include Bell Canada, BT, CableLabs, CenturyLink, China Mobile, China Unicom, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT, NTT, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Portugal Telecom, Rogers, SK Telecom, Sprint, STC, Swisscom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, and Vodafone. As managing editor for this white paper, I worked closely with colleagues from these leading organisations to document some key consensus requirements that we want the 5G standards community to take into account in their upcoming specification work.

Highlights from NFV#16 in Shenzhen

2016-12-19 Posted by NFV support 5473 Hits

Authors: Diego Lopez, NFV ISG Chairman, Joan Triay NFV TSC Chair & Peter Wörndle NFV TSC Vice Chair

The ETSI NFV ISG has just concluded their last plenary meeting for 2016 (that was precisely NFV#16) with the attendance of 175 delegates from 60 organizations. NFV#16 was hosted from December 12th to 15th by Huawei in Shenzhen, China.

The meeting kicked off with a Huawei NFV workshop, specifically focused on the evolution of NFV, with the horizon that has become common when talking about the next generation of networking: the year 2020.

14 Dec 2016, Shenzen, China, ladies dancing

NFV#15 review by Telecom TV

2016-11-02 Posted by NFV support 3620 Hits


Next steps: ETSI’s NFV ISG and the road to 5G

The ETSI NFV ISG (Industry Specification Group) has a new chairman in Diego Lopez, Head of Technology Exploration & Standards at Telefónica, and a new lease on life. ISGs are supposed to kick-start technology areas, not permanently rule them, but NFV ISG has been granted a two year extension, in part to mesh NFV capabilities with 5G requirements.

NFV ISG: a long way in a short time with further still to go

Diego Lopez, Telefónica, explains why it is important to incorporate 5G into NFV ISG's analysis for the coming NFV release, since NFV is now recognised as an essential enabling technology for 5G.

The race is on!

2016-04-29 Posted by Dirk Lindemeier, Nokia 5309 Hits

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. A pleasure not only because a German guy won the race; my real excitement, in fact, came from the world’s largest deployment of Mobile Edge Computing in a live network to date.

China Mobile and Nokia, at the Shanghai International Circuit, deployed an ultra-dense network of small cells and several MEC servers for providing a 5G-like mobile broadband experience. Spectators could follow the race from different in-car, trackside, and airborne camera perspectives and dashboards, all delivered in real time into an intuitive-to-use app. MEC made a huge difference in video latency and quality, which was testified by a user survey indicating high satisfaction and willingness to pay.

I had the great pleasure to represent the MEC ISG as ETSI MEC ISG chair and to present Mobile Edge Computing at the co-located 5G Observatory and Fog Networking conferences that took place on March 8-11, 2016 in Paris. Philip Lamoureux from Juniper represented the ISG at the MPLS+SDN+NFV world congress. Both congresses were endorsed by ETSI.
The congress attracted 1500+ attendees, coming from 65 countries, with a strong presence of service providers.

The work program of ETSI NFV ISG for 2015 was very ambitious, with a majority of activities committed to conclude during this first year of the ISG two-year renewed term, and intended to produce the set of normative documents that were generally referred as ETSI NFV Release 2.

Many of these activities are completed or just awaiting the completion of the last procedural steps to be officially published. This announcement provides a brief report on these accomplishments, structured around an introduction to the completed (informative) reports and a preview of the Release 2 description, which we expect to publish by May 2016.

NFV prepares the standards evolution

2016-03-01 Posted by NFV support 4743 Hits

NFV#13 took place on 16-19 February in Dublin, Ireland at the impressive Croke Park stadium, the fourth largest stadium in Europe.

Thanks to the hosts Cobham Wireless and the sponsors OPENET, ETSI NFV ISG members were treated to a pre-event workshop on Monday 15 February that covered the state of the art of NFV initiatives, with presentations from Intel, Telefonica, Luxoft, Stratus Technologies and EANTC.

The week that followed was certainly intense for the 210 delegates – although the work was somewhat balanced by a very pleasant social event in the Croke Park Player’s Lounge.