ETSI unveils NFV&MEC 2020 Interoperability Report:
Strong focus on Containerized and 5G Network Services

Sophia Antipolis, 22 September 2020

ETSI is pleased to release the report of its NFV&MEC PlugtestsTM  event that took place remotely in June 2020. After several weeks of remote integration and pre-testing, the event offered NFV and MEC solution providers as well as open source communities an opportunity to discuss and solve interoperability challenges while validating their implementation of NFV and MEC specifications and APIs.

Over 40 organizations and more than 170 engineers were involved in the preparation of this important event forming an engaged and diverse community of implementers testing together the interoperability of over 65 NFV and MEC solutions. Test sessions covered a wide range of configurations and showed interoperability rates from 75% to 93%. Participating organizations were able to interact remotely through the ETSI HIVE (Hub for Interoperability and Validation at ETSI) which provides a secure framework to interconnect participants’ labs and implementations.

ETSI Plugtests events continue to provide a unique opportunity to foster and accelerate NFV adoption and to get essential industry feedback to help us improve our specifications. Congratulations to the participating organizations and individuals who took on a twofold challenge this year: address a wider scope than previous events and run the event in a fully remote mode” says Bruno Chatras, ETSI ISG NFV Chair.

“Following on from the success of last year’s MEC track at the 4th NFV Plugtests, this year’s event was the first joint NFV / MEC event. The learnings and feedback from the event highlight the complementary nature of the two technologies. We tested solutions in which the MEC platform provided its own NFVI as well as those where the NFVI was provided by a different vendor, demonstrating achievable interoperability” says Walter Featherstone, ISG MEC DECODE Chair. “The event also provided the opportunity to showcase and validate the upcoming GS MEC-DEC 032 API Conformance Test Suites, available in both TTCN-3 and the Robot Framework, highlighting one of the latest specifications from the Deployment and Ecosystem Development (DECODE) working group. Through this and ongoing MEC Sandbox initiatives we expect to attract even greater participation from MEC Application Developers at NFV&MEC Plugtests 2021.” 

Key Highlights

For the first time, some vendors joined with commercial solutions for virtualized 5G Cores, allowing to test for 5G functionality beyond NFV orchestration and confirming NFV as one of the key enablers of 5G networks.

In addition, an experimental cloud-native tests track allowed for the first-time to test interoperability among cloud-native, containerized VNFs (also known as CNFs), NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) solutions and Kubernetes platforms from different providers. These test sessions, based on NFV Release 4 specifications currently under development, showed an interoperability rate of 93% and triggered interesting discussions about how the NFV specifications are evolving to support cloud native network services.

Other highlights include:

  • New Robot Framework Test Suite to enable the automation of NFV Interoperability Testing based on the recently published ETSI GS NFV-SOL 016 specification
  • Extended support and active participation of key open source communities in the NFV and cloud-native ecosystem including several distributors of Kubernetes, Openstack, ETSI OSM (Open Source MANO), ONAP, Openslice and StarlingX
  • Growing interest in MEC technologies, specifications and APIs: larger number of participating MEC Apps developers, allowing to test multi-apps scenarios and full MEC services exploitation workflows

The NFV&MEC Plugtests 2020 allowed once more to validate the latest versions of the NFV and MEC specifications, APIs and Test Suites as well as to identify and to fix a number of issues, bugs and inconsistencies which will help to increase the quality of future releases.

The full report is available on the ETSI Portal.

About ETSI
ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT systems and services across all sectors of industry and society.  We are a not-for-profit body with more than 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 65 countries and five continents. Members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO). For more information please visit us at

Claire Boyer
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