NFV in ETSI
Founded in November 2012 by seven of the world's leading telecoms network operators, ETSI ISG NFV became the home of Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).
Almost seven years and over 100 publications later, the ISG NFV community has evolved through several phases, its publications have moved from pre-standardization studies to detailed specifications (see Release 2 and Release 3). The early Proof of Concepts (PoCs) efforts have evolved and led to a series of interoperability events (NFV Plugtests). This large community is still working intensely to develop the required standards for NFV transformation incorporating latest technologies, as well as sharing their experiences of NFV implementation and testing in multi-vendor environments.
ISG NFV, like any other ETSI Industry Specification Group is open to ETSI members and non-members alike, with different conditions depending on ETSI membership status. If you would like to participate in this work, please contact the NFV support team.
Building the Software-based Network
Modern telecoms networks contain an ever-increasing variety of proprietary hardware. The launch of new services often demands network reconfiguration and on-site installation of new equipment which in turn requires additional floor space, power, and trained maintenance staff.
In a digital world, the innovation cycles accelerate and require greater flexibility and dynamism than hardware-based appliances allow. A hard-wired network with single functions boxes is tedious to maintain, slow to evolve, and prevent service providers from offering dynamic services.
In the same way that applications are supported by dynamically configurable and fully automated cloud environments, virtualized network functions allow networks to be agile and capable to respond automatically to the needs of the traffic and services running over it.
Key enabling technologies for this vision include SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation). SDN and NFV are complementary but increasingly co-dependent. While the former provides the means to dynamically control the network and the provisioning of networks as a service, the latter offers the capability to manage and orchestrate the virtualization of resources for the provisioning of network functions and their composition into higher-layer network services.
Our Role & Activities
ETSI ISG NFV undertakes work in 2-year phases.
Documents published during the first phase (2013-2014) were considered as pre-standard studies and are sometimes referred to as “Release 1”.
The ISG NFV community has continued its work by developing normative specifications, as well as informative studies. The specification of new features and capabilities in planned releases had as outcome subsequent tranches referenced as "Release 2", "Release 3", etc. Release 2 development of architecture, interfaces and information model aspects (aka stage 2 specifications) ended in Q3 2016 when work on Release 3 started, in parallel to the specification of the implementable protocol and data model solutions (aka stage 3) of interfaces, descriptors and other artifacts.
Going forward, the ISG NFV continues to develop new specifications that meet the needs of the industry, with maintenance cycles for its already published specifications. The ISG NFV dedicates a continuous support for proper referencing of NFV specifications by industry stakeholders, including not only service providers or network equipment vendors, but also other implementers such as open source communities. Progress in the industry is continuously monitored, including feedback from implementations, open source communities, and other standards bodies, and the identification of gaps to be addressed.
Abbreviations of the NFV working groups mentioned in this page:
2019-2020: NFV Release 4
NFV Release 4 specification work has been formally launched in summer 2019. While the specific work items are under progress, key areas of focus for the future NFV Release 4 have been identified, which include:
- NFVI evolution, focusing on enhancements to support lightweight virtualization technologies such as OS containers, optimizing NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) abstraction for reducing the coupling of VNFs to infrastructure, and optimizing networking integration into the infrastructure fabric to ease the connectivity for Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) and Network Services (NSes)
- Enhancing NFV automation and capabilities, covering aspects such as: improving life-cycle management and orchestration, introducing more policy-based management, the simplification of VNF and NS management aspects leveraging virtualization, and handling advances in autonomous networking
- Evolving the NFV-MANO (Management and Orchestration) framework, focusing primarily on optimizing internal NFV-MANO capability exposure and usage, e.g. studying its service-based transformation
- Enhanced reliability and availability introduced via features like NFV-MANO upgrades and MANO robustness
- Accompanying operationalization aspects which include: the simplification of NFV to ease development and deployment of sustainable NFV based solutions, verification (and certification) procedures and mechanisms, and operationalization, integration and use of NFV with other management and network frameworks
- In addition to the above technical areas, several security hardening aspects of NFV and other small specific technical enhancements necessary to maximize the impact of virtualization and future NFV deployments are also expected to be part of the work programme
The "Release 4 Definition" lists all the new features proposed for the Release 4. Among other features that had not been fully completed in the previous Release and have been carried over into Release 4, the list of new features includes:
- Network connectivity integration and operational for NFV
- NFV-MANO automation and autonomous networks
- NFV enhancements for 5G
- Multi-tenancy enhancements for NFV-MANO
- Service-based architecture (SBA) for NFV-MANO
- VNF generic management functions
- Continuous VNF integration, and
- Policy models
The set of Release 3 features that had been carried over into Release 4 comprises:
- NFV-MANO software modification
- Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) in NFV
- Licensing management
- Cloud-native VNFs and container infrastructure management, and
- Security management
Similarly, as in the previous Release, the completion of the specification of features in Release 4 at different stages follows a phased approach, commonly referred to as "drops". As of October 2020, a first drop of interfaces and information model level specifications has been released including part of the aspects concerning "Cloud-native VNFs and container infrastructure management".
2017-2018: NFV Release 3
NFV Release 3 has focused on enriching the NFV Architectural Framework to make NFV “ready” for global deployment and operations. The feature collection period to build Release 3 in 2017 led to a set of 22 new features. By summer 2019, 10 features had been completed, and 2 features had been partly completed to the level of specifying architecture, interfaces and information model. Some features had been closed, and some others were carried over to Release 4.
The set of features for Release 3 can be categorized into three main areas:
- Support for the latest network technologies, such as edge computing and network slicing
- New operational aspects, such as multiple administrative domains, policy framework, management of NFV-MANO, software upgrades/updates of the VNF and of the NFVI, etc.
- Advances in virtualization, such as cloud native VNFs, acceleration technologies, etc.
The "Release 3 Description" provides the list of features that are part of the Release, the relevant technical scope that has been specified, and the corresponding group reports and specifications that have been either updated or newly documented as part of the Release 3 feature work.
The specification work of architecture, interfaces and information model was completed during summer 2019. Below is the set of completed features that Release 3 brings on top of the features and capabilities that had been already specified in Release 2:
- Interfaces for hardware-independent acceleration
- Interfaces for network acceleration for VNF
- Requirements for hypervisor-based virtualisation
- Requirements for the hardware environment in NFV
- Management of NFV-MANO functional entities
- VNF snapshotting
- Policy management framework
- NFV-MANO administrative domains
- Host reservation
- Management and connectivity of multi-site network services
- Network slicing in NFV
- VNF software modification (aka, change current VNF package)
- NFVI software modification
- Service availability level
- Secure sensitive components in NFV framework
- Security management and monitoring for NFV
As of October 2020, the specification of protocols and data model solutions for a number of features listed above has been completed, or partly completed. Among these we can identify the specifications of APIs, descriptors and artifacts concerning features such as "Management of NFV-MANO", "VNF snapshotting", "VNF software modification", and "Policy management framework". Other features are still under way but expected to be completed in 2020. Work on the corresponding enhancements of the testing specifications should start right after. It is worth noting that some features did not pursue or did not require the specification of protocols or data model solutions.
2015-2016: NFV Release 2
The need to produce normative specifications to enable end-to-end interworking of equipment and services formed a fundamental part of this phase.
The ISG NFV decided to group most of its normative work into "NFV Release 2". Many other reports were also produced, so the Release 2 documentation became a subset of the actual work during the 2015-2016 phase. The work covered the common specification stages of requirements, architecture, interfaces, and information models and protocols all the way through to the specification of test cases and suites.
Release 2 was defined by selecting and prioritizing a set of key capabilities for making NFV deployable at scale yet ensuring the interoperability of NFV solutions used therein.
The main technical focus of Release 2 covered the specification of models and interfaces concerning diverse capabilities (as listed below) for the interoperability across the NFV-MANO functional blocks (VIM, VNFM and NFVO) and towards external systems, according to the reference points specified in the NFV Architectural Framework.
The set of capabilities specified in Release 2 comprises:
- Management aspects concerning virtualized resources, including information, provisioning, reservation, capacity, performance and fault management. This scope of management concerns to the functionality produced by the VIM and exposed over the Or-Vi and Vi-Vnfm reference points
- Lifecycle management, fault, configuration and performance management of VNFs. This management functionality is offered by the VNFM as a producer entity and exposed over the Or-Vnfm and Ve-Vnfm reference points
- Lifecycle management, fault and performance management of Network Services. This functionality is produced by the NFVO and exposed over the Os-Ma-nfvo reference point
- Performance metrics associated to virtualised resources, VNF and NS
- VNF Package management, which is produced by the NFVO and exposed over the Or-Vnfm and Os-Ma-nfvo reference points
- Software image management
- VNF information modelling, including the VNF Descriptor and VNF Packaging
- NS information modelling, which covers the NS Descriptor, VNF Forwarding Graphs and PNF Descriptors
- Hardware-independent acceleration
The ISG NFV documentation of requirements, interfaces and architecture (aka stage 2), which mostly uses the acronym NFV-IFA (standing for “NFV Interfaces and Architecture”) is distributed as follows:
- NFV-IFA010 specifies the functional requirements of NFV-MANO and its functional blocks covering the set of capabilities listed above
- NFV-IFA005, NFV-IFA006, NFV-IFA007, NFV-IFA008, NFV-IFA013 specify the requirements and interfaces covering the functionalities listed above, considering the scope of functionality of the respective producer NFV-MANO functional blocks and the reference points
- NFV-IFA027 specifies the performance metrics regarding virtualised resources, VNF and NS
- NFV-IFA002, NFV-IFA003 and NFV-IFA004 specify aspects related to hardware-independent acceleration
- NFV-IFA011 and NFV-IFA014 specify requirements and information modelling of NFV descriptors and artefacts, such as the VNFD, VNF Packaging and NSD.
- NFV-IFA015, NFV-IFA016 and NFV-IFA017 consolidate the UML information modelling and the associated modelling guidelines of information elements that have been developed in other reference points specifications (see above). Touchpoints in between the NFV IM and external organization’s information models are documented in NFV-IFA024
In terms of protocols and data models specifications (aka stage 3), which use the acronym NFV-SOL (standing for “NFV Solutions”), REST-based APIs have been specified covering the functionalities of the interfaces specified on the reference points Os-Ma-nfvo (in between the OSS/BSS and NFVO) (refer to NFV-SOL005), Or-Vnfm (in between the NFVO and VNFM) (refer to NFV-SOL003), and Ve-Vnfm (in between the VNF/EM and VNFM) (refer to NFV-SOL002). As part of the security enhancements required for authorizing the access to the APIs, additional provisions have been specified (refer to NFV-SEC022), which is referred by the "Specification of common aspects for RESTful NFV-MANO APIs" (refer to NFV-SOL013).
For the NFV descriptors (such as VNFD and NSD), two data model solutions have been specified. The first leverages the “OASIS TOSCA Simple Profile in YAML” specification (refer to NFV-SOL001), and the second provides a YANG-based representation (refer to NFV-SOL006). And finally, in terms of other NFV artefacts, the VNF and PNF Packaging (NFV-SOL004) and NSD file structure specifications (NFV-SOL007) leverage the OASIS Cloud Service Archive (CSAR) format specification. For the case of the NFV artefacts, additional security enhancements are also specified, for the VNF Packaging (refer to NFV-SEC021).
Committing to providing high quality specifications to ensure broad and rapid adoption of NFV standards by the industry, OpenAPITM representations of the RESTful NFV-MANO APIs have been provided since versions V2.4.1 of the respective specification, available on the ETSI NFV public wiki.
As the final step in the specification process, relevant NFV-TST (standing for “NFV Testing”) specifications are the "Guidelines on Interoperability Testing for MANO" (NFV-TST007) and the "API Conformance Testing Specification" (NFV-TST010).
In addition to the documents listed above, ETSI NFV has produced many more specifications and reports on topics such as reliability (documents which use the acronym NFV-REL, standing for “NFV Reliability and Availability”), security (using the acronym NFV-SEC) and NFV evolution and its ecosystem (documents using the NFV-EVE, standing for “NFV Evolution and Ecosystem”), such as studies to address new use cases, interworking with other technologies, etc.
Furthermore, it is worth highlighting that as part of improving the published specifications and addressing feedback from implementations, Release 2 specifications have gone through several rounds of maintenance, typically republishing specifications twice a year. As of October 2020, V2.8.1 is the latest version of published specifications concerning protocols and data models. Furthermore, in 2020, the set of Release 2 specifications was augmented with a specification of end-to-end NFV-MANO procedures (NFV-SOL016) and a YAML data model specification for descriptor-based virtualised resource management on the Or-Vi and Vi-Vnfm reference points (NFV-SOL014).
For an introduction to the Release 2 content and additional description about the capabilities that have been specified, see also the NFV Release 2 description document, available in the ISG NFV "Open" area.
The initial focus in the first two years of the ISG NFV was to help the industry build a culture and share a common understanding on the important concepts in network virtualization. The work started in direct response to address the technical challenges of network virtualization that were highlighted in the original vision outlined in the joint-operator white paper published in October 2012. The resulting “pre-standardization” documents were set:
- to drive convergence on network operator requirements for NFV
- to include applicable standards, where they already exist, into industry services and products
- to simultaneously develop new technical requirements with the goal of stimulating innovation and fostering an open ecosystem of vendors
The first important milestone was the publication of the first five ETSI Group Specifications (GSs) documents in October 2013. Four of them were designed to align understanding about NFV across the industry. They covered NFV use cases (NFV 001), virtualization requirements (NFV 004), an architectural framework (NFV 002), and terminology (NFV 003). The fifth one defined a framework for co-ordinating and promoting public demonstrations of Proof of Concept (PoC) platforms illustrating key aspects of NFV (NFV-PER 002).
In 2014, the publication pace accelerated with the release of 11 other documents focusing in different technical areas such as NFV Infrastructure, including compute, hypervisor and network resources (with documents tagged as "NFV-INF"), NFV management and orchestration (tagged as "NFV-MAN"), the architecture of the VNF (tagged as "NFV-SWA"), and associated functional and non-functional security, reliability and performance areas.
Will be added soon.
With over 100 NFV publications and over 50 draft specifications in progress it can be tricky to find a document. In order to assist you please find the following guidelines:
Search for publications by Working Group: TST, SOL, REL, IFA, EVE, SEC (including closed WGs: SWA, MAN, PER, INF).
Search for all ISG NFV publications.
Search for specifications within the NFV Architecture Framework:
Find publicly available NFV specifications via the NFV committee page, and subscribe for alerts on updates of specifications.
Search for Drafts in progress via the ETSI Work Programme.
In addition to the published specifications, ISG NFV makes all of its drafts in progress publicly available for industry comment.
News from the NFV Industry Specification Group
The direct link to refer to this blog is https://www.etsi.org/newsroom/blogs/blog-nfv
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:
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.
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!
In early March, ETSI’s ISG NFV gathered again in ETSI headquarters in Sophia Antipolis. This 41st plenary meeting was collocated with a special event celebrating the 10 years anniversary of this very important Industry Specification Group adding together again many NFV friends from all around the world. (More details of NFV 10th anniversary can be found in the next post: https://www.etsi.org/newsroom/news/2204-etsi-s-conference-for-nfv-10th-anniversary-looks-to-the-future).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) has completed the initial release of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 014 titled "YAML data model specification for descriptor-based virtualised resource management". The specification focuses on a set of YAML-based data models used between NFVO and VIM (Or-Vi reference point), and also between VNFM and VIM (Vi-Vnfm reference point) for exchanging information on virtualised resources and their management. The work item and resulting document addresses specification gaps in the area of virtualised resource management and aim at enhancing the integration and interoperability of VNFM and NFVO with VIM solutions.
In the ETSI NFV specifications, interfaces and information models for the Or-Vi and Vi-Vnfm reference points have been specified in ETSI GS NFV-IFA 005 and ETSI GS NFV-IFA 006 respectively. Based on those specifications, the objective of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 014 is to define a set of YAML-based data models for representing information exchanged over these reference points as input and outputs to perform virtualised resource management. The descriptor-based virtualised resource management assumes a type of VIM which supports templates declaring parameters, requirements, lifecycle and composition of sets of virtualised resources.
Following intense technical work, ETSI NFV has just released ETSI GS NFV-SOL 016, the first stage 3 specification of NFV-MANO procedures in NFV Release 2 addressing interactions across several NFV-MANO functional blocks and/or interfaces. This specification builds on the ETSI NFV-MANO API specifications ETSI GS NFV-SOL 005, ETSI GS NFV-SOL 003 and ETSI GS NFV-SOL 002 which have defined the mandatory and optional operations and data attributes per individual NFV-MANO interface. As these specifications are focusing on individual interfaces, it is left up to the operator or the integrator to stitch together the information across different NFV-MANO interfaces to realize the NFV-MANO procedures involving interactions across several NFV-MANO functional blocks and/or interfaces, also referred to as end-to-end procedures. This might lead to various interpretations of how the end-to-end NFV-MANO procedures should work. ETSI GS NFV-SOL 016 defines procedures for selected key NFV-MANO procedures with the target to improve interoperability end-to-end.
The first released version of ETSI GS NFV-SOL 016 addresses five selected key NFV-MANO procedures, namely on-boarding of a VNF package, instantiation of a network service, termination of a network service instance, scaling of VNF instances in a network service instance and changing the external connectivity of VNF instances in a network service instance.
The ETSI NFV community met for its twenty ninth plenary meeting (NFV#29) from 17 to 21 February at the Home of NFV, ETSI Headquarters, in Sophia-Antipolis, France. This time, the plenary meeting took place amidst the unfortunate situation, the Coronavirus outbreak that has hit so many countries and seriously impacted standardization work, and life in general almost worldwide. Consequently, some of our delegates were not able to travel and attend the meeting physically. Our best wishes to all of you all around the world who have been impacted by the outbreak, "wishing you a good and quick recovery".
Addressing the impact of this outbreak on the handling of the plenary meeting, ETSI provided outstanding support, as usual, by enabling remote access for participants that could not travel. Furthermore, the ISG and working group officials made a very good job of adapting the schedule and working procedures to facilitate the active participation and contributions of the remote delegates. As for those of us that had the opportunity to attend the plenary physically, ETSI had provided a very useful new facility: the delegates participating F2F could check-in for the first time by scanning their meeting QR code using a check-in station in the ETSI lobby.
All in all, despite the circumstances, the plenary meeting was once again a success. All working groups made steady progress in most of the work items that are currently being developed as part of the Releases 3 and 4.
With regards to Release 4 work, Marcus Brunner (Swisscom), chair of the Network Operators Council (NOC) provided additional input from the network operators at the closing plenary. Some of the discussion points concerned the direction in which the specification of the cloud-native capabilities in NFV is being performed, including containers and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). On behalf of the NOC, Marcus also highlighted the importance of deeply embracing more efficient CI/CD and software upgrade mechanisms to cope with the challenges that operators are having for integrating and maintaining current and future NFV deployments. The plenary welcomed the input from the operator community and acknowledged the need for the ETSI NFV to stay focused and address the challenges with diligence.
A couple of weeks after this meeting, ETSI published a brand new animated video explaining the importance of virtualizing network functions in just two minutes.
As ETSI NFV has done on previous occasions, there was an evening session. This time the topic was not about ETSI NFV work program matters, or discussions specific to NFV technologies. Instead, colleagues from ETSI CTI introduced the new working methods and tools that ETSI are preparing to make the development of the specifications more agile. A demo enabled the delegates to see the already advanced development status of these tools. Several ETSI NFV delegates provided their feedback, which was also greatly welcomed by the presenters. As a matter of fact, several working groups in the ETSI NFV already make use of agile and software development tools while performing their work. I would say that the ETSI NFV has been a pioneer in ETSI in making use of version control, code development and bug tracking tools.
ETSI ISG NFV was warmly welcomed back to Japan for NFV#28! Five years have passed since the group was in Okinawa in May 2014 for NFV#6.
This time, the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) met from 2 to 6 December 2019 at Across Fukuoka in Fukuoka, Japan. Fukuoka is located on the north of Kyushu, the southernmost of the four major Japanese islands. Fukuoka is well known for its local food, especially, the Hakata-Ramen, which are extremely tasteful and popular. In addition, it was the perfect season to see autumn leaves in Japan.
In the opening plenary, Diego Lopez the ISG chair, shared his current perspectives on NFV standardization and the industry’s landscape using a Japanese cartoon. I feel the technology trends around the network industry are getting shorter whilst the scope continues to broaden in response to the demands of network technology evolution, the expansion of open source, and new use cases. I think our ETSI NFV community is adjusting towards the right way forward from a standards point of view and cooperating with other SDOs remains important. Release 4 is going at full speed, and as an example, the discussion around container technology and its adaptation for NFV use cases is gaining much more momentum, with an increasing number of work items and related contributions.
For its 27th plenary meeting, the ETSI Industry Specific Group (ISG) on Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) met at Orange Gardens, the recent Research and Innovation Campus of Orange, located in Châtillon, a small town in the outskirts of Paris, France. The meeting is to be remembered as the one where the contents of NFV Release 4 started to materialize with the approval of 8 work items.
The opening session started with an uplifting presentation from Diego Lopez, the chair of the ISG, highlighting the challenges to be addressed by standardization bodies to cope with the transformation of the telco industry ecosystem and processes. I liked the comment he made to invite delegates to resist the temptation of creating new terms and acronyms (e.g. Cloud-Native Network Functions / CNF vs. Virtualised Network Functions / VNF) to catch-up with buzzwords. After all, whether the software of a VNF is designed according to cloud-native patterns or not, the VNF remains a VNF!
After the opening plenary, the bulk of the work was performed during three intense days where delegates divided in six working groups to process hundreds of contributions.
After a year long effort, ETSI has just released the first specification of a Yet Another Next Generation (YANG) data model for NFV descriptors, ETSI GS NFV-SOL 006. The specification is based on ETSI GS NFV-IFA 011 and ETSI GS NFV-IFA 014, and can be found on the ETSI server, with the corresponding YANG files can be found on the Forge website. The specification covers VNFD, PNFD and NSD. It enables on-boarding of NFV descriptors on YANG-based MANO functions, in a standard way. The flexibility and the ability to define network services, and to do it quickly is the true strength of the specification.
The ETSI NFV community met for its twenty sixth plenary meeting (NFV#26) from 20-24 May 2019 at NFV’s home, ETSI Headquarters, in Sophia-Antipolis, France.
Visiting the breezy and sunny Provence and Cote d’Azur in May is always quite an experience. Many of our meeting delegates were greeted this time at Nice Airport, by photographers (and paparazzi). The reason for such a warm welcome might not be due to the Cannes Film Festival taking place the same week, but instead due to “our NFV stars” setting down, yet again, for another productive and successful meeting.
While the NFV#25 plenary meeting served as a warm-up for what would come after Release 3, NFV#26 should be forever remembered as the kicking-off of Release 4. Let me elaborate more on this.
Refreshed after the winter break and starting 2019 with renewed energy, the ISG community met for its 25th ISG plenary meeting in the sunny Beijing, hosted by Huawei Technologies.
The meeting was held in the week after the Chinese New Year, which left the cheerful spark of the celebrations over Beijing city.
Several elections were held during February and the formal appointments were made at the NFV#25 plenary. Two ISG Vice-chair positions were filled, by the re-election of Cristina Badulescu, Ericsson and Bruno Chatras, Orange for the next term. The new Security WG Chair is Alex Leadbeater, BT, a veteran in the SEC WG and the former SEC WG Vice-chair. Stefan Arntzen, Huawei, current Reliability WG Chair was re-elected and will continue for another term.
A productive meeting closing a prolific year, the 24th NFV ISG meeting had a fortunate setting in a mildly weathered first week of December on French Riviera.
The NFV#24 meeting was marked by some internal community metamorphosis, such as the approval of the restructuring of the ISG and the election of a new Network Operators Council (NOC) Chair.
Don Clarke (CableLabs), our NFV NOC Chair over the last years, is one of the biggest industry advocates for ETSI NFV work and its network transformation potential to support the service providers. He kept us connected to the operators’ perspective and the practical deployment aspects, and for all this I’ve got good indication that I’m not alone in feeling thankful for all Don’s hard work.
We welcomed Marcus Brunner (Swisscom), the new NOC Chair, as we dived right away into the latest NOC priorities while Marcus walked us through them on behalf of the NOC. The operators consolidated view on current deployment pain points, encouraged the NFV community to preserve focus on multi-vendor orchestration systems, simplifying procedures and APIs, as well as completing specifications to support essential network operations such as VNF migration, updates and upgrades, multi-site connectivity.
One of the week’s highlights was the pre-planned co-location with a rising star, ETSI ISG ZSM (Industry Specification Group Zero touch network and Service Management). The evening joint workshop was moderated by the two ISG Chairs and their respective lady Vice-Chairs. In the very well-attended workshop, the young ISG ZSM introduced the ZSM current architecture as defined in the ZSM 002 specification, and afterwards both ISG representatives presented the results of an early joint analysis on identifying the relationship in between ZSM and NFV, and the next steps in their collaboration.
The NFV#24 week rewarded us with good progress in exchange for the long working days we have spent together drafting, reviewing and revising contributions, out of reach from the warming sun of the French Riviera.
I’d never been to Montreal (or Quebec) until this summer, and I had the double pleasure of visiting Montreal just before my holidays, as well as soon after them. These visits allowed me to get acquainted with Quebecois summer (surprisingly warmer than back home, in Southern Spain), several delicacies (both poutine and the amazing smoked meat, and some really good microbreweries), the crowded Montreal airport (at least on Friday evenings), and the easygoing nature of a city that makes life so smooth and work so productive.
And a productive week it was indeed. It was the first meeting after I was appointed chair of ETSI NFV for a second term, an honor I really appreciate and that I can only respond to by committing to do my best to keep ISG NFV where this extraordinary community has already brought it: at the core of the radical transformation towards the next generation of networks. And the leadership team is strengthened with the re-appointment of Joan Triay (NTT DOCOMO) as chair of the Technical Steering Committee, leaving the technical management of our extensive work program in the best possible hands.
It was also a meeting for consolidating our vision for the future, defining a common view that, with all the natural differences among the diverse organizations contributing to the NFV effort, will guide us in a new two-year term for the ISG. There was an in-depth discussion about the future of the group during one of our much-loved evening sessions, and the goals for the new term were agreed and submitted to the ETSI Director General for approval, just in time to be discussed at the September ETSI Board meeting.The initial phase, in which the basic NFV concepts and the NFV architectural framework were defined, established a firm foundation for the extensive specification work required to enable an open ecosystem for this new technology. Building on this foundation, as well as climbing a very steep learning curve, required the two first terms of the ISG, with the third that is about to be completed, focused on making the NFV promise suitable for real operations, and establishing the baseline for telecommunications and enterprise networks evolution, infrastructure deployment, service development, and management automation in a software-defined networking world.
What is more, the ISG has managed to explore and enhance the consensus mechanisms required to more rapidly define standards by fostering collaboration with SDOs and related initiatives, especially open-source communities. We have facilitated fruitful practical collaboration with these communities, and the industry in general, boosting prospects for interoperability, as demonstrated by the three successful interoperability events held to date. The ETSI NFV community intends to continue consolidating, improving and evolving the NFV foundation specifications as the key enablers of an ecosystem and strengthening the cross-industry collaborative mechanisms which will boost progress and ensure an agile response to the evolving industry needs.
As I flew to Sophia Antipolis for the twenty second plenary session of the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG), I reflected how far we had come since publication of the now famous white paper introducing the NFV concept.
Until that moment in October 2012, the term “Network Function Virtualisation” did not exist, it had emerged from a meeting of the founding group in Paris in the summer of 2012 to distinguish the topic from SDN which by then was gaining momentum. We were all experienced telecommunications R&D leaders who knew that our goals were ambitious and would be highly disruptive to the industry, so we would need to be extraordinarily diligent to bring all the industry players on board, large and small, and with everyone able to be heard and to contribute their energies and expertise.
We chose ETSI to host the effort for many different reasons, but perhaps the most important ones were transparency of governance proven by many years of global standards development, and open membership for small players, especially independent software vendors whom we felt would be important contributors. We have never regretted the decision to come to ETSI who have provided fantastic support, and the rigorously consensus-driven decision-making process has kept us grounded.
All of that seemed so long ago and I couldn’t have imagined that along the way I would move to the United States and start a new career in the cable industry while retaining my role as chair of the ETSI NFV Network Operator Council. After a 40+ year R&D career in BT, it was a seamless transition that was as unlikely as it was life changing for me.
Looking back over the past six years, there have been moments of great pride, such as when agreement was reached in a late-night session on the ETSI NFV Architectural Framework, interspersed with moments of doubt as strident voices from the world of software repeatedly criticized our efforts.
As with all things, time is a great leveler, five years on the NFV Architectural Framework has withstood the test of time and is being deployed at scale, and open source groups have begun to realize that the telecommunications networks environment is very different to the enterprise IT environment. Telecommunications networks are critical national infrastructures that underpin global commerce and security and as such demand analytical rigor and auditability that only implementations based on high quality specifications endorsed by the key stakeholders can provide.
Even as we took a page from the open source book and opened our draft specifications for external scrutiny and feedback and continually sought ways to speed up our work. And we founded OPNFV to enable open source groups to collaborate and provide feedback to ETSI NFV.
The NFV community met for the 21st time (NFV#21) from February 26 to March 2, in a familiar setting:
ETSI 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.
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).
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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NFV_Industry_Adoption
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 Chair, 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 Chair, 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”.
Anyway, let us highlight a few relevant achievements from NFV#20.
Last 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.
The 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.
The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) met for its eighteenth plenary meeting (NFV#18) at ETSI Headquarters in Sophia-Antipolis, France. Springtime on the breezy and sunny Cote d’Azur was the ideal setting to replenish the batteries of the hard working ETSI NFV ISG delegates during a very busy week!
I'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.
Interviewed at MWC, Diego Lopez Senior Technology Expert at Telefonica, and Chair 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.
Authors: Diego Lopez, NFV ISG Chair, 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.
Next steps: ETSI’s NFV ISG and the road to 5G
The ETSI NFV ISG (Industry Specification Group) has a new chair 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 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#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.
ETSI NFV descends on the Big Apple for NFV #12
The 12th meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG) was held in Jersey City, NJ (USA), just across the Hudson River from New York City. Surrounded by the stunning Manhattan skyline, the locale offered an excellent venue for the Industry Group driving the NFV ecosystem.
Manhattan Skyline, from Jersey City, NJ, location for NFV #12
During their 11th Plenary in San Jose, California, ETSI ISG NFV Officials and Working Group chairs provided an overview of the group's achievements to date (Phase 1: 2013-2014) together with a snapshot of the ongoing Phase 2 work due for completion early 2016.
This was done in the form of a set of 6 short tutorials, each presented by a Working Group Official. Telecom TV was present and filmed these tutorials which are now available as a good overview for NFV newcomers.
See the 6 videos here...
ETSI NFV Announcement on Document Availability
During the first six months of its second phase, the ETSI NFV ISG has been actively working on the development of normative specifications for the reference points identified by the NFV Architecture Framework, addressing the interoperability goals that constitute its key objective, and on continuing the exploration of NFV technical aspects in the essential areas identified during the inception of this second phase. This has been performed in a framework of continuous and tight collaboration with those external bodies (SDOs and open-source projects) most directly concerned with NFV technologies.
One important milestone in this development, aimed to facilitate open collaboration with external bodies and the industry and academia at large, has been the decision to make all NFV draft documents publicly available (see NFV ISG Open area).
ETSI NFV returns to Silicon Valley, in conjunction with the NFV/SDN community
Summertime is typically a time for holidays, family, and a break from the hectic pace of our professional lives. But not in Silicon Valley, where the 11th meeting was held for the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG). In fact, with the OpenDaylight Summit, MEF Quarterly meeting also being held in the same week, it remains as busy as ever.
NFV is happening and it’s big !!
Some metrics were shared during NFV#10. And the result is amazing!
- 100s of worldwide industry members and participants have produced more than 6000 contributions since day#1
- More importantly Phase#1 specifications are being leveraged for real implementations
- And we have accepted more than 35 multi-vendor POCs that prove NFV is happening for real!
First China Meeting, Open Source Approach on Document Transparency and Availability
Hainan Island, the southern-most tip of China, was the tropical setting of the 10th meeting (NFV #10) of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG) held in mid-May. The ~200 participants descending upon Sanya found it to be a spacious and hospitable venue to collaborate and experience the best of what China has to offer.
Figure 1 – Beautiful Sanya, site of NFV #10 hosted by Huawei
Source: Klaus Martiny, DT (Vice-Chair, NFV Network Operators Council)
Last week three events took place at the NOKIA headquarters in Helsinki: the NFV ISG leadership team met for a day to discuss progress and future direction for the ISG, the IFA Working Group held a 1-day joint session with 3GPP SA 5 to align their activities and this was followed by an IFA Working Group interim meeting.
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Prague in February was the setting of the 9th meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG). Perhaps it was the delicious beer (Czechs consume more beer per capita than any other nation in the world), rich heritage (over 1,100 years) or prominence (largest city and capital of the Czech Republic, and one of the most visited cities in all of Europe). The 270 participants descending upon Prague found it to be inviting, and an ideal venue to collaborate.
New leadership, organization, and renewed focus on implementation
While much of the country was coping with sub-freezing temperatures, the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group (NFV ISG) convened its 8th and final meeting under its original charter in the desert sunshine in Scottsdale. Intel graciously hosted the meeting, arranging excellent accommodations and hospitality throughout the week.
Video from 1st ETSI NFV PoC ZONE, October 2014 in Düsseldorf
Around 100 delegates made the trip to Sophia Antipolis in late September.
Summary of the week
The ISG made good progress toward closing the few remaining open issues in the current release of documents. Of the 167 open issues originally identified, 136 are now closed (about 81%).
With a few weeks remaining to NFV#8 in Arizona, we should be in good shape to close the remaining issues by the opening of the meeting. While closing open issues remains our number one priority, issues that cannot be resolved can be captured in the ISG gap analysis document for resolution in ongoing work.
Introducing OPNFV, an integral step towards NFV adoption
Two years later
Next month marks the two year anniversary of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which has taken the industry by storm and transformed the relationship between major operators and network standards.
As we plan to return to Germany next month for the SDN and OpenFlow World Congress, the event where the landmark NFV White Paper was published in October, 2012 and the ETSI NFV initiative was announced, many in the NFV community are reexamining a fundamental goal that has guided NFV from the beginning - Openness.
Openness means many things to different communities, as Matt Palmer summarized in his series: Defining Openness for Open SDN and NFV: A Primer for Network Operators.
Enjoy watching the interviews by key players filmed at NFV#7
New leadership, renewed charter, and an enhanced structure to facilitate the transition from requirements to implementation
Santa Clara, CA, USA
The future of ICT may learn from the past
Wandering through the Computer History Museum in Mountain View (at the social gathering of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group - ETSI NFV ISG), was like a trip down memory lane.
International Business Machines (IBM) mainframes (e.g., 360/370, which I spent many a night working on at the University of Missouri in the 1970s), Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) minicomputers (I was a systems manager for the PDP-11 and VAX-11/780 at McDonnell Douglas in the 1980s), and a slew of computers, calculators, and gadgets whose manufacturers have faded from memory.
A new article about how NFV changes the business of telecoms, written by Luis Jorge Romero, Director General of ETSI, has been published on Global Telecom Business, read the full article.
Expect constructive change as NFV continues to evolve
Settling into the meeting rooms at the sixth gathering of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG), we were impressed by the photographs bearing actual signatures of the leaders of the G8 who attended the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit back in July, 2000.
At that meeting, the G8 issued the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society, which carries the objective of delivering “greater prosperity and deeper peace of mind, and greater stability”.
While NFV may not wield such widespread influence, the 260+ participants at the meeting are intent on transforming the entire telecommunications industry, and could change the world like other telecommunications revolutions through the decades.
The TSC#23 meeting of the NFV ISG endorsed the proposed 2014 NFV research agenda aimed at providing guidance to the global research community on topics of relevance to the NFV industry.
Academic researchers and workshop organizers are encouraged to consider these topics as a source of inspiration for their research efforts. It is hoped that the results of research inspired by these topics will be useful in understanding the fundamental constraints of technology available, and assisting industry to evaluate alternative approaches.
Topics include (but are not limited to):
- Progressing NFV – live April 2, 2014 - Don Clarke, Chair, Network Operator Council, ETSI NFV ISG; Head of Network Evolution Innovation, BT
- Making NFV Work – live March 23 2014 - Francisco-Javier Ramón, Chair PER Expert Group, ETSI ISG NFV; Head of Network Virtualisation, GCTO, Telefónica
- Defining NFV – live April 3rd 2013 - Dr. Prodip Sen, Chair, ETSI NFV ISG; Director, Network Architecture, Verizon Network & Technology
Video – live on 17th October 2013 - Diego López, Technical Manager, ETSI ISG NFV, Head of Technology Exploration, Telefónica I+D
Enjoy the video of the NFV social event in Malaga – celebrating the achievements of year 1 and looking at the hopes and plans for year 2
Over the past few weeks two major events took place in the space of Software Defined Networking: the first was the Open Daylight Summit (ODS) and most recently the fourth installment of the Open Networking Summit (ONS). Both events were held in the Heart of Silicon Valley in the Santa Clara Convention Center.
ETSI NFV ISG leadership weighs in on the state of NFV
The fifth meeting of the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG) marked the one year anniversary of NFV, and a significant turning point for the organization.
ETSI members and delegates descended upon one of the oldest, and southernmost large cities in Europe- Malaga, Spain for NFV#5, as the NFV ISG took another step towards implementation. Interest in NFV remains sky high; meeting participation was capped at 250, and over-subscribed, for the capacity of the venue.
Way back in January, 2013, a group of NFV visionaries of 60 organizations, held the first meeting of the ISG at ETSI HQ on the Cote d’Azur. Since that time, the ISG has made considerable progress:
Don Clarke, chair of the NFV ISG Network Operator Council (NOC) was recently interviewed by The Register in an article providing an overview of the NFV concept.
Special report - ETSI shaves years off NFV development time.
Watch the video:
The fourth ETSI ISG NFV plenary meeting was held on the 30th October to 1st November 2013, in Sunnyvale, USA, and was kindly hosted by Juniper and co-sponsored by IBM.
A new ISG NFV record was set, seeing 350 delegates participating to the busy NFV plenary sessions. Indeed such is the popularity of the NFV meetings especially when held in Silicon Valley, that registration had to be capped. Growth of membership is still high, and 14 additional companies joined ISG NFV in the weeks preceding the NFV#04 meeting, taking total membership to 170 individual companies.