ETSI has published the first five specifications on Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). This is a major milestone towards the use of NFV to simplify the roll-out of new network services, reduce deployment and operational costs and encourage innovation.
These documents clearly identify an agreed framework and terminology for NFV which will help the industry to channel its efforts towards fully interoperable NFV solutions. This in turn will make it easier for network operators and NFV solutions providers to work together and will facilitate global economies of scale.
The IT and Network industries are collaborating in
NFV ISG was initiated by the world's leading telecoms network operators. The work has attracted broad industry support and participation has risen rapidly to over 150 companies of all sizes from all over the world, including network operators, telecommunication equipment vendors, IT vendors and technology providers. Like all ETSI standards, these NFV specifications have been agreed by a consensus of all those involved.
The five published documents (which are publicly available via www.etsi.org/nfv) include four ETSI Group Specifications (GSs) designed to align understanding about NFV across the industry. They cover NFV use cases, requirements, the architectural framework, and terminology. The fifth GS defines a framework for co-ordinating and promoting public demonstrations of Proof of Concept (PoC) platforms illustrating key aspects of NFV. Its objective is to encourage the development of an open ecosystem by integrating components from different players.
Work is continuing in NFV ISG to develop further guidance to industry, and more detailed specifications are scheduled for 2014. In addition, to avoid the duplication of effort and to minimise fragmentation amongst multiple standards development organisations, NFV ISG is undertaking a gap analysis to identify what additional work needs to be done, and which bodies are best placed to do it.
"These publications provide important guidance to the industry on the requirements that should be the basis for future development of NFV technology. ETSI's openness to all players means that we have been able to involve everyone and reach a broad consensus. The documents, and the PoC framework in particular, send a strong message that we want to encourage multi-party interoperability and the growth of an open ecosystem.
"We have been especially concerned not to impede progress with a protracted standardisation effort in NFV ISG. As a result, these initial specifications have been developed in record time - under 10 months of intensive work. This is a major achievement for the industry. We hope to maintain this momentum and produce additional guidance soon.
"We challenge the industry to work with us to get NFV and related technologies into the mainstream of the networking industry, and to make them the mainstay of service provider networks."
NFV ISG is open to non-members of ETSI. For information on how to participate, please contact NFVsupport@etsi.org.
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