ETSI is continuing its quest for broader adoption of NFV by publishing six new specifications over the last three months.
The ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG) has pushed through new specifications that cover VNF package structure, dynamic optimization of packet flow routing, and acceleration of resource management all the way through to hypervisor domain requirements. ETSI also announced Tuesday that it had approved 18 different work projects.
Central to ETSI's latest efforts was the defining of unified API specifications that would help drive multi-vendor interoperability. Along similar lines, the TM Forum and MEF are also working on standardizing open APIs. (See MEF, TM Forum, Carriers Collaborate on APIs.)
NFV adoption has been dogged by integration challenges, but ETSI hopes to cure some of those ills with its new API specifications. The end goal, in addition to speeding up NFV rollouts, is to create an ecosystem that includes products and services from a variety of vendors that will interoperate with independently developed NFV management and orchestration systems.
In a prepared statement, ETSI NFV Chairman Diego Lopez said the industry was getting closer to a stage when universal integration was achievable, and to the point where vendors' VNF offerings could be executed and managed without integration issues.
Currently, service providers are faced with integration of each vendor's VNFs, but carriers, such as AT&T, have been vocal that the industry needs to make them more universal. (See AT&T's Rice: Industry Needs to Normalize VNFs.)
The ISG is hard at work on the development of a third release of deliverables (NFV Release 3), with the goal of providing specifications and guidance for operationalizing NFV. It's also planning in-depth studies on forward-looking topics, such as enhanced security for the entire NFV environment or considerations on applying NFV to network slicing for 5G deployments.
"It is clear that NFV will thrive through being backed up by an expansive open ecosystem that encourages innovation from the broadest possible range of sources. By delivering standardized open interfaces and descriptors, ETSI is giving new players that have not previously been involved in this sector the opportunity to make a major contribution to its ongoing progression," said Lopez.
The ETSI NFV ISG held its first meeting in January 2013 prior to publishing the first five NFV specifications in October of that year.
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation