The ETSI was initiated by AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom (News - Alert), Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Verizon to produce globally-applicable standards for information and communication technologies. Along with other network operators and IT vendors, the ETSI (News - Alert) had recently created the ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).
This group has now released new specifications regarding the use of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) designed to simplify the release new network services, bring down installation and operational costs, and encourage innovation.
Hardware appliances are an integral part of a telecom network, the ETSI explains, yet with operators being forced to constantly adjust to ever changing demands, every tweak to the network takes a toll, quickly leading such appliances to their end-of-lifecycle. This can affect a network’s ROI and puts a strain on innovation. But, NFV is a new framework designed to help address these problems utilizing standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry-standard high volume servers, switches and storage.
ETSI was tasked with developing requirements and architecture specifications for the hardware and software infrastructure required to support these virtualized functions, as well as producing guidelines for network functions.
The group has thus released the first five specifications on NFV, which were agreed upon by all those involved. Further detailed guidelines will be released later.
The specifications run as follows:
- GS NFV 001: Describes the use cases of interest for NFV
- GS NFV 002: Explains the high-level functional architectural framework and design philosophy of virtualized network functions and of the supporting infrastructure
- GS NFV 003: Lists the terms and definitions for conceptual entities within the scope of the ISG NFV, so that a common language is attained across all workgroups
- GS NFV 004: Specifies the requirements that telecommunications operations need to employ with NFV for consolidating network equipment
- GS NFV-PER 002: Defines a framework for use within ETSI NFV ISG to coordinate and promote public demonstrations of Proofs of Concept (PoC) illustrating key aspects of NFV
Prodip Sen of Verizon (News - Alert) Communications, who is also chairman of ETSI’s NFV ISG, said, “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.” He added, “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.”
Edited by Blaise McNamee