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ETSI publishes nine network function virtualisation standards

Drafts out now, actual standards planned for release by year's end

Network Functions Virtualisation

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is seeking industry comment for a bunch of network function virtualisation (NFV) standard drafts published at the beginning of August.

NFV, the emerging partner to software defined networks (SDN), is the separation of functions like firewalling, packet inspection and the like away from specialist iron onto virtual machines on x86-based servers.

The publication of the drafts is the key output of a standardisation process started in 2012, and ETSI is hoping to have the first round of its standardisation complete by the end of 2014. As it says in its August 1 announcement, the drafts will “complete the first release of NFV when published at the end of the year”.

The drafts cover:

  • A reference architecture of the compute and storage domain to support virtualised network functions (VNFs);
  • VNF architecture, defining various network functions, their interfaces to the rest of the architecture, management, best practise design, and various use cases;
  • Hypervisor architectures, based on existing standards and with a note that work needs to continue on Linux container specs for NFV;
  • The infrastructure domain spec sets out a definition of NFV infrastructure, its overlap with other domains, and the nature of interfaces between infrastructure elements;
  • Service quality metrics;
  • Management and orchestration;
  • Resilience requirements; and
  • Two documents discussing NFV security.

ETSI has also elected a new NFV leadership team, with AT&T's Dr Stephen Wright to chair the working group, and NTT DoCoMo's Nakamura Tetsuya as vice-chair. ®

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