ETSI moves virtualisation to the next stage

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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European Telecommunications Standards Institute has issued NFV release 2, expanding the capabilities of virtualisation and adding new functions

The organisation that was responsible for developing the concept of virtualisation has taken the project to the next level by announcing the next set of functions.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the body that 13 telecoms operators turned to in 2012 to develop the idea of network functions virtualisation (NFV), has expanded the project by outlining a new set of functions.

“This represents another major step towards our objective of defining a comprehensive set of specifications that will facilitate the deployment of NFV throughout the telecommunications industry, with significant benefits being subsequently derived in many interrelated sectors,” said Telefonica’s Diego Lopez, the newly appointed chairman of ETSI’s NFV industry specification group.

These new functions, classed as NFV release 2, include the management of virtualised resources, lifecycle management of both network services and virtualised network functions, network service fault/performance management, virtualised resource capacity management, and others.

“We have been able to identify and define the required capabilities, following a practical approach that leverages proofs of concept to explore and demonstrate what was proposed,” said Lopez. “The combination of wide consensus and experimental evidence has led to NFV being recognised as a completely viable and highly valuable technology. This has allowed us to make progresses at a fast pace.”

ETSI, based at Sophia Antipolis in France, published the original specification of NFV in 2014. “By drawing upon the combined merits of a well-defined standards structure and the support of the open source community, we have been able to accelerate the development process and ensure widespread interoperability,” said Lopez.

The architectural framework “will be the foundation upon which future virtualisation of the network is established – enabling cost-effective allocation of resources and the rapid addition of new services, while still ensuring the highest degrees of security and reliability, as well as painless and seamless integration with existing infrastructure.”