ETSI NFV Release 5 Includes Increased Support for Cloud-Enabled Deployments
Tuesday, November 09, 2021 | Comments

The European Telecommunications and Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group (ISG) for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) has started working on its next specification release, known as release five, officially kicking off the new release technical work after their September meeting.

The release five work program is expected to drive ETSI NFV’s work into two main directions: consolidating the NFV framework and expanding its applicability and functionality set. On the one hand, some aspects of the NFV concepts and functionalities that have been addressed in previous releases but need additional work will be further developed in release five. For instance, based on development, deployment experience and feedback collected during testing events such as the NFV/MEC Plugtests, additional work on virtual network function (VNF) configuration was deemed necessary. Another example is the more detailed specification work related to fault management modeling which aims to further define faults and alarms information to improve interoperability during network operations, in particular for root cause analysis and fault resolution in multivendor environments.

On the other hand, release five aims to expand the work of the ISG into different dimensions to address industry’s needs when it comes to network transformation. One of the dimensions relates to referencing and extending, if needed, the NFV framework to increasingly address telecom use cases in the radio access network (RAN) domain by taking as an input the most recent outcomes from other standards development organizations involved specifically in this domain. Energy efficiency aspects of NFV will also be analyzed, thus formally addressing the study of a long-standing promise of NFV raised by network operators in the seminal white paper that led into the creation of the ISG.

More specifically, the list of recently ETSI NFV-approved new work items of release five includes a work item on faults and alarms modeling specifications, as well as a set of studies on VNF configuration, energy efficiency aspects for NFV, enhanced container networking, flexible VNF deployment, NFV support for virtualization of RAN and reliability evaluation for cloud-native VNFs.

“With release five, ETSI NFV is advancing the state of the art of NFV and cloudification to increase their support of telecom use cases by taking into consideration the technology advancements and trends coming from upstream technologies,” said ETSI ISG NFV technical manager Joan Triay. “This release also applies the experience accumulated by network operators and vendors in developing and commercializing systems based on the NFV framework.”

The release five studies are expected to be completed by summer 2022.

In addition to the new original work conceived with release five, certain activities that were initiated in release four will continue with an extended scope. These concern, in particular, the networking for container-based deployments and the introduction into the NFV framework of generic management functions for VNFs, both being of critical relevance to ensure increased support for cloud-enabled deployments. Furthermore, informative work initiated under the release four scope, which was not completed on time will also be carried over to release five. At the same time, protocols and data models related to release four are also under development, taking advantage of the continuous publication, roughly twice a year, of new and/or updated specifications.

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