& cplSiteName &

NFV Group Preps Its Afterlife

Ray Le Maistre
2/26/2014
50%
50%

The leadership team at the ETSI network functions virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group (ISG) has decided that its original, self-imposed two-year timeline is too short and is now considering the best way to extend its life beyond 2014.

The core of the carrier-driven group first met formally in October 2012 in Germany, and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) group was born at the beginning of 2013 with a goal to complete its work (specifying NFV and identifying the business case) and disband by the end of 2014.

But NFV has become just about the hottest trend in the industry and the group's leadership team has realized that, one way or another, more needs to be done.

"A lot has been achieved in terms of work done and influence demonstrated," said Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s Prodip Sen, chair of the ETSI ISG, in an email to the group's near 200 members prior to a meeting in Malaga, Spain, last week. "It is clear to all that the vision we laid out is where the networking industry is collectively headed, though some may quibble about timelines and specifics... But given all the ongoing work, it is clear that our original goal -- of completing the work and disbanding in two years -- was a bit simplistic. The very strong industry attention which the NFV ISG has received, the large number of involved participants/players, and of course the identification of a lot of work that needs to be done, demands some form of continuation," he added.

So the leadership team has drafted a paper, titled "Proposal for NFV Phase 2," on a possible next step. Sen, though, made it clear that this was a starting point for discussion, and certainly not any kind of imposed decision. The aim is to discuss the future at the next meeting, to be held in Okinawa during May, and figure out what will happen come 2015.

The move makes sense: Despite a slow start, a great deal has been achieved during the past year and, as an excellent blog published by Ciena's Marc Cohn following the Malaga meeting shows, there are nine proof-of-concept projects underway and more use cases still to be tackled. (See Cohn's blog here.)

As many have noted, the ISG has made faster progress than some other telecom industry groups because it has been driven by the needs of network operators, which have pushed the vendor community to deliver to their specific requirements needs.

That doesn't mean that some don't want it to go faster. Dor Skuler, general manager of the CloudBand Business Unit at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), knows where he'd like the focus of NFV Phase 2.0 to be.

"We need to find a way to allow us to make decisions faster -- decisions that are not necessarily consensus-based," noted Skuler, who added that ETSI's rules require consensus decisions. "There is no consensus on some topics, but everyone involved is very passionate about making NFV happen and willing to collaborate to make NFV happen. And we need to stop worrying about standards but instead point towards open specifications such as TOSCA [Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications]" to take things forward, added the AlcaLu man.

Skuler is not alone. Ciena's Cohn quotes AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Margaret Chiosi in his blog as saying: "NFV must overhaul the traditional standards adoption process, which typically requires years before implementations are available. We are seeking a Fast Fail Forward model that enables standards and their implementations to be iteratively developed, similar to the highly-successful open source software model."

Clearly, whatever the group decides to do will be critical to the ongoing development of the NFV ecosystem and industry watchers will be keen to see if Phase 2.0 remains carrier-led.

For more on NFV:

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 10:36:59 PM
Re: Many groups...
That is really good news Carol and I agree there is no reason to stop something based on an overly optimistic timeline.  I think that we still need the outcomes of standards, but the processes do need to evolve out of the dark ages. 

Time is always money, end users expect revolution not evolution, and telecom has to move forward expeditiously.  Having said that, we still need to communicate worldwide so standards are still required. Maybe this group will be THE one to set the tone and speed for future groups.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 10:16:53 PM
Re: Many groups...
If you look at this group's recent Malaga event, which Ray references, it was packed and they had to turn people away. There is now widespread recognition of NFV as a transformational technology and I'm saying that with a straight face. 

I don't think the standards process for this stuff will ever look like a typical standards process but cutting the development process off after two years doesn't seem like a logical thing to do. 
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 9:15:47 PM
Re: Many groups...
Well said, @DOShea.  Consensus and implementation both take time, add to that testing and verification and it becomes obvious why 2 years is too short.  I think that since the members are passionate about making this happen, they will find a way to both extend the time and avoid the bloat.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
2/26/2014 | 5:52:20 PM
Extending lifespan
I hear regular infusions of monkey blood works well for that. 
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
2/26/2014 | 5:06:31 PM
Many groups...
If they're further ahead of teh game than some other industry groups, they should keep going, but aren't there a lot of groups staking out the same ground here? Seems like someone shoudl drop back or feed their work into the ETSI effort.
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 3:38:35 PM
Re: '4 more years!'
The stanrdards adoption component of this is huge. Obviously providers are going to have to come to a consensus that everyone agrees can work.

The problem I see is that we're still at a testing phase. Everything in this segment is still new. But it will be interesting to watch. 
Dredgie
50%
50%
Dredgie,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/26/2014 | 1:17:46 PM
'4 more years!'
> (To quote a popular political chant, in the US)

Nice article. I don't think anyone wanted the NFV ISG to become another bloated standards body - especially as they are a specifications group! But the fact is that in order to achieve one of their primary stated goals of liaising with appropriate standards bodies, they need more than 2 years, if only because they are beholden to the speed that those organizations can and do work at. Consider the IETF liaisons: SFC went from BoF to WG status in near record time, achieving accolades from area chairs for the amount of contributions in a short period of time. They are having their first WG meeting next week at IETF89 / London.

The second BoF (Virtualized Network Function Pools) are only now gathering for the first time at that same meeting. Both have a high degree of carrier participation - which is rare in the IETF, these days, as they feel it's not been commercial enough, for some time.

Anyway, this stuff just takes time. Now, if we are still having this conversation in 10 years, that's a different problem. Or maybe its just the same age-old problem!
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Digital Operation Transformation Roundtable Wrap-Up

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Industry leaders at the Digital Operation Transformation Summit give their final thoughts at the roundtable.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Peter Sany on Digital Transformation

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Peter Sany gives his view on digital transformation at the DOT Summit in Barcelona.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    James McQuivey on Digital Transformation

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    James McQuivey gives his view on digital transformation at the DOT Summit in Barcelona.
    LRTV Interviews
    Courting the Apartment Crowd

    5|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this LRTV interview, AT&T's Adrian Cardwell details the changing dynamics of the MDU markets and explains how AT&T is pursuing apartment dwellers with GigaPower.
    LRTV Interviews
    Demand Surges for On-Demand Ads

    5|5|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Ed Knudson, VP, Product and Strategy at Canoe Ventures, discusses the rising appeal of VoD ads and the challenges on inserting ads dynamically in live TV programming.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Exclusive: Video Interview With Sckipio CEO David Baum

    5|5|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At his headquarters in Tel Aviv, G.fast visionary David Baum, CEO of Sckipio, provided an exclusive interview to Light Reading and showed how innovations in rate and reach, vector densities, fast reconnecting times and SFP-based residential gateways are expanding the potential of G.fast.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Atrinet's NetACE – Migration to NFV & SDN With NetOps-Driven LSO

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Atrinet's headquarters, Ray Le Maistre sits down with Roy Silon to get an in-depth look into the company's focus and the secret recipe for their success.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Amsterdam ArenA, Powered by Huawei

    5|4|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Huawei's ICT solutions power the state-of-the-art Amsterdam ArenA, turning it into a smart stadium.
    LRTV Interviews
    Testing When There's No 'There' There

    5|4|16   |     |   (1) comment


    The benefits of SDN/NFV are well known, but the transition comes with some challenges, prominent among them is: how do you test a network that has been abstracted and has the potential to be endlessly reconfigurable? Light Reading was at NFV World Congress in Santa Clara, Calif., where we bumped into Mats Nordlund, CEO and co-founder of Netrounds, a Swedish ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Ditching the Slash & the Orchestration Wars

    5|3|16   |     |   (2) comments


    SDN and NFV have been inextricably bound with each other for so long that on a conceptual level, smooshing them together into one catch-all phrase – SDNFV – is now justifiable, according to Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Light Reading spoke to Pitt at the NFV World Congress, where he explained that the next ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    ZTE TV Connect Highlights

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    ZTE gives us a tour of its booth and new products at TV Connect in London.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution

    5|3|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and visit the Deluxe booth at NAB! Here you'll find Deluxe's Unified Delivery Solution, OTT video, virtual reality, HDR, 4K and much more!
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Sprint CEO: Our Spectrum Is for 5G
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/3/2016
    WiCipedia: 'Meternity,' Lemonade & Chores
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/6/2016
    Upskill U Kicks Off IoT Lectures With Ericsson
    Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, 5/4/2016
    Showdown at the OpenStack Corral
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 5/3/2016
    Nokia's Motley: Confidence Paves Career Paths
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/2/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Sloth Mail Click Here
    Sloth mail -- somehow even slower than snail mail.
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.