ETSI & ONF Hold Hands Over SDN & NFV
The two major standards bodies driving SDN and NFV aren't going steady, but they've agreed to date and see how things go from there.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) , which drives Network Functions Virtualization standards, and Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which drives SDN standards, this week launched a strategic partnership to further the development of NFV specifications. The two organizations have yet to form a working group, but that's the goal for Christos Kolias, senior research scientist at the Orange Silicon Valley subsidiary of Orange France , and founding member of the NFV group within ETSI. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)
ETSI and ONF plan to work together to figure out how SDN can enable "forward plane support" for some of the most important NFV use cases. The two organizations will "collaborate on the means to build dynamic, programmable Virtualized Network Function forwarding graphs," according to a statement from both organizations.
Kolias explained that VNF forwarding graphs are ETSI's name for service chaining -- connecting multiple VNF functions in sequence. Sending traffic from a firewall to a load balancer is an example of service chaining.
ETSI and ONF will also work together on standardizing security, standardizing configuring NFV functions, and standardizing the northbound interface between the SDN network and OSS/BSS systems and other applications.
In conjunction with the agreement, ONF is also releasing the "OpenFlow-enabled SDK and NFV solution brief," to showcase how operators are combining NFV and SDN to make their networks more agile.
The alliance makes sense. SDN is all about virtualizing network traffic control. NFV is about virtualizing other network operations, such as firewalls and load balancers. Looked at one way, SDN becomes just another NFV virtual function. Looked at another way, NFV functions sit on top of SDN networks. Either way, they're complementary.
More about SDN and NFV:
Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.