NEW YORK, NY -- The New IP Agency (NIA) has rolled out a six-point manifesto that details the organization's strategy for advancing the development and uptake of network virtualization and automation technologies around the globe.
The NIA has been highly active in supporting interoperability and the development of standards for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) since 2015. That mission has now been extended toward other technologies, including SDN, and the automation of service provider networks.
"Automation is the end game delivered by virtualizing network infrastructure and services using NFV and SDN, and it will have an absolutely transformative effect on service provider networks, resulting in tremendous increases in reliability, and huge reductions in workforce," said Steve Saunders, Secretary of the NIA, who recently resigned from his position as CEO of Light Reading to focus more time on the NIA mission. "The NIA's goal is to help our industry avoid making the same mistakes with the development and implementation of automation that have plagued NFV."
To this end, the NIA is driving a variety of initiatives to build industry consensus for meaningful and measurable interoperability that will support market confidence. The approach is described in a six-part manifesto called "STRICT," which stands for Strategy, Taxonomy, Repository, Interoperability, Community and Testing. The NIA believes that the future of network virtualization is dependent upon STRICT adherence to the first principles of the telecom industry: standardization and certification, creating interoperability and competition. The components of STRICT are as follows:
Membership of the New IP Agency (NIA) positions companies at the forefront of the virtualized global digital economy. Every company has a seat at the table as the NIA works with the industry to enable interoperability between different virtualization and automation solutions, and creates clearer business cases for the technology through extensive strategy development.
The NIA is working with the world's leading communications companies to create the industry's first comprehensive hierarchical taxonomy of next-generation communications - a unique and exhaustive blueprint that will simplify and accelerate the design and construction and monetization of virtualized networks.
Work on the Next-Gen Communications Taxonomy will be led by EANTC, an internationally recognized communications test center and established partner of NIA, which will lead a Taxonomy Committee made up from other leading NIA members. Existing work by organizations such as ETSI, TMF, MEF and OIF will be factored into the program.
To escape complications with NFV, some carriers are developing standardized service models which are designed to run over anyone's NFV infrastructure.
The NIA is engaged in the creation of an online database, or repository, of "standardized service models," written and donated free of charge by the world's leading carriers. These models allow service providers to take advantage of the business benefits of virtualizing services without having to wrestle with the underlying complexities of the NFV infrastructure technology.
The NIA will launch the communication industry's first NFV certification program to validate interoperability between VNF services and applications and the NFV infrastructure solutions from all leading vendors. This will, for the first time, provide the necessary assurance that products from different vendors will work together seamlessly, and without having to establish that interoperability themselves, in every case, through expensive and time-consuming laboratory testing.
NIA Certification will cover several key areas:
- Onboarding of VNFs
- Infrastructure baseline performance
- Network service creation and management
- Application-level performance
- NFV/SDN integration
Passed certifications can be published with detailed information on software versions tested, date of execution, certification program release tested against, the executing test lab and more.
A key objective of the NIA is to provide a moderated venue through which members of the communications industry can share ideas, interact with one another, and even debate the strategies and tactics for driving forward network functions virtualization.
The NIA delivers this promise through conferences, trade shows, summits, online meetings and webinars, as well as through our Virtuapedia community (virtuapedia.com), which has attracted a membership of around 15,000 professionals in the virtualization sector.
Independent testing of extraordinary, cutting edge/bleeding edge virtualized communications capabilities has always been a principle of the NIA's mission, and this year we will continue this tradition with a unique industry evaluation of the state of NFV/SDN integration. The SDN-to-NFV Interoperability Showcase takes place in Q4 2017, and is a collaboration between the NIA and EANTC, an internationally recognized communications test center and established partner of the NIA.
All SDN and NFV vendors are invited to participate in the testing as, for the first time, the NIA adds software-defined networking to the mix of technologies tested, reflecting the reality of today's networks. The NIA invites your media outlet to join us for further discussions on our STRICT manifesto, or any of the components included in this release, including our overall mission to promote NFV interoperability and automation, our service model repository, our testing efforts and our SDN-to-NFV interoperability showcase.