NFV Tests & Trials

The New IP Agency Is Born at BTE

CHICAGO -- Big Telecom Event -- The New IP Agency was born at BTE this week in an effort to simplify the confusion that is currently clouding the SDN and NFV ecosystem.

In response to calls from senior figures in the industry, an initial meeting to discuss the aims of the new not-for-profit standards monitoring and interoperability testing body and to identify potential test plans that could accelerate multivendor interoperability in the NFV sector, was convened at BTE.

The meeting was hosted by Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders and EANTC managing director Carsten Rossenhövel, who were joined on stage by ten top industry figures from Alcatel-Lucent, Affirmed Networks, Cisco, CenturyLink, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Google, HP and Intel who share Light Reading's concerns that the standards and specifications processes around SDN and NFV are creating more confusion than clarity: There are currently more than 30 industry bodies working on SDN and/or NFV standards or specifications, making it practically impossible for network operator decision-makers to make sense of the landscape.

The The New IP Agency (NIA) is set to launch officially in early 2016. Light Reading and EANTC believe the NIA can help make sense of the standards muddle by providing an independent online resource that can act as a forum and a one-stop shop for the industry to learn more about, and debate, the standards work. The NIA will deliver information, facilitate communication, arrange and undertake relevant testing and deliver education about the key next-generation virtualization topics.

Light Reading's Steve Saunders tells the industry about the NIA during the inaugural meeting at BTE.
Light Reading's Steve Saunders tells the industry about the NIA during the inaugural meeting at BTE.

"This is a historic meeting," noted Saunders as he introduced the concept of the NIA and outlined the issues that the industry faces. "The industry is too confusing -- no one knows what's really going on or which group is working on which standards or which ones are overlapping. The NIA can make everything clearer," said Saunders.

The need for the NIA was made even clearer when Axel Clauberg, Deutsche Telekom's vice president of transport, aggregation and IP and fixed access, said during a BTE keynote discussion that he would "like to see the NIA help us to get a cleaned-up picture."

The need for associated testing that can help clarify some of the many questions around interoperability was also highlighted during the initial meeting by Nico Fischbach from Colt, who noted that results, outcomes and insights from specific test plans "won't just help the network operators, which have been slowing down [in terms of virtualization progress]] because of all the initial testing we need to do, but this will also help the vendors" as it will provide consolidated feedback that can help them shape their R&D and focus.

The next step for the NIA is to start setting up specific test plans and begin more formal communications with companies and individuals in the industry about how the agency will be structured and move towards an official launch. And while the NIA will not be a Light Reading venture, Light Reading will be represented on the NIA board and helping to drive the launch and creation of the agency. Look out for further information and developments on Light Reading.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Joe Stanganelli 10/20/2015 | 9:08:42 PM
Re: NIA Kick-off > "the NIA will not be creating any specs or standards at all."

I think this is a very important consideration.  Standards can muddy things up and, in the long run, make things more complicated -- while achieving nothing else but discord.

Case in point.
DHagar 6/15/2015 | 6:17:38 PM
Re: Exciting future Susan, agreed - if they play off the same page they can really advance the acceptance of the technology and move things forward.
Susan Fourtané 6/15/2015 | 5:19:15 AM
Exciting future The New IP Agency sounds like a truly innovative idea that was much in need. It's going to be exciting to follow the developments and achievements. 

DHagar 6/12/2015 | 6:41:55 PM
Re: NIA Kick-off Ray, sounds like a good mix of stakeholders.

To truly develop an effective system is going to be as much or more political as technical.  It sounds like they understand that well, have done their homework, and have built a solid foundation. 

We'll keep our fingers crossed as it would be a great achievement.
e2mbcorp 6/12/2015 | 3:01:19 PM
Point to where it hurts Has everyone given up on fixing the actual problem in the underlying networks? It sure looks like it, because this amounts to not much more than everyone agreeing what color to paint the bed rooms when there is a massive flood in the basement.

First, migrate to a next generation switch architecture like Distributed Queuing at near-perfect throughput.  Second, see how much of this virtualization and soft solution setting is still necessary.

The DASH7 Alliance replaced Frame Slotted Aloha with Distributed Queuing at the MAC layer, and now they are at ~100% throughput...up from 36%.  As soon as ZigBee and the rest catch up, then at least we will have a common basis for interoperablity at the MAC layer, which is exactly what Ethernet brings to the general Internet. 

Unfortunately, Ethernet still requires middle hardware to be useful, but since Distributed Queue Switch Architecture can do Ethernet better than Ethernet, we can put an end to that too.
Ariella 6/12/2015 | 9:42:49 AM
Re: NIA Kick-off @Ray thanks for the info. It does look promising.
[email protected] 6/12/2015 | 9:31:06 AM
Re: NIA Kick-off In terms of the senior execs who were at BTE from companies that have shown an interest in the NIA concept, and who were available at short notice, Sandra Rivera from Intel was the lone woman up on the stage. When it comes to constructing a board for the NIA the aim will be diversity in all respects.

This initial 'meeting' was gathered at very short notice to spread the word about what the NIA is aiming to achieve -- which is to attempt to bring clarity to what is a very confusing landscape currently. the NIA will not be creating any specs or standards at all.

These are the first days of the idea -- as with any such initiative, there will be a lot of learning along the way. The aim, though, is clear and simple -- make it easy for people to find the latest information they need on NFV/SDN/virtualization/carrier cloud developments and organize independent tests that can help the vendors and service providers accelerate developments.

What this meeting showed was that there is a lot of interest in, and support for, the concept.  
Ariella 6/11/2015 | 6:40:24 PM
Re: NIA Kick-off @Ray There appears to be only one woman on the dais. Were there others that just aren't seen here?
bmaddalone 6/11/2015 | 5:03:10 PM
NIA Kick-off Great news! Glad to see all these players in the same room for the same purpose.  Let's just hope that all parties actually work together to get something accomplished.  
DHagar 6/11/2015 | 4:53:33 PM
Re: I'm Hopeful Tom Nolle, good points!  Agreed, just having a referee for musical chairs will not solve the barriers.  I am hopeful too, and am seeing the opportunity for "thoughtful" design that creates a workable definition/standards structure that enables multiple players to create viable platforms that advance the market?  Let's hope!
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