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.
"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, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading