Telecoms networks are comprised of a wide array of proprietary hardware devices. Launching new services often means more devices, which requires locating the space and power to accommodate those appliances. However, this approach has become increasingly challenging and unsustainable. Hardware-based devices now have shorter and shorter life cycles due to rapid innovation, making the return on investment lower and lower when deploying new services. This also limits innovation as the industry is driven toward network-centric solutions. Network functions virtualization (NFV) focuses on addressing these problems.
The NFV industry specifications group (ISG) at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) develops requirements and architecture specifications for the hardware and software infrastructure required to support these virtualized functions. The NFV ISG was established almost four years ago, and today boasts a membership of over 290 companies which include 38 of the world’s major service providers, as well representatives from both telecoms and IT vendors. The group has produced a series of high level NFV specifications that have been well received by the industry and are commonly cited as the reference guide for NFV concepts. These are called the Stage 1 specifications and include informative definitions of use cases, terminology and architecture.
Sigma’s involvement with the NFV ISG began in 2014 when the group was finalizing the initial set of specifications and began work on more detailed Stage 2 documents. Stage 2 documents include a set of more than 20 specifications and reports that focus on different areas of the architecture defined in Stage 1.
Sigma has been most interested in the work being done in the IFA012 and IFA013 documents which focus on the Os-Ma interface between the OSS and the NFV Orchestrator (NFVO) functional block defined in the MANO architecture where they have helped to define use cases around OSS interactions with the NFV ecosystem and the details around the northbound API that is specified on the NFV Orchestrator. Sigma has been involved in the review of contributions made from other participating companies and has been making its own contributions to the IFA012 and IFA013 documents.
Contributions by Sigma, in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, include:
- Definition of a use case to describe how OSS/BSS applications synchronize with the NFVO to discover Network Service Descriptors and Virtual Network Function Descriptors that have been on-boarded in the NFV ecosystem
- Definition of a use case to describe how the OSS/BSS can onboard a new Network Service Descriptor
- Definition of the notification mechanism for on-boarded Network Service Descriptors in the NFVO API
- Definition of a use case to describe how concatenated Network Services are instantiated by the OSS/BSS
- Definition of a use case to describe how a hybrid Network Service (containing both Physical and Virtual Network Functions) are instantiated
- Definition of a use case to modify an active Network Service from the OSS/BSS
- Definition of a use case to modify a Network Service Descriptor from the OSS/BSS
Upcoming/planned contributions include:
- Requirements derived from IFA012 use cases
- Definition of NFVO identifier in the NFVO API to support a multiple NFVO and orchestrator of orchestrator scenario
- Use case showing how OSS/BSS applications handle multiple long running transactions in NFVO
- Use case showing how the OSS/BSS can request a Network Service for a customer to be swapped NS A to NS B
- Use case showing synchronization of multiple NFVOs with OSS/BSS
- Use case showing OSS/BSS deletion of a NSD
- Use case showing OSS/BSS termination of a NS Instance
- Use case showing OSS/BSS termination of a hybrid NS instance
- Use case showing how OSS/BSS handles an NSD on-boarding failure
- Use case showing how OSS/BSS handles an NS instantiation failure
- Use case showing how OSS/BSS handles an NSD update failure
- Use case showing how OSS/BSS handles an NS instance update failure
Sigma continues to play an active role in the NFV ISG and we will keep you posted on updates as they arise. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us!