ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) completes first phase of work while Open NFV accelerates

Executive Summary:

ETSI’s Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group (ISG) has successfully completed Phase 1 of its work with the publication of 11 ETSI Group Specifications. These specifications build on the first release of ISG documents published in October 2013 and include an infrastructure overview, an updated architectural framework, and descriptions of the compute, hypervisor and network domains of the infrastructure. They also cover management and orchestration, security and trust, resilience and service quality metrics.

These documents result from 2 years of intensive work by more than 240 organizations sharing the same common goal to quickly define Network Functions Virtualization. “I’d like to thank all of the NFV ISG participants for their tremendous dedication through our numerous face-to-face meetings and conference calls to evolve the NFV vision from the original operator whitepaper and bring these documents to publication” said Steven Wright, Chair of ETSI NFV ISG. 

This second release of NFV documents (see below) is important to industry because it lays the foundation for this technology. It provides common and agreed definitions of the key concepts of NFV and allows the many players involved to speak a common language and collaborate with each other. This collaboration is evident in the success of the NFV Proof of Concept programme (also part of the first phase of NFV work), which has already produced over 30 multi-company demonstrations of the capabilities of NFV.

All published NFV documents are freely downloadable at:

ISG NFV Continues:

NFV Phase 2 is now well underway. Work started immediately after the eighth plenary meeting in November 2014 on 28 new documents and more are expected over the coming 2 years. The main objectives of this second phase of work are to encourage interoperability building upon the achievements made in the first two years of the ISG. This new phase of work will include both normative and informative content. Adding normative requirements will provide the clarity required for interoperability and formal testing. Another key element of Phase 2 will be to work more closely with other standards bodies to help focus their work and to avoid duplication, and to collaborate within open source projects developing NFV implementations.

Operators and vendors alike recognise the benefits of the ISG’s collaborative approach and its innovative standardization cooperation model, built upon assertive goals, pragmatism, lightweight process, and unprecedented degree of network operator collaboration, enabling the first phase of NFV work to be completed in record time. “Phase 1 exceeded our expectations in fostering an open NFV ecosystem and influencing standards development organizations, open source communities and vendor roadmaps; achieving and validating interoperability at critical reference points is the key focus for phase 2” said Don Clarke, Chair of NFV ISG NOC.

The ETSI NFV ISG held its first meeting in January 2013. Since then it has grown to over 240 participating organizations.

List of recently published specifications

The following is the list of the 11 NFV specifications which completes phase 1 of NFV:


About ETSI:

ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, aeronautical, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Union as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is an independent, not-for-profit association whose more than 700 member companies and organizations, drawn from 64 countries across five continents worldwide, determine its work programme and participate directly in its work. 

For more information please visit:

ETSI Contact:
Claire Boyer 
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 94 43 35 
Mob: +33 (0)6 87 60 84 40

The Open NFV (OPNFV) is a new open source project focused on accelerating NFV’s evolution through an integrated, open platform.

OPNFV will establish a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform that industry peers will build together to advance the evolution of NFV and to ensure consistency, performance and interoperability among multiple open source components. Because multiple open source NFV building blocks already exist, OPNFV will work with upstream projects to coordinate continuous integration and testing while filling development gaps.

The initial scope of OPNFV will be on building NFV Infrastructure (NFVI), Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM), and including application programmable interfaces (APIs) to other NFV elements, which together form the basic infrastructure required for Virtualized Network Functions (VNF) and Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) components. OPNFV is expected to increase performance and power efficiency; improve reliability, availability, and serviceability; and deliver comprehensive platform instrumentation.

OPNFV will work closely with ETSI’s NFV ISG, among other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), to drive consistent implementation of standards for an open NFV reference platform. Increasingly, standards are being drafted in conjunction with major open source projects. Since feedback from open source implementations can drive the rapid evolution and adoption of standards, this tight coordination of otherwise independent processes is crucial to the establishment of an NFV ecosystem. When open source software development is aligned with standards development, it can root out issues earlier, identify resolutions, and potentially establish de facto standards, resulting in a far more economical approach to platform development.

More info at:

In Feb 2014, the TM Forum announced its Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management (ZOOM) project.  

ZOOM’s goal is to define a vision of the new virtualized operations environment, and a management architecture based on the seamless interaction between physical and virtual components that can easily and dynamically assemble personalized services.  In addition, ZOOM aims to identify and define new security approaches to protect infrastructure, functions and services across all layers of software and hardware; and complement ongoing work within the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and other organizations so that the Forum and its members are working together with other industry leaders to provide the management platform and transformation guidance to support successful deployment of network functions virtualization (NFV).

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