Network Equipment Vendors form NFV Interop Testing Initiative

The NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative, meant to address network functions virtualization deployments, has been established by mainstream network equipment vendors – Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies and Nokia.

“The general guiding principles for NFV-ITI are openness, fairness, reasonableness and nondiscriminatory treatment,” the organization noted in a statement. “All relevant NFV vendors are welcome to join this initiative by ratifying the NFV-ITI MoU.”

OPNFV recently unveiled its Colorado platform release, which includes updates targeted at accelerating the development of NFV applications and services by enhancing security, IPv6 support, service function chaining, testing VPN capabilities and support for multiple hardware architectures. The organization noted the updates followed collaboration with upstream communities and are integrated into the “automated install/deploy/testing framework.”

OPNFV also highlighted increased collaboration across ecosystems via working groups focused on management and operation; infrastructure; security and testing, with five “committers-at-large” members elected to the OPNFV Technical Steering Committee “to enhance the meritocratic nature of the project.”

A Technology Business Research (TBR) report from earlier this year found some early adopter telecom operators were moving forward with limited commercial launches of NFV and software-defined networking technologies despite continuing questions around the lack of NFV and SDN standards. According to TBR’s “NFV/SDN Telecom Market Landscape” report for the first quarter, these early launches are “leveraging a mix of vendor solutions and internal resources ahead of industry adopted standards,” with cost reduction and service agility seen as key drivers for initial deployments. TBR noted for carriers like AT&T, NFV and SDN are viewed as “critical for long-term survival.”

“Early adopters pursue differing approaches to build NFV and SDN solutions,” the report notes. “One approach is to build an end-to-end NFV stack leveraging products from several vendors. These deployments require tested, interoperable components to ensure carrier-grade delivery. Adding further complexity, operators must decide which vendor, if any, integrates the stack.”