CSP-led NFVi task force to be hosted by GSMA

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  • Linux Foundation and GSMA partner to align NFVi efforts
  • Common NFVi Telco Taskforce to be hosted by GSMA
  • Builds on LFN’s work on OPNFV and ONAP
  • The group is now open to contributions from vendors

Back in April, TelecomTV broke the news that a group of ten CSPs had established the Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT) to define a common platform that all CSPs can work with, to avoid competing at the infrastructure level and instead shift the focus to the service layer. We spoke to a number of the founding members at the Linux Foundation’s ONS North America event in San Jose – you can watch our exclusive video feature above

The group has now received official backing from the GSMA and LF Networking (LFN), and looks like it has succumbed to requests from vendors to get involved at an early stage. It has also decided that it should be hosted at the GSMA – a decision that apparently wasn’t taken lightly. Despite the group building on preliminary work done at the GSMA with, in particular, Vodafone, a number of supporters questioned the wisdom of continuing under the auspices of the GSMA. It now looks like any lingering doubts have been overcome.

The CNTT will now be hosted by the GSMA and created with “input” from the Linux Foundation – details of how this will work in practice remain unclear, although LFN will undertake the testing on new frameworks through its OPNFV initiatives. Furthermore, it says it will operate as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting a common, industry-aligned NFVi framework to help accelerate deployment across the entire telecommunications stack, from infrastructure to VNFs. 

“Operators are undergoing a period of significant digital transformation by migrating their networks from a physical to a virtualized or cloud environment.,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA, acknowledging that this is a “challenging and time-consuming process involving integrating multiple different vendors into a common infrastructure.”

He says that by following a common approach and framework, CSPs will vastly reduce the time and costs associated with integration and accelerate adoption and deployment.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the GSMA to simplify NFVi efforts across the industry,” added Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of the Linux Foundation. “CNTT is a key enabler for our OPNFV Verification Program (OVP) that brings NFVi, ONAP, VNFs, and OPNFV initiatives together, helping accelerate deployments.” 

The CNTT will work closely with global service providers to define and create VNF reference architectures for NFVi – consisting of a global NFVi reference model, reference architecture, and global VNF certification lifecycle. The common NFVi reference architectures will then be submitted to LFN for testing and verification via the OVP.

The CNTT will hold a meeting in Paris next month to further discuss reference model development and consider integration requirements with OPNFV projects, processes and procedures. This meeting is open to service providers and vendors; see here for more information.

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