Common NFVI Telco Task Force hammers out reference model

© Linux Foundation

© Linux Foundation

  • Work on a first reference model and reference architecture completed in well under a year
  • Enthusiastic support from vendors and operators scrambling to ready NFV for standalone 5G

Linux Foundation (LF) Networking and the GSMA kicked off the Open Networking Summit Europe by announcing that the Common NFVI Telco Task Force has published its initial ‘Common Reference Model’ and first Reference Architecture. The CNTT is jointly hosted by the GSMA and the Linux Foundation and operates as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting an industry-aligned Common NFVI Framework.

This first Reference Model and its first Reference Architecture is based on Openstack, but the intention is that the CNTT will and expand its portfolio of Reference Architectures and begin to focus on other areas such as Kubernetes-based Cloud Native stacks and Container based network functions' validation requirements. 

"This initial release represents the first tangible output of CNTT," said Heather Kirksey, vice president, Community and Ecosystem Development, the Linux Foundation. "In the short time since ONS North America, the community has already reached milestones around creation of the Reference Model and first Reference Architecture. We have also initiated significant discussion around Reference Implementation along with commencement of enhancements to OVP within OPNFV.”

CNTT was initially organised as recently as early 2019, then held its first community-wide, face-to-face gathering in Paris this July, with more than 80 operator and vendor participants in attendance. Following that initial meeting, the CNTT has been working closely with taskforce members to refine the  NFVI Reference Model, define a limited number of Reference Architectures, develop testing and verification requirements, and work with the OPNFV Verification Program (OVP) to define a global VNF compliance and validation lifecycle. This work will shorten the on-boarding effort for VNFs, accelerate time to revenue, and reduce costs for both VNF vendors and operators.

Once CNTT Reference Models and Architectures are implemented and tested via OPNFV (Reference Implementations), commercial products adhering to these specifications can undergo an enhanced OVP's VNF and NFVI compliance testing for establishing baseline conformance and offering interoperability.

The CNTT says it will continue to further refine its Reference Model and its first Reference Architecture based on Openstack, and expand its portfolio of Reference Architectures with an upcoming focus on areas such as Containerisation, Kubernetes-based Cloud Native stacks and Container based network functions' validation requirements, along with growing its capabilities with compliance and verification testing, and providing a lifecycle approach for NFVI. 

GSMA and OPNFV say they look forward to continuing the open source definition and implementation work that powers the community and ecosystem, so that these new technologies can be integrated into global service provider networks.

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