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ETSI NFV#14 just finished in Atlanta, hosted by AT&T and sponsored by HPE










The week started with a very interesting workshop from AT&T, followed by a presentation from Al Blackburn on ECOMP, AT&T NFV platform described in a recent white paper issued by AT&T. One comment I noticed is that AT&T intentionally removed Element Management System (EMS) from the architecture, expecting vendors not to provide standalone vendor specific EMS anymore. I kind of like also Al comment that ECOMP was not exactly a generic VNFM as stated in the white paper, but 8 million of lines which covered many additional features. Overall AT&T shared being ahead of its 5% NFV deployment plan and on track for the 2020 objective to have 75% of their network on Cloud and SDN.

Some key highlights of the week:

As part of AT&T workshop, The presentation delivered by Dossevi Trevou from HPE on New Revenue opportunities from the Telco Cloud based on some research undertaken by Telco 2.0/STL and supported by HPE, was very well received especially the highlight that NFV main driver is business agility and that the main challenge is transforming processes, systems and ecosystems.

And of course, I was really pleased to organize the 1st NFV Women social with ladies leading the women of AT&T. It’s been extremely friendly with very appreciated support from our chaiman, Steven Wright. Obviously not too many women in ETSI NFV, as in most of these technical telecom communities unfortunately, but a very diversified set of women from all over the world with unique personal and business experience: so overall a very rich and friendly sharing experience that everyone recommended to renew in follow up meetings !



In the same spirit of sharing experience, I was very pleased with the turn out and discussion that came out of the opensource MANO project meeting. Inviting very busy people for a couple hours evening session was somewhat challenging and indeed some people could not make it, but OSM and Open-o sent their key representative and we had a very informative set of presentations and lively panel. The key message that I will take out from all the speakers was that ETSI NFV was definitely listed as the cornerstone of these projects, and that cooperation was highly anticipated moving forward. A follow up occurred during the week to define some next steps and a separate session in TST working group with a Tacker Openstack representative delivered a similar message. With ETSI NFV moving into interface and protocol specifications, having such an unanimous endorsement of our work by the opensource community not only shows the impact of the ISG work on the market but also opens up great perspective for close loop validation of our specs with real life open implementations.

The TST meetings that I co-chair with Francisco-Javier from Telefonica went very well. We made good progress on the active 6 work items, including VNF snapshot, end to end path testing and interoperability. We even regenerated some interest on the openstack mapping with a new rapporteur and few other new contributors committed to progress this work. We also had some good discussions on the planning for ETSI NFV plugtest towards the end of the year, the upcoming work on the test plan that will welcome some inputs from TST group and the interest to invite some opensource projects to participate along with vendors. The call for hosts being out with a few candidates already, ETSI expects to have a location identified soon.

We also had a very constructive and lively discussion on 5G around the contribution I had submitted with Klaus Martiny from Deutsche Telecom, on ‘Network Slicing and NFV’ as a new use case. Knowing that the topic is very broad, even if focused on NFV, the challenge will be to narrow down the scope and pick a relevant subset to start with, but many people raised interest to contribute, which was a very positive sign of 5G interest in the community.

The topic came back during the week on the beyond 2016 open discussion as one of the key area that is relying significantly on NFV and expected to bring new use cases and most likely new requirements to the ISG.

Even though I am with HPE and I knew this event sponsored by HPE would be good, I have to admit that I was personally amazed by the Wednesday evening social event! The location was unique, Fox Theatre historical building, the set up was gorgeous with a Scarlett/Gone with the wind atmosphere, food was great, entertainments were not only fun with talented caricature artist, and piano duelist but they involved people so much that they ended up on stage with the artists, singing arm in arm. What better way to build an industry community than having them relax and having fun together!



The rest of the week went smoothly, the new SOL (solution) working group kicked off with a full room and good discussion on how to start these ‘stage 3’ protocol/API specs. The IFA (interface/architecture) group still rushed to process an amazing number of contributions and decided to actually expand the number of vice chairs to support this work. The SEC (security) group continues to see growing interest with new comers and high quality contributions, while the REL (reliability) group was progressing its 3 active work items and having some good interactions with TST and with IFA on update/upgrade for instance.

Overall a very good event, getting more and more mature and effective, with a steady set of core contributors and some new comers facing NFV in deployment and wanting to learn or share their experience, more and more interactions with the outside, being other SDOs (standard organization) or opensource projects, and clear directions showing towards standard interface, reliable and security environments, interoperability, closed loop and specs evolutions, but also new use cases like 5G and IoT wanting to leverage NFV as well.  

After 2 years of mandate, our dear chairman, Steven from AT&T, is getting ready to transition to a new leader: the call for candidate is out. No doubt with current dynamics on NFV among operators that a new operator will step up to the role! election will occur in July and we’ll get the chance to present the new chairman in NFV#14 in Sophia Antipolis.

I was kind of sad to hear that Francisco-Javier from Telefonica who was chairing the TST group with me, is also transitioning to a new role as ETSI OSM chairman, but pleased to hear that he will continue to contribute to the ISG and especially to TST!

More to come soon on the new appointed leaders J

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5G, IoT, NFV, big Data, blockchain

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