Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia have joined hands to further improve network functions virtualisation (NFV) industrialisation and support the open platform for NFV (OPNFV) project.
The companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create the NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative (NFV-ITI), which intends to help communication service providers address the challenges related to NFV deployment and cloud transformation within multi-vendor network environments.
The initiative will address NFV multi-vendor interoperability challenges for telcos, allowing them to optimise NFV deployment and integration costs, and reduce time-to-market for new services.
Members of the NFV-ITI will test the interoperability of NFV elements in specific customer situations to speed up commercial implementations in services providers’ networks.
The companies noted that the project would support all existing NFV interoperability related testing activities, which are used to address different needs across the industry, with an added focus on commercial NFV solutions used in today’s networks.
The group will also recommend generic principles, including interoperability test cases, test criteria, processes, methods, guidelines, templates and testing tools.
It will also apply best practices from all existing interoperability testing activities in the industry, including the NVIOT forum efforts. Additionally, NFV-ITI will be aligned with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV Industry Specification Group and the OPNFV project.
While the group has four members initially, the companies said relevant NFV vendors are welcome to join this initiative by ratifying the NFV-ITI MoU.
Cisco NFV Business Unit vice president and general manager of service provider business Charles Stucki said: “NFV-ITI will foster collaboration and open-ness by bringing top vendors together to explore new possibilities for interoperability, and determine the best technology strategies for our customers to achieve their business goals.”
Ericsson vice president of group function strategy & technology Martin Bäckström said: “By driving industry alignments on interoperability testing in specific commercial deployments, NFV-ITI will accelerate industrialisation of NFV and help to create an even stronger ecosystem that benefits operators, customers and vendors everywhere.”