GSMA and Linux Foundation join forces on aligning NFVi

The Linux Foundation's LF Networking and GSMA announced on Thursday that they are creating a common industry framework for network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVi).

While LF Networking and GSMA made the creation of the Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT) official today, it was initially discussed in April during a panel session at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) in San Jose, California. Prior to today's announcement, GSMA worked with Orange and Vodafone on writing standards around common definitions for NFVi. 

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The taskforce will operate as an open committee for creating and documenting a common NFVi framework in order to speed up the deployment of virtual network functions (VNFs) across the entire telecommunications stack.

Currently, there are too many types of NFVi floating around, which means virtual network functions (VNFs) vendors need to create multiple versions of their VNFs to work with the different flavors of NFVi. The Common NFVi Telco Task Force is taking aim at reducing the number of NFVi implementations down to three or four versions, according to AT&T's Amy Wheelus, vice president of network cloud, in a previous interview with FierceTelecom.

While GSMA and LF Networking didn't announce the members of the taskforce today, Wheelus said at ONS that AT&T, Bell Canada, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Jio, Orange, SK Telecom, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone were taking part.

At ONS, Wheelus said the Common NFVi Telco Taskforce would work hand in hand with he with LF Networking's testing and compliance program, OPNFV Verification Program (OVP), for VNFs, which was also announced at ONS.

The CNTT will collaborate with global service providers to define and create VNF reference architectures for NFVi, which will include a global NFVi reference model, reference architecture, and global VNF certification lifecycle.

The common NFVi reference architectures will be submitted to LFN for testing and verification OVP. The CNTT will hold a face-to-face meeting July 23-25 in Paris, to further discuss reference model development, and analyze integration requirements with OPNFV projects, processes and procedures.