ETSI NFV Plugtest 4° edition

Technical Marketing Manager for NFV Solutions

Italtel present with i-MCS, VNF Manager and IVAS

Italtel expands the range of NFV products successfully tested at the ETSI event

Italtel took part with great results at the fourth edition of the NFV Plugtests, which was organized by ETSI and held from June 3 to June 7 at its headquarters in Sophia Antipolis.

As in previous editions, the main event consisted of interoperability tests among the various participating products (by different vendors) as components of the NFV architecture: MANO (NFV Orchestrator + Generico VNFM), VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Manager) and VNF (Virtual Network Function).

In this international scenario, with major players operating in the NFV sector, Italtel has decided to contribute with i-MCS, the VNF providing a suite of features within the IMS or VoLTE/VoNR networks, successfully verifying the management of its basic life cycle in the different combinations of MANO and VIM as proposed by the event organizers.

Furthermore, given the growing number of vendors now implementing the ETSI NFV solution specifications (e.g. REST API interfaces between the Orchestrator-VNFM-VNF functional entities, the TOSCA data model for VNF descriptors), this 4th edition has strongly promoted interoperability among vendors adhering to the standards and we were also able to use the Virtual Network Functions Manager by Italtel in some test sessions.

More specifically, thanks to the integration activity carried out between Italtel VNFM and Cisco NSO (for further details, read here), it was possible to successfully test instantiation, manual scaling and termination of the VNF i-MCS in the Cisco NSO-VNFM-VIM Openstack chain.

Italtel VNF Manager and Cisco NSO: ETSI NFV architecture

We also tested the life cycle of a Benu Networks VNF in the same setting, demonstrating that Italtel VNFM, thanks to the excellent level of standard compliance, allows not only the management of proprietary VNFs but also third-party ones.

Finally, what set this edition of the ETSI NFV Plugtest apart from the previous ones was the testing session dedicated to MEC (Mobile Edge Computing), a component placed on the edge of 4G distributed mobile networks (CUPS) and 5G, which allows decentralizing high-demanding applications, therefore improving the Quality of Experience (thanks to the significant reduction in latency) and saving a considerable amount of CAPEX, thanks to the lower need for backhauling transmission capacity between the board and the core network.

This was a first experimental session, open to a select number companies offering these kinds of products, and the testing activities were focused on verifying the correct interoperability between the vendors’ MEC Platform and MEC Application by using the REST APIs specified in the ETSI GS MEC 011.

Italtel, which has been investing into finding a solution to these issues for some time, by financing some research projects as well, participated by bringing IVAS (Immersive Video Application Service) – evolution of i-EVS -, our MEC Application for sharing 4K video content between users located in crowded areas (typically stadiums, fairs, concert space, etc.), served by distributed 4G/5G networks. In this scenario, the tests conducted involved the IVAS and MEC Platforms provided by ADLINK and Athonet.

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