Focus on security within SDN & NFV, telcos urged

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Security within virtualised technology is one of the biggest challenges facing operators and vendors next year, standards agency ETSI has warned.

The group said security is also an opportunity for operators, where they could combine data analytics with agile virtualised networks to offer greater protection to their networks.

ETSI marked the third anniversary of the creation of its NFV ISG by holding a discussion at this week's Layer 123 SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf.

Don Clarke, Chair of the Network Operator Council of the ETSI NFV ISG, said almost 40 proof of concepts had been completed or were ongoing.

Clarke said: "It is incredible how far we have come in just three years but we are now at a critical stage. The industry is stretched and standards development organisations (SDOs), including the NFV ISG, must focus their efforts on what is really needed to be done to foster innovation in an open ecosystem. We should not go too far in trying to anticipate what specifications might be needed in the future.

"SDOs should also identify how to work collaboratively with open source communities.

“We recognised early on that security needed to be proactively addressed in an NFV world and one of our first priorities was to convene an expert group on security to identify the challenges and to recommend actions. The NFV ISG Security Working Group is the world’s leading discussion forum on this vital topic and includes security experts from government agencies as well as vendors and operators.”

Diego Lopez, Chairman of ISG NFV Technical Steering Committee, said SDOs and SDN and NFV developers all needed to work together to see how both concepts could work alongside each other.

Release 2015 is set for publication during the first quarter next year, with 35 work items under development.

Among the demonstrations at the congress were a VoLTE service based on vEPC and vIMS, as well as an SDN enabled virtual EPC gateway.