Security and reliability focus of new ETSI NFV specs

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ETSI’s NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) has published three new specifications for virtualisation, one of which provides guidelines on lawful interception in an NFV environment. 

Lawful interception is the process by which law authorities obtain network data for the purpose of analysis or evidence. ETSI has now put forth a specification that addresses the structures required to allowing lawful interception capabilities to be provided in NFV deployments.

Specifically, ETSI said that the lawful interception function should also be virtualised so that it can be applied to an NFV environment “irrespective of traffic type, signalling format or network configuration”.

ETSI is currently embroiled in phase two of its NFV project working towards developing industry standards for NFV.

[Read more: Cirpack joins ETSI to help Phase 2 NFV specification]

The second specification published this week centres on security features in an open-source environment, namely OpenStack.

According to ETSI, the specification addresses the OpenStack modules that provide security services such as authentication, authorisation and confidentiality protection.

The group said knowledge of these functions was important for the “critical role” of management and orchestration in NFV networks.

Mike Bursell, Vice Chairman of ETI’s NFV Security Working Group, said: “Open Source software is a key building block for many NFV deployments, and can help with many of the goals that ETSI NFV seeks to promote, including accelerated time-to-market and improved interoperability. 

“To do so effectively requires having a knowledge base of the security features and cryptographic algorithms supported in each relevant code base. This helps shed light on how best to provision and deploy the relevant software and on enhancements necessary to meet NFV security requirements.”

Finally, ETSI has released a specification on how cloud and data centre architectures can be adapted to improve the reliability and increase the scalability of virtualisation.

According to the standards group, the document provides an overview of how such architectures are currently deployed and how scaling can be managed. It also describes scale-out techniques for new VNFs in locations where failures have occurred or unexpected traffic surges have been experienced, ETSI said.