In its first full year as a non-profit organization, the New IP Agency crafted a strong framework for its mission of accelerating the adoption -- and profitability -- of virtualized networks, partnering with many leading service providers and vendors on independent testing and communication, regardless of standards.
Perhaps the highlight of the year was the Live Interoperability Demo, conducted at Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, when 12 vendors showcased service function chaining (SFC) and network orchestration (NSO), with a functional focus on virtual consumer premise equipment (vCPE) as part of a realistic, neutral set of test cases based on three vital factors: public standards, open source community developments and market feedback. (See Pics: Crowds Flood NIA Demos at BCE.)
The standing-room-only event featured technologies from Adtran, Adva, Allot, Ciena, Cisco, Dell, Fortinet, Ixia, Juniper, NetNumber, Nokia and UBIqube.
"The NIA/EANTC showcase at BCE 2016 in Austin was a very positive proof point in the evolution of multivendor NFV operation. We and the other participants gained valuable experience and exposure through participation," says Prayson Pate, CTO of Ensemble at Adva.
A complementary report -- "New IP Agency Interoperability Showcase 2016" -- by EANTC's Managing Director Carsten Rossenhovel, detailed the processes, challenges and test results.
Another Live Demo is planned for NIA members in 2017.
The Big Communications Event Cram
Attendees flooded the NIA-EANTC Live Interoperability Demo at BCE in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.
Far from the madding crowds, at partner EANTC's lab in Berlin, many NIA members put their virtualized technologies through multiple third-party tests to ensure interoperability, a move designed to allay some of the cost and time service providers assume each time they design a virtual network. As NIA members, vendors receive heavy discounts and gain real-world data and transparency into real-world interoperability between NFV elements.
In December, media partner Light Reading and the NIA shared the results of the most recent tests: 2016 NIA-EANTC NFV Interoperability Report.
In addition to testing, NIA welcomed several new members in 2016. In alphabetical order, they include Brocade, ECI, Hibernia Networks, Laser Light and Orange Business Services. Several other organizations are in the process of joining and NIA looks forward to expanding its roster of participants throughout the coming months.
The year ahead
The New Year promises to be full of new challenges and opportunities for service providers, virtualization vendors -- and the NIA.
Led by a board of directors of service provider and virtualization-vendor executives, the NIA continues to focus on its primary goal. The organization is not involved in the creation of standards; as such, it anticipates working closely with standards and open source bodies.
NIA will continue its testing programs, including new offerings that will soon be detailed on the organization's website. The website also is home to members' success stories, executive Q&As, contributed articles, video interviews, webinar and radio shows and more content that focuses on how member organizations are succeeding with NFV, SDN and other New IP technologies.
Over the next few weeks and months, NIA will roll out several new member-driven programs on both the technology and marketing fronts. Watch this space to learn more. And, to find out about NIA membership -- free for service providers -- visit "Join the NIA" on our website or email us at info@NewIPAgency.com
— Alison Diana, Editor, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @The_New_IP.