The New IP Agency (NIA) is a not-for-profit independent initiative providing information, education, analysis, community services and testing to support and accelerate the development of a global economy based on open, advanced, virtualized IP networks.
OUR INDUSTRY’S CHALLENGE
The advent of virtualized communications is enabling a new, worldwide digital economy – one that has the power to improve the situation of every person on the planet, regardless of station or location. As an industry, we are living through, and enabling, a pivot in the history of the world. When the communications industry has finished its work, people will look back and say ‘there was life before virtualization, and then there was life after virtualization.’ And in the virtualized world it won’t matter if a person works in Reykjavik, Sydney, or Kigali; they will be able to communicate, and compete, and innovate, and participate as an economic equal, peer-to-peer, with the entire population of the world.
However, this is also a hugely confusing and challenging time for those tasked with building networks and businesses using the latest virtualized comms tech. Our industry’s answer to this complexity has traditionally been to develop standards. Today, however, the standards process that is supposed to create order is instead adding uncertainty.
There are now more than three dozen groups involved in virtualization standards alone – including ‘official’ organizations , de facto industry organizations and single-vendor initiatives. Even those who are involved with the standards process as a full-time job openly admit that the specification work is opaque. This is not helpful to service providers, enterprises, municipalities, utilities and others that are tasked with planning the migration to virtualization over the next five years.
INTRODUCING THE NIA
The solution lies in the creation of the New IP Agency, or NIA, a not for profit with the remit of making sense of the standards muddle, and providing a forum, online and in person, for people to learn about and debate standards work. While each standards body provides education and discussion about its own work, the New IP Agency will be a one-stop shop for locating information and hosting discussion about what all the standards bodies are doing and how they relate to each other.
NIA Serves Three Primary Functions:
1. Independent Industry Testing
The NIA commissions leading test organizations in order to facilitate independent, multi-vendor testing that provides real-world data and transparency about interoperability between NFV elements. This is hugely important, since there is currently no University of New Hampshire-type organization fulfilling this role in the virtualization space. We invite and encourage all organizations offering NFV components to join the tests and help provide the industry with the first complete overview of NFV interoperability.
2. Deliver Information
The NIA, in collaboration with Light Reading and leading industry companies, have produced the first Virtuapedia (www.virtuapedia.com), a multi-tiered taxonomy/directory that defines and encapsulates the entire next-gen communications ecosystem. The taxonomy houses various data sets, including detailed information about individual vendors and their products; CSPs and their services; systems integrators and their services; and standards organizations and their specifications.
3. Facilitate Cross-Industry Communication
The history of the communications industry teaches us that the path to an open, virtualized future will inevitably detour into disagreements. The only way to head off or resolve these issues is through communication. Yet the digital communications industry that we participate in has no formal channels between the bewildering array of standards bodies, leaving conversations to happen on an ad hoc basis between those that have the time, inclination, agenda and travel budget to take part in them.
This is not the time for extemporaneous conversations taking place in trade show corridors or bars. Nor is it appropriate that definition of the infrastructure for the next global economy should be built on happenstance and chance meetings. NIA will open these lines of communication at in-person events and online forums