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1. Introduction

Table of Contents

1.1 Overview

The Reference Model (RM) specifies a virtualisation technology agnostic (VM-based and container-based) cloud infrastructure abstraction and acts as a “catalogue” of the exposed infrastructure capabilities, resources, and interfaces required by the workloads. This document has been developed by Cloud iNfrastructure Telco Taskforce (CNTT). For more information about CNTT, its activities and deliverables, see Cloud iNfrastructure Telco Taskforce.

Problem Statement: Based on community consultations, including telco operators, technology suppliers, and software developers, there is a realisation that there are significant technical, operational and business challenges to the development and deployment of VNF/CNF network applications related to the lack of a common cloud infrastructure platform. These include but are not limited to the following:

One of major challenges holding back the more rapid and widespread adoption of virtualised/containerised network applications is when the traditional telecom ecosystem vendors, while building or designing their virtualised services, are making their own infrastructure assumptions and requirements, often with custom design parameters. This leaves the operators being forced to build complex integrations of various vendor/function specific silos which are incompatible with each other and might possibly have different and conflicting operating models. In addition, this makes the onboarding and conformance processes of VNFs/CNFs (coming from different vendors) hard to automate and standardise. The need for a common model across the industry to facilitate more rapid adoption is clear.

The document starts from the abstract and as it progresses it increasingly gets into more details. It follows the traditional design process where you start from core principles, progress to abstract concepts and models, then finish with operational considerations, such as security and lifecycle management.

1.2 Scope

This Reference Model document focuses on identifying the abstractions, and associated concepts, that are needed to represent the cloud infrastructure. Figure 1-1 below highlights its scope in more details.


Figure 1-1: Scope of Reference Model

This document specifies:

1.3 Principles

The Reference Model specifications conform to the overall principles defined in Cloud iNfrastructure Telco Taskforce.

1.4 Definitions/Terminology

To help guide the reader, the Reference Model Glossary provides an introduction to the main terms used within this document and throughout the project in general. These definitions are, with a few exceptions, based on the ETSI GR NFV 003 [1] definitions. In a few cases, they have been modified to avoid deployment technology dependencies only when it seems necessary to avoid confusion.

1.5 Conventions

“The key words “must”, “must not”, “required”, “shall”, “shall not”, “should”, “should not”, “recommended”, “may”, and “optional” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC2119 [2].”