Interoperability standards have posed an elusive challenge for the NFV industry. Cisco recently participated in ETSI’s first Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Interoperability Plugtest, held in Madrid, Spain, between January 23 and February 3, 2017 with great success, further validating Cisco NSO’s broad set of multi-vendor orchestration capabilities

Designed to perform interoperability testing among different telco vendors and open source providers, the ETSI Plugtest event brought together a diverse group of industry representatives, including those from several open source organizations for two weeks on intense and collaborative effort. During the two-week on-site intense testing phase, interoperability tests focused on validating ETSI NFV Release 2 end-to-end capabilities including management of descriptors and software images, as well as life cycle management of network services and virtual network functions. The validation focused on ETSI NFV Release 2 end-to-end capabilities including management of descriptors and software images, life cycle management of network services and virtual network functions.

The results from the ETSI Plugtest event are now in with ETSI issuing reporting near perfect success across the NFV test schemes evaluated by the assembled multi-vendor industry group. During the Plugtest, 160 different combinations of virtual network functions, management and orchestration, virtualized infrastructure manager and NFV infrastructure were confirmed for interoperability, with more than 1,500 individual test results reported across the different participant organizations. Specific interoperability testing included 15 virtual network functions, 11 NFV platforms and 9 MANO solutions. The overall results and lessons learned from the Plugtest will be driven back to the ETSI NFV Industry Specification Group.

Cisco’s NSO based NFVO platform stood out during the event, demonstrating 100% success for interoperability tests of network service on-boarding, instantiation and termination across all the different test scenarios evaluated.

Fredrik Jansson, Senior Architect from Cisco’s NFV and NSO team led our on-site testing efforts in Barcelona. “The ETSI Plugtest was a great opportunity to confirm Cisco NSO’s broad NFV interoperability and multi-vendor support. It was a very good and intensive two weeks of regression testing with lots of opportunity to evaluate our MANO with many different VNFs of varying complexity above of us but also, four different VIMs below us. All the vendors we worked with were very open and we all did our best to get everything to work.”

ETSI Plugtest with Cisco, Fortinet, and ADVA

Around 30 vendors, open source projects and universities came together for the onsite staging in Madrid, Spain at the end of January 2017, after completing a remote integration phase initiated in November 2016.

In addition to Cisco System, other vendor participants at this year’s NFV Interoperability Plugtest event included: A10 Networks, ADVA Optical Networking, Anritsu A/S, Canonical USA Inc., Cisco Systems, Ericsson, F5 Networks, Fortinet, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Intel Corporation, Italtel, Ixia, Keynetic Technologies, Lenovo, Mahindra Comviva, Netrounds, Openet, Palo Alto Networks, Radware, Red Hat, RIFT.io, Sandvine, Sonus Networks, Spirent, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), VMware and Wind River

ETSI NFV Plugtest Participant Group Photo

Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator and NFVO Solution, validated during the Plugtest, is proven to work across all domains in your network. It helps Service Provider’s fulfil every aspect of a service. Leading Service Providers currently leverage NSO for their existing network, as well as, their network functions virtualization (NFV) projects. This all-in-one software package addresses:

  • NFV management and orchestration
  • Software-defined networking
  • Your traditional, complex physical network

What else makes Cisco NSO standout?

  • NSO is unique in that it works in multi-vendor environments and technology stacks delivering consistent, seamless performance across a broad scope of environments. Our NSO solution works with today’s legacy network challenges, such as layer two or three VPN provisioning as well as next generation networking based on NFV and SDN.
  • NSO is entirely model driven. NSO lets you create and change services using standardized models without the need for time-consuming custom coding or service disruption, as well as, solving the challenge of massive scalability. You’ll gain the agility you need to bring services to market ahead of the competition.
  • NSO offers full life cycle management supporting creation, updating, and deletion of network services.
  • Automate more than 50 to 70 percent of customers’ operations workflow.
  • NSO also provides transactional integrity which ensures fail-safe operations based on real-time view of the network. If something happens such as a device failing to update, NSO makes sure the network manager has a reliable rollback path and meet even the most stringent service-level agreements.
  • NSO is a fully proven solution with 10 years of experience, running right at scale now in a diverse set over 100 global customers’ networks worldwide spanning major Tier 1 services providers to large enterprises, cloud smaller providers, and larger enterprises in the financial services segment.

So, if you are looking to achieve true service agility and interoperability through network automation, go with the market leader and choose Cisco NSO.  Extract simplicity and take cost out of managing your network!

Find Out More

To find out what Cisco Network Services Orchestrator can do for your business, visit our NSO page.

And for more details on, the first ETSI NFV Plug test, the full report download is available here.

If you’re joining us in MPLS SDN NFV World 2017 in Paris on March 21 -24, visit the Cisco booth which will feature a demo of Cisco® Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) enabled by Tail-f.

To learn more about Cisco NFV Orchestration (NFVO) click here.


John Malzahn

Senior Marketing Manager

Service Provider Cloud Solutions