17 January 2018
MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) has unveiled a new global services framework aimed at defining, delivering and certifying orchestrated services across automated networks
The MEF 3.0 Transformational Global
Services Framework aims to help telcos to deliver the dynamic
performance and security required as demand for increased
bandwidth and more agile services grows.
MEF 3.0 is the follow-up to Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0)
and sees the global standards body move beyond carrier Ethernet
to look at automated and virtualised services by providing a
suite of LSO (lifecycle service orchestration) APIs that offer
an on-demand, cloud-centric service, MEF said.
MEF unveiled the framework, which includes much shorter
testing time for certification of new services, at the MEF17
event in Orlando, Florida.
Speaking at the launch, MEF chairman Nan Chen said: "MEF 3.0
is the … next step in our journey to transform the
industry with services and networks that are easy to manage and
monetise, and that deliver lasting value to its customers. We
are unleashing the full potential of industry innovation by
enabling dynamic services to be orchestrated across multiple
provider networks powered by LSO, SDN and NFV."
Nearly 150 companies currently sell CE 2.0 certified
products, forming a significant proportion of the estimated $80
billion carrier Ethernet market.
MEF 3.0 comprises four main "pillars" that form the new
concept: standardised orchestrated services; open LSO APIs;
service and technology certifications; and expanded community
collaboration. The MEF 3.0 service family includes dynamic
carrier Ethernet, wavelength, IP, SD-WAN,
security-as-a-service, and other virtualised services that will
be orchestrated over programmable networks using LSO APIs.
MEF is increasing the agility of its certification
programmes to accelerate availability and adoption of MEF 3.0
certified services and technologies. It is also looking at
expanding collaboration across its community by working with a
number of other industry bodies, including the Global
Leadership Forum (GLF), TM Forum, the GSMA and others on
open-source projects and standards in order to create a shared
vision of dynamic services orchestrated across automated
MEF’s LSO Reference Architecture helps guide
agile development of standardised LSO APIs that enable
orchestration of MEF 3.0 services across multiple providers and
network technology domains.
Carriers including AT&T, CenturyLink and Orange are
lining up to support the first software kits that allows
service providers to orchestrate connectivity services.
Alessandro Talotta, chairman and CEO of Sparkle, said: "MEF 3.0
is the next step to fully empower our customers with dynamic
control, efficiency and assured quality of service over
end-to-end sophisticated connectivity and cloud solutions in a
multi-provider global network ecosystem."
Mirko Voltolini, head of network on demand at Colt, said:
"Colt is an active member of MEF and a strong advocate of its
efforts in standardising and simplifying the adoption of
interoperable connectivity services. MEF 3.0 builds on the
solid platform established by CE 2.0 and widens its scope to
include services beyond carrier Ethernet. We expect MEF 3.0
will replicate the success of CE 2.0 and accelerate carrier to
carrier business interactions with the adoption of a rapid and
agile approach to define standards."
MEF announced two industry-leading releases at a conference
in The Hague: the Sonata lifecycle service orchestration (LSO)
software development kit, and the Presto SDK for orchestrating
connectivity services over multiple network technology domains,
which both tie-in to MEF 3.0.
A tremendous amount of collaborative work has been going on
to build a global community of automated, software-defined and
interconnected networks that will support orchestration of
on-demand services," added Chen.
Sonata is backed by a number of carriers, including
AT&T, Orange, Colt, CenturyLink and PCCW Global, as well as
hardware and software vendors. Contributors to Presto include
Link, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC and Nokia. Tara Cummings,
solution architect at Ericsson, said: "The Presto SDK
highlights the agile process at MEF that enables acceptance,
implementation and feedback for specification standards. This
collaborative effort combined with software and networking
expertise provides an excellent reference implementation that
removes ambiguity and reduces the learning curve that comes
with interpreting standards."