MEF Releases 3.0 Framework

Nov. 14, 2017
The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) announced the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework for defining, delivering and certifying ...

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) announced the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework for defining, delivering, and certifying communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. MEF 3.0 combines standardized services with an emerging suite of LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs to provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

"MEF 3.0 is the realization of the Third Network vision. It is the next step in our journey to transform the industry with services and networks that are easy to manage and monetize and that deliver lasting value to customers," said Nan Chen, president, MEF. "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. Inter-provider automation is a huge driver for MEF 3.0."

MEF 3.0 expands upon CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0) services and technologies. Nearly 150 companies - including 100 service providers - sell CE 2.0 certified solutions that form the core of the estimated $80 billion annual global market for CE services and technologies.

"MEF 3.0 takes the industry to the next level by enabling service providers to retool their networks, operations, and service portfolios to be more flexible and able to quickly address customer needs," said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. "Our focus is to make it clear how existing CE 2.0 certified companies can migrate to MEF 3.0."

MEF 3.0 comprises four major elements:

  • Standardized, Orchestrated Services. The MEF 3.0 service family includes dynamic Carrier Ethernet, wavelength, IP, SD-WAN, Security-as-a-Service, and other virtualized services that will be orchestrated over programmable networks using LSO APIs. MEF 3.0 CE R1 is the first release within the MEF 3.0 framework, while work on standardizing orchestration-ready wavelength, IP, SD-WAN, and security services currently is progressing within MEF.
  • Open LSO APIs. MEF's LSO Reference Architecture guides development of standardized LSO APIs to enable orchestration of MEF 3.0 services across multiple providers and over multiple network technology domains (e.g., packet WAN, optical transport, SD-WAN, 5G, etc.). MEF recently announced the first releases of two LSO SDKs (software development kits) that feature inter-provider APIs for address validation, serviceability, and ordering and an intra-provider API for network resource provisioning. The LSO APIs included in the SDKs are available for experimental use by MEF members and associated MEF programs.
  • Service and Technology Certifications. MEF is increasing the agility of its certification programs to accelerate availability and adoption of MEF 3.0 certified services and technologies. MEF 3.0 certification is delivered by MEF's testing partner, Iometrix, using a cloud-based virtualized test platform to let subscribing companies certify that their services and technologies comply with the latest MEF 3.0 standards.
  • Expanded Community Collaboration. MEF is working with service and technology providers, open source projects, standards associations, and enterprises to realize a shared vision of dynamic services orchestrated across automated networks. MEF has created a new compute, storage, and networking platform - MEFnet - to enable development, testing, integration, and showcasing of prototype MEF 3.0 implementations using open source and commercial products. MEFnet projects are intended to help accelerate the understanding and adoption of MEF 3.0, as well as provide immediate feedback for standards development within MEF.
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