MEF unveils MEF 3.0 for Third Network operation

MEF (formerly the Metro Ethernet Forum) has used its annual event this week to launch the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework. The follow-on to Carrier Ethernet 2.0, MEF 3.0 aims to enable the definition, delivery, and certification of agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across automated networks.

MEF (formerly the Metro Ethernet Forum) has used its annual event this week to launch the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework. The follow-on to Carrier Ethernet 2.0, MEF 3.0 aims to enable the definition, delivery, and certification of agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across automated networks.

MEF 3.0 combines standardized services with a suite of lifecycle service orchestration (LSO) APIs to enable on-demand, cloud-centric networks that feature 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, MEF president. "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 contains four major elements:

  1. Standardized, orchestrated services that include dynamic Carrier Ethernet, wavelength, IP, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), security-as-a-service, and other virtualized services that will be orchestrated over programmable networks using LSO APIs. MEF notes that, with the launch of MEF 3.0 CE R1, work continues on standardizing orchestration-ready wavelength, IP, SD-WAN, and security services.
  2. Open LSO APIs based on MEF's LSO Reference Architecture. The APIs are designed to enable orchestration of MEF 3.0 services across multiple providers and network technology domains (e.g., Packet WAN, Optical Transport, SD-WAN, 5G, etc.). MEF recently announced the initial releases of two LSO software development kits (SDKs) that include inter-provider APIs for address validation, serviceability, and ordering, and an intra-provider API for network resource provisioning.
  3. The MEF will provide complementary service and technology certifications. MEF testing partner Iometrix will deliver these certifications via a cloud-based virtualized test platform. "The MEF 3.0 Framework provides the ability, for the first time, to move to an incremental release approach for both services and LSO APIs and to tightly align certification with each release. Subscribing companies can certify combinations of services and LSO APIs and can test and certify as often as desired," commented Iometrix President Bob Mandeville.
  4. Greater collaboration with service and technology providers, open source projects, standards associations, and enterprises. MEF has created a new compute, storage, and networking platform – MEFnet – that enables development, testing, integration, and showcasing of prototype MEF 3.0 implementations using open source and commercial products.

More information on MEF 3.0 is available via the MEF 3.0 Overview.

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