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MEF, ONAP Collaborate to Make Virtualization Work Across Discrete Networks

Carl Weinschenk

Carriers and service providers are working very hard to implement complex virtualized schemes across their networks. That’s a big part of the game, but not the entire challenge.

Another important element is making sure that services run across different networks without issue. They must maintain the same level of service and ease of use across various boundaries as if only one network is being used.

This is both a marketing and technical requirement: Software-defined networks (SDNs) and network functions virtualization (NFV) simply won’t fly if services are not seamless. Not creating such a universe also hurts carrier and service providers’ ability to meet service level agreements (SLAs).

This week, the MEF, formerly the Metro Ethernet Forum, introduced the Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LOS) Sonata software developers’ kit (SDK) and LSO Presto SDK. The goal, according to the organization, is to create open application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable service provisioning across multiple networks.


Another piece of news, which is deeply related, is that the MEF and the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) announced a collaborative project to “accelerate the rollout of agile, assured, and orchestrated services across automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks.” In other words, ONAP is helping out on the overall project.

MEF is moving quickly. The organization dug into SDN in July. The first step, according to SDxCentral, was describing how eventual standards could be deployed and the benefits they could bring:

To kick off its SD-WAN work, MEF established the Open Connectivity Services (OpenCS) project. It’s focused on providing use cases and business requirements to ensure that open standard LSO APIs can enable orchestration of SD-WAN managed services across multi-provider and multi-vendor implementations.

Making virtualization work across carrier domains is a vital piece of the overall puzzle. The MEF, with the help of ONAP, are working to meet that challenge.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

 


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