MEF to Push Ethernet Across All Boundaries

Carl Weinschenk

Last month, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) released "MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework." It defines, delivers and certifies agile, assured and orchestrated communications "across a global ecosystem of automated networks," according to the press release.

MEF 3.0 has four major elements. It is designed to standardize and orchestrate a variety of services over programmable networks using life cycle orchestration application programming interfaces (LOS APIs). The second is use of Open LOS APIs that can be developed "across multiple providers and over multiple network technology domains." The penultimate pillar is the development of service and technology certifications. Finally, to expand collaboration with other groups.

Beyond the high technology and blizzard of acronyms, MEF 3.0 is aimed at enabling Ethernet services to be seamlessly used on an end-to-end basis on multiple virtualized networks. In other words, the MEF is focusing on taking the brilliant start that has been made in development of virtualization and enabling it to truly match the ease of service and robust fulfillment structure of the legacy world.

In a podcast at Light Reading, Carol Wilson interviewed Shawn Hakl, senior vice president of business products for Verizon. Hakl told Wilson that MEF 3.0 "covers how services integrate, reflects the reality of the need for cloud-to-cloud-based services and reflects the importance of security." He also said that one of the bright spots about MEF 3.0 was that it enfranchises software-defined wide-area networks (SD-WANs), and that the standard allows elements to be chained together in a way that enables creativity on the part of developers.


The cloud is next on MEF's horizon, so to speak. The organization is integrating the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC), a consortium that supports cloud-based applications:

The objective of the Applications Committee is to ultimately enable cloud applications to dynamically interact with the network via MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework using a set of machine-to-machine APIs. This thereby ensures that application-level quality of experience, security, and performance requirements can be met by the underlying network infrastructure using LSO Artificial Intelligence analytics and automation without human intervention.

The group will be integrated into MEF's Applications Committee. That committee launched in October, according to Fierce Wireless.

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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