MEF has announced the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework for defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks.
MEF 3.0 services empower users with the dynamic performance and security required to thrive in the digital economy. MEF 3.0 blends sophisticated, standardized services with an emerging suite of LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs to provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with unprecedented 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 that provide the high performance digital fuel for today’s digital economy. 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 is comprised of 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 agile development of standardized LSO APIs that 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 these SDKs are available for experimental use by MEF members and associated MEF programs.
Service and Technology Certifications . MEF is increasing the agility of its popular 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 an advanced cloud-based virtualized test platform that empowers subscribing companies to certify that their services and technologies comply with the latest MEF 3.0 standards.
Expanded Community Collaboration . MEF is working with many of the world’s leading 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 – that enables development, testing, integration, and showcasing of prototype MEF 3.0 implementations using open source and commercial products. MEFnet projects will help accelerate the understanding and adoption of MEF 3.0, as well as provide immediate feedback for standards development within MEF.
Shawn Hakl, Senior Vice President Business Products, Verizon, said, “As a contributing member of MEF, we are confident the comprehensive framework envisioned by MEF 3.0 covers the critical areas needed for the next generation of innovation in SDN/NFV based services. Standardization of the orchestration and interoperability of software based services will help providers launch products which provide the quality, visibility and control that customers demand.”
Andrew Dugan, SVP of Technology Planning, Network Architecture & Security, CenturyLink, explained, “As the industry continues to move forward utilizing new technologies such as NFV and SDN to deliver Network-as-a-Service, it is critical to have standards in place that provide a framework for creating adaptive, on-demand, interconnected networks that are easy to manage for our customers. CenturyLink remains committed to supporting the ongoing work of MEF, LSO and MEF 3.0 as we extend these capabilities across the globe.”
Kevin O’Toole, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business, says, “As a MEF board member, I am extremely proud that our organization has taken this critical first step in establishing the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework. This move validates our belief that technologies such as LSO, SDN and NFV are moving into the mainstream of the networking world, as well as the universal need for standardized terminology, service components, reference architectures, and service definitions.”
Michael Strople, President, Enterprise Networks, Zayo Group; Chairman, MEF, explained, “MEF 3.0 is another milestone for the MEF as it brings the industry together again to deliver agile, assured and orchestrated solutions to a global economy that expects open, dynamic and ubiquitous high bandwidth connections.”
Didier Duriez, Executive Vice President, Orange Business Services, said, “MEF 3.0 represents a key milestone in the industry toward truly global and interoperable cloud network services. Combining the sound MEF LSO framework and the flexibility of TM Forum Open APIs will allow service providers to deploy global connectivity services on demand.”
Alessandro Talotta, Chairman and CEO, 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. As the only European Service provider in MEF’s Board, Sparkle reiterates its commitment as a driving force behind MEF 3.0 efforts as the final realization of the Third Network vision.”
Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global, said, “MEF has already been shaping the framework upon which the next generation of services is being developed. MEF 3.0 is a critical step in clearly outlining the next steps in delivery and monetization for both retail distribution of ICT services and wholesale interfaces among service providers of cloud, fixed and mobile connectivity, and applications. The implications are global and will help ensure that the services ecosystems are operating with a commonly understood set of expectations and objectives.”
Jeffrey Schwartz, ?Associate Vice President, Managed Network Services and Cloud Enablement, Tata Communications
“At Tata Communications, we want to make cloud adoption more seamless for enterprises through the automation of service delivery and greater application-level control. We’re committed to the development of industry standards such as MEF 3.0, harnessing our networking and cloud expertise and partnerships in the global technology ecosystem to help accelerate digital transformation in enterprises worldwide.”
Ralph Santitoro, Head of SDN/NFV/SD-WAN Services, Fujitsu; Distinguished Fellow and Director, MEF, explained, “Fujitsu has taken a leadership role in driving MEF’s SD-WAN initiatives to define a MEF 3.0 service that realizes MEF’s Third Network vision . Fujitsu’s recently launched SD-WAN-as-a-Service utilizes the latest MEF 3.0 work to standardize SD-WAN service terminology and service capabilities . As a managed service provider, we expect this MEF 3.0 work will benefit our customers by eliminating the market confusion around SD-WAN services.”
Nik Willetts, CEO, TM Forum, said, “TM Forum is pleased to collaborate with MEF by providing Open APIs to serve our joint vision and innovation roadmap for the industry. TM Forum’s extensible Open APIs are designed to enable end to end service management, and MEF has already successfully extended four of the Forum’s Open APIs for domain specific applications. We look forward to further productive collaboration with MEF to help lead the industry forward together.”
Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer, Ciena, explained, “As a founding member and contributor to the MEF, we are delighted to see the evolution to an open, programmable and agile approach that the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework takes to orchestrating communication services for multi-domain environments. MEF’s unveiling of this new framework aligns with Ciena’s mission to drive network automation and create a global virtual fabric where the connect, compute and storage functions work seamlessly together.”
Sam Bucci, General Manager, IP/Optical Networking Business Group, Nokia, said, “We are pleased to contribute to the MEF 3.0 framework through our leadership roles in defining wavelength services and network resource modeling for LSO APIs. The MEF activities currently underway will build on CE 2.0 momentum by expanding the scope of dynamic services to meet provider needs for continually increasing bandwidth connectivity, while keeping operations costs in check through automated orchestration.”
Sarit Tager, Vice President R&D SDN and LSO, ECI, said, “The vision realized in MEF 3.0 has made major strides in the last 18 months. Through our various MEFnet projects and proof of concepts, we have together shown that MEF 3.0 can successfully speed up service turn up and assurance across multiple service provider domains. Moreover, we have demonstrated that service providers can benefit immediately from global service automation, while pursuing gradual and systematic upgrades of their own proprietary systems. Adopting LSO principles will enable service providers to focus on quickly generating revenues rather than network operations.”