Metro Ethernet Forum has provided a progress update on the advancement of the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework for defining, delivering, and certifying assured communications services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks.
Since launching MEF 3.0 one year ago, MEF has made significant strides across all key elements of the framework, including: standardized services; LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs; services, technology, and professional certification; and community activities.
Dozens of service providers, technology vendors, enterprises, and industry organizations have been involved in initiatives to accelerate adoption of MEF 3.0 services that provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.
“We are gathering at MEF18 to celebrate accomplishments on our journey to accelerate adoption of assured services across automated networks,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “We are especially pleased by the groundbreaking releases this week of the industry’s first SD-WAN service specification as well as LSO Sonata APIs that will enable, for the first time, automation of the potential $250+ billion market for MEF-defined services. Going forward, MEF is focused on enabling service providers to transform their services and networks, federate on a global basis, and certify their service offerings to a global standard.”
Standardized, Orchestrated Services
The planned MEF 3.0 service family includes dynamic SD-WAN, Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, IP, Security-as-a-Service, and other virtualized services that will be orchestrated over programmable networks using LSO APIs. MEF has advanced standardization work across each major type of connectivity service:
MEF 3.0 SD-WAN
Today, MEF announced the industry’s first SD-WAN service specification. MEF is on track to ratify and publicly release its MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition standard in 1Q 2019. SD-WAN service standardization will enable ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services.
MEF 3.0 CE. In May, MEF enhanced its family of MEF 3.0 CE services by publishing a specification (MEF 62) that defines a new Managed Access E-Line Service with a specific set of management and Class of Service capabilities designed to accelerate service provisioning and simplify management of services that traverse multiple operators.
MEF 3.0 Optical Transport.
In August, MEF published its first Optical Transport Services specification (MEF 63) for subscriber services that support Ethernet and Fibre Channel client protocols as well as SONET/SDH client protocols for legacy WAN services. This work paves the way for service providers to automate multi-vendor service offerings.
MEF 3.0 IP. In April, MEF published the Subscriber IP Service Attributes Technical Specification (MEF 61) as the first in a planned series of IP specifications to describe subscriber and operator IP services. This is an important step toward the goal of enabling orchestrated IP services.
MEF’s LSO Reference Architecture guides development of standardized LSO APIs for end-to-end service orchestration across multiple providers and over multiple network technology domains. MEF has progressed initiatives for multiple LSO interface reference points throughout the past year and has published work related to two key reference points:
LSO Sonata. Today, MEF released LSO Sonata API technical specifications and Software Development Kits (SDKs) in a Developer Release that offers serviceability, product inventory, quoting and ordering. The Developer Release gives industry players a heads-start in implementing groundbreaking APIs for inter-provider orchestration of current and emerging MEF 3.0 services.
LSO Presto. In April, MEF released two specifications that advance intra-provider orchestration of MEF 3.0 services over multiple network technology domains: the Network Resource Management: Information Model (MEF 59)and the Network Resource Provisioning: Interface Profile Specification (MEF 60). The LSO Presto API for automated network resource provisioning is now available for standardized use with a mix of network technologies.
Services, Technology & Professional Certification
MEF has made the following progress related to MEF 3.0 certification programs:
LSO Sonata API Certification. This week, MEF announced the MEF 3.0 certification program for service providers and technology solution providers will be expanded on a pilot basis in 1Q 2019 to include cloud-based testing of LSO APIs, beginning with certification of LSO Sonata APIs for serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering.
Certified Services & Technology Companies. MEF recently announced the first service and technology providers to achieve MEF 3.0 certification and is on track to soon recognize others.
MEF Certified Professionals. MEF has expanded its professional certification program to include MEF-SDN/NFV and MEF Network Foundation certifications in addition to the popular MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) certification.
MEF has been working with many leading service and technology providers, open source projects, standards associations, and enterprises to realize a shared vision of dynamic services orchestrated across automated networks. Two key illustrations of recent progress include:
MEF18 Proof of Concept (PoC) Showcase
More than 50 service providers and technology vendors are collaborating in 19 PoC demonstrations at MEF18. This year’s PoCs fall into six broad categories and exemplify the many aspects of MEF 3.0 services and the transformation required to deliver them successfully: automated commercial interaction; service fulfillment and activation; service assurance; multi-layer services; SD-WAN; and Universal CPE.