ORLANDO, Florida – Industry trade group MEF is looking to be one better in helping to define a global services framework. Speaking at this week’s MEF17 event in Orlando, MEF President Nan Chen said the MEF 3.0 program “has to be the biggest and boldest framework we have ever implemented.”
As a quick refresh, Chen noted that MEF referred to carrier Ethernet and the Internet as the first two networks.
“The third is somewhat abstract, but simple,” Chen said. “We want to deliver a service that has an Internet-like agility and ubiquity, but carrier Ethernet-like performance and security.”
Chen said MEF 3.0 is built on four elements.
The first is standardized, orchestrated services such as dynamic carrier Ethernet, wavelength, IP, software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), and security. These virtualized services can be orchestrated over programmable networks using Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) application programming interfaces (APIs).
The second takes off on the first by focusing on open LSO APIs. These tap into MEF’s LSO Reference Architecture to develop and standardize APIs that can orchestrate MEF 3.0 services across multiple providers and network technologies.
The initial fruit of this effort is a pair of LSO software development kits (SDKs) supporting inter-provider APIs for address validation, serviceability, and ordering; and an intra-provider API for network resource provisioning.
The third element is a service and technology certification program behind the MEF 3.0 program. The certification program will test that services and technologies comply with the 3.0 standards. The certification program uses a cloud-based, virtualized test platform powered by Iometrix. Chen said this program slashes certification from “days to minutes.”
MEF earlier this year launched a certification program covering the automation, virtualization, and interoperability of networks tapping into LSO, software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), and carrier Ethernet 2.0.
The final element of the MEF 3.0 program is expansion of community collaboration. This involves creation of a compute, storage, and networking platform – MEFnet – to host development, testing, and collaboration efforts. Chen said MEF has focused on using a community to accelerate the development of the 3.0 program “in terms of having code ready to go to improve the standards.”
The MEF 3.0 program builds on the organization’s previous carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) work. MEF claims nearly 150 companies sell CE 2.0 certified products and services.
“MEF has a proven history of delivering,” said Shawn Hakl, vice president of product and new business innovation at Verizon, during this week’s MEF17 event. He noted MEF initiatives provide platforms that companies can actually use with a focus on inter-carrier platforms. “MEF’s work on making this easier, automated, and more agile is incredibly important.”