MEF unveiled a pair of new specifications tied to its recently launched 3.0 framework. Those specs were developed within the MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Reference Architecture and are targeted at orchestrating the framework over multiple network technology domains.
The new network resource management specification, deftly titled “Information Model (MEF 59).” It’s designed to support orchestration of Carrier Ethernet connectivity services through wide area network (WAN) software-defined network (SDN) controllers, optical transport network subnetwork managers, and legacy network management systems.
MEF 59 uses specifications based on current models from organizations like the Open Network Foundation (ONF) and TM Forum to support wider interoperability across multi-vendor and multi-technology platforms. Specification contributors included CenturyLink, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Coriant, Ericsson, Huawei, Infinera, NEC, RAD, and Nokia.
MEF 59 also is the basis for the second specification release. That release is a network resource provisioning specification dubbed “Interface Profile Specification (MEF 60).”
MEF 60 provides an abstracted, intent-based platform for the activation of network resources in support of MEF-defined services. It leverages ONF’s Transport API model for network resource activation and topology, with the API integrated into an OpenDaylight SDN controller plug-in.
The specification is also bolstered by the LSO Presto software development kit (SDK) that is available to MEF developers via GitHub. The Presto SDK was released last October and relates to service orchestration over multiple network technology domains.
The same vendors participated in MEF 60, with the addition of Amartus and Iometrix.
While CenturyLink was the only named operator connected to the new specifications, Jack Pugaczewski, editor of MEF 60 and a distinguished architect at CenturyLink, said AT&T, for instance, also contributed to some of the MEF work.
“I can only speak from my perspective and having worked with vendors and integrators on these development efforts,” Pugaczewski said. “Having a common model and corresponding API is a win-win for the carrier and vendor community.”
MEF 3.0 Expansion
Stan Hubbard, director of communications and research at MEF, said the new specifications show continued progress in advancing its LSO API-related work.
MEF launched its 3.0 initiative at the organization’s annual show last year. The initiative’s overall work is on orchestration, open APIs, a certification program, and expansion of community collaboration.
MEF President Nan Chen boasted that the program “has to be the biggest and boldest framework we have ever implemented. We want to deliver a service that has an internet-like agility and ubiquity, but Carrier Ethernet-like performance and security.”
Hubbard said MEF had more than 60 ongoing initiatives across the four elements of MEF 3.0. These include a multi-vendor software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) implementation and ongoing updates to its LSO Sonata framework dealing with service orchestration across multiple operators.
MEF also worked with the Linux Foundation and ETSI to develop a certification program for SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV). MEF will offer three certifications validating skills for SDN/NFV; technological knowledge and understanding of Carrier Ethernet service specifications and definitions; and a concept-level understanding of LSO/network automation, SDN, NFV, and CE, with an introduction to SD-WAN technologies.
MEF launched a similar certification program last year. Those efforts focused on automation, virtualization, and interoperability of networks tapping into LSO, SDN, NFV, and Carrier Ethernet 2.0.