MEF and TM Forum are teaming up with multiple service providers working to standardize Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) application programming interfaces (APIs) to orchestrate services across multiple networks.
The providers also leading the effort include AT&T, Orange, Colt, Comcast, Level 3, PCCW, Sparkle, Verizon, CableLabs, and Kyrio. Together they hope to develop a suite of inter-provider LSO APIs that use the MEF LSO Framework and the TM Forum Open API framework.
“A growing number of service providers are offering or planning to offer on-demand services, and they want to make them widely available without being constrained by the limits of their own physical network footprint,” says a MEF spokesperson. “But to expand service reach and deliver more dynamic services, they need a standards-based approach that facilitates interoperability with other providers and supports end-to-end service automation.”
The project revolves around the LSO Sonata Reference Point, which is a component of MEF’s LSO Framework and deals with the management, operational, and business interactions between Ethernet service providers. The project will also enable service providers to use the standardized APIs to work in each other’s software-defined networking (SDN) architectures.
Project participants will use TM Forum’s Open API specifications as well as API contributions from AT&T, Orange, Colt, CableLabs, and Kyrio. Initially, the inter-provider LSO APIs will be used to orchestrate MEF Carrier Ethernet services and will eventually be able to do the same with optical and IP services.
Eight LSO Sonata API definitions are planned to be standardized: address validation, service availability, ordering, quoting, billing, assurance, testing, and change management. However, only the first three are expected to be defined by the end of the year.
MEF’s LSO Framework was released in March 2016 and helped lay the company’s foundation for its technical work in network functions virtualization (NFV) and LSO. Specifically, it outlined its goal to help service providers deliver services over interconnected networks, and this announcement builds on that.
In 2015, MEF and TM Forum began collaborating on programs to push out new technology for orchestrating and coordinating dynamic services within networks.