Dear MEF Members,

I am pleased to share that we have had a very productive MEF Annual Members Meeting in Vancouver, with the Technical, Service Operations, Certification, and Marketing Committees all advancing important initiatives.  Below is a quick summary of the scope of MEF activity.  We encourage you to become involved in programs evolving throughout the year.   

 

MEF Focus In 2015

MEF work this year is focused on driving continued growth of the $80+ billion global market for Carrier Ethernet services and technologies and defining LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) standards that underpin emerging Third Network services with CE 2.0, SDN, and NFV. Development of LSO and associated APIs is critical to overcoming today’s operational support system (OSS) challenges and bridging the gap to future SDN/NFV-enhanced networks.

 

New MEF Members

It is a pleasure to welcome 12 new MEF members in the past quarter. These include service providers Axtel, Eidsiva Bredband AS, Elisa Corporation, and Liquid Telecommunications, as well as network solutions vendors iconectiv, Tejas Networks, and ZyXEL. We now have 220+ member organizations based in 43 countries.

 

Accelerating Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Adoption Worldwide

The work of MEF member companies has transformed the communications landscape by providing affordable, scalable, high-bandwidth, high-performance connectivity that underpins today’s information-based economy. Tens of thousands of businesses and non-commercial organizations around the world use CE 2.0 and CE 1.0 certified services. 1,000+ network operators worldwide leverage CE technology to enable cloud, data, mobile, and residential services.

Over the past year we have seen 90% growth in both CE 2.0 certifications and in the number of MEF CE Certified Professionals (MEF-CECPs).  Several dozen operators based in 14 countries now offer CE 2.0 certified services. There are now more than 2,825 MEF-CECPs employed by 326 organizations in 70 countries.

During 2014, the industry witnessed an accelerated transition away from TDM leased lines toward CE services. In addition, many large carriers are in the midst of multi-year efforts to shut down their TDM networks and shift to CE. The MEF’s new Ethernet Interconnection Points and other initiatives are designed to help speed this process along worldwide.

 

Enabling MEF Third Network Vision

Building upon the CE 2.0 global service foundation, last September the MEF launched our vision for a new Third Network paradigm that combines the on-demand agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of CE 2.0.  Since this time, we have been reshaping our strategy and developing a range of new projects, ad hocs, and other initiatives to realize this vision.

The Third Network is characterized by agile and assured services that are orchestrated over more automated and interconnected networks powered by CE 2.0, LSO, SDN, and NFV. These services promise to offer a dynamic, cloud-centric experience with unprecedented levels of user control over network resources, with connectivity orchestrated between both physical and virtual service endpoints and across multiple providers. See the MEF’s Third Network Vision & Strategy White Paper (Nov 2014) for more information.

 

LSO Bridging The OSS Chasm To SDN & NFV-Enabled Networks

In recent quarters, the MEF has stepped up efforts to define LSO capabilities and supporting APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to streamline and automate the entire network service lifecycle in a sustainable fashion. LSO encompasses all network domains that require coordinated end-to-end management and control to deliver on-demand connectivity services and to assure their overall quality and security. The MEF is defining the LSO Reference Architecture that describes the interaction of LSO with SDN and NFV. On that basis, the MEF will develop functional requirements and APIs that support capabilities for fulfillment, control, performance, assurance, usage, security, analytics, and policy across multi-operator networks. This approach overcomes existing complexity by defining service abstractions that hide the complexity of underlying technologies and network layers from the applications and users of the services. Stay tuned for a new MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration Vision White Paper that will be published in early February.

 

MEF UNITE Program To Advance Third Network Development

The MEF recently created an internal cross-committee initiative called UNITE in order to facilitate the development of MEF projects in close collaboration with other industry standards bodies. Traditionally, both the MEF and CloudEthernet Forum (CEF) have relied on their respective memberships to develop and publish work, with periodic coordination with other industry bodies through 'liaisons'. However, more and more projects today require closer collaboration among industry standards bodies due to the growing interdependence between technologies and methodologies in the connectivity services space, especially when it comes to automated interfacing between service providers and subscribers.  No one industry body can accommodate all the required areas of expertise, and a silo model with only periodic coordination with other industry bodies is not a viable option for key areas of work. We will have a readout from Denver on UNITE-related initaitives.

 

MEF Assembling The Ecosystem Of Industry Players At GEN15

In November, the MEF hosted our first ever global conference – GEN14.  GEN14 involved 110 sponsors & event partners as well as 115+ Cloud, CE 2.0, LSO, SDN, and NFV expert speakers from across the services & technology ecosystem.  The event attracted more than 1,000 attendees from 308 organizations in 36 countries and provided an extraordinary opportunity to network with service provider executives and other key industry players. 96% of surveyed attendees said the conference was outstanding, very good, or good, and 97% said they would recommend that their colleagues attend GEN15.

GEN15 (www.gen15.com) will be held during 16 – 19 November at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. GEN15 will be the global gathering of networking professionals enabling the future of agile, assured and orchestrated services powered by CE 2.0, LSO, SDN, and NFV. We expect 1,250+ attendees from 325+ organizations based in 40+ countries.  We will have an expanded Proof of Concept Services & Technology Demonstration Showcase, the annual MEF Excellence Awards Dinner, and other excellent opportunities to network & learn about key industry trends & developments. We have had great progress in lining up GEN15 sponsors thus far and will be announcing the first group of sponsoring companies in mid February.

 

Please contact me (stan@mef.net.) if you have any questions about the work of various MEF Committees or are interested in sponsoring GEN15. 

 

Sincerely,

Stan Hubbard

Communications & Research Director, MEF