MEF & Ethernet carriers advance initiative to scale Ethernet service interconnectivity
Date: Thu, 05/07/2015 - 14:48
Nan Chen, President of MEF
Image credited to MEF
Following its GEN14 announcement of the project launch in November, theMEF has now approved the next phase of the MEF Ethernet Interconnect Points (EIP) project to standardize guidelines for current and future Ethernet Carriers around the globe. In a first for the MEF, the organization has assembled some of the largest Ethernet Operators, all under one roof, for the purpose of streamlining how they interconnect their Carrier Ethernet services. The EIP project complements a separate, newly introduced MEF initiative – the Services Interconnect Program (MEF-SI) – that will give hundreds of small wholesale Carrier Ethernet Operators the opportunity to offer standards-compliant Carrier Ethernet services quickly for their customers.
The EIP project will provide rapid feedback from prototyping to help the project participants agree on a common approach to interconnecting by using MEF specifications. EIPs comprise all aspects of Ethernet interconnect – including all the requirements needed to provide a customer with an end-to–end Ethernet service spanning multiple operators. Specific aspects include: location selection, External Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) parameters, and alignment of business processes.
With more than 50 current MEF specifications for Carrier Ethernet architectures, connectivity services, and service lifecycles – and many more in the pipeline to cover the emerging area of Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) – demand for implementation guidelines for multi-carrier environments is growing rapidly. The EIP project is developing use cases representing topologies and service characteristics typically used by carriers that interconnect their Carrier Ethernet services with one another to create end-to-end Carrier Ethernet services.
Perspectives Of Leading US Telcos
Experts at three of the US Ethernet Carriers who are leading the EIP initiative commented as follows:
Dan Blemings, Director of Product Marketing Management, AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions: “We are pleased to be playing a leading role in the formation of Ethernet Interconnect Points and the multi-carrier collaboration occurring on this MEF project. This effort is another step towards AT&T’s larger vision to transition to an all Ethernet and IP network. With this project we are creating a more expansive Ethernet footprint to better serve our customers’ rapidly growing consumption of both wireline and wireless bandwidth.”
Matthew Duckworth, Director of Ethernet Product Marketing, Verizon Global Wholesale and a co-chair of the MEF’s global marketing committee: “The MEF and its Ethernet Interconnect Points initiative is playing a critical role in creating an environment where Carrier Ethernet providers are collaborating to create a standardized industry framework for the interconnection of Ethernet services on a global basis. As the transition to next-generation IP networks accelerates, the creation of interconnection standards will help providers meet customer requirements for increasing bandwidth provided over reliable and secure Carrier Ethernet networks.”
Jeff Brown, Director of Product Marketing, Windstream Carrier Solutions: “Windstream is pleased to be participating in the rapid prototype environment, collaborating with other network operators and equipment providers. Adopting a standard way to interconnect is key to driving the adoption of Ethernet throughout the industry.”
Rapid Prototyping Environment & CE 2.0 Certified Equipment
In order to accelerate the finalization and publication of the EIP Implementation Guidelines, the project has adopted an agile approach with the creation of a Rapid Prototyping Environment. The Rapid Prototyping is being hosted by a MEF member, the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry. The EIP Rapid Prototyping Environment is a controlled lab remotely accessed by project participants to assess the implementation of draft sections of the EIP Implementation Guide using CE 2.0 certified equipment with their respective configurations.
A number of MEF members – Alcatel-Lucent, Canoga Perkins, Ciena, Juniper Networks, and RAD – have provided CE 2.0 certified equipment for the rapid prototyping aspect of the project, demonstrating yet again their high level of commitment to the work of the project and the MEF in general.
Standardized Business Processes
Another important aspect of the project is to standardize business processes, such as product catalogues, service ordering, and performance reporting across EIPs. The project collaborates closely with other projects in the MEF Service Operations Committee. "Successful long-term automation of business processes is conditional on being able to orchestrate multi-operator segments of the end-to-end Ethernet service," stated Dawn Kaplan, Ericsson and Co-chair of the Committee. "By coordinating the work of these industry standardization activities, the MEF is enabling the next generation of automated services."