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January 10, 2017

MEF Taps SDN Pioneer Dan Pitt As New SVP

MEF has named SDN pioneer Dan Pitt as its new senior vice president, reflecting the organization’s efforts to provide guidance on implementing software elements into broader parts of the telecom and enterprise network. Pitt comes to the MEF from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) where he most recently served as that organization’s executive director.

Source: Fierce Telecom
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December 16, 2016

By Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research, MEF - One of the most exciting industry trends today is the paradigm shift to agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services that provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. These new services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks that build upon a CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0) foundation and are powered by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), software-defined networking (SDN), and network functions virtualization (NFV).

Source: SDxCentral

MEF is spearheading the shift by expanding work beyond CE 2.0 services to include development of new orchestrated Layer 1-3 connectivity services (e.g., wavelength, CE, and IP) and orchestrated Layer 4-7 cloud services (e.g., NFV-based virtual security, etc.). These new services have true game-changing potential for innovation, competition, and revenue generation. Read More

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December 12, 2016

LRTV: Stan Hubbard, MEF - 'De-Fragment' The Network & Automate The Service Lifecycle With LSO

Interview with Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research, MEF - Cable players want to leverage their growing Carrier Ethernet service base to deliver more dynamic services for businesses, but they will need LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) to enable automation of the full services lifecycle, including provisioning, performance monitoring, analytics, etc. A key first step is an internal inventory of resources – essentially an de-fragmentation process.

Source: Light Reading
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November 29, 2016

MEF16: Energy + Urgency + Collaboration

By Rosemary Cochran, Principal & Co-Founder, Vertical Systems Group - My takeaways from MEF16 can be summed up with three words – energy, urgency and collaboration. High energy was palpable throughout the four-day event, generated by attendees who represented more than 250 organizations from 30+ countries. Conference speakers and participants were energized by an urgency to accelerate delivery of the dynamic connectivity experiences demanded throughout our increasingly hyper-connected world. Ultimately, the consensus was that industry collaboration is no longer a question of “if” – but “how and when”.

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November 11, 2016

Extensive interview with Nan Chen, President, MEF, who covers the exciting industry transition to agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.

Source: Telecom Review

TR: What is MEF’s primary focus right now?

Nan Chen:  MEF is uniting industry efforts to enable agile, assured, and orchestrated connectivity and NFV-based services across multiple service provider networks. New Third Network services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity.

Service providers worldwide want to offer these services over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks...Read More

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November 11, 2016

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF - We'll Be Scrappy & Agile

MEF is working hard to reinvent itself, intending to move well beyond Carrier Ethernet to become the forum that enables end-to-end service orchestration across multiple carrier networks in the virtualization era. The man driving this change, CTO Pascal Menezes, says MEF will become "very scrappy and very agile" and bring on board its own code development resources as well. (See MEF Redefining Its Role.)

Source: Light Reading
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November 08, 2016

MEF Unites Open Source & Industry Organizations On Third Generation Network & Services (White Paper)

MEF has pulled together a coalition of industry groups, including top open source groups, into a single initiative focused on how to set up and deliver on-demand network-as-a-service capabilities across the carrier landscape. MEF CEO Nan Chen's crowning moment in today's opening keynotes was the announcement of a white paper by this group called "An Industry Initiative for Third Generation Network and Services," which is co-authored by MEF and a long roster of partner groups: ON.Lab , ONOS , OPEN-Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) , OpenDaylight , Open Networking Foundation , Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. (OPNFV) and TM Forum .

Source: Light Reading
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October 11, 2016

Michael Kearns, VP, Fixed Network Single OSS, Huawei discusses how networking priorities and roadmaps will evolve to support digital services. He notes that orchestration must be able texploit network virtualization and provide agility to operators, and a key to doing this is having an open networking environment. The increasing adoption of open networking, coupled with OSS integration, are underscoring a series of changing customer requirements within the service provider business. But as carriers’ businesses undergo a new stage of transformation, enabled by technologies such as SDN, NFV and LSO, plenty of challenges still need to be addressed. For example, the move from early stage proofs of concepts to wider and more large-scale deployments could impact service levels. There also needs to be more work to align open source initiatives with open standards. The MEF continues to play a significant and leading role in this evolution process.

Source: TelecomTV

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September 07, 2016

Shahar Steiff, AVP New Technologies, PCCW Global discusses the most significant developments shaping the services market, as the role of the programmable network increases and customers look towards agility as a key factor in their purchasing decisions. PCCW Global has just launched a new service that enables its customers to add a virtual machine to their VPN, giving them further control over their service configuration. Shahar notes that MEF is unique in its holistic approach to standards devlopment, with its focus on (1) services, (2) orchestration of those services with LSO, and (3) operational processes. This gives MEF a leading position within the industry.

Source: TelecomTV

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September 07, 2016

Chris Purdy, CTO, CENX highlights the importance of MEF's LSO Reference Architecture and development of standardized, open APIs for orchestrating and assuring services over both physical and virtual networks.

Source: TelecomTV

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September 07, 2016

Alessandro Talotta, Chairman & CEO, Telecom Italia Sparkle discusses the most significant developments shaping the wholesale services markets and TI Sparkle's efforts to integrate virtual services and LSO-enabled capabilities into its portfolio. As the importance of LSO increases, and customers start to see value in its implementation, MEF and its members continue to make progress with their drive towards more agile Third Network services. Exciting progress in orchestrating services over multiple interconnected provider networks & a cloud provider will be demonstrated at MEF16.

Source: TelecomTV

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September 01, 2016

Allan Langfield, Executive Director, Product Development, Comcast discusses how LSO, SDN, and NFV will usher in a new era of dynamic services that are relevantly interconnected and more efficiently implemented in ways that simply have not been possible with traditional technologies. He anticipates that we will see increased operational efficiency and shorter time to market for new services that will benefit end-users. Allan highlights that MEF's comprehensive effort to (1) expand service specification work to include Layer 3 IP and other services, (2) automate the service lifecycle with LSO, and (3) improve carrier-to-carrier integration & automation will be important factors in moving the industry forward.

Source: TelecomTV
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September 01, 2016

Anthony Peres, Marketing Director, IP Routing, Nokia and Ralph Santitor, Head of SDN/NFV Solutions Practice, Fujitsu, discuss MEF's new Carrier Ethernet and NFV white paper, which is part of a broad range of MEF initiatives to accelerate the introduction of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services. Bringing valuable insight to the growing ecosystem of Third Network services and technology companies, the paper explores options for introducing and implementing virtual network functions and services onto foundational CE 2.0 connectivity services. The paper is available for download from the MEF website here.

The paper examines use cases for different delivery models (centralized, decentralized, and distributed) for virtual network functions and services remotely within the service provider’s network, at the customer premises or a combination of thereof. The paper also discusses approaches and trade-offs for service demarcation equipment at the customer premises for different network functions and services - for example, Network Interface Devices (NIDs) with no functions virtualized, Virtual CPEs (vCPE) with all functions virtualized, or hybrid implementations.

Source: TelecomTV
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August 31, 2016

Dan Blemings, Director of Ethernet Product Management, AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions discusses some of AT&T's latest service innovations and explains why the company decided to release its ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management & Policy) platform --which controls its SDN network -- to the open source community. AT&T appointed Amdocs to be an integrator for telcos and cloud developers who want to use ECOMP to build their own software-centric network services. Blemings also covers how ECOMP ties in with MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) work.

Source: TelecomTV
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August 31, 2016

Mary Stanhope, VP of Marketing, Global Capacity shares her perspective on how more efficient operation and interconnection of Ethernet networks is contributing to healthy development of the wholesale services market and yielding positive benefits for end customers. Global Capacity itself has created a market place platform of interconnected network service providers and pre-set interconnects to data centers, cloud providers, and application providers in order streamline service turn-up and automate service delivery. Going forward, LSO promises to help the overall wholesale market work better by enabling end-to-end management of services across provider networks and shortening ordering and delivery times.

Source: TelecomTV
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August 31, 2016

Brendan Gunn, Director, Global Ethernet & IP Services, Verizon Partner Solutions (formerly Verizon Global Wholesale) discusses how emerging Third Network-related technologies (including LSO APIs, SDN, and NFV) are beginning to reshape the wholesale and retail services market. These new technologies are enabling greater business agility, speeding time to market for services, and facilitating end-to-end management of service delivery. Brendan also talks about some of the key steps Verizon has taken to move the industry forward, including the introduction of NFV-based, SD-WAN, and secure cloud interconnect services.

Source: TelecomTV
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August 30, 2016

Vertical Systems Group's senior analysts Rosemary Cochran, Principal & Co-Founder and Erin Dunne, Director of Research Services discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the industry transition to Third Network services. They note that the advancement to the Third Network is well underway, with more efficient operations, streamlined development of services, and the ability to deliver innovative dynamic services. Industry standards development will be the key to progress, especially for end-to-end orchestration of services across network operators and cloud providers. Over time, service providers will face increased competitive threats from those who are able to offer compelling new on-demand services. The analysts also explore other topics, including the compelling value of the MEF Carrier Ethernet Certification Program (MEF-CECP) and the market impact of SD-WAN and NFV.

Source: TelecomTV
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August 30, 2016

Nan Chen, President of MEF, discusses MEF's major initiatives designed to accelerate the shift to agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks. This includes (1) orchestrated Third Network connectivity & point services, (2) LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), and (3) MEF's Open Initiative which incorporates the LSO Hackathon, OpenLSO, OpenCS, and other activities. Nan also comments on the upcoming MEF16 global networking event taking place during 7-10 November in Baltimore/Washington DC, USA.

Source: TelecomTV

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August 30, 2016

Michael Strople, Chairman, MEF & President, Zayo Managed Services discusses changing market dynamics associated with the rise of cloud services and how MEF's goal is to  accelerate development of Third Network services that are optimized for the cloud era. He illustrates the broad appeal of MEF's vision by noting that the organization recently experienced a record quarter in the growth of new member companies from various sectors of the industry.

Source: TelecomTV

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August 30, 2016

Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research, MEF shares highlights from MEF's Annual Members Meeting in Boston.  Comments focus on MEF's 4 major work areas; (1) orchestrated Third Network services, (2) LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), (3) Open Initiative, and (4) an expanded certification program.

Source: TelecomTV

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August 15, 2016

SDN and NFV are now transforming service delivery in a material way, says Brendan Gunn, Director, Global Ethernet and IP for Verizon Wholesale.

As before, the core challenge remains to deliver connectivity to people, places and things while doing so securely, reliably and simply.

To do so, Verizon Wholesale focuses on (1) expanding the physical layer (2) building Layer 2 and 3 functionality on top of that infrastructure, including SD-WAN, NFV-as-a-service, ultra high-speed ports, etc.

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August 11, 2016

Dan Blemings, Director of Ethernet Product Management, AT&T, discusses some of the transformative steps underway to help accelerate the business benefits of Ethernet-driven services and create an ecosystem of agile, on-demand capabilities.

Recorded at the MEF Annual Members Meeting in Boston.

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August 07, 2016

MEF is focused on enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks. MEF COO Kevin Vachon shares highlights on key LSO and open initiative work at MEF’s Annual Meeting in Boston and provides a preview of the MEF16 event in Baltimore, 7-10 November.

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August 07, 2016

MEF is advancing development of Third Network services based on LSO, SDN, and NFV encapsulated in OpenCS use cases and OpenLSO capabilities. MEF CTO Pascal Menezes discusses the launch of new projects for 5G, SD WAN & Cloud Exchange technology domains that will be orchestrated using LSO APIs. Project directors will coordinate use cases, information models, and APIs needed for orchestrating services across these and other domains.

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August 05, 2016

MEF is now looking to take the next big step forward with certification of Third Network services enabled by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), says Bob Mandeville, President of Iometrix. The pivotal moment will come at this fall’s MEF16 event on November 7-10 in Baltimore.

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August 04, 2016

MEF has published its LSO reference architecture. Orchestration encompasses a wide variety of functions, says Marie Fiala Timlin, Director of Marketing for CENX. These capabilities include fulfillment control, security policy, analytics and assurance -- areas that CENX focuses on.

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August 03, 2016

Ethernet continues to drives the next wave of hybrid networks or software-defined WANs, says Mary Stanhope, VP of Marketing for Global Capacity, speaking at the MEF's Annual Members Meeting in Boston.

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August 03, 2016

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has been working with the MEF for over a year to bring SDN and NFV into the scope of Carrier Ethernet, says Dan Pitt, Executive Director of ONF. The focus now is on Lifecycle Service Orchestration and carrier-grade SDN into multi-carrier deployments.

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August 03, 2016

Security must be an essential part of the MEF's Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) and the Third Network, says Wedge Networks' CTO Hongwen Zhang. Tomorrow's cloud-based economy will rely on the security of network services. Wedge Networks is proposing a Security as a Service Ad Hoc Working Group within the MEF.

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August 02, 2016

AT&T apparently has become the first telecom service provider to put the MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) framework into practice as it launches an automated tool for its wholesale customers to qualify Ethernet services. (See AT&T Wholesale Unit Automates Ethernet Qualifying.)

The new process builds on two AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) application program interfaces (APIs) and enables AT&T Wholesale Solutions' customers to replace the often tedious and time-consuming process of figuring out what AT&T Switched Ethernet services are available at a given customer site with an automated process that can happen in minutes, and cover hundreds of sites at a time. AT&T is working across its services to introduce greater automation, notes Dan Blemings, director of Ethernet product management for AT&T Global and Business Solutions. For this process, it found that MEF 55, the LSO framework recently introduced, provided the best approach. (See MEF Launches Lifecycle Service Orchestration Report and MEF Redefining Its Role.) "In layman's terms, it's a picture of what it needs to look like in order to have two service providers to have a connection between them and qualify a site," he tells Light Reading in an interview. "We looked at that and we thought it made sense. And if you want to foster standardization and create an ecosystem of service providers qualifying each other, why not start there? And that's what we did."  Read More.

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July 31, 2016

Lifecycle Service Orchestration, or LSO, provides open and interoperable automation of management operations over the entire lifecycle of Layer 2 and Layer 3 Connectivity Services as well as Cloud applications and VNFs. The importance of the word “Lifecycle” should not be missed. LSO goes well beyond the initial setup of these services. It includes all the aspects of Service Assurance through the full lifecycle of these services, from when they are initially conceived until they are eventually disconnected.

Lifecycle Service Orchestration: Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF 55). This 57-page document from the MEF is the essential, foundational specification for agile end-to-end communications services that work within one carrier’s network or can span the globe linking multiple service providers. What’s included in the document? Everything from design to fulfillment, from control to testing, and everything in-between. That spans quality management, billing and usage, security, service performance, service failure resolution, analytics and policy capabilities, and change management over all the network domains that require coordinated management and control in order to deliver and assure the service. The Reference Architecture, written in the first half of 2016, describes the management and control domains and entities that enable cooperative LSO capabilities for a host of Connectivity Services and Cloud Applications. Indeed, the LSO architecture and framework enables automated management and control of end-to-end Services that span multiple provider domains. For example, a service provider may use LSO to define how external operators can manage, control and add value to its end-to-end services — and the Reference Architecture document explains how to make that work in a standard interoperable way.  Read More.

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July 25, 2016

The MEF today is showing off the first of its Open Connectivity Services use cases to demonstrate how it is going beyond Carrier Ethernet to enable a broad range of services to be turned up across multiple technology domains and different service provider networks. (See MEF Announces Open Packet WAN Project.)

Source: LightReading

This initial project -- a Packet Wide Area Network (WAN) use case led by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Amartus -- builds on a multi-vendor reference design that includes open application programming interfaces (APIs) and an OpenDaylight controller, as well as the MEF 's Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration. The goal is to allow enterprises to easily turn up new packet WAN services that span technology domains and service provider boundaries as easily as they turn up cloud services today, says MEF's CTO Pascal Menezes.  "We have a number of these use cases going; this is just the first one we are putting out," Menezes told Light Reading in a phone interview. "What we have been doing with LSO is all about orchestrated services. The idea that a customer can come in, activate a service like the cloud guys can do and instantly make that happen within a service provider or between service providers is incredibly innovative in the way that customers expect."  Read More.

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June 30, 2016

Open standards and open source projects are both essential ingredients for advancing the cause of interoperable next-generation carrier networks. When a standards developing organization (SDO), like MEF, creates standards, those written documents themselves aren’t the end goal. Sure, the specifications look good on paper, but it takes a lot of work to turn those words and diagrams into hardware, software and services. And if there are any ambiguities in those specifications, or misinterpretations by vendors building out their products and services, interoperability could be problematic at best.

By contrast, when an open-source project is formed, the team’s job is obvious: to create software and solutions. All too often, the members of the project are focused on reaching a particularly objective. In those cases they are working in a vacuum, and might write code that works great but which can’t be abstracted to solve a more general problem. In those cases, interoperability may also be a huge issue. The answer is clear: bring together SDOs and open-source teams to write open-source code that’s aligned with open specifications. That’s what is happening at the LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Hackathons hosted by MEF: open source teams come together to work on evolving specifications, and the end result is not only solid code but also effective feedback to MEF about its specs and architecture. Another benefit: networking experts from across the communications industry work together with software developers from the IT world face-to-face, fostering mutual understanding of the constraints of their peers in ways that lead to more effective interaction in their day jobs. Read More.

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June 30, 2016

While slow speeds and high costs dominate most discussions about South Africa’s broadband, a survey at the MEF Johannesburg Seminar revealed that business now rates fast and agile set up and modification as its top priority. This is according to Gary Williams, MEF EMEA Marketing Co-Chair and Business Development for Microsemi Corporation and the Carrier Ethernet Academy. 

Source: IT News Africa

New Fibre to the Home and LTE services are making headlines in South Africa this year, but the general view is still “too little too late.” Point Topic’s Q1 broadband tariff scorecard ranks South Africa as 69 out of 84 countries in terms of average broadband pricing. Individuals and businesses are looking for more affordable and flexible connectivity solutions to help improve their productivity.  So this year’s MEF Johannesburg business seminar could not have been better timed to address these challenges. MEF describes itself as an industry association “that is the driving force for development and implementation of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world.” Seminar participants included top names from the nation’s carriers, service providers, and industry leaders. So this year’s MEF Johannesburg business seminar could not have been better timed to address these challenges. MEF describes itself as an industry association “that is the driving force for development and implementation of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world.” Seminar participants included top names from the nation’s carriers, service providers, and industry leaders.  Read More.

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June 14, 2016

Attending the recent MEF Seminar in London, I was struck by the proposition that service providers need to partner to create new solutions also applies to industry consortia supporting them. The reason is that agility is the key priority, so service providers and their suppliers are looking to collaboration groups and standards bodies to provide agile solutions. 

Source: TM Forum

In that spirit we reported the result of the joint work being conducted between TM Forum and MEF on a harmonized approach for application program interfaces (APIs). MEF’s APIs for its Lifecycle Service Orchestrator follow the TM Forum Open API guidelines, and its Presto interfaces use a subset of TM Forum APIs announced at TM Forum Live! last month. It was apparent that the combination of the Forum’s skills – APIs and management – and the MEF’s skills in networking and end-to-end orchestration had allowed both groups to deliver more quickly and to a higher standard than either could accomplished individually. What did we learn? Firstly, a lot of the work was conducted in a single discussion series rather than the traditional approach of exchange of documents. This approach has adapted the concepts of agile and DevOps working to the creation of standards, i.e. get all the stakeholder together to agree the problem, agree the incremental priorities, and develop and test proposals in an interactive, hands-on style.  Read More.

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