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November 29, 2018

Andrew Dugan, CenturyLink - CenturyLink's Andrew Dugan Lands Seat on MEF's Board of Directors

MEF announced today that it has added CenturyLink's Andrew Dugan to its board of directors.

Source: FierceTelecom
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November 28, 2018

Daniel Bar Lev, MEF - Operators Using PoCs to Drive LSO APIs to Market Faster

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Daniel Bar-Lev, Director, Office of the CTO, MEF - Real-world experience using live networks in MEF Proofs of Concept (PoCs) is allowing operator members to shape technical specs faster. The same players involved in the PoCs are helping write the standards based on what they learned.

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November 27, 2018

Roman Pacewicz, AT&T - Q&A: AT&T's Pacewicz Says More Work Needs to be Done on Standardizing VNFs

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Roman Pacewicz, AT&T - While there has been some progress in regards to standardizing virtual network functions (VNFs), they are still not living up to their full potential, according to AT&T's Roman Pacewicz.

Source: FierceTelecom
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November 26, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF, discusses MEF's role in helping service providers along their transformational journey to on-demand services across automated networks. He shares insight into the groundbreaking releases of the industry's first SD-WAN service standard and LSO Sonata APIs for inter-provider service orchestration. He also highlights now MEF's professional certifciation programs can help address the skills gap that providers face as they transition to automated networks powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV.

Automation & the Transformational Journey
Service providers worldwide are trying to understand how they apply automation, change their processes, and replace their legacy network with a transformational network powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV. MEF has a number of ways that it is helping service provider member companies along their transformational journey, including community collaboration on MEF 3.0 implementation projects and educational workshops focused on LSO APIs, virtualization, interaction with open source and other standards organizations, etc.

SD-WAN Service Standardization
Pascal describes MEF's work on the industry's first SD-WAN service standard, which currently is in the draft phase with a target completion in 1Q19. This standard not only establishes a common approach to constructs and terminology, but it also includes performance objectives. "Really, it's all about application performance. How can an SD-WAN service meet the performance objectives by application."

MEF released a draft standard in order to ensure that member companies and industry players at large would have the opportunity to comment on such an important document. MEF already has received more than 800 comments and resolved 70% of these as of late October 2018.

"We describe attributes so that when we go to automation for APIs on SD-WAN you can use those attributes to put in the APIs in the data models. In fact, we also delivered out the data model in YANG right now for SD-WAN. So now we can build APIs out of it."

LSO Sonata APIs for Inter-Provider Service Orchestration
LSO Sonata "is a very big deal." Service providers worldwide collaborate with each other to enable services to be delivered to off-network locations. "The workflow process today has been very manual. Even though a provider A has a customer, has retail, and has automated completely in their own network, when it hits someone else's network, they actually do a very manual process. They will actually find out if the address can be reached, what kind of services are available. They will try to find pricing for that, what kind of capabilities are there, capacity, all of that...just very manual workflow processes that take a very long time."

"What we've done with Sonata is we've automated all of that with two systems interacting, from business system to business system. And we've released 4 APIs today...We did it in a Developer Release." LSO Sonata draft technical standards included in the Developer Release relate to serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering and cover business requirements, use cases, and attributes that serve as the basis for associated LSO Sonata API SDKs and data models.

Telecom Must Become Cloud-Like
The whole telecom industry needs to become cloud-like. "It's all about instant delivery. Instant ability to have changes on the services. And everyone of our members are on that journey. That's the transformational journey that we talked about."

"This means we all have to be in the same boats, rowing in the same way. So we're working with a lot of SDOs and open source projects to work together collaboratively...If we're all working together, we can get there faster."  MEF is working closely with The Linux Foundation/ONAP, TM Forum, and others.

Skills Transformation & MEF Professional Certification
A recently completed joint MEF/Vertical Systems Group survey identified professional skills as the No. 1 challenge service providers face when making the transformational journey to dynamic services and automated networks.  MEF addresses this challenge with SDN/NFV, Carrier Ethernet, and Network Foundations professional certification programs. "Traditional operations people will have to be very savvy in the DevOps world...."

The four LSO Sonata technical specifications related to serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering cover business requirements, use cases, and attributes that serve as the basis for the associated LSO Sonata API SDKs and data models.

Read more at: https://www.mef.net/Press-Releases/MEF-Releases-LSO-Sonata-APIs-Enabling-for-the-First-Time-in-the-Industry-Automation-of-Potential-$250B-MEF-Services-Market

The four LSO Sonata technical specifications related to serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering cover business requirements, use cases, and attributes that serve as the basis for the associated LSO Sonata API SDKs and data models.

Read more at: https://www.mef.net/Press-Releases/MEF-Releases-LSO-Sonata-APIs-Enabling-for-the-First-Time-in-the-Industry-Automation-of-Potential-$250B-MEF-Services-Market

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November 26, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Brian Lillie, EVP & Chief Product Officer, Equinix, discusses what it takes to build a digital-ready infrastructure with SDN and NFV. He covers software-defined interconnection, virtualized services, Equinix's Cloud Exchange platform, and Equinix's strategy for evolving the network edge.

Equinix has 200 data centers in 52 metro areas in 24 countries.

Software-Defined Interconnection
"Our vision is to take those assets underneath, that are very physical, and layer on top of that intelligent software and really make that capable and available to any customer that wants to leverage it - whether you are a small/medium business or a large global enterprise. We think that software-defined infrastructure is key to the future."

Virtual Services - Lowering Risk, Speeding Time to Market
Equinix has found a number of use cases with its Cloud Exchange platform where a provider could offer NFV-based virtual services to test markets. "This is a way they can spin up what we call a performance hub. You can think about it as routing, load balancing, firewall, etc. You can spin that up, service chain those VNFs together. Connected to the Cloud Exchange, you can now access clouds in that remote market without deploying any capital."

Cloud Exchange
Brian explains Equinix's Cloud Exchange, which is a software-defined swithcing fabric that allows buyers and sellers to efficiently connect to each other. They get a port on the fabric and can connect virtually to multiple players over the fabric. "For example, if you put a 10 Gig port on this switching fabric, you can set up a 1 Gig virtual circuit to Amazon, Google, Microsoft, a carrier, each other...."

Network Edge Evolution
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to serve digital business." Equinix's strategy involves multiple steps:  (1) help customers aggregate traffic at the edge and connect edge hubs into what essentially is an intelligent, distributed network; (2)  directly connect to clouds at the edge; (3) deploy secuirty controls at the edge; and (4) integrate data at the edge, where it can be cached. "So now we're seeing customers build what we call data hubs" at the edge, closer to customers. It becomes a digital-ready, scalable architecture.

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November 23, 2018

Daniel Bar Lev, MEF - MEF Presents 19 Proof of Concepts (PoCs) from Around the World

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Daniel Bar Lev, Director, Office of the CTO, for MEF provides a great visual and description of the Proof of Concepts set up at the MEF18 Forum.

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November 21, 2018

Nan Chen, President, MEF - The Secret to MEF's Staying Power & 2019 Predictions

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Nan Chen, President, MEF, says that the organization's staying power is  based on the early decision to focus on defining revenue-generating services and their attributes. Today's MEF 3.0 framework consists of 4 major elements (1) standardized, orchestrated services, (2) LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs to automate services across providers and over technology domains, (3) certification, and (4) community collaboration. Nan predicts that 2019 will be characterized by greater progress on LSO API-driven inter-provider service automation, demonstrations of federated networks, and an expansion of MEF 3.0 certified services.

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November 20, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Dan Pitt, SVP, MEF, provides an update on MEF's approach to 5G, which includes delivering MEF services over 5G as well as supporting 5G services with MEF constructs, including LSO APIs.

MEF's 5G Focus
"We're looking at things from a couple of different angles. One is how do we support MEF services over 5G, to 5G end points. And that's actually quite straight forward because our service definitions and frameworks are technology agnostic...The other is to support 5G services with some of the MEF constructs. That's where we are looking mostly at transport and some of the service interfaces and the attributes that we have on the APIs."

"What we like to do is to make it easy to adopt some new technology without disrupting the whole stack, without disrupting the processes for launching services, for modifying services, paying for services."

"We have work going on in the LSO Committee right now on the slicing project, which will determine what, if anything, we have to do to foster slicing in the WAN to support slicing in the RAN. And then we have work going on in the Applications Committee - do we change anything about the intent-based interfaces from the applications where we have new capabilities that can be exploited because of the 5G capabilities."

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November 20, 2018

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF - Multiple Proof of Concept Demonstrations for MEF 3.0 and MEF Releases SD-WAN Specification at MEF18

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer for MEF, reviews the MEF 3.0 framework with Don Witt of The Channel Daily News, a TR publication.

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November 16, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Erin Dunne, Director of Research Services, Vertical Systems Group, shares her perspective on SD-WAN managed services, new MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs, and how alignment on MEF 3.0 can speed service delivery and make life easier for service providers.

Why SD-WAN Managed Services Are Attractive
"SD-WAN rollout has not been smooth...My metaphor for this is that it is almost like a self-service checkout line at the grocery store. Why would I do that? It's harder for me. As a customer, why would they do that? It's harder for them on the DYI aspect. So now you are seeing these early adopters of DYI SD-WANs say, 'Wow, that's not as easy as I thought it might be. Let's go for a managed service.' And here they come - here comes AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and the folks like that. And they're picking up a lot of those early DYI adopters because it's not very simple."

MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs
What will be the impact of MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs? "Every time a service provider can rollout a service or light up an end-user site quicker, that's quicker to revenue. We're seeing the provisioning times shrink slowly over time."

Value of MEF 3.0 Services Certification
Looking forward, "if the retail and the wholesale service provider are both MEF 3.0 certified, it just moves faster."

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November 16, 2018

Kevin Vachon, COO, MEF - Establishing Standards for Service Providers to Sell Revenue Generating Services to Business for 17 Years

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Kevin Vachon, Chief Operating Officer at MEF, discusses MEF and the MEF 18 conference with Don Witt of the Channel Daily News, a TR publication.

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November 16, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Franck Morales, VP Marketing Connectivity Services, Orange Business Services, discusses how is company is addressing customers' digital transformation needs with its Flexible SD-WAN service and helping customers migrate to hybrid networking solutions. He also comments on Orange's support for MEF 3.0 SD-WAN and LSO API initiatives and the importance of this work in helping deliver high quality services to end-users. 

Supporting MEF 3.0 SD-WAN and LSO API Initaitives
"We are developing a wrap around SD-WAN with our Flexible SD-WAN solution. And one side of our Flexible SD-WAN is really to have multi-vendor expertise. We are working with several vendors to have the ability to have a northbound API to put that into our portal to offer a managed service or co-managed service to our customer. It is something that will be very useful for us." This would help Orange avoid have a portal related to each vendor.
 
Addressing Customers' Digital Transformation Needs
Customers are asking for Orange to support digital transformation, including business use cases related to cloud transformation. "They are looking for solutions to bring them the right level of service to ensure high quality end-user experience for business critical applications located in the cloud. To make that happen, Flexible SD-WAN is really the solution we are bringing to the table with five pillars: SD-WAN multi-vendor expertise, native cloud connectivity, best-of-breed security, global services, and a future-proof solution.
 
Addressing Customer Challenges in Migrating to Hybrid Networking
"We are providing hybrid solutions right now...We are seeing the evolution of the traffic pattern from MPLS technology to Internet technology, of course, Internet as a destination. One of the challenges that we have in doing this for our customers is to have this ability to provide them with Internet local service providers which are fully compatible with SD-WAN solutions and, as well, that we are able to manage their operational performance."  Orange is leveraging its experience in sourcing Ethernet links for its MPLS service in order to select local ISPs.
 
Perspective on MEF's Conference
"What I'm seeing is - and it's quite something important - is MEF has really shfited within the technology area and is really embracing all of the evolution of this huge demand towards digital transformation. So, for us, it is important to be here, to see how the industry is evolving. The opportunity we have with LSO, with APIs, with all of these things, is of great value to us in order to be able to deliver the right level of services for our customers.
 
5G
Franck says that he believes 5G "will modify quite a lot the way we are providing local loop" services. While Orange has been deploying fiber to the home, he sees 5G as potentially providing "huge capacity" in the local loop for first deployments, backup lines, and support for forecasted 15 - 20% annual growth in local traffic demand.

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November 16, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - The mood at last month's MEF18 event in Los Angeles was surprisingly upbeat when you consider this event caters to the business services segment of the telecom industry and the news from that sector hasn't been all that rosy of late.

Source: Light Reading

There was also generally a feeling that MEF itself is on the right track, focusing on services and making those work both inter-carrier and intra-carrier, defining applications programming interfaces that can be widely used and producing some industry standard definitions around SD-WAN. The large number of multi-carrier proofs of concept were a clear indication of how active network operators have been in putting the MEF work to work.

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November 15, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov – Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer, AT&T, discusses enterprise adoption of SD-WAN, customer interest in hybrid networking solutions, and the important role of MEF in providing a framework and standards that will enable service providers to orchestrate dynamic services across each other’s networks.

SD-WAN & Hybrid Networking
"The anchor of our value proposition is the virtualized FlexWare platform, and on top of that platform we are able to configure the various VNFs in software to meet the customer’s needs.” As of September, AT&T has over 28,000 SD-WAN sites that it is implementing on behalf of clients.

“Most of our customers are looking for hybrid solutions.” They are first trying to determine the proper underlay network for their set of sites, and then trying to determine what type of SD-WAN architecture to overlay on top of that. SD-WAN is leading customers to think about the network more broadly. “When you implement an SD-WAN network, you are looking at application flows, so a customer now has to think about networking in a different dimension. They have to think about if from all of those application flows and how those applications should be handled.”

MEF 3.0 Global Services Framework & Orchestration of Inter-Carrier Services
“I think MEF plays a really critical role in the industry and kind of a critical role for AT&T from the perspective that AT&T and no carrier really has infrastructure everywhere around the world. Yet, many of us serve customers all around the world. So we rely on partners to provide connectivity in different parts of the globe. And the process for many years has been very, very cumbersome. What MEF is doing is providing order and standardization and driving out some of the friction that exists in the current way that we lever one another for incremental services we may need in country A or country B. So that standardization enables us to more efficiently order services, provision services. It has tremendous value not only to the carrier, to AT&T, but to our customers going forward.”

“All of our customers are moving to digital business models. And as they move to digital business models, they expect more flexibility from the network. They need to be able to control the network, increase bandwidth, decrease bandwidth, reconfigure the network…we really need to automate a lot of the provisioning and orchestration of services holistically. And so if a customer wants to increase the bandwidth – even if that bandwidth is provided ultimately by a third party, another carrier – we need to be able to effectively provision that service quickly and allow the customer to reconfigure the service wherever they may be. That’s really where standards come into play and are so critical for our industry…services need to become more intelligent, more dynamic and flexible, and without standards that would not be possible. Again, that’s where MEF comes in. That’s the reason why they are so critical to us.”

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November 14, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov – John-Paul Hemingway, CEO, SES Networks, discusses the need for an integrated approach to end-to-end service orchestration across terrestrial and satellite networks. He explains why SES became the first satellite provider in the world to receive MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification and highlights the importance of aligning with MEF 3.0 standards in order to orchestrate dynamic services across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

Common Approach to Service Orchestration
"If you are really going to connect everyone that we think needs connecting, you're going to have to orchestrate in the same way, have the same standards delivered across terrestrial and satellite seamlessly."

"We started with standardization - which is the MEF 2.0 certification, and that helps people trust what they're delivering - but if we really want to react to people wanting cloud connectivity on-demand, or we want to be able to flex bandwidth up and down for 4G and certainly for 5G in the future, we have to react to the same systems that control terrestrial networks as well as seamlessly into satellite systems. So, we need to make sure we've got the right control engines, we've go the right APIs exposed, and ultimately we take part in the ecosystems we see here so that when we're rolling out mobile edge compute and we want to deliver a network function down to be hosted at the edge compute node it shouldn't matter that is over satellite. We can still spin up the capacity, guarantee it for some period of time, launch the NFV down to the mobile edge compute, and then spin down the capacity...It should work just like it's over fiber."

MEF CE 2.0 Certification
SES Networks was the first satellite service provider in the world to receive MEF 2.0 Carrier Ethernet certification. JP explains that the company pursued certification as part of its transition from being a capacity provider to becoming a fully managed service provider. "When you provide fully managed services, people want to trust they do what you say they'll do. So having something that says - even though it's over satellite - you should think about it as any part of your network. So our telco customers who want to rollout a global network - they've got their on-net services which are MEF certified - and they've go to go off-net by partnering with us. The entire end-to-end service is now MEF certified. That's a huge deal and a big, big differentiator for us in the market."

"If they want to extend from Adelaide to one of the islands off Australia - which we do with Telstra, for example - they just say 'If it's MEF, it's going to work. Let's deploy it.'"

Another example is TIM Brasil, which is using the CE 2.0 certified service from SES Networks to underpin the LTE backhaul performance where they do not have fiber deployed.

MEF 3.0 Going Forward
SES is tracking MEF 3.0 closely. "When you look at MEF, it evolved beyond 'it is Carrier Ethernet that is going to be trusted,' and it is adding things like LSO to ensure that we can also control and orchestrate circuits down the line, we have to evolve with that as well. So we're certainly working closely with MEF right to see when does it make sense to get our services MEF 3.0 certified. And we're certainly involved in things like LSO and in other forums like ONAP to make sure that we can be part of that control system."

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November 14, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov – Jean-Claude Geha, SVP, International Technology & Services Delivery, DT, discusses progress with DT’s cloud-centric Pan-European Network, DT’s business transformation, the importance of standards, and the role that MEF has to play in making life easier for service providers.

Pan-Net
Pan-Net is “very close” to finishing its infrastructure in all 12 countries. Pan-Net has invested heavily in automation and is now focused on putting network functions and multivendor applications on top.

DT’s Transformation
DT has been going through a major transformation in mindset and in the skill sets of its employees in order to become more “cloud-native.” DT has focused on training and bring a lot of engineers up to speed on the latest technologies and ways of working, and has hired a lot of people from the market with a cloud-native mindset.

MEF 3.0
“This industry, this whole area, lacks standardization, lacks automation. And MEF is doing a lot in that regard. There’s quite a bit of use for what MEF is doing for us to apply and in order to make our life easier when it comes to interfaces, when it comes to onboarding, lifecycle management. It’s important to use more or less the same APIs to be more agile and to really get the real benefit of cloudification, which is time to market, better customer experience, and efficiency.”

What DT Needs from the Industry
“We would like to see all suppliers to think cloud-native when dealing with us….And we would like to see more knowledge sharing across the peers in the industry and more standardization…standardization is important to enable a much better pace of cloudification.”

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November 13, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov – Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global -- recently recognized as the Industry Executive of the Year by MEF - notes that as network services become more dynamic, service providers must change their approach to commercial settlement of inter-provider services.  He elaborates on the need for inter-provider service automation, the purpose of PCCW Global's MEF18 Blockchain PoC, and collaboration between the Global Leaders Forum (GLF) and MEF related to automated commercial settlement.

Orchestrating Dynamic Services Across Providers
"The industry recognizes that automation on the front end of services is going to require a good amount more of automation on the back end. It's one thing to be very creative in what you are going to be doing downstream in your own network with your own customer. The moment you want those services though to be ubiquitous and globally available, you need to ensure that there is a stream of service provider relationships at the back end that can also facilitate the same. And, therefore, while it might be exciting to look at the front end, it's absolutely necessary to be focusing on back end automation and to assure that service providers can interoperate among themselves not just technically but also commercially."

MEF18 Blockchain PoC
PCCW participated in a MEF18 Proof of Concept demonstration titled "MEF 3.0 LSO Federated Inter-carrier Data-on-demand Services Through Automated Discovery and Blockchain Settlement." Other companies included Sparkle, Tata Communications, SingTel, CBCcom, Infonas, Liquid Telecom, Clear, and Cataworx.

"Blockchain is a technology which is facilitating automation. First and foremost, we're looking at how we can take contracts between and among different service providers in a common ecosystem and code those contracts so that the parameters for settlement are clear and that the parameters for dispute are framed to allow for automated settlement."

Six or seven service providers within the Global Leaders Forum initially engaged in a multi-carrier PoC focused using Blockchain for settlement of voice services. And the MEF18 PoC focused on how to apply Blockhain to settlement of data services on an on-demand basis. "Once that framework is created, I think we'll be able to get involved in delivering more dynamic, more creative services into the automated settlement framework."

Global Leaders Forum (GLF) & MEF Collaboration
The timeframe for creation of the automated settlement framework is "immediate."  "In order for the Blockchain to be successful at the industry level, there's going to have to be a governance level that will be put in place." The GLF recently agreed on work to establish a governance model at the wholesale layer of the industry, and more news is expected on this within the next couple of months.

"MEF has been very instrumental through its commercial attributes sub-committee in working with us on what the inter-connect parameters will look like that will be facilitated by the governance framework, particularly around data services...MEF and GLF have been working closely together in creating new service frameworks focusing on the evolution of bandwidth on demand as a parameter, assuring that the API set that was announced this morning by MEF around LSO would also be driven toward some sort of commercial endorsement by the commercial leaders at the GLF."

"We've been supporting MEF from Day 1. We believe quite strongly in everything that MEF has been trying to do and in the manner in which it has evolved. We also continue to try and push from inside and from outside to get MEF to continue to focus not just on the technical interfaces but the commercial interfaces where we think that the go hand-in-hand."

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November 13, 2018

Mirko Voltolini, Colt - Service Automation & On-Demand Services

Mirko Voltolini, Global Head of Network on Demand, Colt, talks about how the operator has automated the service delivery aspect of its Ethernet services but is still working on the significant challenge of automating service assurance, including closed loop automation and taking automatic actions to improve customer experience. Colt plans to launch Ethernet access on-demand by the end of 2018 and to also introduce an on-demand optical transport / Layer 1 service worldwide after that. 

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November 12, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Josh Goodell, VP Edge Solutions, AT&T, shares his perspective on several hot industry topics, including the rise of SD-WAN services, orchestration of dynamic services across federated networks, and the paradigm shift associated with 5G.

SD-WAN
“2018 has been the year of SD-WAN. I mean it’s really taken off…We have 28,000 contracted end points, which is absolutely astounding, and we’re deploying services all over the globe.”

“The hype cycle is always interesting. And I’m a believer in this technology. I think this technology is paradigm shifting technology. But nothing is as simple as some lead to believe. When you think about actually deploying in hybrid environments that have lots of different hardware and applications running, it’s complex…our play is to very much have a platform that can be deployed across the globe in 200+ countries, and that alone brings a tremendous amount of complexity. And I think that’s one of the areas that AT&T is able to differentiate. Being able to deliver that consistently…we can do it, but it’s not easy.”

MEF & SD-WAN
“I’ve found MEF to be very pragmatic. It brings together this interesting community of network providers, managed service providers, vendors, and really more software-centric and network-centric folks with different heritages. And they bring these groups together and then drive towards definition for solving real problems.  And I think that SD-WAN is ripe for that. And I think that MEF is going to do some interesting work in truly driving definition around what a customer can expect from an SD-WAN solution…And then I think there will be some really interesting work done on the APIs and standardizing around the APIs for SD-WAN.  And I think over time what we’ll see is that will unlock the next wave of innovative capabilities, whether that’s federation of different types of networks or whether that’s tighter linking of the underlay and overlay networks. I think that will evolve into something that we probably haven’t even conceptualized yet.”

Federated Networks Powered by LSO APIs
“Two years ago, we talked about this dynamic of really creating federated networks.  And because we had created software defined networks within AT&T, we felt the natural extension of that is to allow customers to consume those types of networks outside of our footprint. It just makes sense, right? And so that challenge was put out there, and then a year later – so, last year -  many of the participants within MEF…came together and actually demonstrated a Proof of Concept around federated networks and showed what was possible. And what was so amazing is having that be a part of MEF, MEF was able to define what that framework would be in a standard approach. And, now, looking forward, we’re actually going to be delivering a commercial service with multiple carriers – I can’t announce which ones – but doing exactly what we talked about two years ago. And it will be a framework that I’m sure others will use as well. So it’s really exciting, and I think it represents why MEF is a powerful organization. It drives toward pragmatic solutions to problems that are industry-wide.”

5G
On 5G, “I’m a big believer in that it is not just one technology that changes the paradigm…I that that 5G is one of those ingredients that is absolutely going to change the game for the industry…5G is going to be interesting from a couple of different perspectives. One, it will be able to support extreme density of end points…and the raw throughput is a step function advance as well….I think it is going to be very disruptive.”

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November 12, 2018

Erin Dunne, Vertical Systems Group - Migration to Dynamic Services is Progressing, But Takes Time

Erin Dunne, Director of Research Services, Vertical Systems Group, shares her perspective on the transition to dynamic services liked those envisioned within the MEF 3.0 global services framework. Erin shares her candid perspective that industry players are making progress in shifting from static to dynamic services -- with the help of conferences like MEF18 and standards like the ones MEF is working on -- "but this is going to be a long road."

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November 09, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Andrew Dugan, CTO (former SVP Technology Planning & Network Architecture), CenturyLink discusses his company's move toward an "as-a-service" model to support enterprise use of multiple cloud platforms.  Andrew comments on CenturyLink's focus on dynamic services, MEF 3.0 and inter-provider dynamic services, SD-WAN, and preparing for the data deluge. He also shares his impression of the MEF18 networking event. 

Focus on Dynamic Services
"We're in the middle of adapting to the way our customers want to consume networking services. Our customers are changing more to have a hybrid IT environment, which means they are using the cloud more; they're using 3rd party data centers more. Their network needs are changing as a result of that. The flexibility and agility that they have in the cloud -- and the ability to active new capabilities there on-demand -- is translating into a changing way that they want to consume network. So, we're building more on-demand networking services as a result, and enabling our customers to turn up network services within minutes rather than the normal 30, 60, 90 days that it takes to turn up network services."

CenturyLink's recently launched Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections service, for example, allows customers to set up an Ethernet connection between a UNI on their private network to the Amazon cloud within minutes using their Amazon cloud credentials. CenturyLink plans to offer this service with other cloud providers like Google, Azure, IBM, and Oracle.

MEF 3.0 & Inter-Carrier Dynamic Services
"We're doing a lot of work with MEF in terms of standards. We've got a number of Proofs of Concept here at the MEF conference. So, we're very active in the definition of those APIs. We do expect that they will help us down the road in terms of establishing carrier-to-carrier communications to enable us to establish our dynamic connectivity services to the connectivity services of other service providers...The cloud providers haven't yet adopted them. We hope that they will...If we could have that dynamic connectivity extended into other carriers that would allow us to do our dynamic services much more broadly than we can today."

SD-WAN
Dugan says that CenturyLink has seen "a significant pickup in SD-WAN activity over the last year." The company has doubled its internal throughput to turn up services and added more SD-WAN hubs as it scales to meet SD-WAN demands.

Preparing for Data Deluge
Dugan emphasizes that service providers need to be ready to scale significantly to meet the coming onslaught of data as edge capacity and edge connectivity grows. In addition, they need to be prepared to "support the dynamic requirements" of edge data feeds.

Impression of MEF18 Event
"It's been great...The participation by the industry is fantastic. Equipment providers, software providers, service providers all being here. It's a great forum for people to come together to talk about standardization and what's happening with SD-WAN and virtual services."

Save the date for MEF19, 18-22 November 2019, JW Marriott, LA LIVE, Los Angeles.

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November 09, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Dan Pitt, SVP, MEF, shares that MEF's release of LSO Sonata APIs in the form of both draft specifications and SDKs (Software Development Kits) is an illustration of a radical transformation in MEF's approach to delivering industry standards.

"This notion that we can issue a spec that is not perfect, but iterate on it with the speed of software, that's transformational for us...We have really developed the first industry instance of a DevOps approach to standards development."

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November 09, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Nav Chander, Senior Director, Service & Cloud Provider Marketing, Silver Peak, shares that his company is proud to support and be involved in MEF's effort to standardize SD-WAN services.

Right now, "Silver Peak is seeing a real, dramatic shift in the market. A lot of customers are looking more beyond basic SD-WAN to sort of that next-generation...We think that SD-WAN is going to become a platform for advanced services - wired services and wireless services, 4G and 5G - and really a merge of IT transformation and network transformation. So, SD-WAN is more than just another VNF."

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November 09, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Roopa Honnachari, Industry Director, Business Communications Services & Cloud Computing, ICT, Frost & Sullivan, shares that she believes MEF's effort to standardize SD-WAN services is "very important for the SD-WAN market."

"Since SD-WAN acts as an enabler for most of the network services and other enterprise services, it is important to have standardized definitions...so that everybody is working in the same format."

"The underlying networks and the dynamicity of these networks are very, very important. I think the standardization and use of MEF 3.0 specifications kind of brings everything together and ensures that they are all on the same platform and there's interoperability."

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November 09, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Adam Saenger, VP Networking Solutions, CenturyLink, shares about the benefits of service and technology innovators coming together to accelerate transformation of the way that enterprises connect and communicate. New technologies like SD-WAN, for example, are being used in customers' hybrid networks that incorporate both public and private networking solutions.

Adam notes hard work is being done to bring together the orchestration of communications, network, and business applications "so that customers can move at the speed of enterprise vs. moving at the speed of telecom."

CenturyLink has been focused heavily on dynamic services. In the past 12 months, CenturyLink has introduced such capabilities as (1) dynamic VLAN management that helps customers manage resources into cloud environments, (2) global availability of SD-WAN, (3) global hybrid networking connectivity, and (4) dynamic connections that allow customers to spin up new connections on-demand.

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November 08, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Yogen Patel, Head of Products & Solutions Marketing, Amdocs Open Network, discusses the company's Service Driven Network vision. This involves a set of capabilities that sit between the core network and the business support layers above that allow service providers to flexibly and easily create and launch new services and to assure these services within the full service context.

Service providers do this by using dynamic, programmable network and network-as-a-service capabilities, along with data-driven intelligence and network operation solutions. "This is going to become increasingly critical as we look forward to 5G, which is all around dynamic, expanded, distributed networks, heterogenous capabilities."

"At the end of the day, the network has to be based on driving itself and reacting to service intent and service priorities."

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November 08, 2018

Eric Watko, SES Networks - Seamless Connectivity Across Satellite & Terrestrial Networks

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Eric Watko, Executive VP of Product Marketing & Strategy, SES Networks, shares his company's vision of partnering with carriers to deliver dynamic, seamless connectivity across satellite and terrestrial networks. A global satellite provider, SES Networks already offers a MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certified service over its MEO fleet.

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November 08, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF, shares highlights on the major progress MEF has made over the past year in delivering on the promise of the MEF 3.0 Global Services Framework. He notes significant strides across all key elements of the framework, including: standardized services (Optical Transport, Carrier Ethernet, IP, and SD-WAN); LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs; certification; and community activities.

Dozens of companies and industry organizations have been involved in initiatives to accelerate adoption of MEF 3.0 services that provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

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November 08, 2018

Anssi Tauriainen, EXFO - Proactive Service Assurance, Machine Learning & Analytics

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Anssi Tauriainen, Director, Data Science, EXFO, discusses proactive, closed loop service assurance with machine learning and analytics.

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November 08, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Daniele Mancuso, VP ICT Engineering, Sparkle, shares his perspective on hot topics covered at MEF's annual global networking event, which is playing a transformational role in the industry by driving standardization and leapfrogging technological innovations.

SD-WAN
"It looks like SD-WAN is the candidate technology to bring us to the future...We are talking about a new generation of managed services that will be enabled by SD-WAN technology - essentially virtualized overlay technology that will allow enterprises to interconnect branch offices as well as public cloud without the need of truck rolls, and in a matter of seconds adjust connecting with service providers either via service portals - or better - via API."

LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs
"APIs are the main bread and butter of MEF. We are really doing a great job in standardization of both Cantata and Sonata for the east-west [orchestration between providers] and for the interface with the customer."

Network Cloudification
"We are moving from what was the initial trend of disaggregating network functions from their underlying hardware...to the next step that is rewriting VNFs from standard virtual machines...to a more disaggregated network function that be split in microservices, each of which will be auto-consistent, each of which will be stateless, and therefore will be cloud-native. This will allow a VNF to be decomposed and to run in several locations. Part of it will be running in customer premises equipment. Part of it will be running in edge or core data centers. Part of it can run in public cloud. This is the great news! Finally, a service provider is cloudyfing its own network and the services exposed to enterprises that are addressing today the multicloud environment and multicloud experience."

SDN & Intent-Based Networking
"All of this, of course, is enabled by the strong foundation of SDN." The next step in SDN evolution is intent-based networking. "Intent-based networks will be a new generation of networks that will be automated by default and will be able to interact either with the end-user or the operator with almost natural language. The same today we interact with Siri or with Alexa we will interact with our network."

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November 08, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Ariel Efrati, CEO, Telco Systems, shares an update on his company's Carrier Ethernet & NFV business, including (1) the introduction of a 100GE demarcation/aggregation device, (2) 28% year/year growth in shipment of MEF CE 2.0 certified devices, and (3) the introduction of its new NFVTime solution.

Airel states, "We have a lot of Proof of Concepts and a lot of trials going on with NFV. I believe 2019 is going to be very, very big in NFV deployments - not just Tier 1s, also Tier 2 and 3s. These are exciting times because I believe that the communications market is reinventing itself, [becoming] more software-oriented, more agile in nature, and very fast to deploy services."

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November 08, 2018

Satya Parimi, Group VP, Data Products, Spectrum Enterprise, says his employer will be launching its generally available managed SD-WAN service within the next several weeks. He discusses how recent field trials with customers revealed layers of complexity in the technology, operations and service delivery, and the customer experience involved with SD-WAN. That's why Spectrum Enterprise is going with a "white glove" fully managed service.

SD-WAN
“On the technology side, it’s no different than what you’re hearing from everybody else. It’s not plug-and-play. The overlay and the underlay don’t seamlessly work together. You have to do some engineering work up front. Self installs was another very interesting thing. It’s not as easy as people think it is…For launch…based on those learnings, we’ve decided to have fully white glove onboarding with installation in footprint and out of footprint.”

“From a service delivery perspective, we learned that you have to orchestrate and automate service delivery end-to-end. Otherwise it’s not scalable and it’s hard to do service assurance.”

“And the biggest learning has been from a client perspective – people saying `Ok, I get SD-WAN. I understand the functionality. What is the net incremental new thing I’m getting outside of saving money on access, for example?  You’re giving me a lot of complexity. You’re moving a lot of feature functionality and flexibility from the network to me. Do I need to have this complexity? Can it be a managed service?’”

Parimi emphasized that Spectrum Enterprise wants to simplify the experience for customers and ensure that they are not put off by the complexity that comes with SD-WAN.

MEF 3.0
What are Parimi’s expectations for MEF 3.0?  “CE 2.0 was a great win for Charter and Spectrum Enterprise because we were, very early on, big proponents of standardization…standardization drives a lot quicker uptake of service…enterprises feel comfortable that they’re buying something that’s an industry standard. And we’re hoping with 3.0 and the 3.0 APIs for cross-provider connectivity, but, more importantly, the standardization efforts [for example, with SD-WAN]…I think that will give a lot of enterprises more comfort. They’re buying into something that is industry standard and that’s there to stay and that’s not going to change. So, 3.0 helps us from that perspective. And, certification, we’re a big proponent of getting people certified.”

Looking Forward - SDN/NFV
“There’s a lot of talk about SD-WAN, but I think the bigger conversation needs to be around SDN/NFV. SD-WAN is one service. So, as we look at SD-WAN service and how we deliver it, we’re looking to do it from an SDN/NFV platform. So, we’re going to make SD-WAN as one of the services on that platform. Security is also going to be delivered from that platform. And we plan to use that platform to deliver other existing services that we have like Internet and Ethernet.”

“One of the things we are looking at is how do we leverage SDN/NFV to deliver compelling services to the end customer…We’re hearing a lot from enterprises saying, ‘Yes, SDN/NFV is really interesting technology, but what is it giving me incrementally. You’re selling me the same services that I already have. You’re just delivering it better, differently, or faster. What are the incremental benefits and value that you can show to me?’…I think unless we do that, there’s not going to be a big shift in moving to some of these new, dynamic services.”

MEF18 PoC & Intent-Based Networking
In a MEF18 PoC, Spectrum Enterprise, TELUS, Nokia, and Sandvine showed how application-aware, policy-based networks that can adjust in real-time to what is going on with an application. “That’s a value,” noted Parimi. “If you can get to an intent-based client experience where networks are, in an automated and autonomous way, reacting to what’s happening in the network, that’s another value to the end customer.”

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November 06, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Gal Hochberg, Founder & CEO, Clear Blockchain Technologies provides a quick summary of an award-winning MEF 18 Proof of Concept demonstration titled: MEF 3.0 LSO Federated Inter-carrier Data-on-demand Services Through Automated Discovery and Blockchain Settlement. Participating companies included PCCW Global, Sparkle, Tata Communications, SingTel, CBCcom, Infonas, Liquid Telecom, Clear, and Cataworx.

Save the date for MEF19, 18-22 November 2019, JW Marriott, LA LIVE, Los Angeles.

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November 06, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Brendan Gunn, Director of Global Networks, Verizon Partner Solutions, shares his view on what it takes to build a global ecosystem of networks supporting agile, assured services aligned with the MEF 3.0 framework. As Brendan notes, inter-provider service orchestration "doesn't happen unless there is tremendous trust across the partner organizations. This is really hard to enable in a pure commercial environment. Fortunately, we have organizations like MEF that bring communities of interest together where we can build out specifications and we can develop that level of trust."

"Going into next year, we've focused on taking a lot of the lessons learned from Proof of Concepts...and convert them into partner solutions...What we've really be doing is focusing on the customer journey, the customer experience and really working back from the vision of what that experience should be into the various solutions. We get there by leveraging a lot of the different tool sets that we see through MEF 55 and MEF 3.0 - Sonata, Interlude, etc. So you'll see some really nifty things from us launching here from a customer experience perspective in the 4th quarter and a lot of launches going into 2019 as well."

Save the date for MEF19, 18-22 November 2019, JW Marriott, LA LIVE, Los Angeles.

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November 06, 2018

Special Report—The Top 25 Movers and Shakers in the Telecom Industry

Fierce Telecom has named 6 MEF board members or officers in its list of 25 top movers and shakers in the telecom industry: 

  • Shawn Hakl, SVP Business Products, Verizon
  • Aamir Hussain, former Exec VP & CTO, CenturyLInk
  • Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF
  • Kevin O'Toole, SVP Product Management, Comcast Business
  • Mirko Voltolini, Head of Network on Demand, Colt Technology Services 
  • Ralph Santitoro, Head of SDN/NFV/SD-WAN Services, Fujitsu Network Communications
Source: Fierce Telecom
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November 06, 2018

Enterprise transformation is a big part of ongoing work at MEF, says Adam Saenger, Vice President of Networking Solutions at CenturyLink.

Adam notes hard work is being done to bring together the orchestration of communications, network, and business applications "so that customers can move at the speed of enterprise vs. moving at the speed of telecom." CenturyLink has been focused heavily on dynamic services.

In the past 12 months, CenturyLink has introduced such capabilities as (1) dynamic VLAN management that helps customers manage resources into cloud environments, (2) global availability of SD-WAN, (3) global hybrid networking connectivity, and (4) dynamic connections that allow customers to spin up new connections on-demand.

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November 05, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Andrew Dugan, SVP Technology Planning & Network Architecture, CenturyLink discusses that service providers must transform their networks and services to meet the needs of their customers who are going through their own network transformation. Service providers must offer dynamic network services to allow customers to effectively adapt to today's cloud environment.

Andrew comments, "One of the other things we are hearing here at MEF is about the LSO APIs. That's an important piece of work for a carrier like CenturyLink. We can enable dynamic services and dynamic control within our network. Our customers are going to want that across carriers as well. So as we look at the work that's being done with LSO and the APIs like Sonata and Interlude that allow carriers to talk to each other, that's something that we're heavily participating in, we're supporting, and looking forward to moving toward. The controls that we've implemented so far, for example, allowing our customers to establish a connection from one of their ports on their network into a cloud provider like AWS, today we implement that with propriety APIs on our side and proprietary APIs on the cloud provider side. But we look forward to the day that we can use standardized APIs so that we can implement it one time and have it work across multiple cloud providers and multiple carriers."

Save the date for MEF19, 18-22 November 2019, JW Marriott, LA LIVE, Los Angeles.

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November 05, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Josh Goodell, VP Edge Solutions, AT&T, discusses AT&T's edge-to-edge vision to address customer needs in the era of digital transformation. He notes the extraordinary market momentum for AT&T's SD-WAN services and current plans to deploy 28,000 SD-WAN end points. SD-WAN has emerged as the "killer app."

Josh notes that AT&T is pleased with the "good work" MEF has been doing related to standardization of SD-WAN services as well as LSO APIs for inter-carrier service orchestration.

According to Josh, "One of the most exciting and disruptive themes that I think is going to take off in 2019 is 5G. I think 5G will be transformative. It's not just another evolution from 4G to 5G as we have seen historically. I'm sure it is going to enable a whole new set of use cases, and I'm sure that is going to be incorporated into the MEF framework as we look forward."

Save the date for MEF19, 18-22 November 2019, JW Marriott, LA LIVE, Los Angeles.

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November 02, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Michael Strople, Chairman, MEF; Managing Director, Canada-Zayo, shares his enthusiasm for the progress made in implementing the MEF 3.0 global services framework - especially the release of LSO Sonata APIs for inter-provider service orchestration and the introduction of the industry's first SD-WAN service specification.

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November 02, 2018

MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov - Nan Chen, President, MEF, discusses two major accomplishments on the journey to accelerate worldwide adoption of assured services across automated networks.

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November 01, 2018

MEF CTO: We're Living Up to Agile Promises

MEF has transformed the way it is working, cutting its years-long specification processes down to months, exposing specs-in-progress for public comment earlier in the process and generating software artifacts and not just paper specs, CTO Pascal Menezes said here today.

Source: Light Reading
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November 01, 2018

RAD: uCPE Is Gateway to IT Service Revenues

Universal customer premises equipment is mostly viewed as a means of replacing multiple single-function boxes with a single piece of commodity hardware supporting multiple virtualized network functions but one vendor here is urging network operators to take a broader view of what uCPE can do, in order to reap IT service revenues. (See MEF18 Day Two: uCPE Can Spur IT Service Revenue).

Source: Light Reading
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November 01, 2018

Comcast's O'Toole: SDN Stands Up to the 'Tyranny of the Boxes'

The time has come for SDN to bring an end to the "tyranny of the boxes," said Comcast's Kevin O'Toole in his keynote at MEF18 this week.

Source: Light Reading
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November 01, 2018

Q&A—AT&T's Roman Pacewicz on Bringing Order to SD-WAN

AT&T's Roman Pacewicz, chief product officer, who sits on MEF's board of directors, has been knee-deep in SD-WAN ever since AT&T launched its hybrid offering two years ago. The provider uses VMware's VeloCloud for SD-WAN and offers two flavors of the tech: an over-the-top version on an AT&T FlexWare device and a network-based offering that uses the FlexWare virtualized platform.

Source: Fierce Telecom
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October 31, 2018

Q&A – Verizon's Eric Cevis Discusses What Wholesale Customers Want

Last year, Verizon Partner Solutions President Eric Cevis spoke at MEF17 about application-aware networking, which he provided an update on during a chat with FierceTelecom prior to his keynote address Tuesday morning. 

Source: Fierce Telecom
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October 31, 2018

Telcos Tout Automation Progress at MEF

For those tracking the evolution of cloud-scale and telecommunications technologies, the progress in the telecom network has been painfully slow, in part due to major complexity. That appears to be changing as leading service providers report progress in the "cloudification" or vitualization of their networks here at the MEF18 Event. 
Source: Futuriom
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October 31, 2018

MEF's Next Moves: Orchestrators for Enterprises and Work with Aggregators

Fresh off a developer release for LSO Sonata and first crack at SD-WAN standards and certification, MEF is moving forward on its road map, including orchestration for enterprises, blockchain and 5G. 

Source: Fierce Telecom
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October 31, 2018

MEF Focuses on Revenue-Generating Services, Not Just Specs

MEF has come a long way from its Ethernet roots. The organization, which got its start in 2001, was initially created to develop standards for carrier Ethernet services. But it has since morphed into a software and specification development group intent upon creating revenue-generating services for its service provider members.

Source: SDxCentral
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October 31, 2018

MEF Releases SD-WAN Standards

Standards help move technology markets forward by providing interoperability and raising awareness. To that end, the MEF, an industry group supporting standardization in the service-provider community, on here on tuesday at its annual MEF18 conference released an extensive set of specifications for software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN). 

Source: Futuriom
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October 31, 2018

MEF 3.0 Service Fulfillment and Activation Project Team to Demo Lifecycle Orchestration

"This MEF18 proof of concept fortifies the MEF vision of accelerating worldwide adoption of assured services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks, leveraging standardized LSO APIs," said Pascal Menezes, MEF CTO. "Our goal is to enable service providers to transition from operating as independent islands of excellence to being integral players in a worldwide business federation of cloud-like networks that support dynamic services across multiple providers. The MEF 3.0 Service Fulfillment and Activation Project brings together innovative industry leaders to see these ideas come to life and is a great example of industry support for emerging LSO Sonata and other LSO APIs."

Source: Lightwave
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October 31, 2018

MEF Releases SD-WAN Technical Specification to Its Members

MEF has created a technical specification that defines SD-WAN services and their various attributes. MEF is making the draft technical specification available to its members. And the organization expects to ratify and publicly release its MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition standard in the first quarter of 2019.

Source: SDxCentral
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October 31, 2018

MEF Unveils Technical Specs for SD-WAN Service Definitions

“MEF’s groundbreaking work in standardising as SD-WAN service addresses one of the biggest obstacles impacting SD-WAN market growth,” claimed MEF president Nan Chen. “In a recent joint MEF and Vertical Systems Group survey of service providers, nearly 80% identified the lack of an industry standard service definition as a significant challenge for service providers to offer or migrate to SD-WAN services.”

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October 31, 2018

MEF SD-WAN Specification Targets Service Provider Interoperability

A draft specification from the MEF aims to make it easier for enterprises to order software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) services that span multiple network operators and to enable service to be established in an automated manner. The MEF SD-WAN specification has 200 pages in which the organization defines an SD-WAN service and provides a data model for application programming interfaces  (APIs) that would enable network operators to interface systems with each other to support cross-operator SD-WAN offerings, explained Pascal Menezes, MEF chief technology officer, in a briefing with reporters at the MEF18 event in Los Angeles yesterday.

Source: Telecompetitor
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October 31, 2018

MEF Tunes Up LSO Sonata in a Developer Release, Defines SD-WAN and Bows Enterprise Community

"I'm really excited about the Sonata APIs," MEF President Nan Chen said at yesterday's press conference. "It's the first time in the industry that we can enable service providers to automate a service across multiple service providers on a global basis."

Source: Fierce Telecom
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October 31, 2018

MEF Releases LSO APIs for Network Automation

“The LSO Sonata Developer Release celebrated this week at MEF18 involves technical specifications and SDKs with the progression towards standardisation related to serviceability, product inventory, quoting and ordering APIs,” explained MEF president Nan Chen. “we are delighted to advance the LSO Sonata API standardisation with an eye toward production deployments for the inter-provider orchestration of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services starting in early 2019.”

Source: Capacity
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October 31, 2018

MEF Executing on SD-WAN Specs, New APIs & Enterprise Council

LOS ANGELES -- MEF18 -- MEF today kicked off its own annual conference with three announcements that its CTO says represent signs the organization is executing on its ambitious plan to set service standards for the industry that go well beyond Carrier Ethernet.

Source: Light Reading
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October 31, 2018

Nokia Claims First Optical Network-as-a-Service Offering at MEF

Nokia has introduced what the vendor is calling the first optical network-as-a-service offering at the MEF18 conference in Los Angeles.

Source: Capacity
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October 31, 2018

Spectrum, TELUS Team on Dynamic Services PoC

Spectrum Enterprise today demonstrated a next-gen policy-driven networking proof-of-concept that enables dynamic application-aware services across multi-carrier networks.

Source: Fierce Telecom
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October 31, 2018

MEF18 Day Two – uCPE & IT Service Revenue; MEF’s Faster Standards Development

Light Reading editors share their highlights from Day Two of MEF18, including new uses for uCPE and MEF's faster spec processes.

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October 30, 2018

MEF18 Day One – SD-WAN Reality Sinks In

SD-WAN is taking off but provisioning complexity remains a challenge, and one that MEF is helping to address.

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October 26, 2018

Ralph Santitoro, Fujitsu - MEF Addressing SD-WAN Challenges to Accelerate Enterprise Digital Transformation

SD-WAN plays an important role in the enterprise digital transformation. When enterprise applications ran exclusively on site or in private data centers, traditional wide area network (WAN) services interconnecting enterprise sites and data centers were sufficient. However, as enterprise applications migrated to the public cloud as software-as-a-service or workloads running in Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs), traditional WAN services proved inadequate to address these new application requirements. This led to the rise of software-defined WAN services.

Source: Light Reading
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October 01, 2018

Nan Chen, MEF - MEF18 Proof of Concept Demos Spotlight MEF 3.0 & LSO Innovation

Last November, MEF introduced the MEF 3.0 global services framework to define, deliver, and certify assured services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks. 

Source: Telecom Review
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September 27, 2018

Stan Hubbard, MEF - MEF 3.0 - A Roadmap for Enabling Assured Services Over Automated Networks

Throughout the past year, MEF has noted the growing recognition that service providers must move quickly to address changing customer requirements and adapt to intensifying competitive threats in the era of digital transformation. Executives from MEF member service providers have emphasized that it is imperative that they transform to deliver more dynamic, cloud-like services over automated and interconnected networks. Top experts from service and technology providers based in more than 35 countries will be assembling at the MEF18 networking event (29 October – 2 November) with the goal of accelerating progress on this front.

Source: Pipeline
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September 26, 2018

Pascal Menezes, MEF - Multi-Provider Service Orchestration Across Automated Networks

While some can argue that the internet is good enough to provide basic connectivity between site to site and site to cloud, most large enterprises still rely on managed private network services as their connectivity fabric of choice. These included MPLS and Carrier Ethernet. 

Source: Capacity
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September 26, 2018

Nan Chen, MEF - Full Steam Ahead for MEF 3.0 & LSO

Earlier this year at ITW, I highlighted the fact that the industry transition to assured services orchestrated across automated networks is accelerating due to an increase in collaboration efforts among service providers, technology vendors and other industry players. 

Source: Capacity
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September 12, 2018

Gal Hochberg, Clear Blockchain Technologies - A Clear Path to Blockchain in Telecom

Blockchain in telecom is a powerful concept and the hype is somewhat justified, if only because it can generate a fantasy of rendering large swaths of the lawyers, bankers and OSS vendors as unneccessary. What could be better? A Blockchain system could do this by establishing the trust imparted by third-party services. 

Source: Light Reading
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September 12, 2018

Pascal Menezes, MEF - MEF Orchestrates Blockchain Trial With Leading Carriers

China Broadband, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Tata Communications are planning to demonstrate blockchain for the internet of things (IoT) and other new services. 

 

Source: Capacity
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September 12, 2018

Gal Hochberg, Clear Blockchain Technologies - Blockchain Unwrapped as Carriers and Vendors Gear Up for Demo at MEF18

Blockchain will be put through its paces during an inter-carrier proof of concept by several vendors and carriers at MEF18 in October. 

Source: Fierce Telecom
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September 12, 2018

Mirko Voltolini, Colt Technology Services Group Ltd - Colt Ramps Its Blockchain Efforts, Explores SDN Federation Use Case

Colt, often at the vanguard of new technology deployments, has invested considerable time and effort during the past year in figuring out how blockchain technology can help boost operational efficiencies, improve customer experience and open up new revenue opportunities. And now it's looking at how the distributed ledger technology, best known for underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, could make SDN interoperability easier to manage.

Source: Light Reading
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August 15, 2018

Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink – The Critical Role of MEF 3.0 In Service Automation

Aamir Hussain, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at CenturyLink, discusses the massive transformation the communications industry is going through. "Customers are learning from an Amazon-like buying experience and a Netflix-like watching experience," and they want simplicity and agility. Up to now, service providers generally have not had a way to leverage software to help orchestrate a much better experience for customers, but that is beginning to change. Aamir commented, "I see MEF 3.0 as a massive opportunity to help standardize automation of services - service chaining through networking."

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August 15, 2018

Pascal Menezes, MEF – Driving Faster Standards Development in a Software World

Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer, MEF, discusses how the industry transition from hardware to software is creating opportunities for MEF to drive more agile standards development. We're now in a world of very rapid innovation that is driven by highly agile software. MEF is looking for ways to incubate the standards process in MEF 3.0 implementation projects before a specification comes out - testing LSO APIs, etc. - and providing feedback for development of specs and LSO API releases.

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August 15, 2018

Mirko Voltolini, Colt – Expecting MEF Release of Inter-Carrier LSO APIs at MEF18

Mirko Voltolini, Global Head of Network on Demand, Colt Technology Services, discusses the work MEF has being doing to define LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs for service orchestration across multiple service providers. MEF currently intends to formally release LSO Sonata APIs for product offering qualification, inventory, quotes, and ordering around the time of MEF18.

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August 15, 2018

Joe Ruffles, Riverbed – MEF’s SD-WAN Service Specification & Multivendor Implementation Projects

Joe Ruffles, Global Standards Architect for Strategy and Direction, Riverbed, discusses two key SD-WAN initiatives within MEF that his company co-leads: (1) SD-WAN Service Specification project and (2) SD-WAN Multivendor Implementation project. The projects have a symbiotic relationship. Service providers are suggesting use cases to make multi-vendor, multi-service provider SD-WAN work, and results from the implementation project are fed back into specification development. MEF is taking an agile approach to getting a specification to market quickly while also ensuring that when service providers market MEF-certified SD-WANs their customers will know what they are getting and what to expect in terms of interoperability.

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August 15, 2018

Rami Yaron, NEC/Netcracker – MEF’s 5G Initiatives Within the MEF 3.0 Framework

Rami Yaron, Senior Director, SDN/NFV Solutions, NEC/Netcracker and Chair of MEF’s 5G Focus Group, discusses five important 5G initiatives within MEF: (1) transport for 5G, (2) network slicing, (5) orchestration of 5G services, (5) fixed wireless access, and (5) MEF 3.0 5G implementation project.

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August 06, 2018

Dan Pitt & Bithika Khargaria, MEF - API Specifications and SDKs: The New Standards DevOps Dance

The way in which the LSO APIs are described and released represents a radical transformation of the standards process to reflect the new reality of telecommunications: that many of the important agreements are implemented purely in software. As we know, software can be modified and updated in minutes, whereas hardware (especially chips) can require many months or sometimes years to update. Interacting parties must still spend time to discuss and agree on objectives, constraints, and mechanisms of standardized solutions, but actual development, and the process to arrive at high-quality agreements, can be much faster when agreements are implemented in software.

Source: IEEE
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July 31, 2018

MEF Annual Meeting, July 2018 - David Martin, Senior Systems Engineer, IP/Optical Networking Business Group, Nokia, discusses the new MEF 63 Subscriber Layer 1 Service Attributes specification, which he edited. MEF 63 will be published in early August 2018. Within the MEF 3.0 global services framework, MEF has extended its service definition work to include Optical Transport services. MEF63 supports Ethernet and Fibre Channel client protocols – used in LAN and SAN extension for data center interconnect – as well as SONET and SDH client protocols for legacy WAN services.

While proprietary Optical Transport services are widely available, until now they have lacked standardized service attributes and service definitions. This has made it difficult for service providers to develop and automate multi-vendor service offerings and subscribers to compare service offerings. Subscribers can benefit from standardized Optical Transport services in the same way they can benefit from standardized MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet services.

There will be a live MEF 3.0 Optical Transport Implementation demonstration in the popular Proof of Concept Showcase at MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 November, in Los Angeles. More than 50 companies are lined up to participate in 20 PoCs at this year's event.

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July 31, 2018

MEF Annual Meeting, July 2018 - Dan Pitt, SVP, MEF, provides an overview of MEF's new SDN/NFV professional certification program. MEF now offers three certifications as part of a comprehensive Professional Certification Framework: MEF-SDN/NFV, MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP), and MEF Network Foundations (MEF-NF) certifications.

MEF has certified nearly 6,000 MEF-CECPs from 440 organizations in 85 countries, and is building upon this solid foundation to help serivce providers worldwide transition to assured services orchestrated across automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks.

Professional certification training will be available during 28 & 29 October at the MEF18 in Los Angeles.

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July 31, 2018

MEF Annual Meeting, July 2018 - NEC/Netcracker's Karthik Sethuraman and Centurylink's Jack Pugaczewski provide an overview of the recently concluded OIF-MEF-ONF interoperability demonstration that focused on the Transport Application Programming Interface (T-API). The multi-vendor demo incorporated service provisioning scenarios at the LSO Presto reference point in the MEF LSO architecture, using the MEF NRP Interface Profile Specification (MEF 60), which defines extensions to T-API in support of Carrier Ethernet services.

CenturyLink, NEC/Netcracker, and other partners plan to participate in a Proof of Concept demo on this topic at MEF18, 29 Oct - 2 Nov.

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July 31, 2018

MEF Annual Meeting - July 2018, Shawn Hakl, Senior Vice President Business Products, Verizon, shares that MEF 3.0 is the framework for defining how carriers will talk to each other in the age of software-defined services. MEF 3.0 reflects the industry transition to a more software-oriented, API-centric culture and method of doing business -- highly automated, highly scalable, and extremely fast

Shawn comments on the MEF Technical Strategy presented by MEF CTO Pascal Menezes and discusses how MEF 3.0 aligns with the needs of the market and Verizon's experience.

Shawn noted that Verizon and Colt have used draft versions of the MEF-defined LSO Interlude APIs for inter-provider service orchestration.

To learn more about MEF 3.0 and to view live demonstrations of orchestrated services powered LSO, attend MEF18.

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July 31, 2018

MEF Annual Meeting, July 2018 - Kevin O'Toole, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Comcast Business, says the market has really begun to embrace SD-WAN in order to cut costs and unlock the power of new last-mile access networks. MEF is working on standards to support the evolution of SD-WAN within the broader MEF 3.0 global services framework.

MEF work is building upon the foundational "Understanding SD-WAN Managed Services" white paper (http://www.mef.net/resources/download...). Visit www.mef.net to learn more about MEF 3.0 and SD-WAN and plan to attend MEF18, where SD-WAN will be a major topic of discussion.

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July 31, 2018

MEF Annual Meeting, July 2018 – Daniele Mancuso, Director of Innovation & Engineering, Sparkle, shares about MEF initiatives that the Italian-based operator has been involved in and provides a preview of Sparkle’s major role in the Proof of Concept Showcase at the MEF18 event, 29 Oct. – 2 Nov. in Los Angeles. Daniele highlights planned participation in three MEF18 PoC demonstrations:

1. Sparkle has been a key contributor to the MEF 3.0 Service Fulfillment and Activation project, which is implemented on MEFnet and is expected showcased at MEF18. This project focuses on developing answers to the challenge of orchestrating services across multiple service providers. Sparkle is acting as a transit service provider and has developed test case scenarios related to the LSO Sonata, LSO Interlude, and LSO Cantata reference points and associated APIs.

2. Sparkle and a partner plan a MEF18 POC demo focused on a technology-vendor agnostic SD-WAN implementation with the goal of leap-frogging beyond standard universal CPEs based on virtual machines to a new solution that could serve as a baseline for multi-vendor, orchestrated SD-WAN.

3. In another MEF18 PoC demo, Sparkle is working with other service providers and technology vendors to build a circle of commercial trust built on blockchain technology.

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July 31, 2018
MEF Annual Meeting, July 2018 - Kevin Vachon, COO, MEF, provides a progress report on MEF 3.0, which is the global services framework for defining, delivering, and certifying assured communications services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks. MEF is advancing work across all four elements of MEF 3.0, including: (1) standardized services (Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, IP, and SD-WAN), (2) LSO APIs enabling service orchestration across providers and over multiple technology domains, (3) professional, service, and technology certification, and (4) community activity, including MEF 3.0 implementation projects.
 

Learn more about the exciting industry transformation taking place at the MEF18 global networking event, 29 Oct. - 2 Nov. 2018. More than 50 service and technology companies will be participating in 20 Proof of Concept demonstrations at the event.

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July 26, 2018

Editor's Corner—MEF is Closing in on Approval of LSO Sonata APIs

"Our current plan is to release formal MEF-approved LSO Sonata APIs for product offering qualification, inventory, quotes, and ordering in 4Q18, around the time of MEF 18," Hubbard wrote. "We will have many proof of concept demonstrations at MEF 18 that will incorporate these LSO Sonata APIs as well as other LSO APIs related to the various reference points in the LSO Framework."

Source: Fierce Telcom
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July 16, 2018

Colt, Verizon Will Go Live This Year With Cross-Carrier Ethernet Service

After conducting a proof-of-concept trial earlier this March, Colt Technology Services and Verizon will go live this year with two-way, intercarrier network orchestration across each other's networks. "I think this is part of a much bigger transition to offer services between carriers," said Mirko Voltolini, Head of Network on Demand, Colt...."What is important is we need to come up with a standard API definition," he said. "We have done lots of work with the MEF to define the API. That needs to be ratified and adopted in the market. We need to get that piece of work to a conclusion so we don't have to do things 20 times with 20 different suppliers."

Source: Fierce Telecom
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July 09, 2018

Rick Bauer, Dir. of Certification, MEF - Delivering on the Promise of E-Learning

MEF's Rick Bauer shares how one of MEF's Accredited Training Partners, Tech2000, is using a new approach to e-learning to address the problem of historically low completion rates for asynchronous online learning platforms. MEF now offers three certifications as part of a comprehensive Professional Certification Framework:  MEF-SDN/NFV, MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP), and MEF Network Foundations (MEF-NF) certifications.

Source: eLearning!
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July 06, 2018

MEF Adds to Existing SDN/NFV Training, Certification

With software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) steadily gaining traction in the new-age networking space, industry association MEF has announced a new certification program to prove expertise in those areas.

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June 25, 2018

MEF, TM Forum Pitch in on ONAP’s Beijing Software Release

ONAP's external API project was incorporated with the TM Forum and MEF's work around northbound API, according to Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking for the Linux Foundation. TM Forum Open APIs carrying MEF-defined payloads provide the northbound interfaces in the ONAP Beijing Release, which enables orders to be placed and fulfilled as well the monitoring of quality of service.

Source: Fierce Telecom
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June 25, 2018

NaaS Catalyst Demos Radically New Approach to OSS/BSS

The Catalyst is a good example of the kind of cooperation necessary among standards-development organizations like MEF and TM Forum and open source groups like ONAP to automate NaaS, says Daniel Bar-Lev, Director, Office of the CTO, MEF. "We're participating because it is addressing an area which is important to both the TM Forum and the MEF," he says.

Source: TM Forum Inform
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June 25, 2018

MEF Targets Multivendor Interoperability for Network Services

MEF this week touted its progress in multivendor interoperability by announcing its active software-defined WAN implementation project. Three SD-WAN vendors -- Riverbed Technology, Nuage Networks from Nokia and VMware's VeloCloud -- are leading the MEF project, focusing on multivendor SD-WAN use cases. Software development services provider Amartus is also participating with the SD-WAN vendors.

Source: TechTarget
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June 25, 2018

MEF's SD-WAN Definition Push Speaks to Broadband Providers

With an emphasis on SD-WAN interoperability, the newest phase of MEF 3.0 should dramatically accelerate broadband providers' ability to enter or expand SD-WAN managed services cost-effectively and efficiently.

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June 25, 2018

Dan Pitt, SVP, MEF: Advancing MEF 3.0 – Ethernet, IP, SD-WAN, and Layer 1 Services

Dan Pitt provides an overview of recent development with MEF 3.0, the transformational framework for defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

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June 25, 2018

Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF - Enabling Cloud-Like Services Over Automated & Interconnected Networks

If there is one common theme that has emerged from recent conversations with top service provider experts, it is the sense of urgency that their companies must move quickly to address customer needs and adapt to competitive threats in the era of digital transformation.

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June 25, 2018

Securing Networks in an Automated World

The transformation from legacy environments to "programmable, horizontally abstracted, open-partner ecosystems" means that "service providers have to build security-oriented thinking into every aspect of their ecosystems", says Daniel Bar-Lev, director in the office of the CTO at the MEF industry association.

Source: Capacity
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June 08, 2018

Dan Pitt, SVP, MEF - MEF’s Grand Vision: To Rescue Telcos From Commoditisation

MEF is on a mission: To save the world’s telcos from being relegated to providing basic connectivity in every greater volumes without proportionate increases in revenues, according to its MEF SVP Dan Pitt.

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May 31, 2018

MEF Expands Orchestration Ambitions

MEF, an organization that coordinates standards for the service-provider and cloud community, today significantly expanded its charter to include a consistent approach to software orchestration of networks across Ethernet, IP, SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area network), and Layer 1 networking services.

Source: Futuriom
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May 31, 2018

MEF Picks Up Pace of Multiple-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation Project

MEF is using the same blueprint that it successfully deployed when it defined Carrier Ethernet services 10 years ago—which led to the creation of an estimated $80 billion global market for Carrier Ethernet—to create the SD-WAN service definition specification. 

Source: Fierce Telecom
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May 31, 2018

MEF Unleashes SD-WAN Implementation Project

Several MEF SD-WAN vendor members are working on phase 1 of the project, including RiverbedVMware’s VeloCloud, and Nokia’s Nuage Networks. The companies are deploying their SD-WAN products using MEF’s cloud-based test platform called MEFnet, and then interconnecting those SD-WAN controllers and edge devices through a central gateway using the lifecycle services orchestrator (LSO) and the LSO Presto Network Resource Provisioning (NRP) API. The end result is interoperability between the various SD-WAN devices from different vendors.

Source: SDxCentral
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May 31, 2018

MEF Touts Multi-Vendor SD-WAN & More

In a broad update of its MEF 3.0 effort, MEF and its member companies say there's significant progress on the SD-WAN front, including an implementation project involving four vendors, as well as on Carrier Ethernet, IP services and optical services. All of this is part of MEF's standardization efforts to make services "orchestration-ready" or rapidly deployable, using its Lifecycle Services Orchestration initiative and both existing and newly developed application programming interfaces.

Source: Light Reading
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May 31, 2018

NFV Not Always Exciting But Essential: MEF’s Dan Pitt

There’s no doubt that 5G is driving the adoption of SDN and NFV, but that doesn’t mean NFV is necessarily going to be exciting for every operator. That’s according to one of the early evangelists for NFV. Dan Pitt, senior vice president at MEF and former director of the Open Networking Foundation, has been a leading voice in the SDN/NFV movement.

Source: Fierce Wireless
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May 31, 2018

Nan Chen, President, MEF - Think Big, Fast, Revenue MEF 3.0

The transition in communications is now accelerating as service providers and other industry players increase collaboration to deliver solutions that empower users with the dynamic performance and security required to thrive in an era of rapid economic change.

Source: Capacity
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