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Announcing MEF 3.0

MEF 3.0 is a Transformational Global Services Framework for defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. MEF 3.0 services empower users with the dynamic performance and security required to thrive in the digital economy.

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OPEN INITIATIVES

The standards environment has transformed to one where Open Source software development forms an integral part of the lifecycle of a standard. It is now essential to bridge between the work of standards development organizations and the newer Open Source projects to ensure alignment of the solutions developed in Open Source, and the underlying standards requirements. MEF's OpenLSO and OpenCS initiatives are the frameworks that enable convergence on standard requirements to create robust and interoperable Open Source solutions.

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LSO-SDN-NFV

The MEF is the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. Third Network services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks globally powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.

The MEF's mission is to accelerate the worldwide...

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ABOUT MEF

MEF is the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world.

MEF in the News

We spotlight new, hot items of interest related to MEF 3.0, Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO), and work taking place on Open Initiatives.

TECHNICAL SPECS

The MEF Technical & Operations Committee has published 55 technical specifications and implementation agreements to effect standardization, interoperability and accelerate...

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION

The MEF's Professional Certification program identifies the industry's leading professionals and showcases expertise and excellence in technological knowledge and ...

SERVICES CERTIFICATION

The MEF Services Certification Program enables service providers to certify that their Carrier Ethernet services comply with the highest industry standards

TECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATION

The MEF Equipment Certification Program enables network equipment manufacturers to certify that their Carrier Ethernet products comply with the relevant MEF specifications...

WEBINARS

MEF hosts webinars on a variety of topics related to its Third Network vision, LSO, SDN and NFV.

SEMINARS

Our Seminars focus on exciting MEF-led industry initiatives to build a global ecosystem of connected networks supporting orchestration of dynamic services ...

MEF18

MEF is please to host the MEF18 global networking event, 29 October - 1 November 2018, Los Angeles, CA USA...

Winning Strategies for Preparing MEF 2017 Award Submissions

Winning Strategies for Preparing MEF 2017 Award Submissions

The MEF 2017 Awards program is open for entries until September 13, 2017. This prestigious program recognizes excellence in the Third Network and Carrier Ethernet community that creates innovative solutions optimized for the digital economy and hyper-connected world. This webinar will cover the 40 MEF award categories, important dates, how to use the awards submissions portal, and tips for writing concise, compelling submissions.

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An Industry Initiative for Third Generation Network and Services

An Industry Initiative for Third Generation Network and Services

This paper describes an industry vision for the evolution and transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them. The MEF refers to this vision as the “Third Network” where the Third Network combines the on-demand agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of today’s business grade networks (i.e.: Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and MPLS).

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Orlando, Florida USA, 13-16 November 2017

Orlando, Florida USA, 13-16 November 2017

MEF announces that it will be hosting the MEF17 (www.MEF17.com) global networking event, 13-16 November 2017, at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in Orlando, Florida USA. With a target audience of 1,000+ attendees from 275+ companies and 35+ countries, MEF17 is the world’s premier networking opportunity for executives and other senior service and technology professionals who want to keep on top of the latest innovations that are reshaping the communications landscape.

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RECENT SPECIFICATIONS

Specifications published by MEF are intended for general distribution to the public and may be downloaded from this site and reproduced without charge.

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Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO): Reference Architecture and Framework

Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO): Reference Architecture and Framework

LSO is an agile approach to streamlining and automating the service lifecycle in a sustainable fashion for coordinated management and control across all network domains responsible for delivering an end-to-end Connectivity Service (e.g., Carrier Ethernet, IP VPN, MPLS, etc.). This document describes a Reference Architecture and Framework for orchestrating the service lifecycle.

Interface Profile Specification – Service Configuration and Activation

Interface Profile Specification – Service Configuration and Activation

This Interface Profile Specification specifies Legato Management Interface in support of MEF 6.2 Services and is a realization of relevant classes from MEF 7.3 Information Model. The LEGATO_SCA Interface is for use at a Service Orchestrator Function for interfacing with Business Applications as described in MEF LSO RA and process for Service Configuration & Activation.

Ethernet Ordering Technical Specification - Business Requirements and Use Cases

Ethernet Ordering Technical Specification - Business Requirements and Use Cases

This document represents the cumulative work between MEF and ATIS Ordering and Billing Forum (OBF) to identify the common ordering attributes and processes needed to support inter-carrier Product Ordering of Ethernet Services worldwide. This document supports the requirements defined in the MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF 55, LSO RA) requirements for Ordering over the Sonata interface (Service Provider <-> Partner interactions).

CE 2.0 is the foundation of the Third network. Now, these same services will become more available and more dynamic because of the new API, information model and service orchestration work. New service enhancements as they have done will continue to add value but CE 2.0 certification will remain valid and extremely valuable. That’s the strength of CE 2.0.

What is the relationship between Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and The Third Network?

  • Carrier Ethernet 2.0
    • Static services
    • Ordered service
  • Carrier Ethernet, Network as a Service
    • On-Demand service
    • User-controlled service
ce and tn

Third Network as a Service for Individuals

  • Performance & security assured, on-demand, pay as you go services available at your home, hotel and anywhere with wired or wireless coverage

For anyone who ever went on a business trip or worked at home, imagine that just by connecting, your required performance profile is loaded, a high performance network connection is automatically setup - and you are ready for business. With the Third Network, performance-assured network experience is delivered to millions of users enabling enormous market potential. A truly exciting prospect for all stakeholders.

use case 1

Third Network as a Service for Cloud Consumers

  • Orchestrated delivery of Cloud applications via on-demand, performance-assured, secure, MEF services

With the Third Network, Cloud service delivery will be seamless with on-demand network services that interconnect user locations to their virtual machines or Virtual Network Functions running on blade servers inside a remote data center. Automated inter-carrier service orchestration manages connectivity inside and outside the data center.

use case 1

Third Network as a Service for Businesses

  • On demand connectivity services seamlessly across multiple providers

CE 2.0 has already extended business class networking across the globe, but it can still take some time for assured connectivity to be delivered, especially when multiple providers are involved. The Third Network will deliver dynamic business class network services on demand, across multi-carrier networks, initiated by end-users, cloud applications or service providers directly.

use case 3

Third Network Video

The video introducing the The Third Network will be available shortly

MEF LSO

MEF is developing LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) specifications with open APIs to automate the entire lifecycle for services orchestrated across multiple provider networks and multiple technology domains within a provider network. LSO enables service providers to transition from a silo-structured BSS/OSS approach towards flexible end-to-end orchestration that unleashes the value of SDN and NFV. Standardized LSO APIs are critical for enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated services over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks worldwide.

Enabling A Worldwide Ecosystem of Connected Networks

A growing number of service providers are offering or planning to offer Third Network services, and they want to make them widely available without being constrained by the limits of their own physical network footprint. But to expand service reach and deliver more dynamic services, they need a standards-based approach that facilitates interoperability with other providers and supports end-to-end service automation. Many providers also are looking for a standards-based approach to service management that allows them to overcome OSS/BSS hurdles that currently impede their ability to offer on-demand services over their own networks, effectively scale those services, and realize the full potential of SDN and NFV.

By leading the development of LSO, MEF is uniting industry efforts to enable orchestration of Third Network services across multiple providers and multiple technology domains within a single network provider (e.g., Packet WAN, NFV, SD WAN, etc.)

LSO is particularly important for industry growth because it will enable the creation of a worldwide ecosystem of connected networks that support orchestrated connectivity and NFV-based services. These services have the potential to dramatically reshape the industry landscape and fuel a whole new wave of productivity-enhancing innovations.

 

LSO Reference Architecture & Framework

MEF's LSO Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF55, March 2016) is a key resource for learning about LSO, which aims to streamline and automate the service lifecycle for coordinated management and control across all network domains responsible for delivering an end-to-end orchestrated service. The LSO RA describes the management entities needed to support LSO and the Management Interface Reference Points between them. The Management Interface Reference Points are described such that they can be realized by Interface Profiles and further by open APIs, which can be used to automate and orchestrate services. LSO provides open and interoperable automation of management operations that include fulfillment, performance, control, assurance, usage, analytics, security, and policy capabilities.

MEF currently is building upon the LSO Reference Architecture to advance work related to LSO interfaces, standardized open APIs, operational processes, and information models required for orchestrating services across multiple providers and multiple technology domains.

 

Important New Work To Standardize Inter-Provider LSO APIs (LSO Sonata Reference Point)

In a groundbreaking development in late February 2017, MEF and TM Forum announced they are collaborating with major service providers in a transformational initiative to standardize LSO APIs for orchestrating connectivity services across multiple networks worldwide. Eight of the world's largest service providers are leading efforts within MEF to develop a complete suite of inter-provider LSO APIs that use the LSO Reference Architecture and the TM Forum Open API framework. This project revolves around the LSO Sonata Reference Point that deals with the management, operational, and business interactions between service providers.

MEF and TM Forum members aim to accelerate inter-provider LSO API standardization by implementing a more agile development process and leveraging many of TM Forum’s 31 Open API specifications. Project participants are planning for a software development “sprint” at the end of which the first inter-carrier LSO APIs will be implemented in late 2017.

Eight LSO Sonata API definitions are planned to be standardized. The first three of the following APIs are expected to be defined in the first round of the project – “LSO Sonata Release 1” – by the end of 2017: (1) address validation, (2) service availability, (3) ordering, (4) quoting, (5) billing, (6) assurance, (7) testing, and (8) change management.

 
  • Nan Chen, President, MEF

    MEF is delighted to host pioneering inter-provider LSO API standardization work that will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks. Our collaboration with TM Forum and major service providers is a key step toward automating the $50+ billion Carrier Ethernet services market with LSO and will be foundational for orchestrating IP and wavelength services across many provider networks as well.
  • Rosemary Cochran, Principal, Vertical Systems Group

    Our research shows that the number one issue impeding the delivery of on-demand services is the need for a standardized approach to orchestrating services across multiple provider networks. This initiative led by industry leaders to collaboratively standardize on APIs for Ethernet services is an essential step toward tackling this challenge.
  • Roger Entner, Founder, Recon Analytics Inc

    The more companies that are using a standard, the more powerful and beneficial it becomes for everybody. As momentum builds, more and more operators, vendors and other partners will find it advantageous to join in or they will be faced with the danger of falling behind their competitors.
 

Public Resources

 

 

The Third Network: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question Answer

What is The Third Network and MEF's Network as a Service?

The Third Network, built using Network as a Service principles, combines the performance and security assurances of CE 2.0 and the agility and ubiquity of the Internet.

MEF Network as a Service is a self-service, on demand network connectivity service delivered between physical or virtual service endpoints.  It gives service providers the agility to deliver assured services backed by SLAs.  MEF Network as a Service APIs, Information Models and Service Definitions enable Lifecycle Orchestration and automation across multi-vendor, multi-technology network domains.

Why a Third Network?

The Third Network  brings a new network experience to millions of new users to significantly grow the market for all stakeholders. It gives unprecedented levels of network control to for new and evolving types of cloud-centric applications and control for network connectivity services within current network architectures as well as emerging SDN and NFV implementations.

Lifecycle Service Orchestration

MEF is defining Lifecycle Service Orchestration with APIs for existing networks, NVF & SDN implementations, enabling Agile, Assured and Orchestrated Network as a Service Worldwide.

Does the Third Network replace current public, private and virtual private networks?

No, not at all. CE 2.0 is the foundation of the Third Network MEF. Now these same services, evolving to CE Network as a Service, will become more available and more dynamic because of the MEF's new API, information model and service orchestration work. New service enhancements will continue to add value but CE 2.0 certification will remain valid and are extremely valuable.

What is the relationship between Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and The Third Network?

  •  Carrier Ethernet 2.0
    • Static services
    • Ordered services
  • Carrier Ethernet, Network as a Service (The Third Network)
    • On Demand services
    • User-controlled services

Is CE 2.0 now obsolete and should products and services still be certified?

CE 2.0 is certainly not obsolete. CE 2.0 is the foundation of the Third Network. Now these same services will become more available and more dynamic because of the new API, Information Model and service orchestration work. New  service enhancements as they have done will continue to add value but CE 2.0 certification will remain valid and extremely valuable. That’s the strength of CE 2.0.

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