The MEF spearheaded the creation of a $50+ billion market for Carrier Ethernet Services. Ethernet now dominates the WAN and has been one of the fastest growing segments of the data service portfolios over the past decade.
Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) is a ubiquitous, standardized, carrier-class Service and Network defined by five attributes that distinguish it from familiar LAN-based Ethernet. Enterprise users more typically refer to Carrier Ethernet as Ethernet Business Services.
Carrier Ethernet 2.0 networks and services enable multiple classes of service (Multi-CoS) and manageability over interconnected provider networks.
The Class of Service extensions of CE 2.0 standardizes performance objectives across a variety of geographic “Performance Tiers” and applications. This results in improved QoS and optimizes efficiency, especially when utilizing the MEF’s VLAN-based services. It is not the support of multiple classes of service itself which is new. Rather, it is the performance objectives for each service class defined in the specification. This provides the knowledge of what performance you can expect for each class supported.
Interconnected refers to the standardized exchange of Carrier Ethernet traffic between providers and for eventual delivery in the Access network utilizing the E-Access/E-Transit Services types while preserving the attributes of the service. This allows providers to engineer multiple interconnected networks as a single network from the user’s perspective, with a single SLA.
New management functions standardize fault management and performance monitoring at levels not previously possible for services delivered across multiple providers. This enables sectionalization of faults down to individual virtual connections.
This explains why we term the characteristics of CE 2.0 as “Multi-CoS, Managed, Interconnected”
Future of Carrier Ethernet
In recent years, MEF has focused on accelerating worldwide deployment and interconnection of CE 2.0 networks to create a firm foundation for Third Network services. As of today, there are now 77+ service providers who offer CE 2.0 certified services, and much more are in the pipeline. For orchestrated services to work over multiple operator networks, it is important for these CE 2.0 providers to not behave as independent islands but instead to be integrated into a seamless, scalable connectivity fabric cutting across geographic regions. MEF has advanced important initiatives like the Ethernet Interconnection Points Project (MEF 54) to ensure alignment of service parameters and therefore streamline deployment of fully-featured interconnections between service providers.
MEF also has taken a market-leading role in showing how CE 2.0 services can be implemented with NFV and SDN by publishing several white papers on these topics.