MEF (formerly the Metro Ethernet Forum), the industry association aiming for agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services, has released a new white paper, in conjunction with various communications industry groups, which describes an industry vision for the evolution and transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them.
The paper, entitled “An Industry Initiative For Third Generation Network and Services“, was led by MEF and co-authored by interested industry partners ON.Lab, ONOS, OPEN-O, OpenDaylight (ODL), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and TM Forum.
MEF refers to the document’s vision as the “Third Network,” which combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security of CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0) networks.
MEF commented that emerging Third Network services are optimized for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world: “These services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. Third Network services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.”
The latest white paper achieves four key objectives: (1) it explores business drivers for Third Network transformation; (2) it describes key attributes of the Third Network; (3) it explains the LSO-based framework for coordinating all of the moving parts to create Third Network services; and (4) it spotlights major work areas that require industry collaboration to ensure orchestrated services operate reliably across multi-operator networks.
White paper co-authors have agreed to work together on developing generalized information models, standardized service definitions, comprehensive LSO functionality, standardized open APIs, certification programs for orchestrated services and professionals, and reference implementations for Third Network services and technologies.
Nan Chen, President, MEF, commented, “This white paper represents a noteworthy milestone in uniting open source projects and standards organizations to deliver a common vision for Third Network services. We want to thank our partners in this collaborative effort. I am really excited about the impact that this will have in moving the industry forward.”
Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF and lead author of the white paper, said, “Getting so many important industry players aligned on a shared vision is especially important for developing standardized open APIs that will enable orchestration of inter-provider services. Close collaboration will help us realize specifications in code more quickly, test things out in reference implementations, and provide rapid feedback for further spec development.”
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of ONF and ON.Lab, added, “ON.Lab and ONF are pleased to collaborate with MEF on its Third Network. ON.Lab and ONF remain committed to building open source SDN and NFV platforms and solutions such as ONOS and CORD, and developing software-defined standards that help accelerate the adoption of SDN and NFV by network operators. We plan to offer ONOS and CORD as open reference platforms for MEF’s Third Network and help realize this vision.”
Marc Cohn, Executive Director of the OPEN-O Project, said, “OPEN-O is well-aligned with MEF on the need to blend SDN/legacy connectivity services orchestration with NFV MANO into an end-to-end orchestration strategy. We look forward to collaborating with MEF to adopt open source platforms to realize the LSO vision.”