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A New Framework for Carrier Ethernet

MEF 3.0 to Enable Agile, Assured and Orchestrated Services

Zayo Shares Perspective on Data Networking at MEF17

Ethernet has long been the workhorse of enterprise networks. Since its creation in the 1970s, Ethernet has successfully evolved to accommodate the changing technology and market needs. Beginning with the original copper coaxial cable, Ethernet has expanded to include optical fiber and wireless physical media. Ethernet’s adaptability and popularity has moved it beyond the LAN and into many aspects of network infrastructure.

Carrier Ethernet moved Ethernet beyond the LAN. MEF defined and advanced Carrier Ethernet which integrates industry-accepted standards for quality of service, scalability and service management. The benefit for global enterprises have been standards for performance, including SLAs, and flexibility to implement a wide range of Ethernet configurations.

The first two generations of Carrier Ethernet, known as CE 1.0 and CE 2.0, have advanced both speed and bandwidth, with 100 GB Ethernet now a benchmark. According to some experts, the “petabit Ethernet” — 500 GB — may not be too far off.

Bigger bandwidth and greater throughput will be requirements as we move deeper into a digitally-driven economy. Information is the currency of our digital economy — and data networks are even more integral to our lives and livelihoods. From a Carrier Ethernet standpoint, what was good enough yesterday will not be good enough tomorrow.

That’s why MEF, which holds its annual MEF17 conference next week, is introducing MEF 3.0 – a transformational framework for enabling a new generation of agile, assured, and orchestrated services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. These services will provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with user and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

MEF will share a lot more details about MEF 3.0 at the MEF17, but one thing we know for sure is that it builds and expands upon CE 2.0 to introduce dynamic Carrier Ethernet and other connectivity and virtualized services that will be orchestrated across multiple provider networks.

For enterprises, this means consistent performance and security assurances across the full spectrum of Ethernet services, from physical to virtual, inclusive of on-demand models.
Since no service provider has a network footprint in all locations, automation must enable seamless peering for automated ordering, provisioning, and management.

Service orchestration integrates standardized APIs that can accommodate existing and new network implementations, including SDN and NFV. MEF 3.0 will also enable services between physical and virtual service endpoints in the cloud in order to connect to Virtual Machines (VMs) or Virtual Network Functions (VNFs).

Zayo is taking a leadership role in shaping these exciting third generation standards and capabilities both as a company and as part of MEF, which is chaired by Zayo Enterprise Networks President Mike Strople. He will deliver the Chairman’s address at the conference at 8:25 a.m. on November 14. Tariq Rafique, manager, Network Architecture & Planning, will also represent Zayo on the Orchestrating On-Demand Services panel at 2:50 p.m. November 14. Zayo’s Stephen Fisher, SVP, CTO – Enterprise Networks will provide insights at the Service Provider Executive Perspective panel at 11:55 a.m. November 15.

If you’re attending MEF17, please stop by booth #209 to get know us and learn more about our global solutions. You can also schedule a meeting with one of our experts at the registration page here.