Didier Duriez, Orange - SDN & NFV Opportunities and LSO Standards Collaboration
Didier Duriez, SVP of Global Services and Solutions at Orange Business Services, talks to Ray Le Maistre, editor-in-chief at Light Reading, about the opportunities created by SDN, NFV, and and the work it's doing with AT&T and its ECOMP solution, which is now merged with OPEN-O and called ONAP. Didier notes that a standards approach for Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) is needed for service provisioning and end-to-end visibility with service level agreements (SLAs.) Orange, AT&T, Colt, PCCW Global and others are working within MEF to standardize inter-provider LSO APIs that use the MEF LSO Reference Architecture and the TM Forum Open API framework.
Nan Chen, President, MEF - Standardizing Inter-Provider LSO APIs For Orchestrated Services
Nan Chen, President, MEF discusses how major service providers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standardized LSO APIs for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.
Vertical Systems Group Publishes 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD
BOSTON, MA, March 2, 2017 – Vertical Systems Group’s year-end 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD results are as follows (in rank order based on retail port share): Orange Business Services (France), Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), BT Global Services (U.K.), Level 3 (U.S.), Verizon (U.S.) and NTT (Japan). The Global Provider LEADERBOARD, the industry’s benchmark for multinational Ethernet network market presence, ranks companies that hold a 4% or higher share of billable retail ports at sites outside of their respective home countries.
The three leading Global Providers – Orange, Colt and AT&T – are working with MEF and TM Forum on developing the first standardized inter-provider LSO APIs for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services over SDN architectures. These efforts are a significant advancement toward standardizing dynamic service connectivity between network providers throughout the world.
In a major industry collaboration effort, MEF and TM Forum are combining forces with ten major service providers from around the globe to define the application programming interfaces that will enable Carrier Ethernet services to be orchestrated across multiple carrier networks, ultimately in an automated fashion that will drive business service revenue. (See MEF, TM Forum, Carriers Collaborate on APIs.)
The APIs will be incorporated into MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) framework, and draw on the Open API framework of the TM Forum, but also are built on pioneering work done by AT&T, Colt and Orange to accelerate adoption of software-defined networking by creating inter-carrier APIs.
AT&T, Orange, Colt, MEF and TM Forum Pave the Way Toward Worldwide Ecosystem of Connected Service Provider Networks
BARCELONA, Feb. 28, 2017 – AT&T*, Orange, and Colt Technology Services are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framewor
AT&T, Orange, and Colt have been working to accelerate adoption of SDN across the industry. AT&T has been collaborating with the enterprise arm of Orange, Orange Business Services, on standardized APIs that will enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other. AT&T and Colt held the first successful SDN interoperability trial proving that SDN architectures from different network service providers can interoperate with each other across continents.
After a successful proof of concept, the companies are leading the charge, along with MEF and TM Forum, to accelerate efforts to develop a set of standardized APIs for industry-wide use.
Service providers will be able to use standardized APIs to work with each other’s SDN architectures in near-real time. The projected release of the first round of APIs is at the end of 2017. This is a key step toward enabling orchestrated on-demand services over more automated and interconnected networks.
Traditionally, each service provider uses different systems and interfaces to manage different aspects of its networks. This creates friction and inefficiency when providing an end-to-end service. Our world is becoming increasingly connected. A “smart” network is critical to deliver services to customers across many networks.
“The more companies that are using a standard, the more powerful and beneficial it becomes for everybody,” says Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics Inc. “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.”
“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,” said Rosemary Cochran, Principal, Vertical Systems Group. “This initiative led by industry leaders to collaboratively standardize on APIs for Ethernet services is an essential step toward tackling this challenge.”
The API standardization effort for orchestrated connectivity services is being conducted within MEF in partnership with TM Forum, and is open to both MEF and TM Forum members. This project revolves around the LSO Sonata reference point that deals with the management, operational, and business interactions between service providers. The API standardization project will build upon TM Forum Open API standards work involving nine of the world’s largest service providers.
There are plans to standardize 8 API definitions. This builds on the industry-agreed Open APIs developed by TM Forum members. The first 3 APIs below will be defined in the first round of the project this year.
These APIs will help reduce the burden of fragmented networks, giving businesses the power to provision scalable, flexible network services on-demand through software platforms like ECOMP. ECOMP is now open-sourced through the Linux Foundation and will be used as a reference implementation for LSO APIs.These connected networks will save costs and be more agile, helping businesses streamline their operations.
A federation of like-minded, involved companies will come together using these common APIs to help the industry usher in the next era of SDN-based Ethernet globally. Companies interested in joining this initiative can visit the MEF website for more information and learn more about TM Forum’s Open API framework here.
February 10, 2017
Advancing Third Network Connectivity & Cloud Services Powered by LSO, SDN, NFV & CE 2.0
Los Angeles, 10 February 2017 – MEF (www.MEF.net), the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services, is pleased to announce 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.
MEF17 Focus MEF17 is focused on advancing the transition to Third Network connectivity and cloud services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. These emerging 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 (software defined networking), NFV (network functions virtualization), and CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0).
“Many leading service providers, technology vendors, open source projects, and standards organizations are working closely with MEF to accelerate the transition to the Third Network,” said Kevin Vachon, Chief Operating Officer, MEF. “We enjoyed tremendous support for last year’s event from 120 sponsor and partner companies – including 26 service providers – along with 120 expert speakers. We will build upon this momentum for MEF17, and look forward to creating another world-class conference that will attract the best and brightest innovators dedicated to moving our industry forward.”
Key Benefits of Attending: Content + Networking + Live Innovation Demonstrations MEF’s global networking events have developed a reputation for uniquely empowering industry stakeholders with high-quality program content, extraordinary peer-to-peer networking opportunities, and live demonstrations of cutting-edge services and technologies. The events consistently have ranked among the highest in the industry, with 99% of surveyed attendees rating last year’s MEF16 conference as excellent, very good, or good.
MEF17 Program & Activities MEF17 program and special activities are designed to appeal to executives and other senior experts from communication and cloud service providers; enterprises; government organizations; network technology suppliers; industry standards and open source organizations; analyst firms; the press; and others.
Key planned elements of MEF17 include:
3 ½ Day Program
Proof of Concept Service & Technology Showcase
MEF Awards Party
Global Media Hub
Onsite MEF Training & Certification
UNITE Partner Activities - including open source projects and standards organizations
More information will be available on the MEF17 website (MEF17.com) in the coming weeks. See information on the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort here.
Super Early Bird Sponsorship Deadline – 28 February 2017 Sign up before 28 February 2017 and receive the Super Early Bird Savings of 25% on Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsor packages and 15% on additional sponsorship options. For sponsorship information, please contact Alysia Bennett at Alysia@MEF.net.
About MEF MEF is the driving force enabling Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. The Third Network concept combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the assurance and security of CE 2.0. Third Network services provide an on-demand, orchestrated, and assured 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, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0.
MEF leverages its global 210+ network operator and technology vendor community, builds upon the robust $80 billion Carrier Ethernet services and technology market, and provides a practical evolution to the Third Network with LSO, SDN, and NFV implementations that build upon a CE 2.0 foundation. See www.MEF.net for more information.
Media Contact: Stan Hubbard Director of Communications & Research, MEF stan@MEF.net
Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF provides an update on key MEF initiatives to enable orchestrated Third Network services over automated networks. He notes that MEF is seeing “huge demand” to develop “East-West” APIs for orchestration across multiple providers. MEF also is working on “North-South” APIs to orchestrate services over multiple technology domains within a single operator. Stay tuned for news in the coming months about MEF’s expanded certification programs centered on orchestrated services and open APIs.
LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) is emerging as an important component of the new software platform that communication service providers (CSPs) will depend on as they revamp their businesses to innovate and scale, while taking on new challenges such as over-the-top (OTT) providers. The SDxCentral Industry Report on LSO examines how next-gen OSS will evolve, as well as how LSO binds together legacy OSS/BSS with newer SDN and NFV software, and telecom hardware infrastructure.
The Next-Gen OSS and the Rise of LSO Report, which launched today, includes an aggregated view of industry research, our own survey data, and feedback from the SDxCentral community, conducted by the SDxCentral Research Team. It includes an analysis of key CSP trends, key requirements in next-gen OSS and the evolution of the MEF Forum’s LSO over the last few years. It also includes a listing of the top next-gen OSS and LSO products in the marketplace, along with key differentiators and features
The Next-Gen OSS and the Rise of LSO Report, which launched today, includes an aggregated view of industry research, our own survey data, and feedback from the SDxCentral community, conducted by the SDxCentral Research Team. It includes an analysis of key CSP trends, key requirements in next-gen OSS and the evolution of the MEF Forum’s LSO over the last few years. It also includes a listing of the top next-gen OSS and LSO products in the marketplace, along with key differentiators and features.
TelecomTV/MEF16: Nan Chen, President, MEF – New Orchestrated Services, LSO APIs, Collaboration, Certification & More
TelecomTV at MEF16 - Nan Chen, President, MEF; Vice-Chairman, CENX discusses four major areas of MEF work that will enable agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. This includes (1) orchestrated connectivity and NFV-based services, (2) the LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) architecture with standardized open APIs, (3) open initiatives involving collaboration with other industry organizations, and (4) the evolution of certification programs for services, equipment, and professionals. Nan highlights that the organization’s most important work currently is focused on enabling end-to-end orchestrated services across multiple technology domains and multiple service providers globally and seamlessly. Development and deployment of Third Network services powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV will require broad industry collaboration. Along these lines, MEF has co-authored a groundbreaking new Third Network services white paper with ON.Lab, ONOS, OPEN-O, OpenDaylight (ODL), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and TM Forum.
MEF has named SDN pioneer Dan Pitt as its new senior vice president, reflecting the organization’s efforts to provide guidance on implementing software elements into broader parts of the telecom and enterprise network. Pitt comes to the MEF from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) where he most recently served as that organization’s executive director.
TelecomTV/MEF16: Michael Strople, Chairman, MEF - Industry Is Embracing Agile, Assured, Orchestrated Third Network Services
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Michael Strople, Chairman, MEF; President, Zayo Managed Services & Managing Director, Canada, Zayo discusses the MEF’s role in driving industry transformation with agile, assured, and orchestrated services. Mike notes that MEF is a member-driven organization, and the Third Network vision has been developed based on the needs of members that include 210+ service provider and technology vendor companies. Mike highlights the importance of LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) open API work, open networking, and industry collaboration. What makes MEF a key player in driving innovation? Mike explains, “MEF is much more than a standards group. People ask me if MEF is a standards body. We issue specifications. That’s true. That’s an important part of what we do. But we do so much more than that. I like to say that MEF is a collaboration platform, and MEF is where ideas get traction.”
TelecomTV at MEF16: Josh Goodell, VP, AT&T Network On Demand - Over the past year, AT&T has expanded its Network On Demand portfolio beyond Switched Ethernet to included Managed Internet and NFV-based FlexWare services with the goal of giving customers greater agility, flexibility, and control. Since its launch in 2015, more than 2,000 businesses have signed up for AT&T Network on Demand solutions, including more than 1,300 for Switched Ethernet with on-demand capabilities. AT&T has rearchitected its entire core network -- leveraging SDN and orchestration technologies -- to meet the demands of video traffic and is now utilizing that network to deliver differentiated services. Switched Ethernet and Managed Internet services are core services going out to the network edge, while FlexWare is an edge service.
...Josh explained FlexWare: "What we're doing is taking the traditional approach of proprietary boxes out on the edge of the network and really turning that model on its head. And so what we have now is a model where customers will have a single device on the edge that can run multiple functions on that device - whether it be routing, WAN acceleration, security -- and they can dynamically choose what functions they want." SD-WAN is tied into the FlexWare service.
Josh elaborated on AT&T's SDN interoperability trial with Colt Technology Services and the importance of MEF LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) work. "One of the elements of MEF that is really is interesting is their concept of LSO. One of the core tenants is helping us expand the value of SDN and NFV not just within one carrier space but across carriers. And the work with Colt is a great example of how we are expanding the value proposition of an SDN network - that SDN core that I talked about earlier -- really across the world. And with this Proof of Concept, we demonstrated that it's possible to have endpoints in the United States and endpoints in the UK all federated with one network connection. And that's very unique. So, we're excited to not just be talking about this stuff. We're actually out there making it happen."
Josh summarized AT&T's journey in 3 phases: (1) rethink how AT&T delivers network services over a rearchitected core network, (2) deliver new agility, flexibility, and control value to customers with Network on Demand, and (3) drive the industry forward by expanding upon these new approaches and principles. "We think there's value not just for us, but for the industry. I think MEF is a conduit. They're a catalyst for that. One of the reasons we're so excited is that we see complete alignment with what we're trying to do and what MEF is trying to do, and we'll work closely together on this." | 7:31 minutes.
December 29, 2016
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Panel interview with senior MEF representatives: (1) Shahar Steiff, VP, New Technology, PCCW Global; Director, MEF; Technical & Operations Committee Co-Chair, MEF; (2) Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF; and (3) Raghu Ranganathan, Principal & Distinguished Engineer, Office of CTO, Ciena; MEF Distinguished Fellow; Director, MEF; Technical & Operations Committee Co-Chair, MEF. Pascal explains that MEF's concept of open networking centers on LSO open APIs (North-South and East-West) that can be used with either open source or closed source solutions. Shahar emphasizes the importance of using Open APIs to automate service lifecycle processes within and between service providers, leading to increased efficiency. Raghu notes that service providers can introduce greater agility in operating their networks by creating an abstract view of their networks that allows them to use open APIs to program the network.
... Raghu elaborates, "If you generally ask the question of open networking, it's not just about open hardware, but it is also about open software working together via these APIs. That is the most critical puzzle you need to solve." In addition to increased operational efficiency, open networking will allow service providers to transition from a hardware-centric view to a software-centric view, where services can be created in software in almost real-time as the customer demands. This requires a cultural change on the part of service providers and will enable customers to have much greater control over service capabilities. As Pascal explains, MEF has introduced a number of open initiatives, including OpenLSO and OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services) reference implementations, to help accelerate LSO development and deployment. Shahar summarizes MEF's approach as (1) standardizing service definitions, (2) standardizing operational processes, (3) standardizing orchestration, and (4) creating the open initiative reference implementations that provide feedback to accelerate LSO development. Shahar notes, "MEF is probably the only organization in the industry that handles all four together." | 17:33 Minutes
TelecomTV/MEF16 – Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global – Need Commercial Interfaces For Dynamic Services Orchestrated Across Multiple Providers
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global discusses why his company has been among the first to embrace SDN, NFV, and LSO and has played a leading role in MEF to help drive LSO development and adoption. PCCW Global is especially interested in creating LSO-related commercial interfaces to handle the new generation of dynamic Third Network services that are orchestrated across multiple providers. “Now we are headed to a bandwidth-on-demand, dynamic environment where the commercial parameters are no longer two-dimension. They are three-dimensional and perhaps even more. We have to be able to create wholesale infrastructures for commercial settlement between carriers for bandwidth, for bandwidth variations by destinations, by applications, by services. We’ll be looking at network flows and other various activities. We’ll be looking to see what are the new units of currency that transpire wholesale between and among networks to support end-users.” Marc challenges the industry: “It is time, first and foremost, that physical networks assure that on-demand, software-based infrastructure can be transacted on a wholesale basis in order to give customers the breadth of every global network that may exist. And secondly, that the physical ecosystems also learn how to sensibly interconnect commercially with the cloud players to give the customer a singular experience.” Marc elaborates, “If we are able to wholesale commercial settlements, it will open up network infrastructure to end users far more aggressively and will incent, perhaps, the advent of greater applications than can be developed over common networks.”
TelecomTV/MEF16 – Patrick Ostiguy, President & CEO, Accedian – Performance Assurance Is Critical With On-Demand, Virtualized Services
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Patrick Ostiguy, President & CEO, Accedian Networks – Service providers are looking to maintain and improve service performance as a means to differentiate their offerings in an environment characterized by commoditization. Performance assurance becomes even more critical – and more difficult – with the emergence of on-demand and virtualized services powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV. Cloudification also increases the need for performance assurance as more enterprises are putting their eggs into the cloud basket. “Having a sluggish Internet connection or private line connection is basically a matter of having the whole day off at the office. You might as well go back home, fundamentally. You know it’s not like what it used to be.”
MEF is spearheading the shift by expanding work beyond CE 2.0 services to include development of new orchestrated Layer 1-3 connectivity services (e.g., wavelength, CE, and IP) and orchestrated Layer 4-7 cloud services (e.g., NFV-based virtual security, etc.). These new services have true game-changing potential for innovation, competition, and revenue generation. Read More
December 14, 2016
TelecomTV/MEF16: Chris Purdy, CTO, CENX – Assuring Services Across Combined Physical and Virtual Networks As Well As Multiple Providers
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Chris Purdy, CTO, CENX discusses the challenge of assuring services across combined physical and virtual networks within a single provider and assuring services that are orchestrated across multiple providers. Chris notes that essentially every major service provider is moving in the direction of implementing NFV in their network in order to have virtualized implementations of what traditionally would have been purpose–built hardware. While a lot of industry attention has focused on creating virtual machines and spinning up virtual network functions (VNFs), up to now not nearly as much energy has gone into assuring virtual network services once they are turned up. Chris notes that MEF’s work promoting development of East-West LSO APIs is critically important for orchestrating and assuring services among service providers on a global scale. As for CENX itself, the company’s service assurance solution involves taking in real-time data from the network, mapping that against the topology of network domains, and then feeding information back into the orchestration and fulfillment systems to effect network changes within that controlled loop
TelecomTV/MEF16 – LSO Hackathon Roundtable With AT&T, Cisco, and Ericsson Experts
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Andy Mayer (Principal Member of Technical Staff, Domain 2.0, AT&T and editor of the MEF 55 LSO Reference Architecture), Dawn Kaplan (Solutions Architect, CoE OSS Architect, Ericsson; Co-Director, Operations Area, MEF) and Donald Hunter (Principal Engineer in CTO Office, Cisco) provide an overview of the MEF’s 3rd LSO Hackathon and explain the importance of the Hackathon work in accelerating the development of Lifecycle Service Orchestration standards and seeing them delivered in open source projects. A key goal of the LSO Hackathon is to test out early implementations of developing LSO specifications and to provide feedback to the standardization process about what does and does not work before standards are finalized. This is key part of MEF’s more agile specification development process that has been implemented over the past year. This MEF16 Hackathon included development activity related to East-West APIs supporting interoperable services between operators. Two specific Hackathon projects included serviceability and ordering.
TelecomTV/MEF16: Joe Cumello, Ciena – Combining LSO, SDN & NFV To Drive Business Transformation
TelecomTV at MEF – Joe Cumello, VP of Portfolio Marketing, Ciena offers advice for customers on the best way to go about combining LSO, SDN & NFV to drive business transformation. Joe addresses the importance of LSO, the open networking phenomenon being driven by service providers, and the paradigm shift from 100G/200G to 400G optical networking. Joe highlights that customers are asking not just for greater capacity, greater density, lower power, and lower cost per bit but they are also looking to gather greater intelligence from their optical networks to help them make automation choices. Capacity + automation and intelligence will be the currency in the network going forward.
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Eric Leser, Principal Engineer, OSS & PM Test Applications, Charter Communications and Chris Cullan, Director of Product Marketing, Business Services Solutions, InfoVista discuss MEF’s recently published set of white papers on Carrier Ethernet Service Assurance. Eric states, “I think it is absolutely critical now to have that information, more than any other time. It is business critical. We cannot survive without having that information readily available – not only internally, but being able to provide that information back to a customer. Here’s how your service is performing. It’s now just a nice-to-have. It is now something that we’re mandated to provide to a customer.”
LRTV: Stan Hubbard, MEF - 'De-Fragment' The Network & Automate The Service Lifecycle With LSO
Interview with Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research, MEF - Cable players want to leverage their growing Carrier Ethernet service base to deliver more dynamic services for businesses, but they will need LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) to enable automation of the full services lifecycle, including provisioning, performance monitoring, analytics, etc. A key first step is an internal inventory of resources – essentially an de-fragmentation process.
TelecomTV/MEF16: Allan Langfield, Comcast – Journey To Interoperable On-Demand Services Powered By LSO, SDN & NFV
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Allan Langfield, Exec. Director, Product Development, Comcast Business; Board Director; MEF; Operations Area Co-Director, MEF – MEF’s work on CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0) is a lynchpin for effectively doing on-demand services managed services that ultimately will transit multiple provider networks. Allan notes, “We need those services specifications. We need those operational constructs that are going to support this entire new ecosystem of services that customers are starting to ask for.” Carriers are coming to the MEF and asking the organization to help them orchestrate services (with LSO) not just over their own networks but carrier-to-carrier-to-customer in a way that is very consistent, very reliable, and on-demand.
MEF16 Keynote – Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF discusses major work to enable Third Network services for the digital economy. This includes (1) development of orchestrated connectivity (wavelengths, CE 2.0, IP) & NFV-based services (security and other), (2) development of the LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) architecture and standardized open APIs, (3) open initiatives with OpenLSO and OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services) reference implementations, and (4) the evolution of certification programs for services, equipment, and professionals. Pascal is leading MEF’s effort to be a more agile development organization that collaborates closely with open source projects and other industry organizations. He also spearheaded the creation of a new white paper that MEF has co-authored with ON.Lab, ONOS, OPEN-O, OpenDaylight (ODL), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and TM Forum.
Telecom TV/MEF16: Travis Ewert, SVP, Level 3 – Evolving From On-Demand Services To Customer-Defined Networking
TelecomTV at MEF16 - Travis Ewert, Senior VP, Global Network Software Development, Level 3 Communications explains how customer usage of on-demand services has evolved since the company first began offering dynamic capabilities several years ago. What started as a single pain of glass – or one-stop shop user interface – for the customer has evolved to become more of a customer defined network with the introduction of programmability. Programmability, for example, allows a customer to schedule service changes or tie changes to analytics. “They can actually pick a segment of their network and say when utilization does this, do this for me.” These new capabilities have been well-received by customers and changed the dynamic of the customer relationship. The ultimate goal is to provide a feedback loop into SDN, orchestration, and control to “allow the network to make a change on your behalf based on how you define your experience.” Looking at the industry more broadly, Travis advocates that MEF will need to work not only only on East-West APIs for control of orchestrated services across multiple operators, but also the exchange of data analytics and intelligence over consumable APIs.
TelecomTV/MEF16: Eric Cevis, President, Verizon Partner Solutions – Standards Collaboration Is Key For Industry Progress
TelecomTV at MEF16 – Eric Cevis, President, Verizon Partner Solutions discusses what the industry must do to address customer needs in the era of hyper-connectivity. Eric emphasizes the importance of collaboration and MEF work on developing standards that support interoperable services that are orchestrated over more automated and interconnected networks. Verizon strongly supports MEF’s Lifecycle Services Orchestration initiative. Verizon is investing in software tools to enable greater self-service capabilities and in the buildout of its fiber network to take the benefits of next-generation solutions to more customers.
MEF16 – Marc Halbfinger, CEO, PCCW Global sits down for an interview with Nan Chen, President, MEF - Marc shares that service providers are being driven to think differently about how they deliver solutions to address changing customer requirements in the cloud era. He notes that PCCW Global has supported the work of MEF because of the coalition of players the organization has brought together to focus on driving the thought processes around service and technology innovation. It is particularly important that we have strong industry collaboration as we shift from hardware-centric thought processes to a software-centric approach. Marc notes that MEF’s Third Network vision is critical to moving the industry forward.
What do we need to do next? Marc challenges industry players to consider the implications of the shift to software-based applications or feature sets that can be rapidly introduced. MEF’s LSO Reference Architecture deals with how different networking environments meet between the physical layer and the software layer. LSO technical standards need to developed more aggressively with commercial (profit/loss) thought processes in the mix. The key is to collaborate across a technical standard that facilitates collaborative commercial thought from a domestic ecosystem to an international ecosystem. Marc also emphasized that it is very important to prioritize a collaborative approach to network security. | 20:38 minutes
MEF16 Keynote by Josh Goodell, Vice President, AT&T Network On Demand – In this keynote, Josh provides a progress report on AT&T’s network transformation and new innovative services that are enabled by service orchestration (LSO), SDN, and NFV. AT&T has seen about a 50% reduction in network provisioning time across the board (inclusive of the time it takes to build fiber to customer sites). Once a customer has a connection, AT&T is able to provide changes to its on-demand services within seconds. Josh shares how the company's on-demand services (Switched Ethernet, Dedicated Internet, NFV-based Flexware) and new SD-WAN offering are providing increased agility and flexibility for customers.
MEF16 Address by Nan Chen, President, MEF; Vice-Chairman, CENX - Two years ago, MEF launched its vision to enable Third Network services optimized for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. Warmly received by many top service and technology leaders across the globe, the Third Network concept combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of CE 2.0. Third Network services provide an on-demand/agile, assured, and orchestrated experience with user-directed control over service capabilities & cloud connectivity. These services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0. This keynote will provide a progress report on major initiatives – including collaboration with numerous open source projects and industry standards organizations – that are turning the Third Network vision into reality.
MEF16 Keynote by Chad Haggerty, Senior Director of OSS Systems, Comcast – The digital customer and software-based network technologies require transformative changes to business processes and ecosystems. SDN, NFV, and cloud-based networks enable dynamic, real-time customer-controlled services. Digital customer growth is driving the customer experience deeper into the connected ecosystem. The customer, in effect, is becoming more and more involved in business processes of service providers. Back office systems are being called upon to manage and dynamically control more of the network and to drive more business efficiency and automation in order to handle the scale, increased complexity, and on-demand capabilities. Going forward, back office systems will have more direct customer interactions with a digital economy. A key takeaway quote – “Say goodbye to time” as the expectations of the on-demand customer come into the mix. Providers no longer have the luxury of a long cycle time to update inventories or fix anything that might go wrong.
By Rosemary Cochran, Principal & Co-Founder, Vertical Systems Group - My takeaways from MEF16 can be summed up with three words – energy, urgency and collaboration. High energy was palpable throughout the four-day event, generated by attendees who represented more than 250 organizations from 30+ countries. Conference speakers and participants were energized by an urgency to accelerate delivery of the dynamic connectivity experiences demanded throughout our increasingly hyper-connected world. Ultimately, the consensus was that industry collaboration is no longer a question of “if” – but “how and when”.
MEF16: Charles Eckel, Cisco DevNet - MEF16 LSO Hackathon Puts Specs Into Code
Charles Eckel, Developer Evangelist, Cisco DevNet provides an overview of the MEF16 LSO Hackathon that is taking MEF's specification work and putting it to code. The exercise carries out implementations of the specs to validate that they work.
MEF16: Greg Spear, Accedian - Joint Proof of Concept Demonstration With CenturyLink On Performance Monitoring
Greg Spear, Solution Manager, Accedian Networks describes his company's joint Proof-of-Concept demonstration with CenturyLink focused on ensuring customer quality of experience for advanced network services. The PoC demo conducted at MEF16 focused on test & turn-up as well as performance monitoring at Layer 2 and Layer 3. The PoC is built on the principles in the MEF 33 specification.
MEF16: Ralph Santitoro, Fujitsu - LSO Is Becoming Real
Ralph Santitoro, Head of SDN/NFV Solutions Practice, Fujitsu Network Communications and MEF Distinguished Fellow - discusses how LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) is becoming real. there is a lot of complexity with SDN and LSO. This requires the integration of many types of products and VNFs. The need for open environments adds to this integration challenge.
MEF16: Drew Flechsig, CenturyLink - End-To-End Service Assurance
Drew Flechsig, Director Network Policy, Traffic and Security, CenturyLink talks about service assurance and the customer experience at CenturyLink, including a proof-of-concept conducted at MEF16 in Baltimore with Accedian Networks for a performance monitoring overlay solution
Nan Chen: MEF is uniting industry efforts to enable agile, assured, and orchestrated connectivity and NFV-based services across multiple service provider networks. New Third Network services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity.
Service providers worldwide want to offer these services over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks...Read More
November 11, 2016
Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF - We'll Be Scrappy & Agile
MEF is working hard to reinvent itself, intending to move well beyond Carrier Ethernet to become the forum that enables end-to-end service orchestration across multiple carrier networks in the virtualization era. The man driving this change, CTO Pascal Menezes, says MEF will become "very scrappy and very agile" and bring on board its own code development resources as well. (See MEF Redefining Its Role.)
Michael Kearns, VP, Fixed Network Single OSS, Huawei discusses how networking priorities and roadmaps will evolve to support digital services. He notes that orchestration must be able texploit network virtualization and provide agility to operators, and a key to doing this is having an open networking environment. The increasing adoption of open networking, coupled with OSS integration, are underscoring a series of changing customer requirements within the service provider business. But as carriers’ businesses undergo a new stage of transformation, enabled by technologies such as SDN, NFV and LSO, plenty of challenges still need to be addressed. For example, the move from early stage proofs of concepts to wider and more large-scale deployments could impact service levels. There also needs to be more work to align open source initiatives with open standards. The MEF continues to play a significant and leading role in this evolution process.
Shahar Steiff, AVP New Technologies, PCCW Global discusses the most significant developments shaping the services market, as the role of the programmable network increases and customers look towards agility as a key factor in their purchasing decisions. PCCW Global has just launched a new service that enables its customers to add a virtual machine to their VPN, giving them further control over their service configuration. Shahar notes that MEF is unique in its holistic approach to standards devlopment, with its focus on (1) services, (2) orchestration of those services with LSO, and (3) operational processes. This gives MEF a leading position within the industry.
Chris Purdy, CTO, CENX highlights the importance of MEF's LSO Reference Architecture and development of standardized, open APIs for orchestrating and assuring services over both physical and virtual networks.
Alessandro Talotta, Chairman & CEO, Telecom Italia Sparkle discusses the most significant developments shaping the wholesale services markets and TI Sparkle's efforts to integrate virtual services and LSO-enabled capabilities into its portfolio. As the importance of LSO increases, and customers start to see value in its implementation, MEF and its members continue to make progress with their drive towards more agile Third Network services. Exciting progress in orchestrating services over multiple interconnected provider networks & a cloud provider will be demonstrated at MEF16.
Allan Langfield, Executive Director, Product Development, Comcast discusses how LSO, SDN, and NFV will usher in a new era of dynamic services that are relevantly interconnected and more efficiently implemented in ways that simply have not been possible with traditional technologies. He anticipates that we will see increased operational efficiency and shorter time to market for new services that will benefit end-users. Allan highlights that MEF's comprehensive effort to (1) expand service specification work to include Layer 3 IP and other services, (2) automate the service lifecycle with LSO, and (3) improve carrier-to-carrier integration & automation will be important factors in moving the industry forward.
Anthony Peres, Marketing Director, IP Routing, Nokia and Ralph Santitor, Head of SDN/NFV Solutions Practice, Fujitsu, discuss MEF's new Carrier Ethernet and NFV white paper, which is part of a broad range of MEF initiatives to accelerate the introduction of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services. Bringing valuable insight to the growing ecosystem of Third Network services and technology companies, the paper explores options for introducing and implementing virtual network functions and services onto foundational CE 2.0 connectivity services. The paper is available for download from the MEF website here.
The paper examines use cases for different delivery models (centralized, decentralized, and distributed) for virtual network functions and services remotely within the service provider’s network, at the customer premises or a combination of thereof. The paper also discusses approaches and trade-offs for service demarcation equipment at the customer premises for different network functions and services - for example, Network Interface Devices (NIDs) with no functions virtualized, Virtual CPEs (vCPE) with all functions virtualized, or hybrid implementations.
Dan Blemings, Director of Ethernet Product Management, AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions discusses some of AT&T's latest service innovations and explains why the company decided to release its ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management & Policy) platform --which controls its SDN network -- to the open source community. AT&T appointed Amdocs to be an integrator for telcos and cloud developers who want to use ECOMP to build their own software-centric network services. Blemings also covers how ECOMP ties in with MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) work.
Mary Stanhope, VP of Marketing, Global Capacity shares her perspective on how more efficient operation and interconnection of Ethernet networks is contributing to healthy development of the wholesale services market and yielding positive benefits for end customers. Global Capacity itself has created a market place platform of interconnected network service providers and pre-set interconnects to data centers, cloud providers, and application providers in order streamline service turn-up and automate service delivery. Going forward, LSO promises to help the overall wholesale market work better by enabling end-to-end management of services across provider networks and shortening ordering and delivery times.
Brendan Gunn, Director, Global Ethernet & IP Services, Verizon Partner Solutions (formerly Verizon Global Wholesale) discusses how emerging Third Network-related technologies (including LSO APIs, SDN, and NFV) are beginning to reshape the wholesale and retail services market. These new technologies are enabling greater business agility, speeding time to market for services, and facilitating end-to-end management of service delivery. Brendan also talks about some of the key steps Verizon has taken to move the industry forward, including the introduction of NFV-based, SD-WAN, and secure cloud interconnect services.
Vertical Systems Group's senior analysts Rosemary Cochran, Principal & Co-Founder and Erin Dunne, Director of Research Services discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the industry transition to Third Network services. They note that the advancement to the Third Network is well underway, with more efficient operations, streamlined development of services, and the ability to deliver innovative dynamic services. Industry standards development will be the key to progress, especially for end-to-end orchestration of services across network operators and cloud providers. Over time, service providers will face increased competitive threats from those who are able to offer compelling new on-demand services. The analysts also explore other topics, including the compelling value of the MEF Carrier Ethernet Certification Program (MEF-CECP) and the market impact of SD-WAN and NFV.
Nan Chen, President of MEF, discusses MEF's major initiatives designed to accelerate the shift to agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks. This includes (1) orchestrated Third Network connectivity & point services, (2) LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), and (3) MEF's Open Initiative which incorporates the LSO Hackathon, OpenLSO, OpenCS, and other activities. Nan also comments on the upcoming MEF16 global networking event taking place during 7-10 November in Baltimore/Washington DC, USA.
Michael Strople, Chairman, MEF & President, Zayo Managed Services discusses changing market dynamics associated with the rise of cloud services and how MEF's goal is to accelerate development of Third Network services that are optimized for the cloud era. He illustrates the broad appeal of MEF's vision by noting that the organization recently experienced a record quarter in the growth of new member companies from various sectors of the industry.
Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research, MEF shares highlights from MEF's Annual Members Meeting in Boston. Comments focus on MEF's 4 major work areas; (1) orchestrated Third Network services, (2) LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), (3) Open Initiative, and (4) an expanded certification program.
SDN and NFV are now transforming service delivery in a material way, says Brendan Gunn, Director, Global Ethernet and IP for Verizon Wholesale.
As before, the core challenge remains to deliver connectivity to people, places and things while doing so securely, reliably and simply.
To do so, Verizon Wholesale focuses on (1) expanding the physical layer (2) building Layer 2 and 3 functionality on top of that infrastructure, including SD-WAN, NFV-as-a-service, ultra high-speed ports, etc.
Dan Blemings, Director of Ethernet Product Management, AT&T, discusses some of the transformative steps underway to help accelerate the business benefits of Ethernet-driven services and create an ecosystem of agile, on-demand capabilities.
Recorded at the MEF Annual Members Meeting in Boston.
MEF is focused on enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks. MEF COO Kevin Vachon shares highlights on key LSO and open initiative work at MEF’s Annual Meeting in Boston and provides a preview of the MEF16 event in Baltimore, 7-10 November.
MEF is advancing development of Third Network services based on LSO, SDN, and NFV encapsulated in OpenCS use cases and OpenLSO capabilities. MEF CTO Pascal Menezes discusses the launch of new projects for 5G, SD WAN & Cloud Exchange technology domains that will be orchestrated using LSO APIs. Project directors will coordinate use cases, information models, and APIs needed for orchestrating services across these and other domains.
MEF is now looking to take the next big step forward with certification of Third Network services enabled by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), says Bob Mandeville, President of Iometrix. The pivotal moment will come at this fall’s MEF16 event on November 7-10 in Baltimore.
MEF has published its LSO reference architecture. Orchestration encompasses a wide variety of functions, says Marie Fiala Timlin, Director of Marketing for CENX. These capabilities include fulfillment control, security policy, analytics and assurance -- areas that CENX focuses on.
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has been working with the MEF for over a year to bring SDN and NFV into the scope of Carrier Ethernet, says Dan Pitt, Executive Director of ONF. The focus now is on Lifecycle Service Orchestration and carrier-grade SDN into multi-carrier deployments.
Security must be an essential part of the MEF's Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) and the Third Network, says Wedge Networks' CTO Hongwen Zhang. Tomorrow's cloud-based economy will rely on the security of network services. Wedge Networks is proposing a Security as a Service Ad Hoc Working Group within the MEF.
AT&T apparently has become the first telecom service provider to put the MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) framework into practice as it launches an automated tool for its wholesale customers to qualify Ethernet services. (See AT&T Wholesale Unit Automates Ethernet Qualifying.)
The new process builds on two AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) application program interfaces (APIs) and enables AT&T Wholesale Solutions' customers to replace the often tedious and time-consuming process of figuring out what AT&T Switched Ethernet services are available at a given customer site with an automated process that can happen in minutes, and cover hundreds of sites at a time. AT&T is working across its services to introduce greater automation, notes Dan Blemings, director of Ethernet product management for AT&T Global and Business Solutions. For this process, it found that MEF 55, the LSO framework recently introduced, provided the best approach. (See MEF Launches Lifecycle Service Orchestration Report and MEF Redefining Its Role.) "In layman's terms, it's a picture of what it needs to look like in order to have two service providers to have a connection between them and qualify a site," he tells Light Reading in an interview. "We looked at that and we thought it made sense. And if you want to foster standardization and create an ecosystem of service providers qualifying each other, why not start there? And that's what we did." Read More.
July 31, 2016
Lifecycle Service Orchestration, or LSO, provides open and interoperable automation of management operations over the entire lifecycle of Layer 2 and Layer 3 Connectivity Services as well as Cloud applications and VNFs. The importance of the word “Lifecycle” should not be missed. LSO goes well beyond the initial setup of these services. It includes all the aspects of Service Assurance through the full lifecycle of these services, from when they are initially conceived until they are eventually disconnected.
Lifecycle Service Orchestration: Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF 55). This 57-page document from the MEF is the essential, foundational specification for agile end-to-end communications services that work within one carrier’s network or can span the globe linking multiple service providers. What’s included in the document? Everything from design to fulfillment, from control to testing, and everything in-between. That spans quality management, billing and usage, security, service performance, service failure resolution, analytics and policy capabilities, and change management over all the network domains that require coordinated management and control in order to deliver and assure the service. The Reference Architecture, written in the first half of 2016, describes the management and control domains and entities that enable cooperative LSO capabilities for a host of Connectivity Services and Cloud Applications. Indeed, the LSO architecture and framework enables automated management and control of end-to-end Services that span multiple provider domains. For example, a service provider may use LSO to define how external operators can manage, control and add value to its end-to-end services — and the Reference Architecture document explains how to make that work in a standard interoperable way. Read More.
July 25, 2016
The MEF today is showing off the first of its Open Connectivity Services use cases to demonstrate how it is going beyond Carrier Ethernet to enable a broad range of services to be turned up across multiple technology domains and different service provider networks. (See MEF Announces Open Packet WAN Project.)
This initial project -- a Packet Wide Area Network (WAN) use case led by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Amartus -- builds on a multi-vendor reference design that includes open application programming interfaces (APIs) and an OpenDaylight controller, as well as the MEF 's Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration. The goal is to allow enterprises to easily turn up new packet WAN services that span technology domains and service provider boundaries as easily as they turn up cloud services today, says MEF's CTO Pascal Menezes. "We have a number of these use cases going; this is just the first one we are putting out," Menezes told Light Reading in a phone interview. "What we have been doing with LSO is all about orchestrated services. The idea that a customer can come in, activate a service like the cloud guys can do and instantly make that happen within a service provider or between service providers is incredibly innovative in the way that customers expect." Read More.
June 30, 2016
Open standards and open source projects are both essential ingredients for advancing the cause of interoperable next-generation carrier networks. When a standards developing organization (SDO), like MEF, creates standards, those written documents themselves aren’t the end goal. Sure, the specifications look good on paper, but it takes a lot of work to turn those words and diagrams into hardware, software and services. And if there are any ambiguities in those specifications, or misinterpretations by vendors building out their products and services, interoperability could be problematic at best.
By contrast, when an open-source project is formed, the team’s job is obvious: to create software and solutions. All too often, the members of the project are focused on reaching a particularly objective. In those cases they are working in a vacuum, and might write code that works great but which can’t be abstracted to solve a more general problem. In those cases, interoperability may also be a huge issue. The answer is clear: bring together SDOs and open-source teams to write open-source code that’s aligned with open specifications. That’s what is happening at the LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Hackathons hosted by MEF: open source teams come together to work on evolving specifications, and the end result is not only solid code but also effective feedback to MEF about its specs and architecture. Another benefit: networking experts from across the communications industry work together with software developers from the IT world face-to-face, fostering mutual understanding of the constraints of their peers in ways that lead to more effective interaction in their day jobs. Read More.
June 30, 2016
While slow speeds and high costs dominate most discussions about South Africa’s broadband, a survey at the MEF Johannesburg Seminar revealed that business now rates fast and agile set up and modification as its top priority. This is according to Gary Williams, MEF EMEA Marketing Co-Chair and Business Development for Microsemi Corporation and the Carrier Ethernet Academy.
New Fibre to the Home and LTE services are making headlines in South Africa this year, but the general view is still “too little too late.” Point Topic’s Q1 broadband tariff scorecard ranks South Africa as 69 out of 84 countries in terms of average broadband pricing. Individuals and businesses are looking for more affordable and flexible connectivity solutions to help improve their productivity. So this year’s MEF Johannesburg business seminar could not have been better timed to address these challenges. MEF describes itself as an industry association “that is the driving force for development and implementation of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world.” Seminar participants included top names from the nation’s carriers, service providers, and industry leaders. So this year’s MEF Johannesburg business seminar could not have been better timed to address these challenges. MEF describes itself as an industry association “that is the driving force for development and implementation of agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world.” Seminar participants included top names from the nation’s carriers, service providers, and industry leaders. Read More.
June 14, 2016
Attending the recent MEF Seminar in London, I was struck by the proposition that service providers need to partner to create new solutions also applies to industry consortia supporting them. The reason is that agility is the key priority, so service providers and their suppliers are looking to collaboration groups and standards bodies to provide agile solutions.
In that spirit we reported the result of the joint work being conducted between TM Forum and MEF on a harmonized approach for application program interfaces (APIs). MEF’s APIs for its Lifecycle Service Orchestrator follow the TM Forum Open API guidelines, and its Presto interfaces use a subset of TM Forum APIs announced at TM Forum Live! last month. It was apparent that the combination of the Forum’s skills – APIs and management – and the MEF’s skills in networking and end-to-end orchestration had allowed both groups to deliver more quickly and to a higher standard than either could accomplished individually. What did we learn? Firstly, a lot of the work was conducted in a single discussion series rather than the traditional approach of exchange of documents. This approach has adapted the concepts of agile and DevOps working to the creation of standards, i.e. get all the stakeholder together to agree the problem, agree the incremental priorities, and develop and test proposals in an interactive, hands-on style. Read More.