& cplSiteName &

MEF Redefining Its Role

Carol Wilson
3/17/2016
50%
50%

Hard on the heels of naming its first-ever CTO, and a plan to move out of its Layer 2 comfort zone, the MEF today announced a series of initiatives aimed at keeping its work relevant in the era of virtualization.

Chief among these are its efforts to enable on-demand services that deliver end-to-end service level agreements for cloud connections, something that doesn't exist today, says new MEF CTO Pascal Menezes, the former principal at Microsoft Skype for Business. In addition, the MEF has finished and is about to publish its Lifecycle Service Orchestration Reference Architecture & Framework, a benchmark in its LSO work, a major focus for the organization. And it is working more actively with open source groups such as ONOS, which is adapting its Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) project to include delivering enterprise services, including Carrier Ethernet.

While enterprises are looking for greater visibility into their network connections into the cloud, telecom network operators can ill afford to become just the pipes into an Amazon, Microsoft or Google Cloud, Menezes tells Light Reading.

"There are no end-to-end SLAs [for cloud connections], which is a very critical thing for businesses," he says. Enterprises want to use Carrier Ethernet, not a best-effort Internet, for their cloud connections but need it to be more flexible and on-demand. "Service providers want more new revenue than just being a bandwidth pipe to the cloud, they want a single platform for multi-services to include service velocity. They want to participate in this new kind of open source cooperation that is going on that [lets them] write their own code and collaborate together and get to innovation faster."

MEF continues to push what it calls the Third Network -- beyond the Internet and CE 2.0 -- to define Layer 3 IP delivered over a single provider network or over multiple interconnected networks. Its LSO initiative includes both the reference architecture and APIs, as well as operational processes and use cases, to deliver practical solutions for both customers and partners. MEF is also promising a methodology for combining the information models of its different projects into a single unified Common Information Model (CIM), to help in aligning information models in larger projects.

The challenge is to be able to apply the qualities it developed for CE 2.0 site to site on a site-to-cloud basis and add the dynamism of on-demand, Menezes says. Enterprises are eager to offload the headache of networking all their sites to a range of hybrid clouds, if they can find connections flexible enough, and service providers they can trust to deliver networks that are optimized to deliver services that meet their specific applications needs.

"This is the Third Network use case," he says. "We see the ideas -- site to site and site to cloud, and a new more automated agile upstream, and a way of orchestrating all of that."


Take a closer look at Ethernet service strategies in our Ethernet services section here on Light Reading.

In order to help with that more dynamic process, MEF will move up the stack and participate in the Layer 4 through 7 processes as well, Menezes promises. It is partnering with the Broadband Forum and with ON.Lab , which developed ONOS and its popular CORD use case, and working with members who are developing their own approach to orchestration of all the moving parts of virtualization.

The organization has other intentions, such as moving its LSO efforts into their next phase, which is developing operational processes and use cases, and using the UNITE program to bring together industry standards and open source players into a common effort. MEF has also launched two opening initiatives of its own, which it is calling OpenCS and Open LSO. The former will define open source software and open source hardware for a network ecosystem that can use NFV and SDN to enable MEF-defined services, such as CE 2.0 and higher-level IP services. The second, OpenLSO, focuses on establishing working open source code for the LSO functions that MEF is specifying, including open standard APIs for legacy and virtualized network infrastructures.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sterling Perrin
50%
50%
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2016 | 2:06:11 PM
Re: Leap of faith
<So the implication is that MEF has outlived its original mission?>

yes, I think that part is clear. The question is whether the organization should adopt a new mission, as it seems to be doing. I think the comparison to the March of Dimes is a good one. 

Sterling
mendyk
100%
0%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2016 | 1:19:27 PM
Re: Leap of faith
So the implication is that MEF has outlived its original mission?
Duh!
100%
0%
Duh!,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2016 | 1:09:21 PM
Re: Leap of faith
Question: What was the mission of the March of Dimes when it was founded in 1938?

Answer: To cure polio

Question: What happened on April 12, 1955?

Answer: Dr. Jonas Salk announced first effective polio vaccine

Question: What happened next?

Answer: Nearly universal immunization of children led to collapse of polio in industrialized countries

Question: Where did that leave the March of Dimes in the early 1960s?

Answer: Without a cause.

Question: What were their options:

Answer: Disband or find another mission

Question: What did they do?

Answer: Changed their mission to reducing birth defects.

End of Allegory.

Standards organizations are highly susceptible to March of Dimes syndrome. MEF is apparently no exception.

 
Sterling Perrin
100%
0%
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2016 | 10:34:58 AM
Re: Leap of faith
My question is: are service providers asking the MEF to come in and fill this role at higher layers? Or is this being driven by the MEF management in an effort to remain relevant?

I'm wondering if work beyond layer 2 is best addressed by the ETSI NFV ISG or the IETF?

Sterling
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2016 | 9:48:41 AM
Leap of faith
So the end goal here is to enable network operators to create SLAs that include performance elements that are beyond their immediate control?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Digital Transformation Forum 2017

2|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Here's a preview of the upcoming Huawei Digital Transformation Forum taking place in Barcelona with trending telecom topics like cloud, IoT, 5G and much more!
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Dan Sahar of Qwilt on Open Edge Cloud Platform

2|8|17   |   08:38   |   (0) comments


Dan Sahar, Qwilt's co-founder, sits down with Steve Saunders of Light Reading for a conversation about Qwilt's Open Edge Cloud platform and the new role of service providers in application and content delivery.
LRTV Documentaries
ZeroStack's 'Self-Driving Cloud'

2|7|17   |   01:09   |   (0) comments


Its Z-Brain tech automates day-to-day management and long-term planning for hybrid clouds.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum's Craig Sprosts on DNS & Cybersecurity Trends

2|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


Nominum's Craig Sprosts talks about the fast-changing landscape of cybersecurity with Steve Saunders of Light Reading. Sprosts touches on the trend of the rise of ransomwares, rivals of IoT base attacks, and mobile network security. He also discusses the realization of the importance of IoT security after a recent cyber attack that paralyzed several major ...
LRTV Documentaries
China Moves Towards Mixed Ownership of Telcos

2|1|17   |   01:10   |   (0) comments


Chinese authorities are promoting new ownership models in order to raise capital.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
Charter Launches 5G Field Trials
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/16/2017
RSAC 2017 in 4 Words
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 2/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.