Light Reading
There's more to the 'New Ethernet' but '2.0' was short enough to fit in a headline

MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
2/23/2012
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The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is announcing Carrier Ethernet 2.0 on Thursday -- a blanket name for new specifications that will enable improved Ethernet service interconnect between carriers.

Those specifications include performance objectives for the three classes of service the MEF had previously defined -- Ethernet Private Line (EPL), Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) and Ethernet LAN (ELAN). By specifying performance objectives, classes of service become quantifiable in a way that can be preserved from one carrier to another. The official MEF video discusses this in more detail:


The MEF is also expanding the number of identified Ethernet services to eight. The eight services come in four types -- E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree and E-Access -- each with private line and virtual private line variants.

Why this matters
Despite the hoopla about a "New Ethernet" being introduced by Bob Metcalfe himself, it turns out there's no new protocol involved. So, what makes this worthy of a "2.0" moniker?

"I believe this is generationally more advanced," MEF President Nan Chen tells Light Reading. The MEF's earliest work was about simply defining Carrier Ethernet services, while the 2.0 model is "more about taking advantage of deployed carrier Ethernet infrastructure to efficiently deliver the bandwidth or services."

Specifically, there's now increased potential for interconnecting carriers' Ethernet services the same way they can interconnect T1 lines, he says.

For more
Relive the buildup to Carrier Ethernet 2.0 -- the tension lasted two whole weeks, you know -- and learn why the Blues Brothers reference in the caption above is funny:



— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:42 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


http://www.lightreading.com/video.asp?doc_id=152009


You heard (watched it, read it, whatever) here first.

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:37 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


Ah - I had forgotten about that. So this is really Carrier Ethernet 3.0? (or 2.1? Who's in charge of decimal-point-advancement, anyway?)

Flook
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Flook,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:37 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


Any idea when we might see MEF-certified CE 2.0 products?

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:36 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


Certification for the 8 service types would be available in the second quarter, Nan Chen says. Presumably, some products will actually get certified around that time too.

DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:36 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


Is there likely to be a scenario where a carrier just plugs in and uses CE2.0 gear just because it has been certified? 


They would test it themselves first, right? 

desiEngineer
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desiEngineer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:35 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


Phil,


You ask a very valid  question.  The answer is no, things won't work seamlessly.  You have to use ethernet 2.0 cables, pwe3 2.0 e-line, l2vpn 2.0 e-lan.  IEEE and IETF will have their work cut out...


What are we going to do? (wrings hands and runs off-stage, wailing)


-desi

DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:34 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


So who, besides the MEF and its testing partners, really benefits from a CE2.0 certification program?


The carriers still need to do their own testing and it would add costs to the vendor side. I guess I'm unclear on how much red tape CE2.0 cuts vs. CE1.0, which was a tad more trailblazing.


ph

Daniel Bar-Lev
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Daniel Bar-Lev,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:41:23 PM
re: MEF Sticks a '2.0' on Carrier Ethernet


CE 2.0 certification means a consolidation of a set of MEF certification tests into a brand that is easily recognized and appreciated by all stakeholders. CE 2.0 certification provides a very clear and cost-effective framework for service providers and equipment vendors to prove compliance in one fell swoop with a series of MEF specifications developed by the 190 strong MEF membership - for example MEF 6.1, MEF 10.2, MEF 23.1, MEF 33 and so on. It's the way MEF certification is represented that has taken a leap forward by orienting it to the well known services like the new Multi-CoS, managed E-Lines and E-LANs in CE 2.0 as well as the altogether new E-Access and E-Tree introduced in CE 2.0. When enterprises, service providers, operators and equipment vendors can all refer to CE 2.0 certification, the markets will align faster and grow faster which benefits everyone.


 


Daniel/MEF

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