Ethernet services

MEF Publishes Ethernet Interconnect Point Agreement

LOS ANGELES -- The MEF is pleased to announce the publication of the milestone Ethernet Interconnect Point (EIP) ENNI Implementation Agreement, MEF 54. This Implementation Agreement (IA) is designed to streamline the interconnection of operator networks to support end-to-end Carrier Ethernet (CE) services. The IA provides practical guidance so operators can evolve their networks to meet full CE 2.0 E-Access interconnection capabilities. The IA gives operators the steps involved to create these new interconnections either all at once or in a series of steps. The IA represents the completion of Phase 1 of the MEF EIP project.

“The purpose of the EIP project is to produce a series of implementation agreements/ guidelines to create a more efficient marketplace of interconnected operators offering standardized CE 2.0 services that interoperate effectively over two or more networks,” said Nan Chen, President of the MEF. “EIP progress is key to future industry growth and innovation because widely deployed and interconnected CE 2.0 networking fabrics will form the foundation upon which to build agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services.”

“More than a dozen MEF member companies participated in Phase 1 of the EIP project that included Rapid Prototype testing at the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab,” said Chen. “We want to thank these companies for contributing to move the industry forward: AT&T, Verizon, Windstream, CenturyLink, Frontier, TelePacific, Accedian, Alcatel-Lucent (Nokia), Canoga Perkins, Ciena, Cisco, Juniper, RAD, and Veryx Technologies.”

The global Carrier Ethernet services market is ~$50 billion and growing steadily, but the MEF saw that operators were struggling to interconnect their networks in a consistent and easily replicable manner. Although the MEF has created multiple specifications (including MEF 33) to pave the way toward standardized “plug-and-play” CE 2.0 interconnections, most operators still use non-standard, custom-built, network-to-network interconnections (NNIs) that are slow and costly to set up. The MEF surveyed its operator community to understand why the market was not moving towards standardization faster and uncovered key obstacles that needed to be addressed. This spawned the creation of the EIP project: an assembly of large operators under one roof, in a test-bed environment, focused on resolving obstacles together.

“Our goal is to enable operators to make informed decisions and take the next step on their journey toward standardized interconnects,” said Dan Blemings, Director of Ethernet Product Management, AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions. “A growing community of operators using efficient and scalable Ethernet interconnections will cut provisioning times, eliminate the need for operators to certify each other, and make it easier to deliver CE 2.0 services to more locations outside their own footprints.”

The MEF, recognizing that many operators around the world currently may not be in a good position to implement all of the capabilities of standard interconnections, has split the EIP project into multiple phases. Each phase of the EIP project will use a Rapid Prototyping model to validate and refine an initial set of use cases, service attribute specifications, and test cases.

Phase 1 of the project (announced today as MEF 54) included the most basic interconnection possible: an Ethernet Private Line created using two E-Access EPL services from different operators with an ENNI interconnect between them.

Phase 2 – which currently is in progress – will add test cases with greater complexity and new use cases focused on EVPL and E-Transit (EPL and EVPL). Additional considerations include color awareness, Class of Service, end-to-end service OAM, and LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration).


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