Increasing demand for carrier ethernet services drives need for interoperability
CenturyLink, Frontier, and TelePacific are now participating in the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) Ethernet Interconnect Points (EIP) project. EIP is designed to standardize guidelines for current and future ethernet operators around the world.
The three carriers are now involved in EIP Rapid Prototyping at the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab (which also does Open Compute Project network tests), along with AT&T, Verizon, and Windstream all of which have been testing at the lab since April 2015. The participation of a growing number of operators in prototyping is seen by the MEF as evidence that the market is keen to create a common Ethernet connectivity fabric able to transport customers’ traffic seamlessly across multiple carrier networks.
EIP Rapid Prototyping is designed to assess the implementation of draft sections of the EIP Implementation Guideline (Use Case 1, Phase 1), which is approaching the final stages of MEF member review and approval. The Implementation Guideline will provide guidance for how operators can efficiently evolve their networks to meet full MEF standards.
Nan Chen, MEF President
It’s time to take control of carrier ethernet
MEF President Nan Chen: “In today’s market, service providers are frustrated when asked to provide end-to-end carrier ethernet services over network segments they don’t control because they must purchase wholesale Ethernet services from other suppliers, and there’s no standard process for that.
“Carriers tell us they need a better way to define and enable end-to-end service management and troubleshooting. That’s where the EIP project comes in – to recommend how to use MEF specifications for those additional business and technical processes. Over time, the comprehensive fabric of interconnected CE networks will serve as a foundation for even more advanced services enabled by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), software defined networking, and network function virtulization.”
Bruce Eldridge, Principal Architect, CenturyLink Business said: “The increasing demand for Carrier Ethernet services is driving the need for interoperability. The EIP project will facilitate the continued adoption of MEF specifications. This will lead to faster delivery of Carrier Ethernet services to both rural and urban markets, supporting commerce at local, regional, national, and global levels.”
While the current EIP project is focused on interoperability guidelines the EIP project will also cover many aspects of provisioning an Ethernet interconnection – including alignment of business processes based on MEF guidelines. .