Remember back in 2001 when the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) just formed and was helping to develop ubiquitous metro Ethernet business services for enterprise users to connect their LANs? Since then, metro Ethernet has expanded into Carrier Ethernet. And it’s seen a global expansion with national and international networks. The MEF is well established as the defining body for Carrier Ethernet networks and has helped grow Carrier Ethernet services into a US$38.1 billion market in 2013. Today, the MEF is looking to advance Carrier Ethernet networking and iron out the deployment headaches. The goal is to make operations of Carrier Ethernet elements quick, efficient and simple. The MEF earlier introduced Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0, which defined the next generation of Carrier Ethernet with standardized multi-CoS, interconnect and manageability attributes across eight service types. The commercial value of MEF CE 2.0 is moving many service providers to “CE 2.0 certify” their Ethernet services. (Read our MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Application Brief on this topic). Furthermore, the MEF has followed up with CE 2.0 service and equipment certification based on MEF specifications. This serves as a framework for service providers and equipment vendors to demonstrate compliance with MEF specifications. Many commercial benefits come with certifying services.
- From a sales perspective, CE 2.0 services are rapidly showing up in enterprise RFPs and it provides a competitive advantage over non-certified services. Perhaps more importantly, it builds buyer confidence and speeds up the sales process.
- From a marketing perspective, CE 2.0 provides industry-wide recognition, aligns your service portfolio with Carrier Ethernet standards, and ensures a high level of consistency in products and services.
- Operationally, having a single testing process saves cost on product conformance testing. It also simplifies the task of finding a partner for inter-carrier connectivity, along with reducing a lot of testing time.
At Alcatel-Lucent, we have put significant focus and investment into MEF specifications over the years and are committed to helping service providers deliver CE 2.0 certified services. As shown in the MEF Equipment Certification Registry, the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR), Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) and Alcatel-Lucent 7210 Service Access Switch (SAS) are now CE 2.0 certified across all four service definitions – E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree and E-Access. This means that service providers with any of these deployed products can “CE 2.0 certify” to any MEF service type. Product certification is very platform and hardware specific. The MEF/Iometrix certificate defines the product, hardware and test reports used for service provider reference. Having specific devices such as the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 SR and Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS certified and ensuring the rest of the products in the family are compliant is the only practical way for CE 2.0 certification to be accomplished. For example, given the common architecture, chipsets, hardware and software, the test scripts verified on the 7750 SR platform will also run and pass successfully on the Alcatel-Lucent 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS) and 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) platforms. That means service providers can certify their Ethernet services that run on these platforms as well. Similarly, the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS family of Integrated Packet Transport (IPT) cards leverages a common architecture, chipsets, hardware and Service Router Operating System (SR OS). As such, the test scripts verified on the 1830 PSS platform with the 11QPE24 Ethernet Switching Muxponder card will also run and pass successfully on the entire family of 1830 PSS SROS-based Integrated Packet Transport cards. This means that service providers will be able certify their Ethernet services that run on 1830 PSS systems that use any of the new IPT cards. Listen to the podcast and read our Alcatel-Lucent and MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Application Brief to learn more about CE 2.0.
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