MEF16 Advances Third Network Services for Digital Economy & Hyper-Connected World
Event Attracted More Than 1,000 Registrants from 260 Organizations and 30 Countries
Los Angeles, 18 November 2016 – MEF (www.MEF.net), the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services, announces that the MEF16 global networking event held last week in Baltimore attracted more than 1,000 registrants from 260 companies and 30 countries. MEF16 enjoyed the support of more than 120 sponsors, event partners, and participating companies.
“MEF16 provided an extraordinary opportunity for attendees to engage with world-leading service and technology innovators and to be inspired by their diligent efforts to usher in a new era of on-demand services that will reshape the communications landscape,” said Kevin Vachon, Chief Operating Officer, MEF. “We appreciate the strong support that MEF16 received from a record number of 65 sponsors, including Platinum Sponsors AT&T, Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Verizon, Ciena, Huawei, and dozens of other service, technology, test, training, and consulting companies.”
MEF16 focused on uniting industry efforts to enable Third Network services for the digital economy and the hyper-connected world. These emerging services provide an on-demand experience with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. Third Network services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0).
Three major themes shaped the development of the MEF16 program and were manifested in the popular Proof of Concept Showcase, the centerpiece of the Networking Hall.
Theme 1 – Transition to Third Network Services Is Well Underway
MEF16 keynote presentations, panel discussions, and survey data indicate that the transition to Third Network services is picking up pace. Dozens of service providers are currently offering orchestrated, on-demand connectivity and NFV-based services or are planning to do so within three years. Several leading providers shared impressive examples of how their dynamic services are being received by customers, and many service experts discussed plans to evolve their portfolios and unleash innovation by automating and virtualizing their networks.
MEF is enabling this shift by expanding its work beyond static CE 2.0 services to drive development of orchestrated Layer 1-3 connectivity services (e.g., wavelengths, CE 2.0, and IP) and orchestrated Layer 4-7 cloud services, such as NFV-based security.
Industry progress in advancing Third Network innovation was on display in MEF16’s vibrant Proof of Concept Showcase, which featured 14 leading-edge demonstrations of orchestrated services enabled by LSO, SDN, NFV, and CE 2.0. Two groups of innovators received this year’s coveted PoC Awards: (1) Comcast Business, Sparkle, Tata Communications, ECI, and Viavi Solutions and (2) CenturyLink, Ciena, and RAD.
Theme 2 – Industry Is Supporting Standardized, Open-APIs to Orchestrate Services Over Multiple Provider Networks
While Third Network progress thus far has involved dynamic services delivered over a single provider network, many senior service and technology experts used MEF16 as an opportunity to voice support for the MEF-inspired vision of orchestrating services over multiple provider networks in addition to multiple technology domains within a provider network.
As Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF summarized, “One of the great themes coming out of the event was that service providers were talking about development of standardized, open APIs that would allow them to orchestrate inter-provider services in a machine-like, automated way.”
“What we’re seeing from many service providers is that they are going through this Lifecycle Service Orchestration change,” observed Menezes. “A number of the bigger operators are doing a great job of beginning to apply the LSO model within their own network footprints. And now we are talking about how we get to that inter-provider model. That’s the next stage.”
Theme 3 – Development of Third Network Services Requires Close Collaboration of Industry Standards & Open Source Organizations
There was widespread recognition at MEF16 that enabling and assuring standardized Third Network services across multiple provider networks will require collaboration among many industry standards organizations, open source projects, and service and technology companies due to the enormous complexities involved. MEF hosted its first UNITE Partner Summit at MEF16 to bring various groups together to maximize collaboration opportunities.
Nan Chen, President, MEF proudly announced the availability of a new groundbreaking white paper – “An Industry Initiative For Third Generation Network and Services“ – spearhead by MEF’s CTO and co-authored by ON.Lab, ONOS, OPEN-O, OpenDaylight (ODL), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and TM Forum. “This white paper represents a noteworthy milestone in uniting open source projects and standards organizations to deliver a common vision for Third Network services,” said Chen. “I am really excited about the impact that this will have in moving the industry forward.”
MEF hosted the 3rd LSO Hackathon at MEF16 to accelerate the development of LSO-SDN-NFV-based solutions for Third Network services. The LSO Hackathon focused on speeding development of LSO open APIs and standards, strengthening collaboration across standards organizations and open source projects, and creating more running code for contribution to the open source communities and to support reference implementations in MEF OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services) and OpenLSO (Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration) projects.