1. Carrier Ethernet Summit: Metcalfe, 20 Vendors Celebrate 2.0 Certification

    CEN Feature (Jan 31 2013)

    1. Carrier Ethernet Summit: Metcalfe, 20 Vendors Celebrate 2.0 Certification

      The Carrier Ethernet 2.0 set of standards gained some traction this week when the Metro Ethernet Forum announced that 20 equipment vendors had received Carrier Ethernet 2.0 product certifications.

      By year end a total of 80 equipment and service providers are expected to be certified, said Bob Metcalfe, the technologist often credited with inventing the original Ethernet standard, addressing a group of industry stakeholders at a San Diego event this week that was, simultaneously, an MEF quarterly meeting, an MEF Americas Carrier Ethernet Summit, a press and analyst event, and a ceremony to celebrate the first 2.0 certifications.

      “The members of the Metro Ethernet Forum are committed to interoperability in a big way,” said Metcalfe.

      The Carrier Ethernet 2.0 series of standards aims to enhance Carrier Ethernet adoption by creating standard definitions for a variety of Carrier Ethernet services. The standard was finalized about a year ago and since then manufacturers of Carrier Ethernet have made efforts to ensure that their products are in conformance with those standards. To confirm whether manufacturers had met those standards, the MEF enlisted testing firm Iometrix, which put each manufacturer through 634 test cases.

      Iometrix President Bob Mandeville estimated that each manufacturer spent between 40 and 80 hours in preparation for the testing, followed by one week in the testing lab.

      MEF President Nan Chen estimated that service providers that plan to undergo MEF testing are about evenly divided between North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. He said there is a lot of interest in the standard among service providers because of their experience with the first-generation Carrier Ethernet standards. Chen estimated that currently between 70% and 80% of enterprise customers’ requests for proposal ask for products certified to meet the original set of Carrier Ethernet standards defined by the MEF.

      Carrier Ethernet 2.0 defines eight unique services that fall into four main categories, including E-Line, E-LAN, E-Access and E-Tree. Mandeville said most manufacturers obtained certification for all four categories but that service providers are likely to pursue only two categories. Those service providers pursuing two categories generally pursued E-Line and E-LAN or E-Line and E-Access, said Mandeville.

      Representatives from the first 20 Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Certified Companies

      There is less interest in E-Tree than the other services because that service is designed to support specialized applications such as broadcasting.  

      Already some participants at this week’s event were talking about the next generation of Carrier Ethernet standards. I talked with several participants who said they’d like to see Carrier Ethernet 3.0 focus on capabilities such as bandwidth on demand and a higher level of automation – and Metcalfe on several occasions commented that software defined networking could enhance Carrier Ethernet standards. 

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