The Metro Ethernet Forum has unveiled its next generation of Ethernet standardization, with none other than Bob Metcalfe doing the honors. Carrier Ethernet 2.0 has arrived.
The idea is simply that MEF 9 and MEF 14, now to be known as Carrier Ethernet 1.0) were very successful, but since then there have been many additional refinements that have come along that have a lot to offer to the industry. CE 2.0 takes those and wraps them up in a nice package that can now have a similar unified certification process. In particular, CE2.0 expands the number of standard services from 3 to 8. Along with enhancements to E-Line and E-LAN come E-Tree and E-Access, each with a virtual and non-virtual version. Key new features include Multi-CoS, Interconnection, and Managed services.
We saw one particular application of these technologies come out two weeks ago, with Multi-CoS being used to improve the economics of wireless backhaul. The MEF believes that CE 2.0 will allow Ethernet to take on a wide spectrum of increasingly complex tasks within networks. In particular, it will enabling Ethernet services to span more than one service provider seamlessly.
Much of what is in CE2.0 is already being used by carriers, but standardizing it all will help bring order to the industry as a whole. It was the completion of work on several such items last month that made CE 2.0 hold together as a group, and the MEF is wasting no time on the new initiative. Certification details will come in Q2, and there will likely be certified equipment out there by the end of the year.
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