This week has seen a milestone in the development of Carrier Ethernet, as in a webcast with Bob Metcalfe himself on Tuesday the MEF unveiled the first twenty equipment vendors to pass the CE 2.0 certification process globally. That's about quarter of the organization's vendor members already with more in the pipeline, suggesting a rapid uptake is underway since the original announcement less than a year ago.
CE 2.0 isn't itself a standard, rather it's a combined set of other Ethernet standards that have evolved since MEF 9 and MEF 14 and together represent the next level of sophistication for Carrier Ethernet. Where there were three services whose scope was limited to a single providers' network and mostly best-effort quality of service, there are now 8 services, multiple classes of service, manageability, and standardized interconnection.
What that means is that CE 2.0's underlying standards can enable service providers to take on much more complex tasks than before, thus displacing more legacy services, improving cost structures, and generally streamlining infrastructure. Ethernet has already become networking's common language, cropping up in mulitple layers and providing a shared business context.
Of course, no service providers have been certified just yet, as this week's announcement was limited to the equipment side. But the MEF says that testing for service providers is already underway. Once similar traction there develops, it should be interesting to see how it affects the evolution of the Ethernet interconnection exchanges and marketplaces out there today.
The vendors who are now CE 2.0 certified:
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