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MEF Focuses on Open Source with Huawei, China Unicom and ON.Lab

By Rory Lidstone April 18, 2016

China Unicom, ON.Lab and Huawei have entered into a collaboration with the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) to create a methodology of implementing open source solutions to speed up the transformation of telecommunications central offices, while accelerating the industry transition to Third Network services. To achieve this, the partners are starting with the development of proof-of-concept use cases that demonstrate how operators can deliver agile, orchestrated MEF-defined services using open source software and open specification hardware.

These use cases will serve as a launching point for deployable Third Network services that will ultimately result in productivity-boosting benefits for end users. By combining open source solutions within a standardized framework and a real-world operator environment, MEF hopes to bring the economies of the data center—namely open source software with white box switches—and the agility of the cloud for rapid service creation to the service provider community.

The MEF is a not-for-profit organization formed with the goal of moving the global adoption of carrier-class Ethernet networks and services forward in order to better address digital demand. Lately, it has been focused on facilitating the transition to Third Network services through various initiatives, this being the latest.

“Huawei looks forward to bringing open source and standards together as we develop key use cases with China Unicom, ON.Lab, and the MEF to deliver next-generation services,” said Ayush Sharma, senior vice president and CTO of networks at Huawei.

ON.Lab brings to this collaboration its Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) solution as an open, virtualized service delivery platform for redesigned central offices. CORD combines NFV, SDN and the flexibility of commodity clouds to bring data center-like economies and cloud agility to the central office and beyond.

China Unicom, meanwhile, has begun redesigning a number of its central offices as edge data centers to take advantage of open source software and open specifications hardware. Ultimately, the operator will introduce SDN controllers, NFV management, virtualized CPEs, and an SDN-based IP access solution. It will also introduce an elastic VPN service with bandwidth-on-demand capabilities using technology solutions from Huawei.

Third Network building blocks include service-orchestration functions, APIs, a protocol-independent NaaS information model, and service definitions, all of which support agile and orchestrated network-as-a-service between physical and virtual endpoints.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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