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New MEF Certification Targets NFV, Others

By Steve Anderson May 03, 2017

Virtualization has been a hot-button topic for the last few years now, and increasingly, companies are finding value in putting systems like network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) to work. To that end, those who are qualified to work with such systems are particularly useful and attractive, and the Metro Ethernet Forum—now just MEF—is helping get more users ready to go on this front with a new certification program.

The MEF program, known as the Third Network Professional Certification, covers several major fronts at once, ranging from the aforementioned SDN and NFV operations, but also going into lifecycle service orchestration (LSO) issues and into carrier Ethernet 2.0 as well. Just to round it out, it also offers insight into automation, interoperability and virtualization of networks as well.  The program is set to work on three levels—essential, professional and expert—and offer certifications accordingly.

The “essential” designation reflects a focus on orchestration with SDN and NFV, and is considered “foundational...for careers supporting advanced networks.” “Professional” certification, meanwhile, includes all of that as well as a deeper focus on carrier Ethernet, orchestration operations, and even network security. The “expert” rank includes all of that, as well as those who have a “...mastery in vendor-neutral and vendor-specific network technologies.”

Internal training is increasingly a part of the picture for many companies; AT&T, for example, has seen over 40,000 employees receive sufficient training to earn a combined total of just over 79,000 badges in certification ranking, nearly two for every employee. That's hardly unique; recently the Linux Foundation offered an online training course for OpenStack software, thanks in large part to a shortage of OpenStack-qualified workers.

With the political situation as it is now, businesses are increasingly turning toward internal training methods as a way to make the current crop of employees more suitable to the technological challenges ahead. The old days of simply importing workers to address every little technological shortcoming are likely gone for some time, and so there's a premium on training measures. That could pose opportunity for places like the Linux Foundation and MEF, as the materials required for training should likewise be at a premium in terms of demand. Those trying to compete in the field will need to be especially clear and cogent, as well as accessible, to yield the best results.

Training programs will likely be valuable for some time to come, and this may well result in a whole cottage industry of training program creation measures. Either way, the current workforce is about to get much better educated in general and with specific tasks.

If you’d like to learn more about NFV, be sure to check out TMC and Crossfire Media’s newest conference and expo, Communications 20/20, happening July 18-20 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The event will focus on the next wave of technology and innovations that will transcend the importance of person to person contact, disrupting the future of the entire communications industry. Find out more HERE.

Edited by Alicia Young

Contributing Writer

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