MEF’s next generation Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE2.0)

If you have been in this industry long enough, you probably know “what goes around, comes around.” Several years ago I coined the term Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE2.0) (What is Carrier Ethernet 2.0?) during an Ethernet industry event and today the Metro Ethernet Forum has announced its launch with the CE2.0 initiative.  Prior to this announcement Carrier Ethernet 1.0 (CE 1.0) encompassed standardized Ethernet services over a single provider’s network.  As with new generations of networking CE2.0 specifies several new features: Specifically Multiple Classes of Service (Multi-CoS), Ethernet Network to Network Interconnect and Manageability (E-NNI and E-Access), and enabling the delivery of applications with Ethernet OAM enabled SLA managed connections.

Service providers have been adopting and adding new service capabilities, and CE2.0 is essentially the “smarts” that will enable them to take advantage of the investments made in building and managing their infrastructure. For example, most of the equipment our customers have deployed in the past several years enable them to provide business customers with consistent performance levels and associated SLAs regardless of their office location and WAN network topology.  Most recently, using Carrier Ethernet services for cloud based services has intensified the need to guarantee SLAs and provide OAM-based management tools to ensure the performance of their business applications can be accessed seamlessly on a global basis.

In addition to business and cloud based services, mobile connectivity has vastly changed the networking response time and applications requirements from mobile operators and mobile backhaul providers.  Using CE2.0 allows wholesale backhaul service providers and mobile operators additional efficiencies and cost-savings through implementation of Multi-Class of Services (CoS) and packet and network-based synchronization to meet varying performance objectives rather than treating all mobile traffic the same.  (Remember the dreaded “iPhone problem” when a small number of users overran the network capacity very quickly).   A second improvement is the ability to provide standards-based OAM tools to better measure and manage network jitter, delay, latency, etc. to maintain SLA performance requirements. For example, many of our customers offering mobile backhaul services needed these capabilities to assure mobile operators SLAs while simultaneously enabling bandwidth efficiencies by running these different types of services over a single Carrier Ethernet 2.0 circuit.

Last but certainly not least, now that Carrier Ethernet is widely adopted as the transport for business, residential and forthcoming cloud based services, these networks need to interconnect with one another.   CE2.0 begins to address a common set of information that can now be exchanged between operators’ network interconnections as customers require connectivity across multiple carriers for worldwide availability.

So while I am happy to see validation of CE2.0 service definitions and tools, the next proof point will be new service management capabilities that enable operators (and increasingly their customers) easy ways to view and manage multi-services across their networks (and others).   Having these new agreed upon specifications only increases the need for a good service management system that can offer end-to-end Ethernet service provisioning, planning, and management in a multi-vendor setting.

So CE2.0 has arrived.  Should we just do it? Sure, for I can certainly feel safe in prognosticating that CE3.0 is bound to follow with even a richer set of functionality. Just bookmark you heard it here in 2012…

Related Links/Videos:

Carrier Ethernet Generations

Intro to Carrier Ethernet –


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