Aricent’s Guide to Metro Ethernet Certification

Multi-vendor global networks are driving the need for common standards, and highly interoperable products and services. Conceptualized in the year 2005, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) certification program for Carrier Ethernet equipment, solutions, services, and engineers consists of a series of tests that provide evidence for end-users, service providers, and manufacturers, that products and services are compliant of published MEF specifications.

Telecom equipment manufacturers face several challenges in harmonizing equipment across multiple network domains on a common set of MEF standards. Of the various specifications defined by this forum, MEF 9 and MEF 14 are the most important from a product certification perspective. These specifications address equipment and solution certifications that ensure that devices with Ethernet layer 2 features comply with the MEF standards. These certifications, in turn, aid service providers to select equipment which can interoperate with other MEF compliant devices, and provide guaranteed performance and desired functionality.

MEF certification benefits vary by different constituents, including:

Enterprises/End users

•   Assures users that services perform according to agreed specifications and standards

•   Provides the knowledge to make informed decisions at greatly reduced risks

•   Accelerates Carrier Ethernet deployment at lower cost

•   Provides common terminology to compare services

Service Providers

•   Reduces costs and time on complex interoperability testing

•   Establishes a solid foundation for Carrier Ethernet ubiquity and interoperability

•   Removes confusion caused by proprietary service names

•   Allows customers to specify their service requirements by referencing independent, international standards

Equipment Manufacturers

•   Creates a globally recognized interoperability standard

•   Reduces testing costs, time-to-market and installation time.

•   Creates an independent validation of function and conformance

•   Provides a performance and behaviour benchmark

To know more about the processes, common pitfalls, and solutions for MEF certification, download our guide: “MEF certification – Challenges. Solutions. Best Practices.” This guide has been developed by leveraging our certification experience across multiple Tier 1 telecom equipment vendors, as well as smaller organizations. It provides deep insights to develop MEF-compliant Ethernet products that meet carrier grade standards of interoperability and performance.

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