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:
• 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
• Reduces costs and time on complex interoperability testing