The history of Metro Ethernet

A lot has happened with Ethernet in service provider networks in the past 10 years. And the Metro Ethernet Forum has been behind a lot of that progress. From promoting and education the industry on the merits of Ethernet in the service provider network, to actually defining carrier-class Ethernet specifications, the MEF has been at the forefront of advances in the technology on a larger-than-enterprise-network scale. Here are the major milestones the MEF has achieved over that time period:

Metro Ethernet Forum celebrates 10 years of key network accomplishments

Carrier Ethernet - a welcome tonic for global business

2001

The MEF was formed to develop ubiquitous business services for enterprise users accessed over optical metropolitan networks. The group was founded by Nan Chen, director of product marketing at Atrica, and Ron Young, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Yipes Communications, with 16 initial member companies.

2002

The first technology demonstration of Ethernet services was conducted at the Supercomm conference and trade show.2003

The MEF board expands and Mark Fishburn is appointed chairman. The first MEF specification is published, which is the first formal definition of Ethernet service capabilities in the metro and wide area network.

2004

Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe joins as advisory director. Eight new specifications are published, and the first large multivendor demonstration of Ethernet services is conducted at SuperComm.

2005

The MEF defines "Carrier Ethernet" by specifying standardized business services, and scalability, reliability, quality of service and service management attributes. Included in these are:

• Worldwide services traversing national and global networks

• Access networks to provide availability over fiber, copper, cable, PON and wireless

• Economy of scale from the resulting converged business, residential and wireless networks sharing the same infrastructure and services

MEF also introduces a certification program, publishes three new specifications, conducts a large multivendor demonstration of Carrier Ethernet at the Globalcomm conference and trade show, and unveils the Carrier Ethernet Service Provider of the Year awards for North America, Europe and Asia

2006

Mike Tighe appointed as chairman of the board; Kevin Vachon appointed COO; Expansion of membership to more than 100 members; Expansion of scope from metro to access and wireless networks; Carrier Ethernet attributes further defined; Two new MEF specifications published.

2007

Carrier Ethernet launched in India; 320 systems, 45 equipment manufacturers and 17 service providers certified; Three new MEF specifications published for management, circuit emulation and services testing.

2008

Founding technical chair Bob Klessig retires and Paul Bottorff returns as technical committee co-chair; Expansion of Carrier Ethernet into mobile backhaul networks; Membership exceeds 150.

2009

Membership grows in the Asia Pacific and Carrier Ethernet expands to New Zealand; Ethernet Academy for peer reviewed papers, moderated forums, groups and community launched, and adds live chat, personal web pages and podcasting; 500+ systems, 75 equipment manufacturers, 30 service providers are certified; Thousands of tests conducted, 750+ certifications granted; Industry certification program for Link OA&M unveiled; Service Provider Awards Program launched; introduction of MEF Global Interconnect Program; Multiple technical specifications published; Hosted Ethernet Business Services seminars conducted in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai.   

2010

Ethernet Academy reaches more than 1,000 registered Carrier Ethernet experts; Extended Ethernet to Ethernet (External Network-to-Network Interface) and MEF 7.1 EMS-NMS Ratified.

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