In a major industry collaboration effort, MEF and TM Forum are combining forces with ten major service providers from around the globe to define the application programming interfaces that will enable Carrier Ethernet services to be orchestrated across multiple carrier networks, ultimately in an automated fashion that will drive business service revenue. (See MEF, TM Forum, Carriers Collaborate on APIs.)
The APIs will be incorporated into MEF‘s Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) framework, and draw on the Open API framework of the TM Forum, but also are built on pioneering work done by AT&T, Colt and Orange to accelerate adoption of software-defined networking by creating inter-carrier APIs. And while initially applied to Carrier Ethernet services, they are expected to be applied to general connectivity services, including fiber, as well. (See AT&T, Colt Claim Major SDN Advance, AT&T, Orange Unite to Press for SDN, NFV Standards and AT&T: MEF Could Catalyze Key Specs.)
While most efforts to create open APIs are focused on intra-carrier operations — allowing network operators to add new technology and best-of-breed vendor solutions to their existing networks — this initiative is focused on inter-carrier connections, defining how services can be ordered, quoted, billed, delivered and assured across multiple carrier networks. This creation of “east-west” interfaces — versus north-south within a single operator network — is critical to enabling global business services, since no operator has physical facilities everywhere their customers need to communicate.
Initially, AT&T, Colt and Orange worked with MEF and TM Forum to “incubate” efforts to develop eight critical APIs that would become part of the LSO, and that work has now been joined by Comcast, Level 3 Communications, PCCW Global, Sparkle, Verizon, CableLabs and Kyrio . (See AT&T, Colt, Orange Team with SDOs on Global API Standards.)
Keep reading on Light Reading.