MEF and ONAP join forces to develop LSO framework for physical and virtual network functions

Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) recently announced it is collaborating with the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) to explore how automation and orchestration can provision software-driven domains leveraging applications program interfaces (APIs). The duo made the announcement last week at the SDN NFV World Congress.

MEF is a nonprofit international industry consortium consisting of over 210 services providers, and ONAP is an open source community centered on lifecycle management of virtual network functions (NFV). Both MEF and ONAP will focus on Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), which serves as a set of standards for managing connectivity services across multiple networks. Specifically, the organizations will invest their energy in developing standardized open APIs and a framework for operators to implement LSO on their networks.

MEF is known for originally creating LSO specifications for APIs, which dictate the lifecycle of services orchestrated across various domains. In particular, LSO provides services between access points atop of physical ports, like ethernet, and access points atop blade servers responsible for virtualization and consolidation. Under the recent agreement, ONAP will handle everything related to open source network, and MEF will handle developing the standards for the LSO framework. The companies said they will share more details about the venture in the coming months.

“ONAP was formed with the understanding that the creation of a comprehensive framework for real-time, policy-driven software automation of virtual network functions could best be achieved by sharing and combining industry resources,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration at The Linux Foundation.

“As part of this vision, The Linux Foundation is integrating our open networking initiatives more closely with industry associations like MEF. MEF and ONAP hold a common vision for the end-to-end automation of service provider networks. We are pleased to work with them to combine resources and minimize fragmentation to accelerate the transformation and automation of networks with SDN and NFV.”

The collaboration mirrors a similar initiative between MEF and TF Forum aimed at standardizing LSO APIs. The partnership recently gained headway with the extension of four APIs by MEF, and the release of its LSO Presto SDK, which includes standardized open APIs for orchestrating connectivity services over multiple network technology domains. ONAP intends to work on its open source specification to make sure it abides by MEF’s published LSO Legato specifications.

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