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Dispatch from the MEF Annual Meeting

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Blog - Dispatch from the MEF Annual Meeting

New Priorities and New Leadership

I recently participated in the MEF Annual Members Meeting in Philadelphia. Comcast Business hosted the standards meeting in America’s first capital, where one of the most significant outcomes was the ratification and public release of the industry’s first SD-WAN Services Standard, MEF 70, which is an important development for our industry.

On a personal note, after nearly a decade contributing to the open networking movement, catalyzed by SDN and NFV, I was honored to assume new responsibilities when I was named as co-chair of the MEF Certification Committee and also called upon to join the MEF Leadership Team. Spirent has so much to contribute to the work that MEF has in development and I’m proud to represent the company in these new roles.

Why certification is needed more than ever

I’m excited to be taking on this new role as my involvement with MEF Certification spans back to 2017, when I was first invited to contribute to the SDN/NFV Professional Certification as a subject-matter expert. The goal was to restore order in the increasingly fragmented, multibillion-dollar SD-WAN market, and take a step towards multi-vendor SD-WAN. Within MEF, the Certification Committee (one of five such committees) plays a major role in attaining MEF’s mission to “accelerate the worldwide adoption of assured services across automated networks”.

Taking a page from the past, MEF intends to build a comprehensive Certification program to replicate the success of the multibillion-dollar Carrier Ethernet market. Certification is one of four pillars comprising the MEF 3.0 framework, focused on “delivering, and certifying assured communications services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks”.

The MEF Certification Committee affords a unique opportunity to continue Spirent’s long heritage of contributing to the open networking movement, including Open Networking Foundation, ETSI NFV ISG, NetSecOPEN and more recently 5G.

Toward assurance

At a forward-looking MEF Birds of a Feather (BoF) session in Philadelphia, I also shared Spirent’s vision for Lifecycle Service Assurance (LSA). Our comprehensive testing vision spans the entire automated service delivery lifecycle, from the infrastructure layer to application layer. My presentation stimulated a lot of discussion on the evolving role of testing and validation in the virtualized architecture, and I’ll share more of this with you in a future blog.

Needless to say, Spirent is planning major contributions to the certification, testing, assurance and security activities within the MEF, so stay tuned for how Spirent is reshaping testing, validation and assurance in the virtualized architecture.

For additional details, please feel free to reach out to me at marc.cohn@spirent.com.

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Marc Cohn
Marc Cohn

director, marketing & technical strategy, virtualization

Marc works for Spirent's strategy organization helping to define technical direction in the Virtualization segment. He has been a major contributor to the SDN and NFV community, as the former VP of Network Strategy for The Linux Foundation, the Executive Director for the OPEN-Oopen orchestration project (since merged into the ONAP project), Market Area Director and ONF Fellow for the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), an advisor to the Chair of the ETSI NFV ISG, and Silver Member representative (and Treasurer) for the OpenDaylight Board of Directors. He has also held a number of executive roles in strategy and marketing at ClearPath Networks, Ciena Corporation and IP Infusion, among others. Most recently, Marc was appointed as co-chair of the MEF Certification Committee and joined the MEF Leadership Team. Join the conversation and connect with Marc on LinkedIn or follow on her on Twitter at @mdcohn