DALLAS, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The MEF's GEN15 global networking conference opened today with a world-class line-up of communications services & technology expert speakers highlighting the tremendous progress the industry has made over the past year in developing and deploying solutions that power growth in the worldwide digital economy.
More than 1,000 professionals from 280+ organizations based in 35 countries registered for GEN15, which is supported by more than 120 sponsors, event partners, and participating companies. GEN15's 55 sponsors include Host Operator Sponsor AT&T, Platinum Sponsors Comcast Business, Cox Business, PCCW Global, Verizon, Ciena, and dozens of other service, technology, and test companies.
"It is a pleasure to welcome such a large number of professionals across the Carrier Ethernet and emerging Third Network service & technology community to our annual global gathering at GEN15," said Nan Chen, President of the MEF. "The support GEN15 has enjoyed has been tremendous! We look forward to an exciting week in Dallas as well as to sharing the results of the conference with the broader community following the close of the show."
GEN15 is focused on enabling the future of agile, assured, and orchestrated services that are powered by CE 2.0, LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), SDN, and NFV. This focus is closely associated with the advancement of the Third Network paradigm that combines the on-demand agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of CE 2.0. New Third Network services provide a dynamic, cloud-centric experience with user-directed control over network resources and assured connectivity orchestrated between both physical and virtual service endpoints.
Three key themes shaped the development of the GEN15 program and were also manifested in discussions at the popular Proof of Concept Showcase demonstrations in the bustling Networking Hall.
Theme 1 - Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Is The Foundation For Future Service Innovation. The overwhelming consensus of service provider professionals surveyed by the MEF just prior to GEN15 is that CE 2.0 services are a critical or important foundation upon which to build new on-demand, cloud-centric connectivity services. CE 2.0 certified services represent the gold standard for high-performance connectivity and account for an increasing share of the vibrant $50 billion Carrier Ethernet services market that is forecasted by Ovum to reach nearly $74 billion by 2020.
The global CE 2.0 connectivity fabric that will underpin future dynamic services has been rapidly expanding with a 70+% year-over-year increase in the number of CE 2.0 certified service providers through 3Q 2015. Fifty-five service providers have received CE 2.0 services certification thus far, and many more intend to become CE 2.0 certified, according to survey and other market feedback.
The rapid expansion of the popular MEF Certified Professionals program has helped ensure a vibrant Carrier Ethernet market. The number of MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals (MEF-CECPs) has increased more than 60% since the end of 2014 and now numbers 3,772 employed by nearly 400 organizations based in 76 countries.
Theme 2 – LSO Is The Critical Enabler Of Automated & Virtualized Networks Built With SDN & NFV. About 75% of recently surveyed professionals representing ~50 service providers stated that they believed LSO is a critical or important enabler of Third Network services. The same percentage of respondents from 52 service providers surveyed earlier this year said that they are learning about or planning to use LSO.
Clearly, LSO development is gaining increased support among service provider professionals worldwide, including executives at a number of the world's largest operators. These professionals have warmly embraced LSO's vision of end-to-end automation of the service lifecycle as a means to overcome OSS/BSS challenges that currently prevent many operators from taking full advantage of SDN- and NFV-enabled networks.
LSO is central to many GEN15 conference sessions as well as a number of the Proof of Concept Showcase demonstrations. GEN15 also is hosting the first-ever LSO Hackathon, which is designed to accelerate the development of LSO APIs, SDN controller plugins, and LSO orchestration solutions. See the LSO Hackathon program.
Theme 3 – Development Of Third Network Services Requires Close Collaboration Of Industry Standards & Open Source Organizations. There is widespread agreement among key leaders within industry standards & open source organizations that closer collaboration is required to accelerate the transition toward dynamic services orchestrated over automated and interconnected networks. As part of the UNITE program, the MEF is playing a leading role in unifying the ecosystem of players to focus on overcoming obstacles to the Third Network vision.
GEN15 has advanced the goal of closer collaboration by bringing together representatives of 8 industry organizations as direct event participants. In addition to the MEF, this includes CableLabs, ETSI NFV ISG, ITU-T, OpenCloud Connect, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), the Small Cell Forum, and TM Forum. The MEF also has been engaged with other organizations as part of the UNITE initiative.
GEN15 is the must-attend annual networking event for executives and other senior professionals involved in the combined Carrier Ethernet + Third Network services & technology ecosystem. GEN15 is bringing together a global array of 120+ Carrier Ethernet, LSO, SDN, NFV, and Cloud expert speakers from around the world to contribute to the event's program and networking opportunities. Event content and peer-to-peer networking opportunities are designed to appeal to experts from retail, wholesale, and mobile service providers; cloud service providers; mid to large businesses; government & defense organizations; network solutions vendors; the press; analyst firms; investment firms; and others.
GEN15 encompasses industry-leading keynote speakers, educational roundtables, and panels with dedicated tracks for enterprise end-users; retail, wholesale, mobile, and cloud service providers; and others. This year's event includes a special Enterprise Day and a groundbreaking LSO Hackathon. We also are expanding popular elements of last year's program, including the MEF Certified Professionals Convention, Verizon Partner Conference, the Proof of Concept Service & Technology Showcase, Global Media Hub, and MEF Excellence Awards program that recognizes outstanding service, technology, and professional leadership and innovation. See www.gen15.com for details.
About the MEF
The MEF is the driving force behind the ~$80 billion global market for Carrier Ethernet services and technologies and the defining body for LSO standards that underpin emerging Third Network services with CE 2.0, SDN, and NFV. An industry alliance consisting of nearly 220 member organizations based in 43 countries, the MEF operates through a powerful collaborative framework of service providers, network solutions suppliers, and other stakeholders to achieve CE 2.0 and LSO development and globalization objectives.
MEF's flagship work is CE 2.0, including specifications, operational frameworks, and certification programs for services, equipment, and professionals. Visit www.mef.net for more details on these programs.
Building on fourteen years of success with Carrier Ethernet, the MEF is now focused on development of LSO with APIs to enable paradigm-shifting agile, assured, and orchestrated services over more efficient, automated networks. The MEF's vision for the transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them is referred to as the "Third Network," which combines the on-demand agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security assurances of CE 2.0. For information on the Third Network and LSO download the MEF's Third Network Vision & Strategy White Paper and Third Network Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Vision White Paper.