Sam Cooke once sang, “A Change is Gonna Come”. . .well Sam, your words always ring true, and its coming fast!
We have discussed a lot about Metro Ethernet/Carrier Ethernet connections and the great impact it can have on your business financially  because of its ability to cut hardware, support and labor costs while leaving the networking to professionals who perform nothing but those tasks for a living.
These great advantages also come with their own challenges. Those being education and a need for a set of standard rules and guidelines/guidance to make sure that implementation and support has a consistent and logical manner. With the roll-out of carrier Ethernet services by major Internet Service providers, telephone service providers, cable providers and more, the Metro Ethernet Forum  provides the fundamental blueprint to make it all work.
As changes in the business networking platform change from the standard Local Area Networks of the past to Managed Ethernet Networks, the process of how to implement in a fashion that takes into consideration the latest technologies, current hardware platforms, the network infrastructure already in place for service providers and the education required for the task, had to be reviewed.
And so the MEF was created to put this all together.
What Does the Metro Ethernet Forum Do?
They promote practical deployment of Carrier Ethernet across the world by developing architectural, service and management technical specifications and implementation agreements to be followed.
They have created a certification committee that oversees programs for equipment, services and professionals based on test suites developed by a technical committee.
They have a marketing committee that raises awareness and educates the industry on the work of the Metro Ethernet Forum, including the development of business, technical and implementation white papers, use cases, presentations and videos.
And lastly, a service operations committee streamlines and standardizes the buying, selling, delivering and operating processes of Carrier Ethernet services.
The goal here is to create a consensus between providers on services and specification.
What Impact Does the Metro Ethernet Forum Have on My Business?
Implementing new technologies can have a great impact on your business, from both a fiscal and operational point of view. Using a partner without the right skill-set to implement these technologies, can be disastrous however. Turning over responsibility of your network infrastructure to a partner is an important decision, many of us don’t like the idea of losing a sense of control. So while doing so has great benefits, the Metro Ethernet Forum provides your business a path to be sure that you have information.
You can learn about the Key specifications, if you happen to be techie, but most importantly you can see on their website, information that MEF partners use. You can learn if a partner you are considering is a MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional. Its largest impact is to assure you that your money is well spent on a team ready to implement the new technology in a safe and affordable manner.
You’re job is easy, once you make the decision on Metro Ethernet services, use the Forum as your guide in choosing a partner.
Ethernet  Photo via Shutterstock