For the most part, the technical foundation documents for Carrier Ethernet are built on MEF 6.0, MEF 6.1, and MEF 33 -- the all-important MEF technical specs that define Carrier Ethernet services. MEF 6.1 defines port- and VLAN-based E-Line, E-LAN, and the later E-Tree services, while MEF 33 defines the new E-Access services (Access EPL and Access EVPL). The original E-Line and E-LAN services that are the basis of CE1.0 are defined by MEF 6.
Recall also that the three things the MEF highlighted when it unveiled CE2.0 this year were manageability (for better fault management), Multi-CoS, and Interconnect. Multi-CoS is about supporting three classes of service (high, medium, and low), each associated with specific performance level objectives to support a specific application such as voice, data, or video. In a way, it could be argued that Multi-CoS is at the heart of what customers care about most: service level agreements. Meeting MEF specs for Multi-CoS is probably also the most challenging part of CE2.0 certification.
Since MEF certification also applies to service providers, Iometrix has a very practical approach to testing in the all too common case where Carrier Ethernet services traverse interconnected networks, as specified by the MEF's E-Access service type. Service provider testing for CE2.0 in such a scenario is somewhat more challenging, because of the logistics of deploying specialized probes on sites distributed on the service provider and operator networks.
Where there is handoff from one service provider to another, Iometrix typically needs to qualify the access service of the access provider only once to establish its conformity to MEF 33. The logic here is that if it is CE2.0 conformant, any service provider offering regional, national, or global wholesale services can count on the certified access service it enlists.
CE2.0 certification is based on strict pass/fail criteria for each of the roughly 700 test cases. Either a product or service passes the tests, or it does not. Once any issues arising in the pilot phase are ironed out, it will generally take about one week for equipment testing, depending on the degree of preparedness of the vendor. The testing of services requires somewhat more time, because of the logistics and demands of service performance testing.
As a result, you should consider this and the next few months a quiet period for CE2.0. Things will heat up soon enough, because the MEF plans to announce CE2.0 certifications for the first group of vendors submitting products sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, with service provider CE2.0 announcements coming in the first quarter of 2013. It would be no overstatement that those that get CE2.0 certification will have really raised their game in terms of what they have to offer customers.