MEF taps SDN pioneer Pitt as new SVP

Ethernet network

MEF has named SDN pioneer Dan Pitt as its new senior vice president, reflecting the organization’s efforts to provide guidance on implementing software elements into broader parts of the telecom and enterprise network.

Pitt comes to the MEF from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) where he most recently served as that organization’s executive director.

He left the ONF in September following a six-year tenure with the company where he served as the organization’s sole employee in 2011, when the group was founded by a group of service providers, software companies and content providers, including Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo.

In his new role, Pitt has set a goal to evangelize the MEF Third Network vision and technical program, harness SDNFV in the LSO (Lifecycle Services Orchestration) framework and open APIs, and expand the MEF community and ecosystem. 

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“MEF has grown its portfolio of influence over the last few years beyond just carrier Ethernet as a Layer-2 transport they can have services and certification around to this notion of this third network,” Pitt said in an interview with FierceTelecom. “This third network is about trying to replicate the great quality and assurance with Carrier Ethernet 2.0 with the ubiquity low-cost of the internet.”

Pitt added that the MEF will define lifecycle orchestration to define the key APIs and the framework to not only serve Ethernet, but also Layer 1 optical and Layer 3 IP services.

“The open initiatives that take into account the Layer 4 interaface capabilities, the partnerships with many organizations, and certification for orchestrated services,” Pitt said. “What I have come on board to do is work with the team and the members to make sure that this orchestrated framework has this advantage of what I call SDN/NFV, which is a combination of the two, as a vehicle for operators to become cloud-based and computing-based companies.”

One of the Pitt’s particular strengths in coming to the MEF is his ability to foster collaboration with other related industry groups.

During his tenure with the ONF, Pitt created liaisons not only with the MEF, but also the OpenDayLight Project (ODL), and Open Compute Project (OCP). He will continue focus on driving collaboration between the MEF and other groups.

Looking forward, Pitt said that he wants to help the MEF advance its role beyond just being an organization focused on Ethernet standards to deliver new money making services.

“MEF has an interesting role to play in the industry, which is much broader than it was 10 years ago,” Pitt said. “These other components that go into this framework and are contributed by various parts of the industry, but you need an overarching global view.”