The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) has expanded its certification programme to include quality of service parameters in network kit.
The MEF 14 standard describes how network hardware suppliers can help meet the quality of service goals for carriers that need to establish service level agreements with customers.
The quality of service specification is based on traffic management parameters described in the previous MEF 10 specification.
MEF 14 covers service performance and bandwidth profile rate enforcement, including individual Ethernet circuit analysis.
The MEF is an industry body supported by switch suppliers, telcos and network services companies. The organisation promotes the integration of Ethernet switches and routers into carrier and enterprise networks.
Ethernet offers an alternative to more expensive and less flexible Asynchronous Transfer Mode, Frame Relay and SDH-based network hardware commonly found in carrier and enterprise wide area networks.
Worldwide purchases of metro Ethernet equipment were worth £2.2bn in 2004, and this figure is predicted to double to about £4.4bn by 2008, according to analyst firm Infonetics Research.