Network to Network Interfaces (NNIs)

It’s analogy time. Pretend for a second that you own a surfboard company with storefronts up and down both coastlines. It probably wouldn’t make much sense to open retail locations in Oklahoma and Kansas (or another several dozen states). However, every once in a while, somebody in one of those landlocked states wants one of your surfboards and needs to be able to buy it in person; they want to look at it, hold it, pose for pics with it. You wouldn’t open a store, but you might look for a retailer to partner with that would carry a surfboard or two for that upper Midwest surf bum who occasionally drops in.

Network to Network Interfaces are similar. An NNI interconnects a service provider’s network with another service provider’s network when they don’t offer service in that area. It’s not possible for a service provider, whether it’s rural, regional, or known the world over, to have coverage everywhere. An NNI handles this issue, enabling the seamless handoff of traffic from one carrier to the other.

In fact, MetroNet has multiple Ethernet Network to Network Interfaces (ENNIs) that are Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)-compliant. The MEF is an industry association with over 200 member companies and is the driving force that clarifies and standardizes carrier ethernet to enable agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services.