Different Ethernet services

The MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) defines standards for Metro Ethernet services including the supported topologies:

  1. Point-to-point, E-Line
  2. Point-to-multipoint/hub-and-spoke, E-Line
  3. Multipoint-to-multipoint/Any-to-any, E-LAN
  4. Rooted multipoint, E-Tree
Service type Port-Based VLAN-Based
E-Line (point-to-point EVC) Ethernet Private Line (EPL) Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL)
ELAN (multipoint-to-multipoint EVC) Ethernet Private LAN (EP-LAN) Ethernet Virtual Private LAN
E-Tree (rooted multipoint EVC) Ethernet Private Tree (EP-Tree) Ethernet Virtual Private Tree


Source: https://www.mef.net/Assets/Technical_Specifications/PDF/MEF_6.1.pdf

Ethernet services are used for broad network connectivity and for both short- and long-haul circuits. In this guide we will focus only on the Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) any-to-any topology.

What is E-LAN service (Ethernet LAN) and how does it work?

As defined above, an E-LAN connection is an any-to-any or multipoint-to-multipoint Layer 2 Virtual LAN service that connects two or more user points or sites, offering a full mesh connectivity. That means that every set of customer user points has a direct connection to another one in the same E-LAN. This type of connection is completely seamless and flexible, but also simple to extend to broader areas. Thanks to its characteristics, E-LAN connectivity is appropriate to use to connect offices on both local and global level or data centers, but also can include connectivity to the cloud.



Technical highlights
Ethernet topology Arelion product MEF-defined services Also known as


ELAN - EP-LAN (Ethernet Private LAN) allows organizations to connect multiple locations on a single network.

  • Easy to extend a local-area network (LAN) to a metro or WAN
  • Multipoint-to-multipoint connection with full mesh connectivity between multiple UNIs (User Network Interfaces)
  • All UNIs can communicate with each other within the EP-LAN network 

ELAN – EVP-LAN (Ethernet Virtual Private LAN) enables any-to-any communication between all customer locations associated with the customer’s Ethernet Virtual Connections (EVC)

  • Multiple VLANs can be mapped into a single Ethernet Virtual Circuit
  • Efficient connectivity for multi-site networks
  • Low frame delay, frame delay variation, and frame loss ratio

Why choose Ethernet LAN services

Though Ethernet is an “old” technology, usage is nevertheless increasing, for the following reasons: 


A scalable network can efficiently manage an increase in users, devices, or data while ensuring stable and reliable performance. Scalability directly impacts an organization’s agility, enabling it to adapt at speed to market changes and technological advancements. 

As E-LAN connectivity provides businesses with a transparent Layer 2 virtual LAN seamlessly connecting multiple sites, this allows data transfer through a single Ethernet interface, making it ideal for organizations with multiple branches.


Complete Ethernet methodology is based on private connectivity, separated from Internet resulting in better security, visibility of performance and overall control.

E-LAN also provides different redundancy options, thereby reducing downtime in the event of connectivity failure, but also increasing network resiliency. Additionally, different types of QoS provide varying levels of quality adapted to specific customer needs.

MEF 3.0 certified grants the confidence to meet security and compliance standards.


E-LAN provides flexibility to add and remove sites, reconnect and disconnect cloud or data centers, but also to choose and adapt bandwidth needed between different sites, allowing easy growth in line with application demand. At Arelion we offer a whole range of bandwidths from 10M to 40G.


E-LAN allows multiple sites or branches to share a single Ethernet network. Instead of establishing separate connections for each location, organizations can consolidate their network infrastructure. This shared approach reduces costs related to equipment, cabling, and maintenance.

Cost-efficiency has also been clearly explained as a part of scalability, i.e. E-LAN can easily accommodate additional sites without significant overhead. The need to invest in new dedicated connections or expensive hardware is removed as the existing E-LAN setup can be extended to include new branches.

Freedom to choose the overlay solution

E-LAN connectivity provides businesses with a transparent Layer 2 virtual LAN, allowing self-management of their own IP layer and leaving the choice of the overlay SD-WAN solution to the business according to its needs. 

In summary, E-LAN’s infrastructure and scalability contribute to its cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive choice for businesses with multiple locations. 

E-LAN use case – Financial organizations

Ethernet in general is ideal for applications for which microseconds are critical, such as algorithmic trading or data center backup. A dedicated Ethernet approach also offers lower latency and higher bandwidth than alternatives. At Arelion all Ethernet services are delivered over our Low Latency Plane utilizing Segment Routing.

Financial organizations with global branch offices

A good ELAN example is network connectivity for a financial institution including several branch offices across different cities and geographical locations.

The services covered by the financial sectors range from customer transactions and loans to investments. Branches require seamless and uninterrupted communication and collaboration with the highest level of security for data transfer in order to safeguard full customer confidentiality.  

E-LAN solution connects all branch offices and provides full mesh connectivity, allowing any branch to communicate directly with another over a single Ethernet interface.

Layer 2 approach allows financial institutions to manage their own IP layer, providing flexibility, security and ownership.

Direct connection: all units in one organization communicate directly with each other
Cost-Effective: low costs due to lower CAPEX investment
Security: E-LAN provide high level of security
Scalability: Simple to expand when needed and at its own pace

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