Techniques for provisioning single or multistage networks using Ethernet Service Instances (ESIs). In one embodiment, an ESI is a logical entity or object that stores information that may be used to provision a network. An ESI may represent a logical entity that identifies a grouping of elements of a network or network device and associated attributes. Hierarchical relationships may be created between ESIs. The hierarchical relationships are used to perform packet-level processing including performing network packet encapsulations.