MEF starts work to standardize SD-WAN managed services

MEF SD-WAN
Image credit: MEF

MEF says it is extending its work to standardize SD-WAN managed services by defining SD-WAN service terminology, components, and implementations in the context of its LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Reference Architecture and Framework (MEF 55).

This work will ensure consistency of performance, policy, and security of SD-WAN services orchestrated across multiple provider networks, leveraging open LSO APIs.

“Businesses are demanding WAN flexibility to control costs as they migrate applications to the cloud and see SD-WAN as an option to address this,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “To meet these demands and remain competitive, service providers need to integrate SD-WAN into a portfolio of orchestrated services delivered in a seamless, automated fashion. MEF is uniquely positioned to bring together managed service providers, orchestration experts, and SD-WAN vendors to address this challenge and accelerate SD-WAN managed service deployments on behalf of the enterprises.”

Key SD-WAN initiatives and deliverables include MEF’s established OpenCS (Connectivity Services) SD-WAN Project, which is currently focused on providing use cases and business requirements to ensure that open standard LSO APIs can enable orchestration of SD-WAN managed services across multi-provider and multi-vendor implementations.

The MEF community has agreed on the first six major SD-WAN managed services use cases to advance this work. The OpenCS SD-WAN project also will deliver a rich set of LSO APIs to enable consistent SD-WAN assurance, application performance, and security policies, which include telemetry data feeding back into LSO analytic platforms for various AI automated use cases.

The OpenCS SD-WAN project is led by Riverbed and VeloCloud Networks with contributions thus far from Amartus, Cox, Fujitsu Network Communications, GBI, Huawei, and Nokia/Nuage. Silver Peak and Versa Networks recently have joined as MEF members to contribute to the SD-WAN work as well.

Also, MEF recently created the SD-WAN Market Education Project to explain MEF’s position on SD-WAN and how it aligns with other initiatives focused on orchestrated Layer 1-7 services enabled by LSO APIs. Educational materials will include white papers, webinars, workshops, and use cases.

To that end, MEF has released a white paper [PDF] that introduces SD-WAN functions, terminology, and service components; explains how the components fit within the LSO Reference Architecture; and provides SD-WAN managed services use cases.

“MEF’s new SD-WAN work will address implementation challenges and accelerate SD-WAN services deployments by creating a common vernacular and service architecture, which have not existed up to this point,” said Ralph Santitoro, principal author of MEF’s SD-WAN white paper, MEF Distinguished Fellow, and Head of SDN/NFV Solutions Practice delivering SD-WAN managed services at Fujitsu.

Ceragon, NEC/Netcracker, Nokia, RAD, Riverbed, Silver Peak, VeloCloud, and MEF’s CTO also contributed to the paper.

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