MEF announced the publication of the industry’s first global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes. SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) was officially approved by MEF members and ratified by the MEF Board of Directors at the organization’s recent Annual Members Meeting.
SD-WAN service standardization has been conducted within the context of the MEF 3.0 Global Services Framework. It is part of a transformational initiative to define, deliver, and certify a family of dynamic Carrier Ethernet (CE), Optical Transport, IP, SD-WAN, and security services orchestrated across automated networks using LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs.
“We want to thank the SD-WAN team for the incredible job they have done in bringing this industry-first standard to market in a timely manner,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “Combining standardized SD-WAN services with dynamic high-speed underlay connectivity services – including Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, and IP – enables service providers to deliver powerful MEF 3.0 hybrid networking solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.”
SD-WAN standardization has enjoyed public support from dozens of service and technology providers and has included important contributions from Nuage Networks from Nokia, Fujitsu Network Communications, Amdocs, Ceragon, Cisco, Colt, Futurewei, Silver Peak, TDS Telecom, Verizon, and other MEF member companies.
What is in the SD-WAN Standard and why is it relevant?
The SD-WAN standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them.
MEF 70, among other things, defines:
• Service attributes that describe the externally visible behavior of an SD-WAN service as experienced by the subscriber.
• Rules associated with how traffic is handled.
• Key technical concepts and definitions like an SD-WAN UNI, the SD-WAN Edge, SD-WAN Tunnel Virtual Connections, SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Points, and Underlay Connectivity Services.
SD-WAN standardization offers numerous benefits that will help accelerate SD-WAN market growth while improving overall customer experience with hybrid networking solutions. Key benefits include:
• Enabling a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services.
• Making it easier to interface policy with intelligent underlay connectivity services to provide a better end-to-end application experience with guaranteed service resiliency.
• Facilitating inclusion of SD-WAN services in standardized LSO architectures, thereby advancing efforts to orchestrate MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services across automated networks.
• Paving the way for creation and implementation of certified MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services, which will give users confidence that a service meets a fundamental set of requirements.
MEF already has begun work on the next phase of SD-WAN standardization – MEF 70.1 – that will be of high interest to many enterprises. This work includes defining:
• Service attributes for application flow performance and business importance.
• SD-WAN service topology and connectivity.
• Underlay connectivity service parameters.
MEF also is progressing related standards work focused on:
• Application security for SD-WAN services.
• Intent-based networking for SD-WAN that will simplify the subscriber-to-service provider interface.
• Information and data modeling standards that will accelerate LSO API development for SD-WAN services.
MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service & Technology Certification Pilot
MEF remains on track to launch its MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification pilot program in 4Q 2019. This certification will test a set of service attributes and their behaviors defined in MEF 70 and described in detail in the upcoming MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification Test Requirements (MEF 90) document.
SD-WAN at MEF19
SD-WAN will be a dominant topic in MEF 3.0 Proof of Concept Showcase demonstrations and conference sessions at MEF19, held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.