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MEF Progresses Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation Project Within MEF 3.0 Framework

Leading SD-WAN vendors collaborate to use new, standardized LSO Presto Network Resource Provisioning API to meet interoperability challenge

Los Angeles, 31 May 2018 MEF, the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated MEF 3.0 services, is addressing the rapidly growing problem of orchestrating services over multiple SD-WAN deployments that are based on different technology vendor products. Several MEF SD-WAN vendor members are collaborating in the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project. This and other SD-WAN work within MEF are important elements of the comprehensive MEF 3.0 framework to define, deliver, and certify agile, assured, and orchestrated services across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

Phase 1 – Implementation Project for MEF Members

Multiple MEF member companies – including SD-WAN vendors Riverbed, VeloCloud (now part of VMware), and Nuage Networks from Nokia and software development services provider Amartus – are participating in Phase 1 of the project. MEF will document the implementation, which can be used by service providers to accelerate their adoption of SD-WAN within the MEF 3.0 framework.

Each SD-WAN vendor is implementing an SD-WAN based on its own products on MEFnet (MEF’s cloud-based Dev/Test platform) and then interconnecting them through a central gateway. The respective SD-WANs will be orchestrated with a single LSO-oriented service orchestrator via the newly standardized LSO Presto Network Resource Provisioning (NRP) API to create connectivity services that span two or more SD-WAN vendor solutions – thus bypassing the lack of interoperability between SD-WAN controllers and SD-WAN edge devices of different vendors.

“Our customers – both service providers and enterprises – are increasingly concerned about how to manage multiple SD-WAN solutions involving multiple vendors and implementations,” said Joe Ruffles, co-leader of the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project and Global Standards Architect, Riverbed. “Using LSO to orchestrate a connectivity service that spans multiple SD-WAN implementations is an immediate and cost-effective solution for them that we want to encourage in order to grow the SD-WAN market as quickly as possible.”

"Mergers and acquisitions by service providers and enterprises are increasing the number of environments using more than one SD-WAN vendor's solution," said Tim Van Herck, co-leader of the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project and Director of Technical Product Management, VMware. "It's not uncommon to speak with service providers that already have three or more vendor solutions for SD-WAN in their networks. Single solution service orchestration in these types of environments is essential for the SD-WAN industry."

"Nuage Networks believes in an open ecosystem and using the LSO approach gives service providers and enterprises alike the flexibility to deploy services across multiple vendors, allowing for best-of-breed solutions to be developed," said Alastair Johnson, Principal Solution Architect, Nuage Networks from Nokia. "With the market moving as fast as it is, it is essential that we smooth the way for introducing new SD-WAN solutions quickly without the concern of how to get them to operate further down the road."

The MEF LSO-based approach assumes that each SD-WAN vendor enables the standard northbound LSO NRP API – defined in MEF 60 – on its SD-WAN Controller products. MEF 60, formally known as the LSO Presto NRP Interface Profile Specification, is the result of collaboration among service provider and vendor members within MEF as well as external collaboration leveraging ONF’s TAPI model for network resource activation and topology. The LSO Presto NRP API already has been implemented in the OpenDaylight (ODL) SDN controller, providing the SD-WAN vendors with a well-understood reference for porting the API to their respective SD-WAN controllers.

"When we worked with Cisco and other industry contributors on the UNI Manager project to enable LSO Presto NRP API support in OpenDaylight, we quickly realized that this work could be extended to other technology domains, including SD-WANs," said Marek Prochera, Technical Architect, Amartus. "For this reason, we decided to contribute to the project to simplify the SD-WAN management by introducing Presto abstraction. This approach should greatly reduce the cost and effort of building multi-vendor solutions.”

Phase 2 & Beyond

Project participants plan for Phase 2 to add security functions to the SD-WAN implementations to illustrate adding SECaaS (Security-as-a-Service) to an SD-WAN service deployment. Other work planned in future phases includes development of an intent-based LSO Presto NRP API, a VNF license management mechanism, and real-time media-oriented LSO orchestration.

Complementary MEF SD-WAN Project – SD-WAN Service Definition Specification

In parallel to the SD-WAN implementation work, MEF members are collaborating to develop an SD-WAN service specification that defines the service components, their attributes, and application-centric QoS, security, and business priority policy requirements to create SD-WAN services. Led by Riverbed and VeloCloud, now part of VMware – with major contributions from Fujitsu – this project builds upon the MEF’s expertise in developing industry-adopted service definitions like those for Ethernet services and more recent work on Layer 1 and IP services. This specification, when published, will pave the way for MEF 3.0 work on LSO, MEF Information Models, Policy-Driven Orchestration, Intent, and other major projects to be applied to SD-WAN services, thereby integrating them seamlessly into the increasingly automated MEF 3.0 ecosystem.

MEF18 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Showcase

The MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project will be showcased at the MEF18 global networking event (www.mef18event.org) that will be held 29 October – 2 November in Los Angeles, California.

SD-WAN Project Participation

Participation in SD-WAN projects are open to all MEF members. Companies interested in joining MEF should contact Alysia Bennett at Alysia@mef.net.

About MEF

An industry association of 200+ member companies, MEF recently introduced the MEF 3.0 transformational global services framework for defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated services over a global ecosystem of automated networks. MEF 3.0 services are designed to provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities. MEF 3.0 services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV. MEF produces service specifications, LSO frameworks, open LSO APIs, software-driven reference implementations, and certification programs. MEF 3.0 work will enable automated delivery of standardized Ethernet, IP, SD-WAN, Layer 1, and Layer 4-7 services across multiple provider networks. For more information: https://www.mef.net.

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Media Contact: 
Ashley Schulte
Witz Communications for MEF
ashley@witzcommunications.com

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