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Driving the Industry Towards Standardized MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Managed Services.

Many of the 120+ MEF service provider members have alreay introduced, or are in the process of introducing, SD-WAN services into their portfolios. Also, most of the leading SD-WAN vendors are MEF members including Cisco, Citrix, Fortinet, Infovista, Nokia/Nuage, Riverbed, Silver Peak, Versaware, and VMware.

MEF, with its proven 17 year track record of defining and certifying orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services which underpin what is already an $80Bn industry, is well positioned to use the same approach to define and certify orchestrated SD-WAN services.

SD-WAN and the MEF 3.0 Framework
In the latter part of 2017, MEF launched the MEF 3.0 Framework for agile, assured and orchestrated services - including SD-WAN services. The MEF 3.0 Framework provides service providers with a clear path for transforming their siloed, hardware-oriented, OSS/BSS-based networks into LSO-SDN-NFV environments that can rapidly and cost effectively deliver a range of dynamic, high-value services based on optical transport, Carrier Ethernet, IP and 5G infrastructure.

In 2017, MEF started to address the question of what is an SD-WAN service, how it can be orchestrated in accordance with LSO principles, and how it can be certified as compliant with MEF standards. This work will accelerate the availability of interoperable SD-WAN solutions that can be integrated into service providers' existing and planned SDN and NFV back-end operations systems.

SD-WAN Areas of Work in MEF

White Paper
MEF commenced its work on SD-WAN services by publishing a White Paper in July 2017. Understanding SD-WAN Managed Services describes the fundamental characteristics of SD-WANs, SD-WAN service components, and use cases in the LSO Reference Architecture. This paper introduces terminology for different SD-WAN managed service components and illustrates how they fit into MEF"s LSO Reference Architecture to facilitate multi-vendor interoperability and operational agility.

Contributing companies include: Ceragon; Fujitsu; NEC/Netcracker; Nokia; RAD; Riverbed; Silver Peak; Velocloud.

SD-WAN Service Standard
In October 2017, MEF began its first project to define SD-WAN services to provide those enabling or delivering service providers with a common industry-consensus baseline on what an SD-WAN service must include.

This has resulted in the draft MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition Technical Specification which is currently in peer review (Call for Comments Ballot) by MEF members prior to publication. This technical specification defines:

  • Key Concepts and Definitions
  • Applications and Policies
  • Service Attributes for 
    • SD-WAN Virtual Connections
    • SD-WAN Connection End Points
    • SD-WAN UNIs
  • Bandwidth Profiles
  • Performance Metrics

Once the first version is published, the MEF membership will begin work immediately on broadening the technical specification to include additional use cases which are becoming increasingly important as adoption of SD-WAN services accelerates.

Specification Editors:

  • Riverbed
  • Velocloud

(Full list of contributors will be published together with the Technical Specification)

SD-WAN Components

SD-WAN Implementations
MEF has introduced a framework for enabling MEF members - both service providers and vendors - to collaborate on implementation projects which enable more rapid understanding of the MEF's standardization work in a range of areas that impact the delivery of MEF-defined services, as well as providing valuable feedback to the ongoing specifications work in the MEF Committees on what remains to be addressed.

MEF members including VMware/Velocloud, Nokia/Nuage, Riverbed, and Infovista, have been working as part of the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project to emulate a single provider multi-vendor SD-WAN implementation using LSO principles. This has provided valuable insights into the use of the open LSO Presto Network Resource Provisioning API to orchestrate two or more SD-WAN controllers from multiple vendors to form a single end-to-end service with consistent policy and service assurance across the implementations.

This project has also spawned a MEF member project to create a data model (YANG) of the SD-WAN service defined in the draft MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition Technical Specification. This data model work is taking into account not only existing LSO Presto and LSO Legato APIs, but also aims to maximize alignment with MEF's draft MEF Core Model (MCM Information Model), MEF's draft Policy Driven Orchestration (PDO), ONF TAPI and relevant IETF YANG models.

SD-WAN Certification
MEF launched the MEF 3.0 Certification Program at MEF17 to provide a framework for service providers and technology vendors to demonstrate compliance with a range of MEF standards that support the delivery of LSO-orchestrated MEF-defined services including SD-WAN services.

The MEF membership is currently defining what will be included in the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification Blueprint which will underpin the availability of SD-WAN certification in 2019.

On Oct 29 - Nov 2, 2018 MEF will be running the MEF18 event which will include a range of activities that address providers and users of SD-WAN services:

Workshop: Aligning the Industry on Standardized MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Managed Services
Presentations and Panel: The Role of SD-WAN in Digital Transformation
Track: WAN Exchange Track - Addressing Enterprise Transformation Needs
Presentations and Panel: Universal CPE- and SD-WAN-Centric Approaches – Options for Flexible Service Delivery
Proofs of Concepts: Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation; Secure SD-WAN; LSO-Orchestrated SD-WAN on uCPE
MEF18 LSO Hackathon: Data modelling SD-WAN services at LSO Legato and LSO Presto.

MEF will be increasing its SD-WAN related activities in standardization, implementation and certification providing a range of opportunities for MEF members to influence and accelerate the SD-WAN market. For more information on how to engage as a service provider, technology vendor or enterprise, contact Daniel Bar-Lev (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).