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Need a break from reading about New Year’s resolutions, politics, and celebrities? Catch up on three recent MEF-authored articles that discuss trends in 2022 and how MEF is leading the way to bring clarity to the SD-WAN and SASE markets.
MEF COO Kevin Vachon provides Telecom Review readers with an update on key MEF standards and the importance of certifications: How standardized, secure SD-WAN accelerates market adoption.
The global SD-WAN service market continues to show tremendous growth. However, with slow adoption early on due to proprietary solutions and market confusion, MEF recognized the need for standardization, publishing the industry’s first global SD-WAN service standard, MEF 70, in 2019. In December 2021 MEF updated this standard to add a host of new capabilities. Most notably MEF 70.1 enables measurable performance metrics that provide visibility into an application’s performance.
MEF also introduced its first cybersecurity standard, MEF 88, which enhances an SD-WAN service to add security functions like defining threats and describing actions to take in response.
The article also touches on the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certification program for services and technologies and the MEF-SDCP Professional Certification which allows engineers, architects, product managers, and others deploying SD-WAN solutions to demonstrate their expertise in MEF 3.0 service standards.
Read more about what’s ahead in 2022.
The Fast Mode
Next up, Kirby Russell, MEF Director, Professional Certification, writes about the benefits technical training and certification provides to both employees and employers in The Fast Mode: Make 2022 the Year to Invest in Technical Training and Certification.
Finding and retaining talent, especially skilled technical, engineering, and IT employees, is increasingly challenging. The pace of digital transformation outpaces skills development, and qualified candidates are difficult to find. Companies should leverage technical training and professional certifications to help retain existing employees and attract new employees.
Certification benefits both employees and employers. Read more to learn more about those benefits.
MEF’s SD-WAN Certified Professional (MEF-SDCP) program verifies knowledge, skills, and abilities of SD-WAN domains. The certification exam is a vendor-neutral technical certification recognizing expertise in SD-WAN concepts, components, functions, configuration, security, monitoring, troubleshooting, optimization, and resiliency. MEF also offers professional training and certification for Carrier Ethernet and SDN/NFV.
SD-WAN can be deployed in a variety of ways from software to appliances to hybrid and fully managed services. For work from home (WFH) employees, IT staff have the option to configure and deliver centralized policies via SD-WAN software or appliances. Enterprises also need to ensure those remote workers have secure access to company resources with the same level of security as the larger office sites. There are two approaches to secure user access.
The first, secure SD-WAN, adds security functions to the SD-WAN appliance at the user’s home. Security functions live close to the user and are single tenant in nature. The challenge is determining how to cost-effectively size the appliance without impacting performance. Next is SASE, which moves the security function to the nearest edge cloud computing environment to the user’s home. SASE shares cloud resources with multiple tenants, optimizing resources and sharing security functions for multiple subscribers.
In the coming years, many secure SD-WAN and SASE deployments will be offered as managed services from a service provider. With available MEF standards and new standards coming in 2022 to define SASE and Zero Trust, enterprises will be better informed to understand and compare when purchasing secure SD-WAN and SASE managed services.
So what’s hype and what’s reality? Read more to find out.