SD-WAN

The industry standard for digital services growth.

Managed SD-WAN Services

To help accelerate SD-WAN market growth and enable the creation of powerful, new hybrid networking solutions optimized for digital transformation, MEF published the industry’s first global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes—MEF 70. An update to that standard—MEF 70.1—includes new service attributes for underlay connectivity services, new measurable performance metrics that provide visibility into an application’s performance within the provider network and across multiple service providers, and the infrastructure to support application-based security.

We created the SD-WAN service standard within the context of our MEF 3.0 Global Services Framework. Combining standardized SD-WAN service with dynamic high-speed underlay connectivity services enables service providers to offer solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

SD-WAN is the way to interface policy with an intelligent software-defined network. Standardization makes it easier for integration to work across multiple types of underlying transport services. Ultimately, the combination of standardized and orchestrated overlay and underlay services provide a better customer experience, with improved service capabilities, and guaranteed resiliency.

See MEF’s Technical Standards & Educational Materials for SD-WAN

In The Spotlight

Tackling SD-WAN and SASE Managed Service Provider Challenges

Setting the standard for secure, high-performance services. Read the market brief below to discover how MEF is tackling SD-WAN and SASE managed service provider challenges.


Defining a Standard MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service

The diagram below illustrates all of the definitive components that together help define a standard MEF 3.0 SD-WAN service. One of the key elements is the SD-WAN Edge, which is a function existing at the subscriber site, e.g. an enterprise customer premises, that connects the SD-WAN user-to-network interface (UNI) to the underlay connectivity service (UCS) UNI. This function applies policies to the IP packets entering the SD-WAN service, determining how they are classified into application flows and forwarded across the underlay connectivity services according to the policy configuration.

Much like MEF’s service standards for underlay connectivity, an SD-WAN service consists of SD-WAN end points, specifically SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Points that together form the SD-WAN Virtual Connection. These end points represent the demarcation between the responsibility of the SD-WAN service provider and the subscriber. As an overlay service, SD-WAN involves multiple underlay connectivity services. In the sample below, there are two such services, which can leverage either MEF 3.0 underlay connectivity services, like Carrier Ethernet or other services, for example, an Internet broadband service. Furthermore, a unique element of SD-WAN services is the ability to forward traffic directly to the Internet from an SD-WAN UNI, which is termed Internet Breakout.

SD-WAN Service Components

Components of an SD-WAN Service
SD-WAN User-to-Network Interface (UNI)SD-WAN EdgeSD-WAN Virtual Connection (SWVC)Underlay Connectivity Service (UCS)Underlay Connectivity Service (UCS)UCS User-to-Network Interface (UNI)Tunnel Virtual Connection (TVC)SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)Internet Breakout

SD-WAN User-to-Network Interface (UNI)

Demarcation between Service Provider and Subscriber responsibility.

SD-WAN Edge

Connects SD-WAN UNI to UCSs, maps packets to application flows, enforces policies, and selects TVC, over which to forward each flow.

SD-WAN Virtual Connection (SWVC)

Logical multipoint connection between the SD-WAN UNIs, which corresponds to the SD-WAN Service.

Underlay Connectivity Service (UCS)

Any WAN service used by the SD-WAN, e.g., MEF Ethernet Services (MEF 6.2), MEF IP Services (MEF 61.1), MPLS VPNs and Internet Access, and MEF Optical Transport Services (MEF 63).

Underlay Connectivity Service (UCS)

Any WAN service used by the SD-WAN, e.g., MEF Ethernet Services (MEF 6.2), MEF IP Services (MEF 61.1), MPLS VPNs and Internet Access, and MEF Optical Transport Services (MEF 63).

UCS User-to-Network Interface (UNI)

Demarcation between the service provider of the underlay connectivity service, and the subscriber responsibility.

Tunnel Virtual Connection (TVC)

Point-to-point paths across UCSs that compose an SD-WAN Service.

SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)

Logical point where application-flow policies are assigned and applied.

SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)

Logical point where application-flow policies are assigned and applied.

SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)

Logical point where application-flow policies are assigned and applied.

Internet Breakout

Application flows forwarded from an SD-WAN UNI directly to the Internet rather than delivered to another SD-WAN UNI.

ASD-WAN User-to-Network Interface (SD-WAN UNI)
Demarcation between Service Provider and Subscriber responsibility.

BSD-WAN Edge
Connects SD-WAN UNI to UCSs, maps packets to application flows, enforces policies, and selects TVC, over which to forward each flow.

CSD-WAN Virtual Connection (SWVC)
Logical multipoint connection between the SD-WAN UNIs, which corresponds to the SD-WAN Service.

DUnderlay Connectivity Service (UCS)
Any WAN service used by the SD-WAN, e.g., MEF Ethernet Services (MEF 6.2), MEF IP Services (MEF 61.1), MPLS VPNs and Internet Access, and MEF Optical Transport Services (MEF 63).

EUCS User-to-Network Interface (UCS UNI)
Demarcation between the service provider of the underlay connectivity service, and the subscriber responsibility.

FSD-WAN Virtual Connection End Point (SWVC EP)
Logical point where application-flow policies are assigned and applied.

GTunnel Virtual Connection (TVC)
Point-to-point paths across UCSs that compose an SD-WAN Service.

HInternet Breakout
Application flows forwarded from an SD-WAN UNI directly to the Internet rather than delivered to another SD-WAN UNI.

Learn More about SD-WAN:

Educational Materials:

MEF 3.0 SD-WAN & SASE – Frequently Asked Questions — 2021 Dec

Product Portfolio: SASE, SD-WAN, Overlay Services

Tags: Certification

MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services & SASE – Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More

MEF 3.0 Workshop – Digital Services Expertise – New MEF SD-WAN Certified Professional (MEF-SDCP) — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN Certification, SD-WAN

Addressing the skills gap challenge is tantamount to successfully navigating the industry's digital transformation. MEF's SD-WAN Certified Professional designation validates the knowledge required to design, engineer, operate and solution MEF managed SD-WAN services.

Learn More

MEF 3.0 Workshop – MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN Certification, SD-WAN

MEF's SD-WAN Certification serves to accelerate market adoption of managed SD-WAN services by validating compliance with industry-designed and delivered standards for delivering managed SD-WAN as well as the underlying technology.

Learn More

MEF 3.0 Workshop – MEF 3.0 SD WAN Services — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN

In July 2019, MEF published the industry’s first global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes to help accelerate SD-WAN market growth and facilitate creation of powerful new hybrid networking solutions that are optimized for digital transformation.

Learn More

MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services — 2019 Nov

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN

Tags: Also in Mandarin, Also in Spanish

This White Paper is intended for SD-WAN Service Providers and their enterprise customers who want to understand what a standardized, managed SD-WAN service is and the benefits it brings to the industry.

Learn More

Technical Standards & SDKs:

MEF 131 Draft Release 1 MEF Secure SD-WAN Certification Test Requirements — 2022 May

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN Certification, SD-WAN

This document describes the MEF Secure SD-WAN certification test requirements to validate conformance with the Application Flow Security for SD-WAN Services (MEF 88) [3]. The Secure SD-WAN Certification Test Requirements standard is functional, and hence implementation-independent.

Learn More

MEF 90.1 Draft Release 1 SD-WAN Phase 2 Test and Certification Requirements — 2022 May

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN Certification, SD-WAN

These Test and Certification Requirements are the basis for development and maintenance of the MEF Authorized Certification Test Partner (ACTP) SD-WAN Certification Test Plan which is outlined in a companion document to MEF 90.1 Draft (R1).

Learn More

MEF 88 Application Security for SD-WAN Services — 2021 Nov

Product Portfolio: SASE, SD-WAN

This document specifies the Policy Criteria needed to add Application Security to SD-WAN Services. As such, it is based on the framework specified in MEF 70.1. Specifically, security functions and related actions are defined, each of which can be applied per Application Flow.

Learn More

MEF 70.1 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Framework — 2021 Nov

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN

The SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Framework Standard defines the externally visible behavior of SD-WAN Services. A Service deployment is based on an agreement between an SD-WAN Subscriber (the buyer) and an SD-WAN Service Provider (the seller) that includes agreement on the values of a set of SD-WAN Service Attributes defined in this document.

Learn More

MEF 70 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services — 2019 Jul

Product Portfolio: SD-WAN

The SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services Standard defines the externally-visible behavior of SD-WAN Services. The Service description is based on an agreement between an SD-WAN Subscriber (the buyer) and an SD-WAN Service Provider (the seller) that includes agreement on the values of a set of SD-WAN Service Attributes defined in this document.

Learn More

I want to investigate further. See all SD-WAN resources:

What Can I Achieve with MEF 3.0 SD-WAN?

Adopting MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services standards empowers service providers to unlock new overlay digital services potential and best adapt to the application-centric needs of your enterprise customers. Enterprises can, in turn, quickly assess and verify the foundational components and service attributes of a certified SD-WAN service to fully address business requirements. In addition, a MEF-certified SD-WAN service is future-proofed to enable dynamic and automated capabilities supporting operational and control-related interactions related to the service.

MEF 3.0 SD-WAN advantages:

  • Accelerates buying, selling, assessing and delivering SD-WAN services through common terminology.
  • Improves application experience with simplified interfacing of policy with intelligent underlay connectivity.
  • Facilitates orchestration and automation.
  • Delivers confidence that SD-WAN services meet requirements.

What the industry is saying about SD-WAN

Be In the Know

Engage in the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Arena

As a MEF member, you have access to all the standards work, including incubation projects, pre-release standards, and working drafts. Engage with your industry peers and lend your voice to the SD-WAN standards development. Our current initiatives are available in the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Hub on the MEF Members’ Wiki.


All employees of active MEF-member companies are authorized to access MEF Members’ Wiki. Don’t have a login? Register. Not a member? Join MEF. Not sure? Contact Us.

Go to the Member Wiki
Woman with white top

Be In the Business—Differentiate from competitors with MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification.

Get Certified