01 June 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Ethernet standards organisation MEF is to tackle the challenge of interconnecting software-defined services using different vendors’ systems by setting up a gateway.
Software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) vendors
Riverbed, VMware’s VeloCloud and
Nokia’s Nuage Networks along with software
development services provider Amartus are taking part in the
first phase of the project.
At the same time MEF is expanding its standardisation work on
MEF 3.0 to take it beyond Ethernet to include IP, SD-WAN and
Layer 1 services. This work "is critical for enabling the
streamlined interconnection and orchestration of a mix of
connectivity services across multiple providers," said Pascal
Menezes, MEF’s CTO.
In order to simplify the management of services that traverse
multiple operators, MEF has published what it calls MEF 62, a
managed access E-line service implementation agreement that is
designed to accelerate provisioning.
Vincent Alesi, a distinguished member of the technical staff at
Verizon, said: "MEF 62 simplifies interconnection between
service providers and wholesale operators while enhancing
Ethernet access services by providing a robust set of
management capabilities. According to MEF, AT&T, Bell
Canada, Canoga Perkins, Ciena, Cisco, HFR, and Zayo joined
Verizon in contributing to MEF 62.
MEF will document the implementation of the multi-vendor SD-WAN
implementation project, which can be used by service providers
to accelerate their adoption of SD-WAN within the MEF 3.0
framework, said the organisation.
Each vendor is implementing an SD-WAN based on its own products
on MEF’s development and testing platform, MEFnet.
They will interconnect them through a central gateway, which
will bypass the lack of interoperability between SD-WAN
controllers and SD-WAN edge devices from different
Joe Ruffles, Riverbed’s global standards
architect, said: "Our customers – both service
providers and enterprises – are increasingly concerned
about how to manage multiple SD-WAN solutions involving
multiple vendors and implementations."
Tim Van Herck, director of technical product management at
VMware, said: "Mergers and acquisitions by service providers
and enterprises are increasing the number of environments using
more than one SD-WAN vendor’s solution.
It’s not uncommon to speak with service providers
that already have three or more vendor solutions for SD-WAN in
Alastair Johnson, principal solution architect at Nuage
Networks, added: "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."
In parallel with the SD-WAN implementation work, MEF members
are working on a specification that defines the service
components, their attributes, and application-centric quality
of service, security and business priority policy requirements
to create SD-WAN services.
Phase two of the multi-vendor project will see the participants
add security functions to show how security-as-a-service can be
added to an SD-WAN deployment.
Menezes said that this work is combined with developments that
will lead to an "orchestrated delivery of on-demand,
cloud-centric services with unprecedented user- and
application-directed control over network resources and service