Microsoft, MEF to progress Universal SD-WAN Edge

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MEF has welcomed a new member and advisory director to extend work on a new Universal SD-WAN Edge.

MEF has named cloud-giant and hyperscaler Microsoft as its newest member, paving the way to progress work on  standards defining a common approach to facilitate interoperability of SD-WAN equipment from different vendors with a Universal SD-WAN Edge deployed at cloud and service provider locations.

Further, MEF said Azure also intends to contribute to the recently announced SASE Services and Attributes (MEF W117) project that will standardise a new type of service combining network connectivity, security functions, and subscriber policies to meet a “higher level of performance and assurance required by modern enterprises”.

MEF president Nan Chen (pictured), said: “The addition of cloud giant Microsoft Azure as a MEF member significantly advances our mission to develop a global federation of network, cloud, and technology providers supporting dynamic, assured, and certified services that power enterprise digital transformation.

“Azure’s commitment to collaboration will strengthen standards development and boost our overall effort to deliver an on-demand, frictionless customer experience with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over service capabilities – end-to-end across enterprises, digital service providers, and cloud providers,” Chen continued.

Reinforcing the membership, Microsoft executive Shawn Hakl has been appointed as an advisory director on the MEF Board of Directors. Bringing cloud and service provider experience in delivering innovative B2B solutions at scale globally, Hakl’s specialties include innovation, product management and development, enterprise SaaS, SDN, NFV, security, 5G, and edge computing. 

Hakl said: “Collaboration between cloud and communications service providers has never been more critical in light of the dramatically accelerated digital transformation worldwide and an ever-increasing demand for flexible, resilient and secure access to cloud applications. Microsoft’s decision to join MEF aligns with key goals of our Microsoft Azure for Operators initiative to bring the power of the cloud to the network, unlock the potential of 5G, and drive down costs and create new services and business models. I look forward to engaging again with the MEF community, including the notable team of executives on the MEF Board of Directors.”

In January, MEF named Nuage, Versa and Infovista as its 3.0 SD-WAN vendors and in March, MEF confirmed its MEF 3.0 certified SD-WAN service providers would be Comcast Business, PCCW Global, Spectrum Enterprise and Telia Company.