MEF unveils technical specs for SD-WAN service definitions

30 October 2018 | James Pearce

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MEF has announced a new draft technical specification that aims to define an SD-WAN service and its various attributes.

As demand for software-defined wide area networks grows amongst enterprises, MEF and its technology and service provider partners is looking to ratify and release its MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Atrributes and Service Definition standard in the first quarter of 2019.

SD-WAN standardisation will “enable a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying and delivering SD-WAN” according to MEF.

The standardisation of SD-WAN is part of the industry body’s MEF 3.0 Global Services Framework, launced at MEF17 in Orlando last year. It aims to standardise carrier Ethernet, IP, optical transport, SD-WAN, security, and other virtualised services orchestrated over programmable networks.

The SD-WAN service includes requirements for an application-aware over-the-top WAN connectivity service using policies to determine how application flows on an enterprise network are managed over multiple underlay networks.

Laurent Perrin, head of application driven networks, connectivity, at Orange Business Services, said: “OBS is very pleased to support the first MEF SD-WAN standard. Our customers are expecting agile and application driven network services and we believe that this new standard will facilitate the adoption and deployment of SD-WAN.”

MEF said its standardisation of carrier Ethernet services has seen those operating in that sector – which generates more than $50 billion in estimated annual revenues globally – experience a number of benefits. SD-WAN standardisation will alo bring benefits, it claims, including reducing confusion around SD-WAN, enabling service providers and partners to focus on core common capabilities, and paving the way for the creation of SD-WAN certification, which will help stimulate trust in SD-WAN services.

“MEF’s groundbreaking work in standardising as SD-WAN service addresses one of the biggest obstacles impacting SD-WAN market growth,” claimed MEF president Nan Chen. “In a recent joint MEF and Vertical Systems Group survey of service providers, nearly 80% identified the lack of an industry standard service definition as a significant challenge for service providers to offer or migrate to SD-WAN services.”