MEF increases focus on SD-WAN managed services

MEF (formerly the Metro Ethernet Forum) has announced plans to further its work in helping network operators deploy software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) as a managed service. The organization and its OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services) SD-WAN Project are building blocks and use cases within the context of MEF's MEF-55 LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Reference Architecture and Framework. Among other benefits, the work will help service providers deploy SD-WAN as a virtual overlay service within a network-as-a-service (NaaS) portfolio.

MEF (formerly the Metro Ethernet Forum) has announced plans to further its work in helping network operators deploy software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) as a managed service. The organization and its OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services) SD-WAN Project are building blocks and use cases within the context of MEF's MEF-55 LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Reference Architecture and Framework. Among other benefits, the work will help service providers deploy SD-WAN as a virtual overlay service within a network-as-a-service (NaaS) portfolio.

According to MEF CTO Pascal Menezes and Ralph Santitoro, co-chair of the MEF's Marketing Committee, the OpenCS SD-WAN Project has identified SD-WAN managed services use cases and associated business requirements. The goal now is to develop a set of open LSO APIs to enable orchestration of SD-WAN managed services in multi-provider, multi-vendor contexts. Much of this work will build on the MEF-55's Presto Interface, which enables a service orchestrator to communicate with SD-WAN controllers. Project members expect to address such interface functions as LSO provisioning, status, statistics, and analytic events.

The project also expects to develop reference implementations of the use cases as well as a standardized set of SD-WAN service definitions. The use cases include:

  • SD-WAN service tunneled over Internet and MPLS WANs
  • SD-WAN service tunneled over four different ISPs
  • SD-WAN service with SD-WAN edge virtual CPE supporting multiple virtual network functions (VNFs)
  • SD-WAN service with SD-WAN edge VNF running in the cloud
  • SD-WAN service interoperating with MPLS VPN.

SD-WAN proof-of-concept demonstrations will take place during the upcoming MEF17 networking event November 13-16 at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort in Orlando, FL. Meanwhile, the organization has established the SD-WAN Market Education Project to evangelize its SD-WAN efforts. The marketing project has released a whitepaper, "Understanding SD-WAN Managed Services: Service Components, MEF LSO Reference Architecture, and Use Cases," that is available from the MEF website.

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