MEF SD-WAN vendor members collaborate for 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project

MEF said that several of its software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) vendor members are collaborating for the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project. The effort aims to address increasing demand for orchestrating services over multiple SD-WAN deployments based on multiple vendor products.

MEF said that several of its software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) vendor members are collaborating for the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project. The effort aims to address increasing demand for orchestrating services over multiple SD-WAN deployments based on multiple vendor products.

Along with other SD-WAN work within MEF, this project is a significant aspect of the MEF 3.0 Framework to enable the definition, delivery, and certification of agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across automated networks.

MEF's 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation has two phases. The first phase involves SD-WAN vendors Riverbed, VeloCloud (part of VMware), Nuage Networks from Nokia, software development services provider Amartus, and other MEF member companies. Each SD-WAN vendor is enabling an SD-WAN based on its own products on MEF's cloud-based Dev/Test platform, MEFnet; the individual SD-WAN implementations will then be interconnected through a central gateway. The SD-WANs will be orchestrated with one life cycle orchestration (LSO) oriented service orchestrator through the recently standardized LSO Presto network resource provisioning (NRP) API. The result will be connectivity services that cover a minimum of two SD-WAN vendor services, bypassing any interoperability deficits between SD-WAN controllers and different vendors' SD-WAN edge devices.

The approach presumes that each SD-WAN vendor enables the standard northbound LSO NRP API on its SD-WAN controller products. The northbound LSO NRP API was defined in the MEF NRP Interface profile specification (MEF 60), which defines T-API extensions in support of MEF Carrier Ethernet services. The LSO Presto NRP API has already been implemented in the OpenDaylight (ODL) SDN controller to supply the SD-WAN vendors with a defined reference for porting the API to their respectiveSD-WAN controllers.

MEF states that it will document the implementation, which can be used by service providers to accelerate their adoption of SD-WAN, within the MEF 3.0 Framework.

According to MEF, project participants in Phase 2 intend to contribute security functions to the SD-WAN implementations to demonstrate adding security-as-a-service (SECaaS) to an SD-WAN service deployment.

Future phases will include efforts to create an intent-based LSO Presto NRP API, a VNF license management mechanism, and real-time media-oriented LSO orchestration, maintains MEF.

MEF members are simultaneously collaborating on other SD-WAN implementation work, developing an SD-WAN service specification that outlines the service components, their attributes, and application-centric QoS, security, and business priority policy requirements to create SD-WAN services. This project is being led by Riverbed and VeloCloud, with Fujitsu as a contributor, and is founded on MEF's history of creating industry-adopted service definitions, including recent work on Layer 1 and IP services.

Upon publication, MEF says that this specification will lay the groundwork for key projects to be applied to SD-WAN services, such as MEF 3.0 work on LSO, MEF Information Models, Policy-Driven Orchestration, and Intent.

"Our customers – both service providers and enterprises – are increasingly concerned about how to manage multiple SD-WAN solutions involving multiple vendors and implementations," said Joe Ruffles, MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project co-leader, and Riverbed global standards architect. "Using LSO to orchestrate a connectivity service that spans multiple SD-WAN implementations is an immediate and cost-effective solution for them that we want to encourage in order to grow the SD-WAN market as quickly as possible."

In November of 2017, MEF launched the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework (see "MEF unveils MEF 3.0 for Third Network operation"). MEF 3.0 services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV.

MEF will use its annual MEF18 networking event in Los Angeles, CA, October 29 – November 2, to display the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project.

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