MEF publishes SD-WAN standard

Aug. 21, 2019
MEF has published a global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes. SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) was officially approved by ...

MEF has published a global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes. SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) was officially approved by MEF members and ratified by the MEF board of directors at the organization's recent annual members meeting.

SD-WAN service standardization has been conducted within the context of the MEF 3.0 Global services Framework. It is part of an initiative to define, deliver, and certify a family of dynamic carrier Ethernet (CE), optical transport, IP, SD-WAN, and security services orchestrated across automated networks using LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs.

"We want to thank the SD-WAN team for the incredible job they have done in bringing this industry-first standard to market in a timely manner," said Nan Chen, president, MEF. "Combining standardized SD-WAN services with dynamic high-speed underlay connectivity services - including carrier Ethernet, optical transport, and IP - enables service providers to deliver powerful MEF 3.0 hybrid networking solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities."

The SD-WAN standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them.

MEF 70 is intended to define:

  • Service attributes that describe the externally visible behavior of an SD-WAN service as experienced by the subscriber
  • Rules associated with how traffic is handled
  • Technical concepts and definitions like an SD-WAN UNI, the SD-WAN Edge, SD-WAN Tunnel Virtual Connections, SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Points, and Underlay Connectivity Services

MEF already has begun work on the next phase of SD-WAN standardization - MEF 70.1 - including defining: service attributes for application flow performance and business importance; SD-WAN service topology and connectivity; and underlay connectivity service parameters.

MEF also is progressing related standards work focused on application security for SD-WAN services, intent-based networking for SD-WAN to simplify the subscriber-to-service provider interface, and information and data modeling standards to accelerate LSO API development for SD-WAN services.

Robert Victor, senior vice president of product management, Comcast Business, said: "MEF 3.0 SD-WAN standardization is a critical contribution to the industry, helping eliminate obstacles to the market adoption of SD-WAN. MEF is committed to establishing a common terminology and set of standards for industry stakeholders. We're excited to see how this helps speed our customers' transition from legacy to next generation SD-WAN networks like Comcast Business's ActiveCore platform."

MEF is on track to launch its MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification pilot program in 4Q 2019. The certification will test a set of service attributes and their behaviors defined in MEF 70 and described in detail in the upcoming MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification Test Requirements (MEF 90) document.