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MEF, ONUG Join Hands on Enterprise SD-WAN

Mitch Wagner
10/7/2019

Service provider alliance MEF is partnering with the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), which represents the needs of enterprise users, to refine standards for SD-WAN, the two groups said Monday.

MEF will use ONUG's research into what enterprises want from SD-WAN to drive standards for services that are more attractive to telcos' enterprise customers, the two organizations say. The goal: Helping service providers drive revenue by meeting enterprise needs.

"The two largest buying blocs in the economy are working together to deliver options and choices to both constituents in order for them to build a modern, wide-area network infrastructure," says Pascal Menezes, MEF CTO.

The agreement follows the release in August of MEF 70, which describes requirements for SD-WAN. The MEF 70 specifications are designed to create a framework so that service providers and enterprises can be sure they're using the same language when describing SD-WAN services, so that both sides know what to expect when service providers sell SD-WAN services to enterprises.


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ONUG's SD-WAN 2.0 Working Group is focused on helping solve problems encountered when integrating SD-WAN connectivity into hybrid multicloud enterprise environments: It has developed a reference architecture to define use case requirements for specific deployment scenarios, such as multiple cloud provider connections, application performance assurance, scaling and security. ONUG's use case requirements will influence MEF's ongoing SD-WAN projects.

Nick Lippis, ONUG co-founder and co-chair, hopes to see the partnership result in a multicloud SD-WAN interoperability demonstration by 2021. "Once you see that, I think the ONUG community would be surprise and delighted -- it would receive a warm welcome," Lippis said.

Why this matters
The SD-WAN market has evolved alongside changes to enterprise network architecture. Years ago, SD-WAN provided a relatively inexpensive redundant network to MPLS, to help enterprise branch offices connect to central data centers. Now, SD-WAN provides orchestration between multiple varieties of network connections, including MPLS, the public Internet, 4G/LTE and (soon) 5G. And enterprise architectures have changed: The data center isn't the hub -- it's just one more node on a peer-to-peer network with branch offices. Additionally, enterprises need to connect to mission critical applications on the cloud.

As a result, any developments that make it easier for enterprises to source what they need in an easier, quicker and more reliable way can only benefit all involved.

By partnering with ONUG to get enterprise input on SD-WAN standards, MEF can further extend its mission of enabling service providers to fulfill enterprise networking needs.

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