MEF Announces Progress on Multi-Vendor SD-WAN

Implementation project involving four vendors uses central gateway and common northbound API to enable service orchestration over 3 platforms.

May 31, 2018

3 Min Read

LOS ANGELES – MEF is addressing the rapidly growing problem of orchestrating services over multiple SD-WAN deployments that are based on different technology vendor products. Several MEF SD-WAN vendor members are collaborating in the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project. This and other SD-WAN work within MEF are important elements of the comprehensive MEF 3.0 framework to define, deliver, and certify agile, assured, and orchestrated services across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

Multiple MEF member companies – including SD-WAN vendors Riverbed, Velocloud, now part of VMWare, and Nuage Networks from Nokia and software development services provider Amartus – are participating in Phase 1 of the project. MEF will document the implementation, which can be used by service providers to accelerate their adoption of SD-WAN within the MEF 3.0 framework.

Each SD-WAN vendor is implementing an SD-WAN based on its own products on MEFnet (MEF’s cloud-based Dev/Test platform) and then interconnecting them through a central gateway. The respective SD-WANs will be orchestrated with a single LSO-oriented service orchestrator via the newly standardized LSO Presto Network Resource Provisioning (NRP) API to create connectivity services that span two or more SD-WAN vendor solutions – thus bypassing the lack of interoperability between SD-WAN controllers and SD-WAN edge devices of different vendors.

"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, co-leader of the MEF 3.0 Multi-Vendor SD-WAN Implementation project and Global Standards Architect, Riverbed. “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."

"Nuage Networks believes in an open ecosystem and using the LSO approach gives service providers and enterprises alike the flexibility to deploy services across multiple vendors, allowing for best-of-breed solutions to be developed," said Alastair Johnson, Principal Solution Architect, Nuage Networks from Nokia. "With the market moving as fast as it is, it is essential that we smooth the way for introducing new SD-WAN solutions quickly without the concern of how to get them to operate further down the road."

The MEF LSO-based approach assumes that each SD-WAN vendor enables the standard northbound LSO NRP API – defined in MEF 60 – on its SD-WAN Controller products. MEF 60, formally known as the LSO Presto NRP Interface Profile Specification, is the result of collaboration among service provider and vendor members within MEF as well as external collaboration leveraging ONF’s TAPI model for network resource activation and topology. The LSO Presto NRP API already has been implemented in the OpenDaylight (ODL) SDN controller, providing the SD-WAN vendors with a well-understood reference for porting the API to their respective SD-WAN controllers.

Project participants plan for Phase 2 to add security functions to the SD-WAN implementations to illustrate adding SECaaS (Security-as-a-Service) to an SD-WAN service deployment. Other work planned in future phases includes development of an intent-based LSO Presto NRP API, a VNF license management mechanism, and real-time media-oriented LSO orchestration.

In parallel to the SD-WAN implementation work, MEF members are collaborating to develop an SD-WAN service specification that defines the service components, their attributes, and application-centric QoS, security, and business priority policy requirements to create SD-WAN services. Led by Riverbed and VMware/Velocloud with major contributions from Fujitsu, this project builds upon the MEF’s expertise in developing industry-adopted service definitions like those for Ethernet services and more recent work on Layer 1 and IP services. This specification, when published, will pave the way for MEF 3.0 work on LSO, MEF Information Models, Policy-Driven Orchestration, Intent, and other major projects to be applied to SD-WAN services, thereby integrating them seamlessly into the increasingly automated MEF 3.0 ecosystem.


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