MEF and ONUG collaborate to drive standards for hybrid cloud SD-WAN services

MEF and ONUG are combining their collective SD-WAN expertise for the further development of SD-WAN service delivery models and standards.

The expected outcome will lead to the creation of ONUG reference solutions for SD-WAN underlay and overlay scenarios that will serve as blueprints for accelerating SD-WAN adoption by service providers and enterprises.

Working with its vendor partners, MEF has approached managed SD-WAN from the service provider side, while ONUG has worked with some of those same SD-WAN vendors, such as Cisco/Viptela, Versa Networks and VMware/VeloCloud, on the enterprise side.

"Together we're driving the industry to a large-scale adoption with the projection that SD-WAN will be this technology that will disrupt all wide area networking," said MEF CTO Pascal Menezes. "What we've done really well together is we've taken two of our bigger assets, ONUG's large enterprise assets, and MEF's service provider assets, together. By putting those assets together we're giving the industry, in a very positive manner, great use cases and great standards."

Source: MEF/ONUG

RELATED: MEF puts its stamp of approval on industry's first SD-WAN standard

In August, MEF announced the publication of its SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services standard (MEF 70). MEF 70 describes SD-WAN as a service instead of detailing the underlying protocol level implementations. MEF 70 is part of the MEF 3.0 framework that also includes standardized services.

With the ONUG partnership, MEF will tap into ONUG’s hybrid multi-cloud enterprise user requirements to accelerate development of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN managed services standards, which will also be used in MEF's related certification program.

ONUG has worked on SD-WAN uses cases for years, but it's latest effort, SD-WAN Working Group 2.0, is focused on addressing the challenges of integrating SD-WAN connectivity into enterprise hybrid multi cloud environments.

Stephen Collins, ONUG working group CTO, said ONUG has been working on three or four cloud-related SD-WAN use cases this year. Instead of using the cloud, Collins said enterprises are backhauling traffic to their corporate sites and then making their connections, which may not even be SD-WAN connections, from there. That method isn't optimal for several reasons, including from a security standpoint, Collins said.

While MEF defined the aspects of a service provider based, managed SD-WAN solution, there are still vendors that propose their own solutions to enterprises, which further muddies the waters.

The ONUG working group developed a reference architecture to define use case requirements for typical SD-WAN multi-cloud deployment scenarios, including multiple cloud provider connections, application performance assurance, scaling, security policy enforcement, hybrid environment security integration, and multi-domain connectivity orchestration.

ONUG and MEF will work on joint definitions of common service models and APIS for automating SD-WAN services with an initial focus on the following areas:

• ONUG SD-WAN 1.0 service models and API specifications

• ONUG SD-WAN 2.0 multi-cloud integration use cases

• Application security for SD-WANs

• Intent-based networking and service automation for SD-WANs

MEF and ONUG will provide more information on their collaboration at ONUG Fall 2019 on Oct. 16-17 in New York City and at MEF19 on Nov. 18-22 in Los Angeles.

"The good news is we have each done enough work separately where there's clear overlap in terms of interest, but I don't think defining the problem space is going to be difficult," Collins said. "Then it's just a matter of logistics, planning and setting some goals. We're going to try to get some of this defined in the fall and then we'll be quite active in this collaboration in 2020 and beyond."