ONF and Deutsche Telekom Demonstrate Fully Disaggregated Open RAN and SD-WAN

Deutsche Telekom is working with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and eight vendors to test software-defined radio access networks (SD-RAN) and Open RAN in what it calls a fully disaggregated system.  This is the first field trial implementing fully disaggregated open RAN solutions using ONF’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) software platform as defined by the O-RAN architecture. This 4G and 5G Standalone (SA) outdoor trial is live at Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, Germany.

In addition, the Facebook-backed Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is taking part by providing hardware and facilities out of the TIP Community Lab in Berlin hosted by Deutsche Telekom.

Carriers are investing in open RAN to enable a new breed of modular and customizable 5G solutions to accelerate innovation and enable the mix-and-match of best-of-breed components from multiple vendors.  Open RAN gives operators choice and flexibility to customize and optimize their networks. This SD-RAN trial hosted by DT highlights the promise and flexibility of open RAN by integrating components from eight companies: AirHop, Edgecore, Facebook, Foxconn, Intel, Radisys, Supermicro and Wiwynn. Additionally, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is participating by providing hardware and facilities out of the TIP Community Lab in Berlin hosted by DT. The on-site field trial integration and testing is being coordinated and supported by Highstreet Technologies.

The live trial features horizontally disaggregated hardware (separate RU, DU, and CU units), as well as vertically disaggregated software components including an open source near real-time RIC (nRT-RIC) and xApps coming from the ONF’s SD-RAN project. By integrating proprietary and open source components, including a near real-time RIC and xApps, this ground-breaking trial exemplifies a model for how future open RAN deployments are envisioned to take shape.

The entirety of the trial is operationalized leveraging ONF’s Aether platform, a centrally-managed, multi-cloud, cloud-native platform providing Connectivity-as-a-Service, and highlights network slicing with multiple UPFs running at the edge. The SD-Core component of Aether provides 5G connectivity and the control plane running from the public cloud while SD-Fabric is a fully programmable network fabric optimized for the edge cloud used to instantiate a P4-based 4G/5G UPF in hardware.

Aether hosts the Radisys containerized CU while the Intel® Smart Edge Open (formerly known as OpenNESS) software toolkit hosts the Radisys DU to enable cloud-native deployment of the RAN workload with optimization on  the 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor and Intel® vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100. The CU and DU are integrated with ONF’s nRT-RIC, xApps, SD-Core 5G core and Foxconn O-RU.

“The Berlin SD-RAN Open RAN Trial, is a momentous step towards realizing the vision of fully disaggregated and intelligent RAN, leveraging ONF’s leading open source RAN Intelligent Controller software platform. In addition to open fronthaul, this trial includes disaggregated RU/DU/CU units, and also vertically disaggregates the RIC and xApps according to SDN principles. Together, we are demonstrating the power of truly open RAN and ecosystem collaboration to accelerate innovation.”
– Alex Choi, Senior Vice President Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom and Founding Board Member, O-RAN Alliance

“The SD-RAN Berlin Trial with DT is a significant industry milestone for open RAN.  At ONF we are seeing tremendous interest from the mobile community for our open source implementation of the O-RAN architecture, and this trial demonstrates the maturity of the SD-RAN open source RIC and xApp development platform.”
– Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF

“AirHop is thrilled to be participating in this DT SD-RAN trial. We are contributing commercially hardened 5G xApps that work with the complete Open RAN end-to-end solution.  The trial demonstrates that commercial xApps can be quickly integrated and deployed using O-RAN defined standard interfaces to deliver automated performance optimization.”
– Yan Hui, CEO, AirHop

“Open systems are the future, and Edgecore is pleased to be leading the charge and to be providing open network hardware that is running software from ONF as part of this DT SD-RAN trial. It has been amazing working with this dynamic community, and a real pleasure to be collaborating with DT on this effort.”
– Jeff Catlin, VP of Technology, Edgecore Networks

“We are excited to see multiple ecosystem partners collaborating to test and trial this disaggregated Open RAN solution. We have made great progress with the RIC-xApp portability paradigm and we look forward to continuing to make contributions to the SD-RAN project.”
– Manish Singh, Head of Wireless Ecosystem Programs, Facebook

“Foxconn has contributed the Radio Units (RUs) that are deployed in the SD-RAN trial. Given that this represents the first deployment of a truly disaggregated RAN solution, we’ve been very pleased with the collaboration and commitment shown by the whole SD-RAN community.”
– Dr. Benjamin Wang, Sr. 5G RD Director, Infrastructure Product Division, Foxconn

“Our long-standing collaboration with ONF and its partners reflects our priority to collaborate with the Open Source community and aligns very well to initiatives such as Intel Smart Edge Open® targeted for open innovation and developer acceleration. It is great to see an entire portfolio of Intel technologies enabling ONF SD-RAN and SD-Core ranging from Intel® Xeon®  Scalable processors, vRAN accelerators to software offerings such as Intel® FlexRAN  and Smart Edge Open® get featured in this trial, paving the way to the next wave of disaggregated and intelligent networks.”
– Renu Navale, VP & GM in the Network Platforms Group, Intel

“The OCP and ONF have a synergistic relationship, with OCP focused on open hardware and ONF focused on open software that can run on OCP hardware. The SD-RAN trial with DT exemplifies this relationship, demonstrating OCP Inspired™ openEdge servers from Wiwynn, an OCP Certified Solution Provider, running critical components of the SD-RAN solution.”
– Steve Helvie, VP of Channel, Open Compute Project (OCP)

“As a founding member of the SD-RAN initiative with ONF, Radisys is excited to participate in this important SD-RAN trial at DT, demonstrating use cases of RAN optimization and multi-vendor interoperability. We worked closely with the ONF community to develop service models, use cases and in the end-to-end integration of this field trial. This is a significant step towards commercial adoption of O-RAN based solutions by operators.”
– Arun Bhikshesvaran, CEO, Radisys

“Supermicro is excited to have our servers included in the SD-RAN Berlin trial. This trial is a significant step in realizing the potential of open RAN, and it has provided a great opportunity for multi-vendor collaboration and learning. We are a strong supporter of open source and disaggregation, and believe that it is essential for enabling 5G edge, core and cloud networks.”
– Jeff Sharpe, Director, 5G / IoT Edge Solutions, Supermicro

“TIP is pleased to be collaborating to support the SD-RAN Berlin Trial. The RIA sub-group of the TIP OpenRAN project is prioritizing use cases for open RAN that are being highlighted by this effort, so we see terrific synergies working with ONF and the broader SD-RAN community to support this first-of- its-kind trial featuring a multi-vendor mix of RU/DU/CU controlled by an open RIC and xApps.”
– Attilio Zani, Executive Director, Telecom Infra Project 

“Wiwynn is pleased to be providing our edge cloud optimized servers as part of the DT SD-RAN trial. These systems are designed for edge and telco applications, and are certified by ONF for the Aether platform used for this DT trial. We are committed to building solutions optimized for open RAN deployments, and we’re very excited to see this DT trial advancing the state-of-the-art for open RAN.”
-Steven Lu, Senior Vice President, Wiwynn

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM SD-RAN TRIAL EVENT:

ONF and DT will be co-hosting a virtual event October 19th offering an in-depth view into the trial and key learnings from the community. Featuring live keynotes and on-demand talks from operator and vendor leaders from across the open RAN movement. Register to hear about lessons learned directly from the experts who have deployed the first trial of its kind! The event is open to anyone.:

Deutsche Telekom SD-RAN Trial – Webinar
October 19th, 2021
5pm CEST, 11am EDT, 8am PDT
REGISTER HERE

References:

ONF and Deutsche Telekom Demonstrate Fully Disaggregated Open RAN with Open RIC Platform

 

VSG Global SD-WAN Leaderboard Rankings and Results

Orange Business Services (France), AT&T (U.S.), and Verizon (U.S.) topped Vertical Systems Group’s (VSG) latest leaderboard for global carrier-managed SD-WAN. They were followed in the rankings by NTT (Japan), BT (UK), Telefonica Global Solutions (Spain), and Vodafone (UK).  [The rank order is based on site share outside of the provider’s home country, as of June 30, 2021.]

Rosemary Cochran, principal analyst and co-founder of Vertical Systems Group said that global networks are far more complex to manage and administer compared to domestic SD-WAN offerings. They often require service providers to negotiate contracts with multiple countries, meet diverse regulatory requirements, and support numerous network technologies.

This industry benchmark for multinational SD-WAN market presence ranks companies that hold a 5% or higher share of billable retail sites outside of their respective home countries.

Twelve companies qualify for the Mid-2021 Global Provider Managed SD-WAN Challenge Tier (in alphabetical order):

Aryaka (U.S.), Colt (U.K.), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Global Cloud Xchange (India), GTT (U.S.), Hughes (U.S.), Lumen (U.S.), PCCW Global (Hong  Kong), Singtel (Singapore), Tata (India), Telia (Sweden) and Telstra (Australia).

The Challenge Tier includes companies with site share between 1% and 5% of this defined SD-WAN segment.

“We’re pleased to release the first benchmark that measures Global Provider market presence based on multinational managed SD-WAN customer sites,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Enterprises with business-essential applications that span multiple regions of the world are choosing SD-WAN solutions from network operators with the global infrastructures, experience, partnerships and technical expertise necessary to deliver world-class services.”

Research Highlights for Global Provider SD-WAN Services:

  1. Orange Business Services gained the top share rank on the Mid-2021 Global Provider Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD with the largest number of customer sites installed.
  2. Vertical’s SD-WAN Coverage Analysis for five regional markets – North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Asia/Pacific – shows that all seven companies ranked on the Mid-2021 Global Provider SD-WAN LEADERBOARD have good to strong coverage in at least three of these regions.
  3. COVID-19 continues to appreciably impact every region of the world. Just being able to get the SD-WAN equipment and support the services has been a disruptive experience for service providers and their customers.
  4. Challenges cited by Global SD-WAN operators include: workforce health protection, tracking the shift back from remote to office environments, service disconnects due to business closures, and supply chain disruptions.
  5. Most multinational Managed SD-WAN customer implementations are hybrid network configurations that incorporate MPLS, IP VPN, Cloud connectivity or other services, plus multiple security capabilities that are integral or supplied by technology partners.
  6. SD-WAN customers with MPLS connections are migrating to more cloud-suitable broadband services that provide bandwidth flexibility and lower pricing.
  7. Ethernet DIA (Dedicated Internet Access) is the preferred choice for SD-WAN customers that require dedicated, symmetrical connectivity.

Fictitious image of a global mesh connected SD-WAN

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Five of the seven companies on the Mid-2021 Global Provider SD-WAN LEADERBOARD are ranked on the 2020 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD (in rank order): AT&T, Orange Business Services, Verizon, BT Global Services and NTT.

  1. Two companies ranked on the Mid-2021 Global Provider SD-WAN LEADERBOARD – AT&T and Verizon – have attained MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services Certification to date. Additionally, three companies cited in the Challenge Tier – Colt, PCCW Global and Telia – have MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services certification.
  2. The primary technology suppliers to the nineteen Mid-2021 Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD and Challenge Tier companies are as follows (in alphabetical order): Cisco, Fortinet, HPE Aruba, Nuage Networks (Nokia), Versa and VMware.

The Market Player tier includes providers with site share below 1%. Companies in the Mid-2021 Market Player tier are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Batelco (Bahrain), China Telecom (China), Claro Enterprise Solutions (Mexico), CMC Networks (South Africa), Cogent (U.S.), Epsilon (Singapore), Etisalat (Abu Dhabi), Expereo (Netherlands), HGC Global (Hong Kong), Intelsat (U.S.), KDDI (Japan), Masergy (U.S.), Meriplex (U.S.), PLDT  Enterprise (Philippines), SES (Luxembourg), Sparkle (Italy), StarHub (Singapore), Syringa Networks (U.S.), T-Mobile (U.S.), Telenor (Norway), Telin(Singapore), Transtelco (U.S.), Virgin Media (U.K.), Zayo (U.S.) as well as other providers (unnamed) selling SD-WAN services outside their home country.

Closing Comment:

This VSG report highlights the disparate implementations of global SD-WANs. “…implementations are hybrid network configurations that incorporate MPLS, IP VPN, Cloud connectivity or other services, plus multiple security capabilities that are integral or supplied by technology partners.”

That is because there is no clear definition of functionality (yeah we know about MEF’s definition) and no specification of any exposed interfaces, e.g. UNI, network node to network node, or NNI between two SD-WAN networks.

As such, global SD-WANs are really a concept, not a set of required networking technologies with defined reference points and standardized interfaces/APIs.  As a result, it’s a serious challenge for the global SD-WAN operator to ensure interoperability between each of the different subnetwork interfaces so that end to end connectivity is achieved.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

Mid-2021 Global Provider Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD

Shift from SDN to SD-WANs to SASE Explained; Network Virtualization’s important role

Futurium: 2020 SD-WAN market set to accelerate

 

Shift from SDN to SD-WANs to SASE Explained; Network Virtualization’s important role

Disclaimer:

The IEEE Techblog has not covered this topic for a very long time, because there are no standards or accepted specifications for any type of SD-WAN or SASE interoperability.  Those networks are all supplied by a single vendor, but that hasn’t stopped them from gaining market share, especially from legacy IP-MPLS VPNs.  That’s even though functionality differs for each vendor’s SD-WAN or SASE offering and there is no interoperability, especially from one provider’s SD-WAN to another’s.

Network virtualization (defined below) has played a key role in the popularity of SD-WAN and SASE, even though that network paradigm was not included in the original definition of SDN in which no overlay networks were permitted.  (That was referred to as “SDN Washing” from 2011-2014, by SDN strongman Guru Parulker, now Executive Director of the Open Network Foundation.)

………………………………………………………………………………………….

At many industry events from 2011 to 2014, participants claimed that Software Defined Networks (SDNs) would usher in a whole new era for networking.  One colleague of mine said it would be “a new epoch for networking.”  Instead, there were various versions of SDNs, used primarily by hyper-scale cloud service providers (most notably Google and Microsoft) and a few large telcos (e.g. NTT, AT&T).  But SDN never spread to enterprise or campus networks.

When SDN fizzled out, the industry’s focus shifted to Software Defined WANs (SD-WANs), which provides user control of a virtual network overlay via the Application layer. There are three components to a SD-WAN:

  • SD-WAN edge is where the network endpoints reside. This can be a branch office, a remote data center, or cloud platform.
  • SD-WAN Orchestrator is the virtualized manager for network, overseeing traffic and applying policy and protocol set by operators.
  • SD-WAN Controller centralizes management, and enables operators to see the network through a single software interface, and set policy for the orchestrator to execute.

In addition, there are three main types of SD-WAN architecture: on-premises, cloud-enabled, and cloud-enabled with a backbone.

SD-WANs continue to roll out in many different shapes, forms and flavors, without any standards for any type of interoperability (e.g no UNI, NNI, Interface to legacy IP-MPLS VPNs, etc).  Even the definition and certification by the MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) has failed to catch on so there is no uniform functionality between one SD-WAN and another.

Because of its virtualized network architecture [1.], SD-WANs don’t require specific hardware for specialized network functions. Instead, the infrastructure is made of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, also known as white-boxes.  Therefore, all SD-WAN products are 100% software based.

Note 1. Network virtualization is the process of transforming network functions into software and disconnecting them from the hardware they traditionally run on. The software still consumes the hardware’s resources, but is a separate entity that can be changed, moved, and segmented while the hardware remains the same.

The virtualized and software-based version of the network is an overlay on top of the physical network infrastructure. The physical network’s devices like switches and routers still perform tasks like packet forwarding, while how to forward those packets is handled by the software running on the switches and routers.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Meanwhile a newer entry known as Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has garnered a lot of media attention.  This Gartner-coined product category, which combines elements of SD-WANcloud-based security, and edge computing, has gained significant traction in the two years since its inception.

SASE’s remote access functionality and low barrier to entry made it an attractive option for enterprises trying to cope with the rapid shift to remote work due to the pandemic. Within months of the first lockdown orders going into effect, nearly every SD-WAN and security vendor had announced a SASE security architecture, either through internal development, partnerships, or acquisitions.

SASE is the convergence of wide area networking, or WAN, and network security services like CASB (Cloud Assisted Security Broker), FWaaS (Firewall as a Service) and Zero Trust, into a single, cloud-delivered service model.

According to Gartner, “SASE capabilities are delivered as a service based upon the identity of the entity, real-time context, enterprise security/compliance policies and continuous assessment of risk/trust throughout the sessions. Identities of entities can be associated with people, groups of people (branch offices), devices, applications, services, IoT systems or edge computing locations.”

Gartner forecasts that, “by 2024, at least 40% of enterprises will have explicit strategies to adopt SASE, up from less than 1% at year-end 2018.”

A SASE architecture identifies users and devices, applies policy-based security, and delivers secure access to the appropriate application or data. This approach allows organizations to apply secure access no matter where their users, applications or devices are located.

According to Cisco’s latest CISO Survival Guide, almost all (98%) CISOs plan to spend money on secure access service edge (SASE), and 55% of them intend to prioritize 25% to 75% of future IT security budgets on it, according to

Cisco surveyed more than 100 CISOs and security leaders for this report. The biggest shift for CISOs this year is toward SASE, following the pandemic and related trend of working from anywhere in the world, said Dug Song, chief strategy officer at Cisco Secure.

“I think hybrid work is here to stay,” Song told SDxCentral in an interview. Most organizations have decided to maintain flexible work for employees even post-pandemic, which requires changes to their IT security programs.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Many industry experts say SASE services must be built on a cloud-native architecture (like 5G SA core network) and distributed across multiple edge locations.

While several vendors including Cisco and Fortinet have rejected the cloud native approach, arguing that networking and security appliances still have a role to play both at the branch and the edge, it’s a principle that’s reflected in Gartner’s own literature and wholeheartedly embraced by VMware, CATO and other SASE vendors.

Specifically, VMware offers a cloud-native SASE architecture that has combined multiple solutions in it such as SD-WAN Gateways, VMware Secure Access, ZTNA solution, SWG, CASB, AND VMware NSX Firewall. VMware delivers all these solutions through PoPs. It delivers the network and security services in an intrinsic or sequenced manner.

Cato CMO Yishay Yovel told SDxCentral, “The feeling I have is that a lot of the market is trying to talk about SASE now in a generic way, like everybody has everything, or everybody has the same capabilities, and it doesn’t matter exactly how they’re done.”

Yovel also said that just because a vendor claims to offer the full SASE software stack, doesn’t mean it’s been implemented in a way that’s scalable.

Many of the SASE functions — cloud-based firewalls in particular — are compute-intensive, they usually have to be run in cloud data centers and can’t run on the cloud provider’s more numerous content delivery network edge locations.

This dramatically limits the number of locations a SASE vendor can offer if relying on public cloud infrastructure. For example, Google Cloud claims services in 146 edge locations around the globe, but only operates 21 global data centers, which it refers to as regions.

Scalability and availability are another challenge, Yovel noted. In many cases, these virtual appliances aren’t multi-tenant and have to be assigned to a specific customer account, resulting in additional resources being required should the customer bump up against the limits of a single instance.

Yovel argues that unless a vendor’s SASE software stack is unified, customers may miss out on the ability to share context across multiple security or network functions.  He explained that many functions, SD-WAN for example, are only aware of certain contexts like what application is being used, but this context could be used in conjunction with other contextual information like time, location, or identity to inform other parts of the SASE stack.

“We collect all the context elements. It doesn’t matter which part of these engines need them. Everything is built into a unified thing,” Yovel said.

The bottom line for today’s cybersecurity professionals is that both zero trust and SASE networking trends should be watched closely and integrated into forward-looking enterprise network architectural decisions.

…………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.sdxcentral.com/networking/sd-wan/definitions/software-defined-sdn-wan/

https://start.paloaltonetworks.com/gartner-report-roadmap-for-sase-convergence.html

https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/cyberpedia/what-is-sase

https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/top-sase-vendors/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/cisco-report-cisos-sase-spend-edges-toward-75-of-budget/2021/07/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/cato-ribs-palo-alto-networks-other-sase-imposters/2021/07/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/networking/sd-wan/

https://www.sdxcentral.com/networking/nfv/definitions/network-virtualization-and-how-it-works/

https://searchcloudsecurity.techtarget.com/tip/Why-its-SASE-and-zero-trust-not-SASE-vs-zero-trust

 

Masergy Performance Edge™ minimizes packet loss over public broadband connections

Masergy, a software-defined network and cloud platform company, today announced its latest patent-pending innovation which is aimed at solving a fundamental problem with broadband internet transport. Masergy Performance EdgeTM, a new SD-WAN and SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) capability, minimizes packet loss over public broadband connections, making them perform more like a private Ethernet circuit.

“Today broadband is being used ubiquitously” in home and business sites, says Ajay Pandya, director of Product Management for Masergy. “We are seeing this over the last year a lot. We used to sell 60-70% of our sites with one of the links as broadband. Now it’s in the 90’s.”

Broadband can be up to 70% cheaper than private access networks, says Pandya, but it’s still a “best effort” technology that doesn’t always provide reliable performance for applications such as voice and video conferencing.

“If I’m a contact center person or a power-user executive delivering my quarterly announcement to analysts, I don’t want the connection to be any less than excellent,” says Pandya. He also said that Masergy aims to improve the quality of last-mile connections with its Performance Edge.

“Masergy Performance EdgeTM is revolutionary because it turns the low-cost, low-performance access methodology into a high-performing service meeting the demands of today’s digital-first businesses,” said Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst, ZK Research. “It saves precious IT dollars and removes the productivity uncertainties of working from home all within a SASE environment.”

Most companies have become more dependent on broadband since the 2020 pandemic, but it hasn’t always served them well — particularly in cases where guaranteed performance is needed. According to an Altman Solon 2021 State of SD-WAN Study, 50% of IT leaders using only public access say their application performance is insufficient, and 48% say the cost savings don’t justify the lower quality of service. Inherently broadband is a “best effort” technology unfit for real-time data applications like voice and video conferencing. Thus, broadband often fails to deliver the performance needed, causing losses in productivity, sales, and revenue.

“Masergy is working to ensure our clients’ new need for broadband doesn’t impact their business continuity. Remote work success shouldn’t hinge on network connectivity types, and we’ve created Masergy Performance EdgeTM to make sure it doesn’t,” said Chris MacFarland, CEO, Masergy. “Masergy pioneered software-defined networking 20 years ago. We were the first to market with AIOps integrated in our SD-WAN and SASE solutions, and we’re already on the path to autonomous networking — so there’s no better company to revolutionize broadband, making it the high-performance, predictable service everyone wants it to be.

The patent-pending Performance Edge is aimed at assisting home workers, SD-WAN, SASE and MPLS customers in improving their broadband performance by reducing packet loss. The feature can be added on to Masergy’s SD-WAN and SASE services, but there is an additional cost to utilize Performance Edge. In addition, it’s currently centrally managed, so customers need to request it directly from Masergy to turn the service on.

Masergy Performance EdgeTM is available with Masergy’s Managed SD-WAN Secure and SASE offerings and uses proprietary network architecture along with industry standard and compatible routing algorithms to enable businesses of all sizes to realize increased efficiency and productivity. It provides these key benefits:

  • Better Performance: Minimize packet loss over public broadband connections for more predictable application experiences
  • Less Expensive: Save up to 70% compared to the cost of a private line and reduce outages with AI-powered performance visibility
  • Fast to Install: Connect new sites in days versus weeks and boost existing broadband circuits for immediate results

Image Credit:  Masergy

Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst of ZK Research, told Light Reading that Performance Edge could be useful in delivering the “performance of private IT with broadband” for remote workers, retail and small branch locations. Kerravala says Masergy is “using a multitude of different optimization techniques to make that broadband connection work better” with tools such as WAN optimization, compression and forward-error correction.

“SD-WAN does a good job of load balancing across 2 connections, but there are a number of situations where you only have your broadband connection available … Masergy also has their MPLS backbone, so it’s the combination of two that gives you the end-to-end performance. Performance Edge optimizes the last mile, and Masergy has always been good at the middle mile,” says Kerravala.

References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210720005252/en/Transforming-Public-Broadband-Access-into-a-High-Performing-Service-Masergy-Announces-Masergy-Performance-Edge

https://www.lightreading.com/sd-wan/masergy-unveils-broadband-performance-feature-for-last-mile-access/d/d-id/770976?

Learn more about Masergy Performance Edge

 

 

 

Viavi Solutions and Mavenir collaborate to validate new SD, cloud-native RAN infrastructure

VIAVI Solutions Inc  today announced that Mavenir, an upstart provider of end-to-end cloud-native network software for mobile operators, is collaborating with VIAVI for lab validation of radio access solutions in the U.S. VIAVI’s lab test platform, in use by almost every base station manufacturer in the world, provides scalable test systems for validating network performance as experienced by end users, across multiple cells and different radio access technologies.

The year 2020 marked a significant inflection point for mobile networks around the globe. With 229 million subscribers as of December 2020, 5G became the fastest growing mobile technology in history. New MNOs (like Dish Network) were granted licenses to establish greenfield networks to take advantage of this demand. Meanwhile, #1 base station maker Huawei was restricted from supplying infrastructure in markets around the globe. These trends have driven an expansion of the supply chain for mobile network solutions.

VIAVI tools are able to measure the complete performance of the network over multiple interfaces including O-RAN and RF through to the packet core. Capable of emulating one to many thousands of UEs, the platforms create a sophisticated and precise test environment, including comprehensive feature interactions, simulated RF and mobility, accurate replications of real-world user behavior profiles, together with mobility across the radio access network.

What is 5G Infrastructure? Definition and FAQs | OmniSci

“Mavenir is proud to be a leading vendor to mobile operators around the globe, offering software-defined infrastructure that can adapt to evolving requirements for both brownfield and greenfield networks, large-scale to startup networks,” said Ramnik Kamo, EVP Quality, Systems and People, Mavenir. “VIAVI has been a highly collaborative partner with our two companies’ engineering teams working together to prove a new technology against very tight customer timescales.”

“As vendors across the industry develop open, cloud-native and disaggregated architectures, testing against user expectations of service quality will be critical to accelerate adoption at scale,” said Luiz Cesar Oliveira, Vice President, Americas, VIAVI. “We are excited to help Mavenir optimize their advanced radio access solutions based on our unique experience supporting over 200 service providers and virtually every network equipment manufacturer worldwide.”


About VIAVI

VIAVI (NASDAQ: VIAV) is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions for communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, government and avionics. We help these customers harness the power of instruments, automation, intelligence and virtualization to Command the network. VIAVI is also a leader in light management solutions for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, and defense applications. Learn more about VIAVI at www.viavisolutions.com. Follow us on VIAVI PerspectivesLinkedInTwitterYouTube and Facebook.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.viavisolutions.com/en-us/news-releases/mavenir-and-viavi-collaborate-validate-radio-access-solutions-us

https://www.360quadrants.com/compare/cloud-radio-access-network-c-ran-solutions/viavi-solutions-vs-mavenir

 

Barracuda CloudGen SD-WAN runs on Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN Hubs; 5G Next Target for CSPs?

In the new world of cloud service providers (CSPs) taking over every aspect of communications, Microsoft Azure will now be used as the basis of what Barracuda calls “the first SD-WAN service built natively inside Azure Virtual WAN Hubs.”  Those so called “hubs” are interconnected through Microsoft’s Global Network.

The new Barracuda CloudGen SD-WAN is a SaaS  deployed directly from the Azure Marketplace for as many regions as needed and administered centrally in the CloudGen WAN portal for all office locations and remote endpoints. Since the Microsoft Global Network is automatically provisioned as the backbone for anywhere, anytime application access, service providers can create a pragmatic SASE platform in the public cloud tailored to their specific needs.

Virtual WAN diagram

Illustration of Azure Virtual WAN from Microsoft (see reference below)

Microsoft says its Virtual WAN offers the following advantages:

  • Integrated connectivity solutions in hub and spoke: Automate site-to-site configuration and connectivity between on-premises sites and an Azure hub.
  • Automated spoke setup and configuration: Connect your virtual networks and workloads to the Azure hub seamlessly.
  • Intuitive troubleshooting: You can see the end-to-end flow within Azure, and then use this information to take required actions.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Barracuda said that their CloudGen WAN architecture can replace costly, inflexible network connectivity circuits, and the entire network can be dynamically sized to match current traffic workload, which can optimize network performance and minimize cost.

“A cloud-first strategy asks for a different approach on connectivity,” said Leon Sevriens, program manager, IT at Humankind, a large organization in the Netherlands that offers daycare and after-school care, with over 3,000 employees and over 450 locations. “We have invested heavily in Microsoft Office 365 adoption across the organization, and traditional connectivity doesn’t fit the bill anymore. We need a solution that is focused on delivering application performance, not just ‘plain’ connectivity. That’s why we’re moving forward with Barracuda CloudGen WAN,” he added.

In the recent report “Secure SD-WAN: The Launch Pad into Cloud,” Barracuda found that SD-WAN is being used by more than half of those who have added security to their public cloud. As the report explains, “SD-WAN can help overcome the top two security challenges organizations are facing when it comes to public cloud: lack of access control and backhauling traffic.”

Cloud-native, secure SD-WAN:

The perimeter is changing, and organizations need to be ready to adapt. According to Gartner, “The enterprise perimeter is no longer a location; it is a set of dynamic edge capabilities delivered when needed as a service from the cloud.”1

Secure SD-WAN services built natively on the cloud combine ease of use, full security, and cloud-scalable SD-WAN connectivity to use the Microsoft Global Network as the WAN backbone instead of leased lines. The new Barracuda CloudGen WAN is a SaaS service deployed directly from the Azure Marketplace for as many regions as needed and administered centrally in the CloudGen WAN portal for all office locations and remote endpoints. Since the Microsoft Global Network is automatically provisioned as the backbone for anywhere, anytime application access, service providers can create a pragmatic SASE solution in the public cloud tailored to their specific needs.

“With an all-in-one, secure SD-WAN solution natively built on the public cloud network, enterprises can finally make the shift to more public cloud deployments, both faster and more securely,” said Hatem Naguib, COO at Barracuda. “We appreciate the relationship we have developed with Microsoft over the years and the close collaboration over many months to integrate Barracuda SD-WAN technology natively on Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN Hubs. We know this is the future of networking in the public cloud, and we’re excited to be on this forefront with Microsoft.”

Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure Networking at Microsoft said, “Cloud-native, secure SD-WAN technology, like the new CloudGen WAN service from Barracuda, provides a fast, reliable, and direct path to Microsoft Azure. We’re pleased to collaborate with Barracuda for this new wave of faster public cloud adoption to help our joint customers optimize network performance.”

Opinion: The huge implication here is that the major cloud service providers (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud) will be replacing traditional telco networks.  In this case, it’s SD-WAN access and Microsoft’s WAN backbone, but in the future it will likely be 5G network access built mostly from software building blocks.  Why else did Microsoft acquire Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch?

For an Amazon AWS executive’s take on this topic (“we’re partners with telco’s”) read this Light Reading piece.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/barracuda-introduces-first-global-secure-sd-wan-service-built-natively-on-microsoft-azure-301094835.html

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-wan/virtual-wan-about

Will Hyperscale Cloud Companies (e.g. Google) Control the Internet’s Backbone?

Resources from Barracuda:

For more information about Barracuda CloudGen WAN, visit https://www.barracuda.com/products/cloudgenwan

Read the Barracuda blog post: http://cuda.co/40855

Read the Microsoft blog post from Yousef Khalidihttps://aka.ms/vwan-sdwan

Watch Reshmi Yandapalli’s session on “Use Azure networking services to accelerate, scale or re-architect your customer’s global network” for Microsoft Inspire: https://aka.ms/T4D193

Read the market report: https://www.barracuda.com/sdwan-report-2020

Find out Barracuda was recognized as a finalist for Commercial Marketplace 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year: http://cuda.co/40853

1 Gartner, “The Future of Network Security Is in the Cloud”, Neil MacDonald, Lawrence Orans, Joe Skorupa30 August 2019.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Futurium: 2020 SD-WAN market set to accelerate

Despite no standards for multi-vendor operator (UNI) or network-to-network (NNI), Futurium projects continued growth in SD-WAN through at least the next 3-5 years. Enterprises and service providers alike are interested in deploying SD-WAN technology in services to deliver cloud-based orchestration and automation of networking and security.

Based on a survey of 100 end users as well as dozens of interviews with professionals in the IT and networking markets, Futurium forecasts the SD-WAN tools and software market will increase to $4.6 billion by 2023 as enterprises increasingly move their IT and networking services to a cloud infrastructure.

In the nearer term, Futuriom’s founder and principal analyst, Scott Raynovich, expects a market growth rate of 34% CAGR to hit $2 billion this year and reach $2.85 billion in 2021 as more enterprises demand “agile, high-performance, and secure connections to cloud applications.”

Cloud-delivered SD-WAN, a growing technology domain that enables enterprises and organizations to set up and manage secure WAN connections using cloud software deployment and management approaches, is gaining and increasing role to speed up and secure cloud connectivity. Enterprises are buying SD-WAN to reduce the complexity in configuring branch-office devices, routing schemes, and network addresses. With SD-WAN, many of these functions can be abstracted into the cloud and managed by the service provider or an enterprise manager using a cloud interface, rather than using proprietary networking equipment.

The report was sponsored by Aryaka Networks, Citrix Systems, Fortinet, Nuage Networks, Silver Peak, Versa Networks, and VMware (VeloCloud).

Report highlights:

  • Momentum in the SD-WAN market continues. Despite a slight slowdown in the 1H due to pandemic-related supply chain and sales challenges, the market is likely to accelerate in 2H 2020 and into 2021 as the features of SD-WAN serve growing cloud demand.
  • Futuriom expects the SD-WAN tools and software market to accelerate to a growth rate of 34% CAGR to reach $2.0 billion in 2020, $2.85 billion in 2021, and $4.6 billion by 2023. The acceleration will be spurred by demand for more agile, high-performance, and secure connections to cloud applications.
  • The top four benefits of SD-WAN adoption include improved security, better management/agility, bandwidth optimization/cost savings, and faster cloud applications performance. These benefits were picked in our Futuriom 2020 SD-WAN Infrastructure Survey of 100 enterprise end users, which also indicated broadening use cases and adoption in the market.
  • Awareness of SD-WAN is growing as the market matures. In the Futuriom 2020 survey, 92% of respondents said they are evaluating SD-WAN services and/or software.
  • The Work from Home (WFH) trend is giving the SD-WAN market a boost. SD-WAN integrates virtual private networking (VPN) functionality for both remote workers and enterprises branches, which is a key feature demand.
  • As predicted in 2019, M&A and consolidation has continued and is likely to continue. The acquisition leaves fewer players on the dance floor. Aryaka, Cato Networks, FatPipe, Silver Peak, and Versa Networks are all strong candidates for M&A or IPO. (Last year, CloudGenix was on this list – Palo Alto Networks announced earlier this year that it’s acquiring the startup.)
  • Companies featured in this report: Adaptiv Networks, Aryaka Networks, Bigleaf Networks, Cisco Systems (Viptela), Cato Networks, Citrix Systems, CloudGenix (Palo Alto Networks), HPE, FatPipe Networks, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Nuage Networks (Nokia), Riverbed, Silver Peak, Versa Networks, VMware (VeloCloud).

2020 SD WAN Cover Page

Graph courtesy of Futuriom

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

In April, Omdia released similar predictions for the SD-WAN market, reporting that SD-WAN revenue reached $2 billion in 2019, up from $1.1 billion in 2018. Omdia predicts SD-WAN revenue will hit $4.8 billion in 2024.

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed SD-WAN market momentum in the first half of 2020, Raynovich forecasts a pickup in the market in the second half of 2020 and into 2021 as more enterprise employees are working from home and require secure, remote access services.

“Enterprises aren’t going to pay for people to have MPLS in their home, it’s too expensive. SD-WAN is serving its role as a quick, secure VPN for work-from-home situations. That’s a driver of growth,” Raynovich told Light Reading. SD-WAN is continuing to reduce dependence on MPLS and is becoming “one of the go-to solutions to work from home where there is no alternative,” he said.

IT and networking professionals cited “improved security tools and orchestration” (64%) as the top benefit of utilizing SD-WAN in their networks, according to a Futuriom survey of 100 networking and cybersecurity professionals. About 55% of respondents also cited improved management/automation/agility; better utilization of bandwidth/lower cost; and higher performance of cloud applications as the primary benefits of SD-WAN. As network security is a top priority for enterprises, the majority of SD-WAN vendors have added cloud security and next-generation firewall products from security suppliers such as Check Point, Zscaler and Palo Alto, according to the report.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Separately,

Market Research Inc has recently published a new market assessment report titled “Global SD-WAN Market – Growth, Future Scenarios, and Competitive Analysis, 2019 – 2025”. The market study provides an extensive understanding of the present-day and forthcoming stages of the industry market based on factors such as major sought-after events, research ingenuities, management stratagems, market drivers, challenges and visions and all-encompassing industry subdivision and regional distribution.

A key utilization of SD-WAN is to enable organizations to fabricate higher-execution WANs utilizing lower-cost and economically accessible Internet get to, empowering organizations to mostly or entirely supplant progressively costly private WAN association innovations, for example, MPLS. The global market is forecasted to expand rapidly at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +35%.

Request a Sample of this Report and Analysis of Key Players at https://www.marketresearchinc.com/request-sample.php?id=15951

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

https://www.futuriom.com/articles/news/2020-sd-wan-growth-report-sd-wan-market-likely-to-accelerate/2020/06

https://www.lightreading.com/sd-wan/sd-wan-market-to-exceed-$4b-by-2023—report/d/d-id/761907?

Growth in the SD-WAN Market with Trends, Forecast, and Opportunity Analysis Cisco, Citrix System, Aryaka Networks, Cloudgenix, Ecessa

Dell’Oro: Data Center Switch market declined 9% YoY; SD-WAN market increased at slower rate than in 2019

Market research firm Dell’Oro Group reported today that the worldwide Data Center Switch market recorded its first decline in nine years, dropping 9 percent  year-over-year in the first quarter. 1Q 2020 revenue level was  also the lowest in three years. The softness was broad-based across all major branded vendors, except Juniper Networks and white box vendors. Revenue from white box vendors was propelled mainly by strong demand from Google and Amazon.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created some positive impact on the market as some customers pulled in orders in anticipation of supply shortage and elongated lead times,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Yet this upside dynamic was more than offset by the pandemic’s more pronounced negative impact on customer demand as they paused purchases due to macro-economic uncertainties. Supply constraints were not major headwinds during the first quarter but expected to become more apparent in the next quarter,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the 1Q 2020 Ethernet Switch – Data Center Report:

  • The revenue decline was broad-based across all regions but was less pronounced in North America.
  • We expect revenue in the market to decline high single-digit in 2020, despite some pockets of strength from certain segments.

About the Report

The Dell’Oro Group Ethernet Switch – Data Center Quarterly Report offers a detailed view of the market, including Ethernet switches for server access, server aggregation, and data center core. (Software is addressed separately.) The report contains in-depth market and vendor-level information on manufacturers’ revenue; ports shipped; average selling prices for both Modular and Fixed Managed and Unmanaged Ethernet Switches (1000 Mbps,10, 25, 40, 50, 100, 200, and 400 GE); and regional breakouts. To purchase these reports, please contact us by email at dgsales@delloro.com.

Cisco Data Center Infrastructure 2.5 Design Guide - Data Center ...

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Separately, Dell’Oro Group reported that the market for software-defined (SD)-WAN equipment increased by 24% in the first quarter (year-to-year), which was significantly below the 64% growth seen in 2019.  Citing supply chain issues created by the coronavirus pandemic, the market research firm’s Shin Umeda predicted the market will post double-digit growth in 2020 despite “macroeconomic uncertainty.”

“Demand for SD-WAN held up well in the first quarter, but supply chain disruptions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharper deceleration in vendor revenue growth,” said Shin Umeda, vice president at Dell’Oro Group, in a statement. “We still expect the SD-WAN market to grow by double-digits this year, but with so much macroeconomic uncertainty, strong performance won’t be a shoo-in for all vendors.”
Editor’s Note:  There are no standards for SD-WAN interoperability – neither intra SD-WAN (UNI) or inter SD-WAN (NNI).
Cisco, VMware, Silver Peak, Versa Networks and Fortinet, which Dell’Oro Group ranked as the top-five SD-WAN vendors, saw their combined revenue climb above 60% in the first quarter of this year. At various times this year, Cisco and VMware have both claimed to be the top SD-WAN vendor primarily via acquisitions those companies made in prior years.
Additional highlights from Dell’Oro’s 1Q 2020 Router & Carrier Ethernet Switch (CES) Report:
  • Supply chain disruptions accounted for the majority of the Service Provider (SP) Router and CES Switch market decline in 1Q 2020.
  • The SP Router and CES market in China showed a modest decline in 1Q 2020, but upgrades for 5G infrastructure are expected to drive strong demand over the rest of 2020.
FierceTelecom recently reported that Comcast Business was working on a home-based SD-WAN service for remote workers, which is also under consideration by other service providers.
Different Flavors of the SD-WAN Market (And Why Do They Matter ...
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
References:

Dell to offer SD-WAN service based on VMware Velocloud platform

Dell Technologies announced it has started offering a co-branded SD-WAN service with its affiliate VMware, based on the latter’s VeloCloud platform. Previewed at Dell Technologies World in May, the new service is now globally available and supported.

This Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution combines VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud with modern appliances in multiple configuration options. The service is backed by Dell EMC support, supply chains, and services.

“Dell EMC and VMware are rebuilding the network for the cloud era – with everything open, automated and software-defined,” said Tom Burns, senior vice president & general manager, Dell EMC Networking & Solutions. “New SD-WAN solutions powered by VMware and network fabric management delivered by SmartFabric Director raise the stakes when it comes to network virtualization and security in today’s highly-distributed software-defined enterprise. We’re just getting started on our combined innovation.”

Collaboration between Dell EMC and VMware to:

  • Re-define the network for the cloud era with tighter integration and combined development efforts
  • Modernize network operations and reduce WAN costs with new Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution – one-stop solution combining VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, Dell EMC managed infrastructure
  • Simplify data center fabric deployment, operations through enhanced visibility across virtual and physical networks with new Dell EMC SmartFabric Director

Customers have a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. Software subscription options can be upgraded to accommodate changing business requirements for features, duration and bandwidth.

The Dell EMC SD-WAN Solution has three key components:

  • SD-WAN Edge powered by VMware – networking specific, purpose-built appliances designed for high efficiency and reliability
  • SD-WAN Orchestrator – cloud-based management and orchestration software services from VMware, managed by Dell EMC
  • SD-WAN Gateways – a global network of more secure, application-focused access gateways from VMware to handle WAN traffic

At VMworld, Dell EMC and VMware also announced SmartFabric Director, for software-defined networking that enables the physical switch underlay infrastructure to keep pace with the changing demands of virtualized and software-defined networks. Dell EMC SmartFabric Director enables data center operators to build, operate and monitor an open network underlay fabric based on Dell EMC PowerSwitch Series switches.

The Dell EMC SmartFabric Director is a network orchestration solution jointly developed with VMware that enables organizations to synchronize the deployment of a physical switch fabric with the virtual network and gain comprehensive visibility at both the physical and virtual network layers. Organizations can then potentially configure the network fabric in significantly less time than traditional methods. When integrating the SmartFabric Director with VMware vCenter or NSX/NSX-T, organizations can achieve end-to-end visibility of the physical network and all supported virtual overlays. To help organizations continuously monitor fabric health, SmartFabric employs telemetry to collect switch operational data and display metrics graphically at both the network fabric and switch levels.  SmartFabric Director extends the two related companies’ shared vision of a software-defined data center by simplifying the definition, creation and deployment of data center fabrics with intent-based auto-provisioning and enhanced visibility and management between virtual and physical network environments.

Key features include:

  • VMware vSphere and VMware NSX-T Data Center Integration – Tight integration with VMware vCenter and NSX-T enables the physical underlay/fabric to be correctly provisioned for the smooth functioning of application workloads in a VMware software-defined data center
  • Leaf/Spine Fabric Automation – SmartFabric Director uses a declarative model that allows the user to express intent with a set of three well-defined fabric types. Fabric discovery is an ongoing process and ensures that the wiring is consistent with the user-defined intent and removes guesswork for rapid auto-provisioning
  • Fabric Visibility – SmartFabric Director supports highly scalable and flexible streaming telemetry to gather key operational data and statistics from the fabric switches. Comprehensive, highly-intuitive visualization of the time-series data and other information greatly simplifies day-to-day fabric operations
  • Fabric Lifecycle Management – Upgrading switch images is a critical operation in a data center. SmartFabric Director automates the download, install and verification process and ensures that switches are upgraded with the correct images

Dell said that this new service is important for organizations that are using the network virtualization version of SDN [1.] and need to help make sure their physical underlay networks are finely tuned for their overlay network environment. A lack of visibility between the two layers can lead to provisioning and configuration errors, hampering network performance. The new product will be available worldwide in September.

Note 1.  The classical version of SDN, with a centralized controller and packet forwarding engines replacing hop by hop IP routers never really gained critical market mass, despite claims by Guru Parulkar, PhD, that everything else was “SDN WASHING.”

Supporting Quotes:

“Our customers today expect us to deliver the best and most advanced network solutions to solve their business needs,” said QOS Networks CEO, Frank Cittadino. “As a trusted partner to Dell EMC, we’re excited to do that with an SD-WAN solution that marries cost effective hardware with a dedicated orchestrator and VMware gateway. We combine that with our 5-Tool monitoring and management platform.”

“ESG was impressed with how the Dell EMC SmartFabric Director can help organizations to gain comprehensive visibility into the physical and virtual layers of their core networks and ensure that they are synchronized,” said Bob Laliberte, senior analyst, ESG Research. “We see how the SmartFabric Director can significantly ease the time-consuming process of creating and deploying a network fabric, while simultaneously verifying it will operate as intended.”

“VMware and Dell EMC are driving public cloud simplicity and utility across the entire network,” said Tom Gillis, senior vice president and general manager, networking and security business unit, VMware. “With this new SD-WAN solution, Dell EMC customers will be able to leverage the industry’s only hyperscale architecture for SD-WAN deployed at thousands of customers and more than 150,000 locations globally. Our joint engineering on SmartFabric Director will offer customers a tightly-integrated solution for physical to virtual networking visibility, further simplifying network operations and troubleshooting.”

Additional Resources:

Reference:

https://corporate.delltechnologies.com/en-us/newsroom/announcements/detailpage.press-releases~usa~2019~08~20190827-dt-advances-software-defined-networking-with-dellemc-and-vmware.htm#/

 

MEF SD-WAN Service Standard Now Publicly Available; ITU-T SD-WAN Work a Dead End?

MEF SD-WAN Service Attributes & Services Standard:
The new MEF spec defines a SD-WAN service and its various attributes – the first time any standards body or forum has done this.  MEF got involved in the SD-WAN interoperability a few years ago, as part of its MEF 3.0 Global Services Framework.  It hoped to bring some order to a space where every SD-WAN vendor was defining its product and services a differently with no accepted definition of what a SD-WAN was or any inter-operablity (no UNI or NNI).

After incorporating extensive feedback from service providers and technology vendor members, MEF is now moving the draft SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services standard (MEF 70) through the last phase of MEF membership and Board approval. The document is available for download here.

“MEF’s team of SD-WAN experts has worked overtime to develop a robust and timely industry standard following multiple rounds of in-depth peer review,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “We will officially publish MEF’s SD-WAN service standard by mid-July 2019, but we are making the final draft publicly available now because broad industry alignment on common terminology will be healthy for market growth.”

MEF’s SD-WAN service definition 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.

SD-WAN service relies on two or more network connections, directing traffic over one connection or the other based on pre-defined parameters, traffic levels and other variables. For example, a company might use an MPLS VPN and a direct internet connection, with mission-critical traffic routed over the MPLS connection, while less critical traffic travels over the internet connection.

MEF defines the SD-WAN UNI, or User to Network Interface, as the point of demarcation between the service provider network and the enterprise network, determining where each party’s functionality and responsibility ends. SD-WAN Edge defines the services available on the customer premises, which could be available through on-premises equipment or in the cloud. And the Underlying Connectivity Service, or UCS, is the underlay wide-area network, typically MPLS, LTE, cable broadband — likely in combination — and possibly from multiple vendors. Additionally, MEF defines the Tunnel Virtual Connection (TVC) as overlay tunnels that are built over the UCS, which provide interconnects between locations.

In summary, the MEF SD-WAN service standard introduces four relevant SD-WAN terms:

  • SD-WAN UNI (user-network interface)
  • SD-WAN Edge, where SD-WAN functionality is achieved, which could be a physical or virtual appliance such as a virtual network function in the cloud
  • Underlay connectivity service (UCS), which is the wide area network service such as MPLS or IP
  • Tunnel virtual connection (TVC), the connection created over the underlay network

SD-WAN Service Constructs:

MEF SD-WAN Service Constructs May 2019-2

Definitions:
SD-WAN Edge:  Physical or virtual
SD-WAN Controller: Centralized management of SD-WAN edges & gateways
Service Orchestrator: Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) of SD-WAN and other services
Subscriber Web Portal: Subscriber service ordering and modification
……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Standardization will enable a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services. The SD-WAN service definition is a foundational step for accelerating sales, market adoption, and certification of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of service provider networks.

Next Steps for SD-WAN Service Standardization: 

MEF already has begun work on the next phase of SD-WAN standardization (MEF 70.1), which covers more complex service attributes related to application business importance and prioritization, underlay network characteristics, and connectivity to private/public cloud services consistent with market priorities for SD-WAN services. MEF also is progressing standards work focused on LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs, application security, and intent-based networking for SD-WAN services.

Pilot MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification:

MEF remains on track to launch its pilot MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification program in 2019. This certification will test a set of service attributes and their behaviors defined in the SD-WAN standard and described in detail in the upcoming MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service certification Blueprint. Service and technology companies interested in participating in the pilot should contact Alysia@mef.net

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Read more at:

https://www.mef.net/Press-Releases/MEF-Announces-Final-Draft-SD-WAN-Service-Standard-is-Publicly-Available

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

ITU-T SD-WAN work item:

ITU-T has a SD-WAN work item under study, but as far as I can tell, there is no output yet.  The project is named Signalling Requirement for SD-WAN service.

Summary: SD-WAN is an ecosystem of hardware (including customer-premises equipment, such as edge devices), software (including controllers), and services that enables enterprise-grade WAN performance, reliability, and security in a variety of ways. This Recommendation specifies signalling requirements for SD-WAN service. The signalling is to support the dynamically set up and manage the enterprise WAN connections.

The three contacts for this work all are from China Mobile.  Following are highlights from an unapproved draft spec:

Introduction:

[ITU-T Editor’s note in September 2018] It is needed to provide the difference between two types of SD-WAN, one is provided by enterprise itself, the other one is provided by the carrier. This Recommendation address the latter. Contributions are invited.

  • The SD-WAN services could be provided by two types of providers. One type is the enterprise and the other is carrier. This Recommendation addresses the latter. The main differences between the two types are shown as below:Network performance monitoring and statistic collection: The enterprise launched service is only able to monitor the performance parameters of its own end-to-end path. While the carrier launched service is capable of monitoring not only the enterprise specific path but also the performance of the whole network. The over view of the network is more helpful for carrier to plan the end-to-end paths for thousands of enterprise as a whole.
  • Service provision: when the path need to be switched over, the enterprises only has the authority to configure the CPE. If they need to change the path in core network, they have to ask the carrier to do so. In contrast, the service which is launched by carrier can be quickly changed by saving the communication time between enterprise and carrier.

ITU-T References:

The following ITU-T Recommendations and other references contain provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this Recommendation. At the time of publication, the editions indicated were valid. All Recommendations and other references are subject to revision; users of this Recommendation are therefore encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent edition of the Recommendations and other references listed below. A list of the currently valid ITU-T Recommendations is regularly published.

The reference to a document within this Recommendation does not give it, as a stand-alone document, the status of a Recommendation.

[ITU-T Q.3300] Recommendation ITU-T Q.3300 (2014), Framework of software-defined networking;

[ITU-T Y.3011]     Recommendation ITU-T Y.3011 (2012), Framework of network virtualization for future network.

AJW Comment:  It doesn’t appear that this work item has made much progress recently.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….