The implementation project is the result of service providers becoming increasingly concerned about managing multiple SD-WAN solutions from different vendors, which all require a slightly different deployment process. This problem is making it difficult for service providers to grow their SD-WAN businesses.
Several MEF SD-WAN vendor members are working on phase 1 of the project, including Riverbed, Amartus, VMware’s VeloCloud, and Nokia’s Nuage Networks. The companies are deploying their SD-WAN products using MEF’s cloud-based test platform called MEFnet, and then interconnecting those SD-WAN controllers and edge devices through a central gateway using the lifecycle services orchestrator (LSO) and the LSO Presto Network Resource Provisioning (NRP) API. The end result is interoperability between the various SD-WAN devices from different vendors.
“This means an SD-WAN service will be independent of any vendor implementation,” said Ralph Santitoro, head of SDN/NFV/SD-WAN solutions at Fujitsu. “We don’t define them by a particular implementation.”
According to MEF, the organization’s LSO-based approach assumes that each SD-WAN vendor enables the standard northbound LSO NRP API as defined in the MEF 60 technical specification on its SD-WAN controllers. The LSO Presto NRP API has been implemented in the OpenDaylight SDN controller, so SD-WAN vendors have a well-known reference for porting the API to their SD-WAN controllers.
Santitoro said that prior to MEF’s efforts in SD-WAN, vendors defined their services in a lot of different ways. “Service providers need to have a service definition,” he said. “With service definitions we are defining the vernacular. We are saying what the service components are and how they connect together.”
In phase two of the project, participants will be adding security functions to their SD-WAN implementations. Future phases include the development of an intent-based LSO Presto NRP API, making a virtual network functions (VNF) license management mechanism and the creation of a real-time media-oriented LSO orchestration.
The multi-vendor SD-WAN implementation project will be on display at the MEF18 event in late October in Los Angeles.