Global software infrastructure major and hyperscale enabler Microsoft has joined MEF to strengthen collaboration among cloud and communications service providers and contribute to expanded development of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN and SASE standards.
Microsoft’s support will help progress work on a new Universal SD-WAN Edge (MEF W119) standard that defines a common approach to facilitate interoperability of SD-WAN equipment from different vendors with a Universal SD-WAN Edge deployed at cloud and service provider locations.
Azure also intends to contribute to the recently announced SASE Services and Attributes (MEF W117) project that will standardize a new type of service combining network connectivity, security functions, and subscriber policies to meet a higher level of performance and assurance required by modern enterprises.
Microsoft executive Shawn Hakl has been appointed as an Advisory Director on the world-class MEF Board of Directors. Bringing cloud and service provider experience in delivering innovative B2B solutions at scale globally, Hakl’s specialties include innovation, product management and development, enterprise SaaS, SDN, NFV, security, 5G, and edge computing.
Speaking on this development, Nan Chen, President, MEF, said, “The addition of cloud giant Microsoft Azure as a MEF member significantly advances our mission to develop a global federation of network, cloud, and technology providers supporting dynamic, assured, and certified services that power enterprise digital transformation. Azure’s commitment to collaboration will strengthen standards development and boost our overall effort to deliver an on-demand, frictionless customer experience with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over service capabilities – end-to-end across enterprises, digital service providers, and cloud providers. Added to this, Shawn Hakl carries a wealth of experience, including previous time as a MEF Board Member, and we are happy to welcome him back as an Advisory Director.”
Shawn Hakl, Partner, 5G Strategy at Microsoft, said, “Collaboration between cloud and communications service providers has never been more critical in light of the dramatically accelerated digital transformation worldwide and an ever-increasing demand for flexible, resilient and secure access to cloud applications. Microsoft’s decision to join MEF aligns with key goals of our Microsoft Azure for Operators initiative to bring the power of the cloud to the network, unlock the potential of 5G, and drive down costs and create new services and business models. I look forward to engaging again with the MEF community, including the notable team of executives on the MEF Board of Directors.”
Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF, explained, “Accelerated enterprise digital transformation, increased migration of applications to the cloud, and greater demand for lower-latency edge compute capabilities closer to the user are driving a convergence of shared interests for cloud and communications service providers worldwide. Azure and service provider members of the MEF community share a common vision of delivering a seamless, cloud-like customer experience with near-real time provisioning, visibility, and control end-to-end, across an ecosystem of interconnected partners and automated networks. We look forward to Microsoft providing valuable contributions to standardization of SD-WAN and SASE services and engaging in other projects aimed to deliver compelling value to service end users.”
MEF SD-WAN and SASE-Related Initiatives
MEF has nine major active SD-WAN and SASE-related projects, all of which are open to MEF members. Contact SD-WAN@mef.net or SASE@mef.net to learn more about how to become involved in the projects listed below and/or to join MEF.
· SD-WAN Service Attributes & Service Framework (MEF W70.1)
· Application Security for SD-WAN Services (MEF W88)
· SASE Services and Attributes (MEF W117)
· Zero Trust Framework and Service Attributes (MEF W118)
· Universal SD-WAN Edge (MEF W119)
· Performance Monitoring and Service Readiness Testing for SD-WAN Services (MEF W105)
· LSO Legato Service Specification – SD-WAN (MEF W100)
· Intent-Based Orchestration (MEF W71)
· Policy Driven Orchestration (MEF W95)
An industry association of 200 member companies, MEF is driving development of a global federation of network, cloud, and technology providers supporting dynamic, assured, and certified network services that power enterprise digital transformation.
MEF 3.0 services are designed to provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.
MEF 3.0 services are delivered over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV. MEF produces service standards, LSO frameworks, LSO APIs, MEF 3.0 Proof of Concept Showcases, and certification programs for services, technologies, and professionals. MEF 3.0 work will enable automated delivery of standardized Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, IP, SD-WAN, SD-Security, SASE, and other Layer 4-7 services across multiple provider networks.