Spotlight on SD-WAN | TelecomDrive.com
As telecoms and communications service provider community looks up to do more with their existing networks and enable transformation – Software Defined WAN or SD-WAN is at the forefront of achieving efficient network transformation.
Talking about SD-WAN and its growing importance for the telecoms as well as the enterprise community, Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer, MEF, explained why it is becoming a critical element in telecoms quest for efficient network transformation and at the same time deliver digital transformation for the enterprise community.
“Digital Transformation is happening everywhere and network transformation is part of that. Within network transformation we are seeing SD-WAN being played out very significantly across the globe. Many of our members – because they think it helps them to utilizing both, their existing networks of Carrier Ethernet and MPLS and also utilize the internet in an efficient manner. And, I think it does that in a very elegant way where they centralize policy and focus on application performance as the critical driver for the WAN.
I think there is a centralized policy area that is designed around application performance objectives and other policies. More and more enterprises see that as a way of giving control and visibility to the WAN.” He explained.
Owing to its unique attributes such as agility and efficiency – SD-WAN is also becoming an important thread to grow telecoms bonding with the enterprise community.
Enabling Digital Transformation for Enterprise
SD-WAN is more than just a buzzword today for the enterprise community – whether it is manufacturing segment or BFSI, media & entertainment or ITES – it is fast becoming an intelligent ladder on which digital transformation goals of an enterprise can be realized in an efficient manner. And telecoms are playing a critical role in terms of enabling this digital transformation for enterprise with the help of SD-WAN.
Today, it is fast being considered as a very important tool to enable digital transformation for the enterprise communities across various verticals. As a technology it is gaining a lot of attention from organizations and IT teams today, owing to the numerous benefits it provides over traditional WAN infrastructure – such as agility and efficiency, lower bandwidth costs, scalability and centralized management.
From a security standpoint – SD-WAN plays an important role in terms of centralizing the policies both on the application performance as well as the security side.
“They can create security postures – part of the same SD-WAN policy paradigm, they can describe their application performance objectives or security postures at various brand sites. We at MEF have two specs going on in the form of MEF-70 and we also have MEF-88 which is the security for SD-WAN. These two are being driven in parallel and yet they all come under the centralized policy attributes that enterprises can utilize.” Menezes adds on.
SD-WAN is fundamentally changing enterprises’ approach to networking while driving a successful and scalable digital transformation strategy for them.
One of the biggest advantages of SD-WAN comes in the form of off-site provisioning of services. This is one technology which is diminishing all the geographic boundaries of connectivity.
As a result, with SD-WAN strategy in place – enterprise IT team can easily add sites without changing the underlying network infrastructure.
It also injects more meaningful visibility into network traffic and delivers better local connectivity for enterprise applications in an optimized manner.
MEF and SD-WAN
As an industry body – MEF is playing a critical role towards creation of standards that can be easily adopted by industry ecosystems across the globe. And as part of its SD-WAN journey, MEF has recently published industry’s first SD-WAN Standard in the form of MEF-70 which defines:
- Service attributes that describe the externally visible behavior of an SD-WAN service as experienced by the subscriber.
- Rules associated with how traffic is handled.
- Key technical concepts and definitions like an SD-WAN UNI, the SD-WAN Edge, SD-WAN Tunnel Virtual Connections, SD-WAN Virtual Connection End Points, and Underlay Connectivity Services.
SD-WAN at MEF19
SD-WAN will be a dominant topic in MEF 3.0 Proof of Concept Showcase demonstrations and conference sessions at MEF19, held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.