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Microsoft joins MEF to support universal SD-WAN & SASE standards

29 Oct 2020

MEF has welcomed Microsoft as one of its newest recruits as Microsoft commits to a vision of collaboration that will help to expand SD-WAN and SASE standards.

Microsoft will support the development of MEF 3.0, a universal SD-WAN Edge standard that aims to create interoperability between SD-WAN equipment from different vendors. The standard encourages the use of a universal SD-WAN Edge to be deployed by cloud and service providers.

Furthermore, Microsoft Azure will contribute to MEF’s SASE Service and Attributes, which aims to standardise services by combining network connectivity, security functions, and subscriber policies.

“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,” comments MEF president Nan Chen.

“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.”

Microsoft 5G strategy partner Shawn Hakl has joined MEF’s board of directors as an advisory director. Hakl specialises in innovation, product management and development, enterprise SaaS, SDN, NFV, security, 5G, and edge computing. 

Commenting on the appointment, Hakl says that communication between cloud and communications service providers is critical. 

“[There is] 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.”

MEF CTO Pascal Menezes adds that digital transformation, cloud migration and demand for low-latency edge compute capabilities are fuelling a convergence of shared interest amongst cloud and communications service providers.

Menezes believes that Azure and MEF community service provider members want to deliver 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 standardisation of SD-WAN and SASE services and engaging in other projects aimed to deliver compelling value to service end users.”

MEF is running nine active SD-WAN and SASE-related projects, all of which are open to MEF members These are:

  • 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)