MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services

November 20, 2019

The SD-WAN market is one of the fastest growing sectors in the communications industry, pro-jected to generate tens of billions of dollars of revenue over the next five years. IDC estimates that the global SD-WAN infrastructure market (excluding managed services) will reach $US 5.3 billion by 2023 at 30.8% CAGR. The United States managed SD-WAN services market alone is projected to reach $US 4.5 billion by 2023 at 74% CAGR according to Vertical Systems Group. The main drivers of this market growth are enterprises seeking (1) better support for SaaS applications and multi-cloud and hybrid cloud usage and (2) easier management of WAN connectivity to improve application performance and user experience.

However, today’s SD-WAN market shares many similarities to the early days of today’s US$ 80B+ Carrier Ethernet services and technology market before standardization and services, tech-nology, and certification became available. This important and fast-growing SD-WAN services market is therefore attracting many new service providers and technology vendors that attach the term ‘SD-WAN’ to their product offering. Alongside high expectations about SD-WAN services that deliver performance/price advantages, greater flexibility, etc., there is a huge need for educa-tion and alignment on terminology. In fact, nearly 80% of service provider respondents in a joint survey that MEF conducted with Vertical Systems Group in 2018 identified the lack of an industry-standard service definition as a significant challenge for providers to offer or migrate to SD-WAN services.

This White Paper highlights the work that MEF is doing in order to address these and other issues that will enable the SD-WAN services market to grow even faster and meet its potential.

The paper introduces the industry’s first SD-WAN service definition work by MEF as published in MEF 70 [1] and the wide range of MEF work that is underway and that builds on MEF 70 [1]. The paper also explains how MEF is addressing the needs for standardized terminology, architec-tural constructs and associated education.

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Communications industry, SD-WAN