Vertel names telco veteran Tony Hudson as commercial director

Sydney-based critical network specialist Vertel has appointed Tony Hudson as its commercial director with a brief to lead the firm’s sales, marketing and customer experience teams.

A member of the Metro Ethernet Forum, Vertel specialises in the design, build and operation of wireless networks for corporations, government and service providers.

Vertel said Hudson – who has some three decades experience in the information technology and telecommunication sectors – joined its ranks in 2016 as Head of Government.

Prior to Vertel, he worked at Singtel Optus for 15 years, with eight years in the role of industry manager, NSW government. In addition, Hudson has also held positions with IBM and WordFlow Information Liquidity, an Australian start-up, as director of sales.

Theo Belekas, Managing Director, said, “Tony brings a unique combination of industry experience, a strong focus on customer success and an understanding of Vertel’s vision of smarter, healthier, and safer Australian communities. Tony will help Vertel continue to service organisations that place significant value on highly-available, reliable and secure network connections, and Quality of Service-enabled managed networks and services, backed by strong networking expertise and support. “

MEF publishes industry’s first SD-WAN standard

MEF has flagged the publication of the industry’s first global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes.

SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) was officially approved by MEF members and ratified by the MEF Board of Directors at the organization’s recent Annual Members Meeting.

The SD-WAN service standardization forms part of a transformational initiative to define, deliver, and certify a family of dynamic Carrier Ethernet (CE), Optical Transport, IP, SD-WAN, and security services orchestrated across automated networks using LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs.

“We want to thank the SD-WAN team for the incredible job they have done in bringing this industry-first standard to market in a timely manner,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “Combining standardized SD-WAN services with dynamic high-speed underlay connectivity services – including Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, and IP – enables service providers to deliver powerful MEF 3.0 hybrid networking solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.”

SD-WAN standardization has enjoyed public support from dozens of service and technology providers and has included important contributions from Nuage Networks from Nokia, Fujitsu Network Communications, Amdocs, Ceragon, Cisco, Colt, Futurewei, Silver Peak, TDS Telecom, Verizon, and other MEF member companies.

What is in the SD-WAN Standard and Why is it Relevant?

The SD-WAN standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them.

MEF 70, among other things, 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 standardization offers numerous benefits that will help accelerate SD-WAN market growth while improving overall customer experience with hybrid networking solutions. Key benefits include:

  • Enabling a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services.
  • Making it easier to interface policy with intelligent underlay connectivity services to provide a better end-to-end application experience with guaranteed service resiliency.
  • Facilitating inclusion of SD-WAN services in standardized LSO architectures, thereby advancing efforts to orchestrate MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services across automated networks.
  • Paving the way for creation and implementation of certified MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services, which will give users confidence that a service meets a fundamental set of requirements.

Next Steps for SD-WAN Standardization

MEF said it has started work on the next phase of SD-WAN standardization – MEF 70.1 – a process which includes defining:

  • Service attributes for application flow performance and business importance.
  • SD-WAN service topology and connectivity.
  • Underlay connectivity service parameters.

In addition, MEF also is progressing related standards work focused on:

  • Application security for SD-WAN services.
  • Intent-based networking for SD-WAN that will simplify the subscriber-to-service provider interface.
  • Information and data modeling standards that will accelerate LSO API development for SD-WAN services.

Roman Pacewicz, Chief Product Officer, AT&T Business

“We’re seeing a significant change in how customers are using SD-WAN now versus two years ago, and that evolution is what makes service standards from MEF so critical. Today, and moving forward, SD-WAN is about delivering application performance. As the underlying networks — Optical Transport, Carrier Ethernet, and IP — are under greater pressure to be more ubiquitous, easy to provision, on-demand and elastic, that is where the MEF 3.0 construct comes into play. MEF’s role is creating a standards-based, intelligent network across multiple carriers that will eliminate friction as we work with each other to deliver application performance at the level of efficiency our customers are seeking.”

Robert Victor, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business 

“MEF 3.0 SD-WAN standardization is a critical contribution to the industry, helping eliminate obstacles to the market adoption of SD-WAN. MEF is committed to establishing a common terminology and set of standards for industry stakeholders.  We’re excited to see how this helps speed our customers transition from legacy to next generation SD-WAN networks like Comcast Business’s ActiveCore™ platform.”

Shawn Hakl, Senior Vice President Business Products, Verizon

“Verizon is pleased to support MEF’s industry-leading SD-WAN standardization work. SD-WAN is the way to interface policy with an intelligent software defined network, and standardization makes it easier for integration to work across multiple types of underlying transport services. What that means for our end customers is it lets them get a better overall experience relative to their applications, with support for a broader range of use cases, guaranteed service resiliency, and improved service capabilities in an always on, always connected world.”

 

MEF unveils final draft SD-WAN service standard

MEF has announced the public availability of MEF’s final draft standard that, for the first time in the industry, defines an SD-WAN service and its various attributes.

After incorporating extensive feedback from service provider and technology members, MEF is now moving the draft SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services standard (MEF 70) through the last phase of membership and Board approval. The document is available for download here.

“MEF’s team of SD-WAN experts has worked overtime to develop a robust and timely industry standard following multiple rounds of in-depth peer review,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “We will officially publish MEF’s SD-WAN service standard by mid-July 2019, but we are making the final draft publicly available now because broad industry alignment on common terminology will be healthy for market growth.”

MEF’s SD-WAN service definition standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them.

Standardization will enable a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services. The SD-WAN service definition is a foundational step for accelerating sales, market adoption, and certification of MEF 3.0 SD-WAN services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of service provider networks.

Next Steps for SD-WAN Service Standardization

MEF already has begun work on the next phase of SD-WAN standardization (MEF 70.1), which covers more complex service attributes related to application business importance and prioritization, underlay network characteristics, and connectivity to private/public cloud services consistent with market priorities for SD-WAN services. MEF also is progressing standards work focused on LSO APIs, application security, and intent-based networking for SD-WAN services.

Pilot MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification

MEF remains on track to launch its pilot MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification program in 2019. This certification will test a set of service attributes and their behaviors defined in the SD-WAN standard and described in detail in the upcoming MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification Blueprint. Service and technology companies interested in participating in the pilot should contact Alysia@mef.net.

SD-WAN Content in the MEF-SDN/NFV Exam

Given the close relationship between SD-WAN and software-defined network environments, the MEF-SDN/NFV Certified Professional (MEF-SDN/NFV) exam and related training programs incorporate general SD-WAN information. This is an important step toward overcoming organizational skills gaps that can impede successful network and service transformation.

SD-WAN Services On-Demand Webinar

MEF invites industry professionals to view a new educational webinar – Standardized MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services: Aligning the Industry – that is available on-demand here.

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 at the JW Marriott LA LIVE in Los Angeles, California. Visit http://www.MEF19.com for registration and event information.

Michael Strople, President, Allstream

“Customers are embracing SD-WAN to improve network performance, obtain affordable and reliable connectivity to cloud applications, and gain greater visibility and control over network services. MEF’s SD-WAN service standardization will benefit all industry stakeholders by eliminating confusion regarding SD-WAN service components, core capabilities, and concepts. Standardization also will enable service and technology providers to focus on providing a core set of common capabilities and then building on that for differentiated offerings, helping ensure maximum flexibility for customers.”

Mirko Voltolini, Global Head of Network of Demand, Colt Technology Services

“The MEF 70 standard sets the foundation for the adoption of common SD-WAN service attributes between service providers. The definition of a common standard for SD-WAN services will allow the industry to coordinate and align on the technology development. It will enable us to build end to end services across disparate service providers’ domains and serve our global customer needs.”

Ralph Santitoro, Head of SDN/NFV/SD-WAN Services, Fujitsu Network Communications

“SD-WAN services are transformative and have raised the expectations for network services.  They enable subscribers to focus on application performance and visibility and apply policies to regulate compliance based on business importance and security. SD-WAN services also facilitate and accelerate an enterprise’s multi-cloud digital transformation. The MEF 70 standard is the commencement of several MEF SD-WAN projects that I anticipate will simplify operations and accelerate the time to sell, deploy and support SD-WAN services.”

 Rosemary Cochran, Principal Analyst & Co-Founder, Vertical Systems Group

“In the latest MEF/Vertical survey, service providers worldwide cited the lack of an industry-accepted SD-WAN definition as a major business challenge. MEF is tackling this key issue with the first SD-WAN Service Standard resource that defines the common terminology and frameworkneeded by service providers and technology suppliers working to expand the SD-WAN market.”

Greg Bryan, Senior Manager, Enterprise Research, TeleGeography

“Our WAN Manager Survey indicates that in 2018 fewer than 1/5th of enterprises had already installed SD-WAN and 1/3 were still researching their SD-WAN options. With dozens of potential suppliers to choose from – from technology start-ups to large SD-WAN managed service providers – WAN managers will benefit from the standards MEF has worked to create in this spac

Converge ICT underpins Ethernet capabilities with MEF CE 2.0 Certification

Converge ICT (CICT) Solutions, the leading provider of pure fiber internet solutions in the Philippines, today announced it has further strengthened its Carrier Ethernet services capabilities with successful completion of MEF CE 2.0 Certification. The certification augments the company’s core solutions competencies.

The rigorous CE 2.0 testing included certification of E-Line EPL/EVPL, E-Access EPL/EVPL, and E-LAN/EP-LAN service configurations, and was performed across CICT’s deployed metro core and regional transport infrastructure leveraging the Coriant® 7090 Packet Transport Platform and Coriant Transcend™ Chorus network management solution.

“This important milestone reinforces our ability to meet our customers’ stringent performance requirements with a portfolio of best-in-class Ethernet services,” said Jesus Romero, Chief Operating Officer, Converge ICT Solutions. “Our advanced Carrier Ethernet capabilities also provide the reliable foundation for enhanced service interoperability and interconnection leveraging standards-based CE 2.0 interworking.”

Currently in the midst of a massive nationwide fiber network rollout, CICT has taken a holistic approach to the company’s expansion efforts. As a result, CICT’s strategy includes ensuring that its portfolio of product offerings is fully reinforced to better serve its target markets and customers. That is the primary reason behind its engagement with industry-leading packet optical transport provider Coriant, who provided support during the certification process.

The MEF CE 2.0 Services Certification Program enables service providers to certify that their connectivity services comply with the relevant MEF specifications. The program has been a driving force behind the successful deployment of Carrier Ethernet services worldwide. The Converge CE 2.0 services certification testing was administered by MEF’s approved third-party testing entity Iometrix, and was conducted in July.

Nan Chen, President of MEF said, “MEF congratulates Converge upon the successful completion of the rigorous testing associated with MEF CE 2.0 services certification, our widely recognized standard of excellence for service performance in the global marketplace. This achievement demonstrates the company’s commitment to developing and delivering innovative Ethernet services that meet demanding application requirements.” 

The CICT nationwide deployment of the Coriant® 7090 Packet Transport Platform spans over 450 sites and enables Converge to better serve the broadband, wholesale, and cloud connectivity needs of its small, medium, and large enterprise customers. 

“We are pleased to be a trusted partner to Converge ICT and were excited to have the opportunity to provide configuration support during the company’s recent MEF certification testing,” said Alfred Ling, Managing Director, North Asia & Oceania, Coriant. “Our CE 2.0-capable transport solutions are purpose-built for the fast, efficient, and reliable introduction of carrier-grade Ethernet connectivity, which enables service providers like Converge to differentiate their end-to-end service offerings.”

MEF flags availability of first operator-grade SDN/NFV professional certification

Industry association MEF has released a first MEF SDN/NFV professional certification, which it bills as the first industry-wide certification that validates professionals’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in the domains of software-defined networking and network functions virtualization.

MEF also announced that five training companies that are members of the prestigious MEF Accredited Training Provider (MEF-ATP) program are qualified to deliver approved training for this certification. Incentives for IT/telecom professionals to earn this credential were also announced today by MEF.

“We are delighted that MEF has created yet another skills certification in software-centric networking technologies, adding to its world-renowned Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF-CECP) credential,” said MEF president Nan Chen.

“Given the rising deployment of SDN and NFV solutions globally, and the tremendous potential for telecom and enterprise IT organizations to leverage SDN and NFV, we are confident that this certification will open new doors, new jobs, and new horizons for the networking workforce,” Chen added. “

Organizations that encourage their IT professionals to train for and earn this credential will signal their commitment to excellence in their workforce. Already we have received inquiries from companies wanting to get their engineers, operators and technical architects certified.”

MEF kicks off MEF18 Proof of Concept Showcase call for proposals

MEF has opened the call for proposals for its fifth annual Proof of Concept, which the organization tipped as is the centerpiece of the MEF18 global networking event, held 29 October – 2 November 2018 at JW Marriott LA LIVE, in Los Angeles, California.

This year’s PoC Showcase will feature some 16 live demonstrations featuring innovative communications service providers and technology vendors. “The Showcase will provide valuable insight into how agile, assured, and orchestrated services can be delivered across automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks in accordance with the MEF 3.0 framework.”

Earlier this month, MEF announced that the MEF 3.0 Transformational Global Services Framework has achieved a significant milestone with the publication of two new specifications advancing the orchestration of MEF 3.0 connectivity services over multiple network technology domains.

The new standards – the Network Resource Management: Information Model (MEF 59) and Network Resource Provisioning: Interface Profile Specification (MEF 60) – were developed within MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Reference Architecture.

MEF, which bills itself as the driving force enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated communications services across a global ecosystem of automated networks, spruiked the PoC Showcase as a key opportunity for service providers and technology suppliers to collaborate on new approaches for delivering the industry’s most advanced services.

Nan-Chen “We are excited that this year’s Showcase will feature two types of PoC demonstrations: those proposed specifically for MEF18 that spotlight highly differentiated commercial solutions as in past years and – for the first time – demonstrations of MEF 3.0 implementation projects driven by MEF members,” said MEF CTO Pascal Menezes.

“Each year, the PoC Showcase plays an instrumental role in highlighting the impactful achievements of our members over the past 12 months,” .added Menezes.

“We are eager to share the latest advancements on the transformational journey to enable cloud-like network services over automated and interconnected networks powered by LSO, SDN, and NFV.”