MEF moved the SD-WAN ball down the field last month by finishing up an information service model that can be used to build open APIs for SD-WAN.
Along with input from Cisco and Verizon, CenturyLink’s Jack Pugaczewski, distinguished architect, played a key role in the development of the MEF 82 Information Model for SD-WAN. MEF 82 was the next step after MEF wrapped up its SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services standard (MEF 70) last year.
Similar to what MEF did to spur Carrier Ethernet services, the MEF 70 standard defined a common terminology and the various attributes for an SD-WAN service. MEF 70 defined the rules associated with how traffic is handled. Some of the key definitions described in MEF 70 include SD-WAN UNI, the SD-WAN edge, SD-WAN tunnel virtual connections, SD-WAN virtual connection end points and underlay connectivity services.
“MEF 82 is strategically important to MEF’s SD-WAN work as it describes the MEF 70 SD-WAN Service definition specification in a programming object model representation, which can be used to build open MEF LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs for SD-WAN," said MEF CTO MEF CTO Pascal Menezes, in an email to FierceTelecom. "Translating SD-WAN service specifications into automation APIs is the heart of what MEF 82 is trying to achieve.
“MEF appreciates the leading role that Jack Pugaczewski of CenturyLink has played in editing this important standard, as well as valued contributions from Verizon and Cisco.”
"We now need to start building APIs for the different interfaces of the MEF LSO architecture," Pugaczewski said. "The information model is the first step in getting ready for building what would be the payload in a API to do a service order, to do service inventory, or, in the future, something like some service assurance for performance management or fault management."
Pugaczewski , who has worked with MEF for about 10 years, said MEF 82 is part of the ongoing work in the MEF Service Model (MSM), which also includes projects for a Layer 1 connectivity service model and Layer 3 VPN, or IP VPN, services as well. In addition to SD-WAN, MSM also defines services across Carrier Ethernet, IP and Layer 1.
"What we're doing here is applicable to be used either in whole or as a part of an effort at different API interfaces," Pugaczewski said. "So certainly at Legato, which is a service order interface between the business application and the orchestrator.
"I believe there's also interest in bringing this to (LSO) Cantata because Cantata is working on the product specific attributes. The enterprise community, we believe, is very interested in an automation API for SD WAN for order and quoting, and service availability."
Because of the underlay network, Pugaczewski said there's also interest in connectivity services for the LSO Presto API.
According to MEF: "MEF 82 can be used with TM Forum APIs where the JSON payload is derived from the MEF service model by YANG-based APIs (via NETCONF or RESTCONF) where the YANG model is derived from the MSM or by OpenAPI based APIs where the OpenAPI specification is derived from the MSM."
In order for MEF 82 to become a global standard, it started out in an ad hoc group. From there, it went into incubation and then project stages before the "comment" stage. Once the comments were reviewed, MEF 82 moved on to a letter ballot. After passing the letter ballot, it was passed over to MEF's board of directors, where there's a wait period prior to their vote. MEF 82 completed the process on July 8.
Now that MEF 82 is a standard, Pugaczewski said he has set his sights on MEF 70.1, which is currently a working draft at MEF.
"We're not going to wait until it's complete in a letter ballot before we start doing our work," he said. "I think the benefit of that, as you can see, is we're getting things out serially without long times in between."