The calendar just turned toward November, election day and the holidays. News from the SD-WAN sector is not slowing, however. The latest is that the MEF reports that an SD-WAN spec is expected next year, CenturyLink is now offering a managed service based on Cisco Viptela and Comcast Business Customers can ask, “Alexa, how’s my SD-WAN doing?”

I delivered a keynote at the autumn ONUG conference last month in New York City. SearchSDN’s Jennifer English covered the event and did a great job writing up my presentation. Anyone interested can check out her story.

I told the group that SD-WAN connectivity options are vital and should be considered carefully. SD-WAN connectivity is varied. It can be MPLS – which is predominant in legacy WANs – DIA, broadband, LTE and wireless connectivity options. Network operators must make savvy choices. For instance, MPLS is expensive but comes with SLAs and thus provides highly predictable low latency service. Those qualities make it expensive, however. On the other hand, Internet-based approaches are ubiquitous and inexpensive. They can present latency and predictability challenges, the story says.

Those using the global Internet must pay close attention to ISP’s routes to evaluate how links will perform. The point is that it is entirely possible that reliance on the Internet, if not done carefully, can end up degrading latency-sensitive applications. Both that risk and the expense of MPLS can be avoided by using dedicated Internet access or an SD-Core.

MEF SD-WAN Spec On Track: The MEF, which is holding MEF18 in Los Angeles from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, has announced the availability of an approved draft technical specification that for the first time defines SD-WAN services and attributes. The organization says that the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Service Definition standard is on track for ratification and public release during the first quarter of 2019.

CenturyLink Offers Managed Service on Viptela SD-WAN: CenturyLink will provide a managed service around Cisco ‘s Viptela SD-WAN. The service will provide tools, technology and expertise to design, deploy, configure, migrate and manage SD-WAN services. The services will be available across Cisco’s Viptela vEdge series routers and enterprise network computer system (ENCS) 5000 series virtualized network platform. Multiple feature packages will be available, and customer will have access to a CenturyLink Managed Cisco SD-WAN portal.

Four Companies Unveil SD-WAN, uCPE Reference Solution: Four companies will showcase uCPE and SD-WAN reference solutions at MEF. The reference solutions are based on Enea NFV Access Datavision’s NFVi software running on Kontron SYMKLOUD application-ready hardware. Fortinet’s secure SD-WAN virtualized network function, which is managed by Cloudify’s NFV orchestration, will run on top of that platform.

Versa, Microsoft Link Branches to Azure: Versa Networks and Microsoft are partnering on bringing SD-WAN connectivity from the Azure cloud to branch offices. The platform features the Versa Secure Cloud IP Platform as the on premise solution that will enable workers at these locations to connect directly to workloads in the Azure cloud. The system enables secure branch-to-branch connectivity.

Quick Takes: Embratel will offer VMware’s NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud. Embratel is one of the largest telecommunications operators in Brazil…Comcast Business Services is integrating Google’s Alexa with its ActiveCore platform, according to SearchSDN. This will allow IT department personnel to literally ask the system about the status and performance of the SD-WAN.

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