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MEF-SDCP SD-WAN Overview (June 2022 Update)

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The SD-WAN market is one of the hottest in the communications industry, with tens of billions of dollars in revenue at stake throughout the next 5 years. IDC estimates that the global SD-WAN infrastructure market (excluding managed services) will reach $US 5.3 billion by 2023 due to strong enterprise demand and the embrace of SD-WAN by leading service providers...

seeking to provide enterprises with dynamic management of hybrid WAN connections with guaranteed QoS on a per-application basis. The US managed SD-WAN services market alone is projected to reach $US 4.5 billion by 2023, according to Vertical Systems Group.

Today’s SD-WAN market shares similarities to the early days of the Carrier Ethernet market before standardization and services, technology, and professional certification took hold. There is lot of excitement about performance/price advantages, greater flexibility, etc., but there is also a huge need for education and alignment on terminology to help increase market efficiencies. Having skilled professionals who are well-versed in the emerging common language for SD-WAN will be key to enabling ecosystem stakeholders to capitalize on market opportunities.  Strong enterprise demand has created the need for service providers to deliver a dynamic range of SD-WAN solutions over multiple platforms, hybrid WAN connections and guaranteed QoS on a per-application basis with simplified service and operational management.  

MEF-SDCP is a professional level specialization certification within the MEF Professional Certification Framework. Designed to test an individuals knowledge and skill in the implementation and operation of SD-WAN solutions in multi-vendor environments, it's a technical certification recognizing SD-WAN expertise from a cross section of professionals including pre-sales, consulting, design/architecture, program, developer, project, network and operations personnel at multiple levels including engineers, managers and directors.

MEF SD-WAN Standardization

In July of 2019 MEF 70 SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services was introduced to the industry and shortly after MEF launched the MEF SD-WAN Certification for professionals. MEF-SDCP was the only SD-WAN certification for professionals based on an industry standard. Today MEF-SDCP now incorporates MEF 70.1 which replaces the MEF 70 standard, and now includes MEF 88 Application Security for SD-WAN and MEF W105 Performance Monitoring and Service Readiness.

Based on MEF 70.1, the new MEF-SDCP for 2022 incorporates a significant number of improvements including, but not limited to: SD-WAN Virtual Connection (SWVC) Zones, virtual topologies, performance and policy criteria, SD-WAN UNI routing protocols, UCS UNI, UCS end-point service attributes, performance metrics etc. MEF 88 adds SD-WAN Security functions, policies supporting application flows, middle box functions, certificate authority and validation functions, Transport Layer Security (TLS), IP, DNS, URL filtering, Malware detection/removal, then MEF W105 adds SD-WAN performance measurements, monitoring, service readiness, Measured Information Rate for application flows, zones, but there's much more.

Key benefits of standardization include:

  • Enabling a wide range of ecosystem stakeholders to use the same terminology when buying, selling, assessing, deploying, and delivering SD-WAN services. This helps reduce confusion about service components, core capabilities, and related concepts, thus saving valuable time given the scarce availability of skilled personnel.
  • 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.

MEF 3.0 and SD-WAN

Introduction to MEF 3.0

Launched in 2017, MEF 3.0 is a transformational global services framework for defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks. MEF 3.0 blends sophisticated, standardized services with an emerging suite of LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) APIs to provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

Topic Areas Covered in the Updated MEF-SDCP Exam

  • SD-WAN Concepts, Business Benefits and Value Proposition
  • Planning, Design, and Architecture
  • Deploy, Optimize, Maintain
  • Securing an SD-WAN Service
  • Monitoring an SD-WAN Service

MEF-SDCP and the MEF Professional Certification Framework

MEF-SDCP is a professional level, specialization certification within the MEF Professional Certification Framework.  Earning two professional-level certifications within the MEF Professional Certification Framework including: MEF-SDCP (SD-WAN), MEF-CECP (Carrier Ethernet) and MEF-SNCP (SDN/NFV), earns industry professionals the coveted MEF NETWORK EXPERT status.

Preferred Candidates and Companies

Minimally Qualified Candidates:

  • Have technical and business knowledge of SD-WAN and the ability to apply that knowledge to common SD-WAN challenges in design, deployment, security, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
  • Have an understanding and knowledge of MEF standards and terminology, relating to SD WAN (MEF 70.1, MEF 88, MEF 105).

The preferred network professionals for MEF-SDCP include:

  • Sales Engineers
  • Network Engineer who can demonstrate their ability to manage SD-WAN systems/ Operation Engineers
  • System Engineers (e.g., Application Engineers etc.)
  • Network Engineer Managers
  • Network Consulting Engineers
  • Product Developers
  • Enterprise Solution Designers
  • Network Architects
  • Product Support and IT Directors

Companies to benefit by training and certifying their employees as MEF-SDCP include:

  • Communications Service Providers (CSPs) of all Tiers
  • Technology solution providers for network services
  • Large enterprise consumers of Ethernet Business Services
  • System Integrators and Consultants supporting CSPs

MEF-SDCP Benefits: Considering rapid growth of the SD-WAN market, the benefits of MEF-SDCP certification to you as an individual are immeasurable, including but not limited to:

  • Global recognition of your vendor-neutral MEF SD-WAN standards certification knowledge, and the upward trajectory of your career path as industry stakeholders develop, deliver and consume new generations of dynamic services across automated networks.
  • Alignment of your knowledge and competencies with MEF 3.0, as this global services framework gains momentum supported by major operators and technology providers alike.
  • A direct connection to the global MEF Community having 200+ member companies and 7000+ certified professionals in 85 countries and 436 employer organizations.

The following live diagram illustrates current MEF-SDCP SD-WAN Certified Professionals to their job functions:

The following live diagram illustrates MEF-SDCP SD-WAN Certified Professionals by geographic location:

The benefits for companies having an SD-WAN certified professionals employee pool are equally substantial:

  • CSPs: Acquiring the depth of knowledge on the MEF SD-WAN standardization across the organization needed to develop, sell and deliver dynamic, orchestrated services enabling new customer acquisition opportunities.
  • Enterprises: Becoming a technically informed buyer of services, leveraging available service features, to driving network efficiencies and lower costs.
  • Technology Suppliers, Consultants and Integrators: Positioning your company to win SD-WAN business opportunities with certified skills and improving your marketing message.
  • All: The ability to recruit and retain the best and the brightest by offering the valuable, globally recognized MEF training and certifications.

MEF-SDCP Exam Information

  • Description: MEF-SDCP SD-WAN Certified Professional
  • Title: MEF-SDCP (Blueprint B)
  • Questions: 50 questions in 90 minutes
  • Delivery: Electronically via secure login, on-site or remote proctored by qualified proctor
  • Language: English only
  • Credential Awarded: 'MEF-SDCP SD-WAN Certified Professional' designation upon passing the exam. Valid for 3 years
  • Re-Certification:  Within three years of certification, prior to certificate expiration

Study Resources:

The following study resources are currently available for preparation:

Please consider contacting a MEF Accredited Training Provider (MEF-ATP) to assist in your learning experience.

Certification Exam Price

The price for this MEF Professional Certification Exam is only US$420.00 (Bulk quantity corporate or regional pricing may be available). Re-take attempts (two within 6 months of first exam) are $100 each. Re-certification is required every three years at a cost of $300. Individual MEF-ATP's may bundle exam prices with training costs. Registered exams are valid for six months from the registration date. Registration extensions are an available option.

Candidate Recognition

Getting Started

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