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MEF SD-WAN (MEF-SDCP) Overview

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Introduction to the MEF SD-WAN Certified Professional (MEF-SDCP) Overview

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.

Comprehensive SD-WAN training by MEF-Accredited Training Providers and MEF 3.0, MEF-SDCP becomes is an excellent career enabler for SD-WAN service providers, integrators, network consultants, technology solution providers, and more.

MEF SD-WAN Standardization

In July 2019, MEF published the industry’s first global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes to help accelerate SD-WAN market growth and facilitate creation of powerful new MEF 3.0 hybrid networking solutions for digital transformation. Combining standardized SD-WAN services with dynamic high-speed underlay connectivity services – including Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, and IP – will enable service providers to offer networking solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

MEF’s SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) 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.

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 MEF-SDWAN Exam

  • Assessing, planning and designing:  scenario’s of size and scale, implementations, applications, strategy, and business requirements.
  • Implementation:  MEF 70 related to business requirements, application flow, policy, underlay services, characteristics, and migration strategy.
  • Lifecycle Service Orchestration: service impacting issues, diagnostics, performance metrics, and troubleshooting.
  • Components and Features: fundamentals and characteristics of SD-WAN solutions, service components, and service attributes.

MEF-SDCP and the MEF Professional Certification Framework

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

Preferred Candidates and Companies

As a technical certification, preferred network professionals for MEF-SDCP include:

  • 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
  • Sales Engineers
  • 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 6000+ certified professionals in 85 countries.

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

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

The benefits for companies having 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-CECP Exam Information

  • Description: MEF-SDCP SD-WAN Certified Professional
  • Title: MEF-SDCP (Blueprint A)
  • Questions: 40 questions in 60 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
  • Learning Domains (Topics) Covered:
    • Assessing, planning and designing:  scenario’s of size and scale, implementations, applications, strategy, and business requirements.
    • Implementation:  MEF 70 related to business requirements, application flow, policy, underlay services, characteristics, and migration strategy.
    • Lifecycle Service Orchestration: service impacting issues, diagnostics, performance metrics, and troubleshooting.
    • Components and Features: fundamentals and characteristics of SD-WAN solutions, service components, and service attributes.
  • Re-Certification:  Within three years of certification, prior to certificate expiration

Training, Self-Study and Costs

MEF Accredited Training Providers (MEF-ATP’s) offer training course and certification exams on a global basis. Click here for a list of MEF-ATPs and additional information. Over 90% of MEF Certified Professionals have been formally trained by MEF-ATPs before taking the exam.

Self-study is available to anyone. Self-study sources include the MEF-SDCP Exam Blueprint.  Please check with MEF-ATPs for on-line self-study options.

Registration price for this Certification Exam is $420.

Candidate Recognition

Getting Started

Begin your journey and become a globally recognized MEF-SDCP.

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