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Telecom Trends : Metro Ethernet Forum

Industry body MEF (which, to many of us, will always be known as the Metro Ethernet Forum), has teamed up with to launch the beta programme for certification of secure access service edge (SASE) products and services, a move that has gained the support of a number of major industry names, including Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks and VMware.

MEF noted that the scheme is supported by its board, which includes senior executives from AT&T Business, Colt Technology Services, Comcast Business, Liberty Latin America, Lumen, Microsoft, PCCW Global, Orange, Sparkle and Verizon Business. The SASE certification programme, based upon CyberRatings’ methodologies and test programmes, will issue a rating on the product and service effectiveness of software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), security service edge (SSE threat protection), zero trust network access (ZTNA) and SASE offerings.

The announcement of the scheme gave rise to what might just be the quote of the year, courtesy of Vikram Phatak, CEO of “Cybersecurity is a black box. SASE is a black box in a black box.” He added, “Nobody really knows if it’s working. A robust testing and certification programme is essential to provide customers with visibility into what they’re buying.” If anyone knows if the second black box is empty or not, please let us know – the suspense is killing us! 

MEF has also announced the availability of its Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) Industry Blueprint, which is “designed to help service providers develop, market, and deliver the next generation of NaaS offerings” and help enterprises “make informed decisions about which NaaS offerings are right for their specific needs and customers.” MEF defines NaaS as “on-demand connectivity, application assurance, cybersecurity, and multi-cloud-based services across a standards-based automated ecosystem.”

According to MEF, “up to now, there has been no industry alignment on defining NaaS or the core components and capabilities of NaaS solutions, which challenges both service providers and enterprises. The MEF NaaS Industry Blueprint is designed to address this by providing a common framework for understanding and defining NaaS.”

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