After months of rigorous testing, I’m happy to report that Cisco SD-WAN and our Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family are now MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certified.  

MEF is a global federation of network, cloud, and technology providers working together to empower enterprise digital transformation. Through its members, including Cisco, MEF enables dynamic, trusted, and certified services that empower enterprises to embrace their own digital transformation and grow their business. 

In support of the value of company and professional certification, research from MEF and Heavy Reading indicates 76% of 125 surveyed service provider professionals worldwide believe that SD-WAN services certification is “critical” or “important” for accelerating SD-WAN market growth. 73% of this same group believe SD-WAN technology and professional certifications are also critical or important for market growth. Additional details on the testing and certification scope for SD-WAN can be found on the MEF website. 

“During this time of such tremendous digital transformation in business, an MEF 3.0 SD-WAN certification is proven to conform to MEF’s meticulous specifications for performance, assurance, and agility,” said Franck Morales, Director, MEF, and Vice President, Connectivity Services, Orange Business Services. “I am very happy to see one of the main telecommunications technology suppliers committing to meet the industry’s highest standards.”

This new certification adds to Cisco’s existing MEF certifications, all of which demonstrate conformance to the highest industry standards for network service technology.

MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certificate - Cisco Certification

How we earned the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Certification

MEF tested the Cisco SD-WAN solution, including our vManage, vSmart and vBond controllers, and the Cisco Catalyst 8300 modular edge platform. As a result, the new MEF certification extends to the entire Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family as well as the ISR and ASR routers running IOS XE SD-WAN. This certification is another validation of Cisco’s SD-WAN strategy to offer cutting-edge cloud networking capabilities on industry-leading devices.

Technical areas where Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Catalyst 8000 were tested include:

  • IP Forwarding
  • SD-WAN Virtual Connection (SWVC) Service Attributes
  • Application Flows Service Attributes
  • Policies Service Attributes (while no one policy attribute is required, the service must verify three of the six policies to be certified). Cisco was evaluated for Backup, Encryption, Internet Breakout and Public/Private policies
  • End Point Policy Map Service Attributes UNI L2 Interface Service Attributes
  • Support for either IPv4 or IPv6 or both IPv4 & IPv6 addressing. Cisco was certified for both IPv4, IPv6, and dual-stack

Cisco verified a few optional test cases in addition to above: IPv4 secondary subnet (static and DHCP) and support for multiple IPv6 prefixes.

Cisco successfully completed all testing for each category. With this certification, service providers can confidently offer Cisco SD-WAN solutions to enterprise customers. Cisco SD-WAN & Routing products provide the latest in cloud networking, security as well as 5G and multigigabit cellular capabilities.

Multigigabit 5G SD-WAN: Unique Solutions for Service Providers

In addition to the MEF news, I would like to take the opportunity to share the latest capabilities that Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms can offer service providers to help build out their 5G SD-WAN solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms provide a variety of multigigabit Ethernet interfaces for Cisco SD-WAN, allowing high data rates of 2.5 Gbps, 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps on various platforms. These ports, along with the new Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateway, allow our customers to take advantage of multigigabit 5G wireless links in SD-WAN.

Sub-6Ghz 5G speeds can reach 3.3 Gbps and go higher with mmWave. That means customers can use Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateways to connect users and devices to trusted cloud and enterprise applications with greater flexibility, speed and a better overall end-user experience. Not only that, but with Cisco SD-WAN, customers can manage their Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateways directly from the Cisco SD-WAN dashboard.

Imagine controlling all network policies and cellular links to cloud instances in the SD-WAN dashboard while monitoring network traffic and automating better connectivity. Well, you don’t need to imagine it, because Cisco offers it!

Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateway capabilities


We are so excited to announce the news and to help the service provider community offer the latest and greatest solutions from Cisco!

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You can find out more about Cisco SD-WAN, Cisco Catalyst 8000, as well as the Cisco Cellular Gateway in the links below:

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David Sardana

Director, Product Management

Intent-Based Networking Group