BT offers SDN-enabled WAN service

BT has unveiled BT Connect Intelligence IWAN, a managed service based on a software-defined networking (SDN) foundation that enables customers to automatically route and optimize network traffic and gain visibility into applications performance. The new service leverages Cisco's Intelligent WAN (IWAN) technology.

BT has unveiled BT Connect Intelligence IWAN, a managed service based on a software-defined networking (SDN) foundation that enables customers to automatically route and optimize network traffic and gain visibility into applications performance. The new service leverages Cisco's Intelligent WAN (IWAN) technology.

The new service aims to provide the following benefits, according to BT:

  • Encryption-secured virtual private network (VPN) capabilities across globally dispersed sites and different transport technologies.
  • Best-path routing of applications based on real-time network performance.
  • Faster application performance, as well as the ability to identify underperforming business processes.
  • Enhanced application visibility and analytics, available via centralized, user-friendly reporting. The fully managed service, which includes design, setup, and configuration, also will come with monthly reports from an "application specialist" that will offer information on how the customer's network and applications are performing as well as recommendations on how to improve performance.

BT has announced Walgreens Boots Alliance's businesses in the UK and approximately 20 other countries as among the first clients of the new managed service.

The service provider views IWAN as a means by which customers can transition to future network function virtualization (NFV) and SDN capabilities. BT adds it is also working to provide customers with a self-service capability to control their SD-WAN via its My Account portal.

"BT has been leading the research into emerging virtualization technologies from the beginning," says Keith Langridge, vice president of network services, BT Global Services. "For years, we have also been adding ‘intelligence' to the network services we provide to our customers. NFV and SDN are part of that drive, and aim at making those services more dynamic and automated. They pave the way for a new generation of services that are quicker and easier to set up and change.

"BT Connect Intelligence IWAN leverages the Cisco IWAN solution to bring an important new building block in that virtualization effort. It will help our customers all over the world deal much more effectively with ever increasing bandwidth and traffic optimization demands, allowing customers to network like never before," Langridge concluded.

BT added it is collaborating with Cisco on what it described as "new and innovative pricing models" that should become available later this year.

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