BT unveils SD-WAN service for improved infrastructure control

BT has unveiled BT Agile Connect, a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service that BT says will provide customers with improved control and understanding of their infrastructure and traffic flows. Created for large organizations, Agile Connect will offer customers a fast, secure means of new site set-up, along with low costs and decreased network complexity, according to BT. The new SD-WAN service leverages the security and resiliency of BT's global network infrastructure, as well as BT technologies and those of Nokia's Nuage Networks.

BT has unveiled BT Agile Connect, a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service that BT says will provide customers with improved control and understanding of their infrastructure and traffic flows. Created for large organizations, Agile Connect will offer customers a fast, secure means of new site set-up, along with low costs and decreased network complexity, according to BT. The new SD-WAN service leverages the security and resiliency of BT's global network infrastructure, as well as BT technologies and those of Nokia's Nuage Networks.

To determine the most effective traffic route across a customer's wide area network, Agile Connect uses software-defined networking (SDN) on national and global scales. This routing can make introducing new access services to customer networks easier or make using what were previously backup connections more effective, BT asserts. The routing also ensures the preferred route for traffic from high-priority business applications.

According to BT, the Agile Connect is designed with the following features:

· Changes are implemented centrally, making local technical support unnecessary and enabling customers to prioritize applications or manage access services use via an interactive portal. Customers can also obtain improved visibility of application performance.

· A BT pre-built controller infrastructure is included and hosted on the internet, and on BT's multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network.

· BT pre-built MPLS internet gateways are used by the service to offer cloud-based connectivity between internet-connected and MPLS-connected sites.

· BT's investments in both controller and gateway infrastructure security are leveraged by the service.

These Agile Connect features can help customers avoid time-consuming design, delivery, and continual maintenance of controllers, interconnection gateways, security, and monitoring systems necessary for SD-WAN performance, says BT. Customers can also use the service to aggregate network connections, and consolidate services from different providers and network types, which BT says is valuable to companies integrating networks following a merger or acquisition. Agile Connect is delivered as a single box located on the edge of a customers' network, with other services added as additional devices.

According to BT, Agile Connect will support virtual network functions (VNFs), with new services deployed virtually to the Agile Connect device, eliminating the need for multiple box installation down the road. Agile Connect is ready for volume deployment for new and current customers, and the equipment is currently live within several large worldwide organizations' networks.

Last year, BT launched BT Connect Intelligence IWAN, a managed service based on an SDN foundation enabling customers to automatically route and optimize network traffic and gain visibility into applications performance (see "BT offers SDN-enabled WAN service").

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