BT said it has unveiled a new software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) managed service using Cisco technology to increase network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) options for its enterprise customers.
With the BT Connect Cisco SD-WAN, which delivers data flow visibility across their WAN, customers can optimize traffic depending on business performance needs and budget. According to BT, the enhanced control decreases risk from application and data migration to the cloud. The worldwide launch of the SD-WAN managed service builds on BT's orchestration capabilities, including a complete Cisco technology roadmap, and a center of excellence supporting customers in the design, delivery, and evolution of their SD-WAN.
BT's orchestration capabilities enables the alignment of data from across a customer's hybrid network to deliver a total picture of incidents and causes to efficiently manage daily operation of the network. BT provides in-life management with the service, as well as a reporting and analytics package and SD-WAN security options to lessen cyber threats.
Additionally, the company says its team supports the network evolution of its customers by providing skills, systems, and processes to enable the benefits of SDN and NFV services. The team delivers expertise in both customers' current MPLS and Internet services and other "underlay" networks, as well as their overlay SDN-based services. BT can also help customers recognize and resolve issues located anywhere in their network with its orchestration platform, application performance management, and demonstrated routing.
The new SD-WAN managed service is being launched within BT's Dynamic Network Services program to offer customers more security and agility in the roll-out of SDN and NFV-based networks.
"Over 90% of BT's global WAN customers use Cisco technology and the vast majority ask us to manage it," said Keith Langridge, BT's vice president of network services. "Today's announcement gives them a choice of physical or virtualized Cisco SD-WAN portfolio delivered as managed services backed by our excellent security credentials."
Cisco began to expand its presence in SDN with an agreement in May of 2017 to purchase SD-WAN platform vendor Viptela Inc. (see "Cisco to buy SD-WAN tech vendor Viptela").
In November of 2017, BT announced that it would expand its product family by adding Cisco-based BT Connect Edge, as well as the BT Connect Services Platform, a network automation and orchestration software platform combining BT and Cisco technology.
BT also plans to make investments in a program of managed service features, with early deployment options for customers. These include Cisco SD-WAN as a virtual network function (VNF) in the Connect Services platform running on Cisco's Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) platform, and an integrated Cisco option with SD-WAN capability built in to the router to deliver a single edge device. BT says it will offer intuitive network control managed from the same orchestration platform, regardless of customers current connectivity providers.
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