AT&T is a little late to the game on this one; but today it announced its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) strategy. The service provider has chosen VeloCloud to deliver SD-WAN over multiple types of network connections.
AT&T says it’s going to offer two different types of SD-WAN: a network-based system and an on-premises-based system.
A network-based system could build off a customer’s existing MPLS connections.”The VeloCloud architecture allows a carrier to integrate VeloCloud’s gateway technology where MPLS equipment exists at the core of network,” said Mike Wood, VeloCloud’s VP of marketing. A business customer can also have other types of connections to its branch offices, and the SD-WAN would manage all of it.
According to AT&T’s website, the network-based option enables virtually seamless connectivity across multiple site types and provides an easy transition for customers with existing AT&T VPN services.
With the on-premises-based system, customers don’t necessarily need an AT&T MPLS connection. They can use SD-WAN to manage their various wired and wireless Internet connections from third parties. This could be a way for AT&T to expand its footprint, similar to what CenturyLink is doing with its SD-WAN offering.
The network-based system is slated for availability in 2017, while the on-premises-based system will be available by the end of 2016.
In terms of the hardware necessary for SD-WAN, AT&T earlier this week rebranded its Network Functions on Demand to AT&T FlexWare. And as part of FlexWare, it’s offering customers two universal CPE device options for their different headquarters and branch offices.
AT&T Integrated Cloud
VeloCloud also is now part of the AIC ecosystem. AIC is a data-center-based network that forms the basis for AT&T’s virtualization efforts.
In addition to VeloCloud, AT&T plans to collaborate with more SD-WAN technology companies as part of its evolving ecosystem.
According to its announcement today, AT&T has pursued virtualization systematically, first with SDN, then with network-functions virtualization (NFV), and now with hybrid SD-WAN.
In addition to AT&T and CenturyLink, Verizon also offers SD-WAN. Verizon uses Cisco and Viptela.
For VeloCloud, this AT&T deal is obviously a big win. In August, VeloCloud also announced that Earthlink had chosen it for SD-WAN.