BT previously tried to use its existing Cisco routers that acted as MPLS network termination boxes to offer its customers SD-WAN. It used the same routers it sold to its VPN customers alongside Cisco’s IWAN technology to create an SD-WAN network overlay on top of existing MPLS and internet connections.
The new managed SD-WAN uses the Cisco-Viptela technology and leverages the existing Cisco SDN and NFV services that BT offers to its enterprise customers. The BT orchestration controls enable in-life management alongside analytics and reporting capabilities to mitigate threats to the network. The service will also offer customers a choice in SD-WAN security offerings, advanced routing, and application performance management all managed by BT’s orchestration platform.
This improved control across the WAN will also reduce the risk of migrating applications and data to the cloud.
Enterprise customers will have the option to deploy the SD-WAN as a virtual or physical offering. They can choose between Cisco SD-WAN as a virtual network function (VNF) running on Cisco’s enterprise network compute system platform (ENCS) or with the SD-WAN integrated and built into the Cisco router as a single edge device.
According to BT, 90 percent of its WAN customers already use Cisco technology and look to BT to manage the technology.
Recently, Cisco and BT also partnered on a CPE virtualization service managed by BT’s Connect Edge platform and integrated BT and Cisco technology to create a network automation and orchestration software platform.
BT follows in the footsteps of Orange with this new SD-WAN offering. Both European telco operators have a history of using Cisco routers, and both tried to bootstrap the routers to create an SD-WAN service for their enterprise customers. Orange Business Services tapped Cisco-Viptela technology for its own managed SD-WAN earlier this year.