CenturyLink expanded its SD-WAN service, making it available in more than 30 countries around the world. The telecom provider said that it can now provide enterprises with MPLS as well as public networking, dedicated internet access, broadband connectivity, and wireless.
The company’s global SD-WAN service is now able to connect more than 2,200 owned and third-party data centers as well as more than 100,000 on-net buildings. Because it’s a managed SD-WAN service, CenturyLink provides its customers with all hardware, software, and controller infrastructure. It also connects customers via a portal that allows them to create and control enterprise overlay networks.
Analysts say having a global footprint is key, particularly for managed SD-WAN providers. “It is highly critical for managed SD-WAN providers to have a strong global footprint as businesses look to connect internationally-distributed locations,” said Roopa Honnachari, industry director with Frost & Sullivan.
During its second quarter earnings call with investors last month CenturyLink CEO Jeff Storey said that by combining products from CenturyLink with the newly acquired Level 3, the company is able to provide customers with more services. In particular, Storey cited SD-WAN as a product that has become more competitive because CenturyLink can now combine it with the backbone services of the former Level 3.
Storey added that the company recently won a contract with General Mills to outfit 120 sites globally with MPLS. But the contract isn’t for MPLS alone. In this case, because CenturyLink is providing the MPLS core it can also include global SD-WAN and other capabilities. “We find that customers want an integrated network solution, and we have a product portfolio to meet those needs,” Storey said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the call.
Level 3 last June unveiled a managed SD-WAN service as part of its hybrid networking portfolio.