Fusion Broadband claims to be the first SD-WAN provider in Australia, first launching carrier and technology-agnostic SD-WAN services around 2013. “At that point we didn’t really think of it as SD-WAN. It was only when SD-WAN was getting more publicity and becoming more well known that we realized, ‘Hey, we’re already doing that!’” said Jason Maude, Fusion Broadband’s managing director. “We’re very much an SD-WAN player, not a carrier with SD-WAN.”
The provider does not offer its own circuits — including fixed line connections, wireless, and satellite — so it remains completely vendor agnostic. According to Maude, the SD-WAN also uses an array of technologies from its partners for the service itself. This includes backend routing and algorithms. It does, however, rely on a number of open source elements and its own overlay code and framework so that customers can manage, deploy, and support their networks.
Fusion runs five separate points of presence (PoPs) in the country to support its SD-WAN services. However, as the company grew, it outpaced its existing environments and decided to migrate these services to the cloud.
“We have also retained all our existing PoPs, which continue to carry a lot of load, but the IBM move pretty much has given us the ability to scale up and scale anywhere at the turn of a knob,” Maude said. By “scale” he is referring to the ability to scale up CPU cycles and connectivity on-demand.
The other benefit migrating to IBM Cloud had was that it allows customers to have their own SD-WAN core.
“Most other SD-WAN suppliers and vendors require the customers to utilize their specific infrastructure,” Maude said. “This [new] solution allows customers to leverage our IBM infrastructure, or they can use their own IBM infrastructure and it can be anywhere in the world.” And, he added, that even if a customer doesn’t use IBM, they can still use their own data center environment or cloud provider. “Who they utilize is not critical, it’s the quality, that’s one reason we use IBM”
The other reason Fusion selected IBM Cloud was its existing partnership and having an IBM environment enabled the company to implement unique routing scenarios that better support its environment, Maude said.
Now customers have three options for building their network on the IBM Cloud infrastructure: they can have an SD-WAN core within Fusion’s multi-tenant environment; they can have a dedicated core infrastructure that is managed by the provider and only run their own traffic through the environment; or they can operate their own IBM core as a single PoP or multiple PoPs that are 100 percent in their control.
According to Maude, Fusion Broadband has more than 1,000 SD-WAN deployments around the world, and it manages a little under 200 partners (which includes both internet and managed service providers) to reach the smaller business market.