Global service provider NTT Communications today unveiled a software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) platform with embedded monitoring and security capabilities from its $525 million acquisition of Virtela in January 2014.
Part of the reason NTT bought Virtela was because of its work in software-defined networking (SDN) and SD-WAN. Virtela operates as its own company but is fully integrated into parent company NTT.
Specifically, Virtela’s SDN capabilities are integrated into NTT’s SD-WAN platform and include firewalls, VPN gateways, malware detection, URL filtering, and application acceleration services. The platform also includes Virtela monitoring services that let users visualize network performance and end-user experience. Its replay function allows customers to zoom in on particular moments and see what application was being used, by whom, in what location, and what their experience was like, said Ron Haigh, president of Virtela.
NTT’s SD-WAN platform sources CPE and SD-WAN services from more than 10 of the leading vendors in the space, Haigh said. However, he wouldn’t name which ones. NTT then provides its customers with connectivity options like MPLS, direct Internet access, and broadband. And its monitoring and security features are bundled with the SD-WAN services it offers.
NTT also touted that its network, which delivers these services, is completely software-defined with its 75 cloud-based points of presence (PoPs) around the world.
Similarly, SD-WAN vendor Aryaka boasts its 100 percent software-defined private network. The only difference is that Aryaka has built its own proprietary software-defined MPLS connectivity, which never touches the public Internet. NTT’s network does use the public Internet and its MPLS is not software-based.
Although NTT has been offering these services for some time now, this is the first official announcement of its SD-WAN platform.