Engineering company Siemens AG is revamping its network and replacing its MPLS connections with software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). Siemens is sticking with Orange, which currently provides its MPLS connectivity, and will work with the service provider to migrate to SD-WAN. Siemens said that it wants to make the move to SD-WAN so it can achieve better performance and make its network more agile and application-aware.
The six-year contract between Orange and Siemens is worth $294 million. The SD-WAN network will connect Siemens’ 1,500 sites — including labs, branch offices, and more — in 94 countries.
Orange offers SD-WAN services from vendors Cisco-Viptela and Riverbed. However Siemens has not yet decided whether it will pick gear from one of those vendors or another SD-WAN company, according to Laurent Perrin, Orange’s marketing director for application driven networks. “Siemens is evaluating more than one SD-WAN platform from our range of partners.”
In a conversation with SDxCentral at last month’s Mobile World Congress, Didier Duriez, EVP for business global solutions at Orange, said that the company’s diverse SD-WAN offerings, from multiple vendors, were not necessarily by choice, but rather a necessity.
“Most of the technology is still not mature,” Duriez said. “There is no standard way to onboard a VNF that is very effective.” He said there was good progress being made in terms of standards, but that it’s been “much slower than anticipated. It will come because it has to come.”
Besides migrating Siemens’ existing MPLS network to SD-WAN, the company also wants to connect both cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to Perrin, integrating IoT connectivity was one of the main requirements for Siemens.
“To achieve this, the SD-WAN solution we are deploying for Siemens is based on universal CPE (uCPE) for all medium and large sites,” said Perrin. “This will allow [Orange] to dynamically adapt the Siemens infrastructure to support the deployment of IoT devices, including advanced security to ensure network segmentation and specific virtual functions to manage IoT devices.”
The SD-WAN will integrate with Siemens’ existing network by leveraging orchestration and virtualization techniques as it connects with Orange’s points of presence and core network.
One of the other critical components of the deployment was Orange’s SD-WAN and web security capabilities, which is fully integrated by Zscaler.