Vonage, best known as a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service provider, extended its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solution, SmartWAN, to its cloud-based PBX platform. This expands Vonage’s SmartWAN to its small and mid-sized customers that use public broadband to run their business communications. The connections can be public T1/Ethernet, broadband, and LTE.
Since SmartWAN’s launch in 2015, the VeloCloud-based SD-WAN offering has only been available to Vonage’s enterprise customers. SmartWAN monitors and routes voice, messaging, and data traffic without the need for MPLS or private circuits.
SmartWAN is designed to meet customer demands for unified communications, including voice, data, and video. Vonage’s unified communication solutions are provided as-a-service, via the cloud.
The expansion of its SmartWAN is particularly for customers of Vonage that want to leverage cloud PBX services, or other Vonage cloud services, over their existing broadband connection, according to Vonage VP and Chief Architect Sanjay Srinivasan.
The SmartWAN is a “plug-and-play” offering, meaning that a customer receives a pre-configured edge device and an activation key, and when the customer installs the edge device on its premises, the device “calls home” to Vonage’s core network and downloads the device’s configurations.
“It comes pre-built with prioritization and treatment options that will work out of the box, so you don’t have to spend too much time configuring it,” said Srinivasan. “It already understands how our workflow will work, so it’s really on the business to tweak the data and call flows as their needs change.”
One of the biggest reasons that Vonage made the jump into SD-WAN, according to Srinivasan, was that businesses were increasingly moving their services to the cloud, which increased bandwidth requirements. The SmartWAN allows for seamless failover, routing, and optimization on a per-packet basis, and rapid service delivery and provisioning of self-services.
Routing and optimization on a per-packet basis are an important feature for the SmartWAN, said Srinivasan, “For the SD-WAN, that failover is seamless. No one actually knows that one of the links just went down because the technology is able to route on a per-packet basis and optimize on a per-packet basis.” The other important feature is the accurate and timely measurement of the state of each broadband link, no matter how many.
Srinivasan also noted that these features of SmartWAN are particularly valuable for its retail customers that have multiple locations. As point-of-sale terminals are now typically IP devices, the SmartWAN can optimize and secure the traffic to ensure the service doesn’t blackout. In addition, retailers often use wireless broadband, and Vonage’s SD-WAN offering enables customers to maintain voice quality, no matter how many links.