The Comcast Business group marries gigabit speed with software-defined wide-access networking (SD-WAN). Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president product management Comcast Business, states that this merging of technologies “provides the bandwidth, scalability, reliability and flexibility needed to power the cloud applications that are transforming business operations. ”
The intent behind SD-WAN is to bring software-defined networking (SDN) to enterprise networking over a large geographical area. SDN revolutionizes computing by reducing the amount of hardware required to achieve reliable and secure networking. It replaces legacy WAN technologies, such as T-1 and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS).
What does Gigabit bring to SD-WAN?
The Comcast Business SD-WAN offering mixes the cable technology of high gigabit speed used for broadband services with SD-WAN. This technology pairing “can help overcome the bandwidth, scalability, and cost concerns common with legacy, T1-based MPLS networks,” according to the Comcast Business’ website. Cable operators produce gigabit speeds over its hybrid fiber coax (HFC) connections.
The company partnered with Versa to beta test its SD-WAN technology in May 2017. The collaboration used Versa Cloud IP Platform to deliver hybrid clouds for mid-market businesses and enterprises. IDC’s Group Vice President, Courtney Munroe, perceives the beta test as “an innovative trial offering that can complement any existing business network.” The joint test established virtual private connections via data centers and public clouds.
Since the test, Comcast Business has sold the SD-WAN product to enterprises looking to establish a hybrid cloud with the advantages of broadband quickness, SDN scalability, and cost-consciousness.
Other Components to Comcast Business SD-WAN
Comcast Business advertises its SD-WAN product as the first virtual WAN based on its SDN offering, AcitveCore. The main components of its product are:
- Application-based routing: Administrators create policies to manage and optimize traffic flow. By setting up application and network specific policies, the “routing of traffic can failover to another link – automatically and dynamically – to meet varying demands on capacity and application performance.”
- Secure VPN abilities through the creation of a private cloud.
- Stateful firewall to maintain the security of business-critical applications.
- 1/gigabit broadband service to sustain enterprise-grade performance at scalable, fast speeds.
- Single pane of glass for seamless, centralized, easy monitoring of the network.
Its SD-WAN product will operate through third-party vendors as well, meaning an enterprise doesn’t have to be within the Comcast network to deploy its SD-WAN product.