& cplSiteName &

AT&T's Hubbard on the Evolution of SD-WAN & Hybrid Networking

Kelsey Kusterer Ziser

DALLAS -- SD-WAN Strategies for Success -- With the rapid growth of the SD-WAN market in mind, AT&T's Rick Hubbard urged participants at Light Reading's recent event in Dallas to stay focused on the physical network infrastructure as well.

"I do think in all this people need to understand that the software is only as good as the underlying physical infrastructure that it's going to run on," said Hubbard, SVP of networking product management for AT&T Business.

Customers don't want to rip and replace equipment, they want to evolve, said Hubbard, and there's an underlying understanding in the industry that the physical network infrastructure is still important. He noted that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has 400,000 MPLS ports worldwide and over 120,000 IPsec endpoints globally.

"I think there's confusion in the industry that an SD-WAN is going to give you a cheap endpoint," said Hubbard. "SD-WAN by definition [means] you're arbitraging performance on two different access lines. SD-WAN is an important piece of technology that rides inside of an ecosystem across all of these network types."

Get real-world answers to virtualization challenges from industry leaders. Join us for the NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver. Register now for this exclusive opportunity to learn from and network with industry experts -- communications service providers get in free!

Just as customers want to evolve, Hubbard described the evolution of AT&T's approach to hybrid networking. In October 2016, AT&T announced its SD-WAN hybrid networking strategy and partnership with VeloCloud. AT&T's approach to SD-WAN is part of a larger strategy to incorporate software-centric technologies into integrated solutions for enterprises -- "the first integrated offer was software-defined networking, second was network-function virtualization and third is hybrid SD-WAN," according to the release. Later this year, AT&T also plans to launch a dynamic hybrid VPN, said Hubbard.

"The old way, hybrid networking was a network with multiple types of endpoints on that network," he said. "What SD-WAN gives us the capability to do is a network with multiple types of technology at a single location" and the location itself can be hybrid in addition to total hybridization of the network, he added.

The conversation around SD-WAN in the industry has also shifted from two years ago when the forecast was that SD-WAN would replace MPLS, noted Hubbard.

"It's not MPLS or SD-WAN… it is and. I think two years ago when this market started getting hot everyone was in the 'or,' and now people have moved to the 'and,'" he said.

The larger the customer, the more likely that they will have a massive hybrid environment, he continued, and with growth in midsized and small businesses, some businesses that never had MPLS may choose to implement SD-WAN out of the gate. In identifying the right approach for customers, operators need to understand what customers want to deploy at the branch office, said Hubbard.

"[Customers] want bandwidth availability and performance at their application," he said. "So it's really important to understand what they want at their branch office… we don't just run a branch office network, we run a network, which is key to why we're passionate about doing this in a hybrid way."

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Editor, Upskill U

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/13/2017
OEMs: Reliance Jio Wants Only Your Software
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 11/10/2017
Broadband Fee Fight Gets Messy at the FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/10/2017
Animals with Phones
Why Cats Don't Run Tech Support Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives