AT&T's Network-Based SD-WAN is going global as the carrier has made its software-defined wide-area network available as a virtualized function on the AT&T FlexWare platform in over 150 countries.
In 2017, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Network-Based SD-WAN service was only available domestically in the US, which customers could deploy as a VNF on FlexWare, AT&T's universal CPE platform.
Josh Goodell, AT&T's VP of Intelligent Edge, says this network-based SD-WAN service provides business customers with the ability to use a variety of connectivity options depending on their site-by-site needs. Customers can manage one network and continue to use a dual broadband, IPSec connection or MPLS, for example, in conjunction with the SD-WAN service. AT&T's broadband services are available in more than 55 countries. (See AT&T Expands Hybrid Networking Options Globally and AT&T Taps Tech Mahindra for FlexWare Expansion.)
"As customers are thinking about digital transformation, the migration path can be daunting," says Goodell. "Having to make a broad decision around an entire network is daunting. This approach allows for site-by-site choice. If a customer wants to add a single location as a SD-WAN location tie into their MPLS network, they can do that on one single site or 1,000 sites."
Customers can "grow into a solution," continues Goodell, by gradually adding additional virtual functions such as advanced security. In response to enterprises' cloud migrations, the SD-WAN platform also integrates with AT&T NetBond for Cloud, which migrates workloads between clouds without having to manually set up two separate direct connections between clouds. (See AT&T on Cloud Migration: This Petri Dish Breeds Big Data Benefits.)
"Because we've architected this network-based solution into our AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC), it ties directly into our MPLS architecture," says Goodell. "This is how we can preserve the value of that MPLS/VPN network that we've been building over the last several years... certain sites within a customer network will have certain needs where they'll want to take advantage of MPLS features like Multicast or NetBond."
Goodell says this update to the SD-WAN platform is in response to feedback from many customers seeking to avoid "being locked into proprietary, black box solutions." As new VNFs become available, AT&T's customers can add additional virtual functions as needed.
— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading