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BT Launches Global Managed SD-WAN Service With Cisco Tech

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LONDON -- BT today announced the global launch of a new software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) managed service using Cisco technology. The launch further expands BT’s enterprise customers’ choice of Cisco-based software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) solutions.

BT Connect Cisco SD-WAN provides customers with a clear view of data flows across their WAN, allowing them to optimise traffic to suit business needs — balancing performance and cost. The improved control reduces risk when migrating applications and data to the Cloud. It is offered globally as a managed service, building on BT’s sophisticated orchestration capabilities, including a full Cisco technology roadmap and the skills and experience of a dedicated centre of excellence to help customers design, deliver and evolve their SD-WAN.

BT’s orchestration capabilities are an essential part of the new service. They allow it to correlate data from across a customer’s hybrid network, providing a complete picture of incidents and causes to manage day-to-day network operations effectively.

With the service BT offers a comprehensive in-life management and a class-leading reporting and analytics package, together with a choice of SD-WAN security solutions to mitigate cyber threats. Its dedicated team supports customers throughout their network evolution with skills, systems and processes developed specifically to deliver the speed and agility benefits customers expect from SDN and NFV services. This team provides expertise in both customers’ “underlay” networks, for example their existing MPLS and Internet services, as well as their overlay SDN-based services.

Combined with its orchestration platform BT’s expertise in sophisticated technologies, application performance management, advanced routing and security means that it can help customers quickly identify and resolve issues anywhere in their networks. Optional pilot trials are available to help customers identify and meet critical success factors unique to their deployments.

Today’s launch further strengthens BT’s strategic partnership with Cisco. It comes just months after the company announced plans to add two new Cisco-based solutions to its portfolio: a customer premises equipment virtualisation solution managed by BT (BT Connect Edge) and a network automation and orchestration software platform integrating BT and Cisco technology (BT Connect Services Platform).

Over and above future releases planned by Cisco, BT will invest in a programme of features for the managed service. Early deployment options will improve network agility for customers. These include Cisco SD-WAN as a virtual network function (VNF) within the Connect Services Platform running on Cisco's Enterprise Network Compute System (ENCS) platform, and an integrated Cisco solution where SD-WAN capability is built into the router itself. This will provide the customer with a single edge device solution. BT will deliver intelligent network control across its customers’ estate irrespective of their existing connectivity providers, managed from the same orchestration platform.

Keith Langridge, vice president of network services at BT, said: “Over 90 per cent of BT’s global WAN customers use Cisco technology and the vast majority ask us to manage it. Today’s announcement gives them a choice of physical or virtualised Cisco SD-WAN portfolio delivered as managed services backed by our excellent security credentials.

“We have a wealth of know-how and experience in designing hybrid networks and a global infrastructure engineered for SD-WAN and NFV service delivery. Organisations looking at taking their first step to SD-WAN can be reassured that in BT, they have an established, trusted Cisco partner able to give professional services advice to plan, build and evolve secure and reliable hybrid networks globally.”

Scott Harrell, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Networking Business, Cisco, said: “BT is offering the complete portfolio of Cisco SD-WAN-based solutions as managed services — and doing so on a truly global scale. Cisco SD-WAN, built on Viptela technology, is a great example of how intent-based networking is fundamentally changing the blueprint for networking.”

The new managed service is being launched within BT’s wide reaching Dynamic Network Services programme, designed to give customers more choice, security, resilience, service and agility in the roll-out of networks based on the latest SDN and NFV technologies.

BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

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