Global Capacity Takes 'Holistic Approach' to SD-WAN

Global Capacity has started rolling out VeloCloud's cloud-based SD-WAN technology to select customers as part of a larger effort to expand its global enterprise networking portfolio with software-defined services.

While the number of service providers utilizing SD-WAN services is surging, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope said that critical to success in deployment is combining SD-WAN with the right connectivity and network design.

"SD-WAN isn't the magic pill, you still have to get the network correct underneath, and it allows you to optimize and get more out of some entry-level and best effort services, but you're still going to need the right services, and the right location, and you'll still need that network," said Stanhope in an interview with Light Reading.

Global Capacity will deliver VeloCloud Networks Inc. 's SD-WAN technology to customers as part of the Company's One Marketplace hybrid WAN platform. Global Capacity's network works with multiple SD-WAN providers such as Silverpeak, 128 Technology and Cisco's iWAN -- in Q4 2016 the company launched a pilot program of VeloCloud’s Cloud SD-WAN services. Stanhope said VeloCloud's cloud-based and subscription-based model fit well with Global Capacity's business model and allowed them to move quickly with deployment, and provide enterprise and cloud customers with a fully managed SD-WAN platform plus underlying connectivity. (See Global Capacity Partners With VeloCloud on Managed SD-WAN Services and Global Capacity Ups Its Cloud Connect Game.)

"Layering SD-WAN on top of [Global Capacity's hybrid WAN] was the natural first start for a holistic managed service because it builds on our baseline of a hybrid network," said Stanhope. "It provides visibility, control and specific management and business policy based on what's going over the top … So we're able to really get in and sit down with our customers and do a holistic, 'here is your managed service solution,' versus kind of a Chinese menu, one-off, a dollar here, a dollar there [approach]. And that's not our goal, that's not connectivity made simple, that's just connectivity by the penny."

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Many of Global Capacity's customers are multi-site, multi-location enterprises looking to reduce their reliability on MPLS and add more broadband or combined services to better manage costs, but even small organizations are increasingly becoming dependent on the performance of their web-based applications, and require more network visibility. Global Capacity's SD-WAN service can be deployed across disparate network technologies -- Ethernet, MPLS, Broadband, LTE -- over the Global Capacity network, a competing network or a hybrid of the two.

Currently the CSP is reaching 30 sites via customers utilizing the SD-WAN managed services, and will officially designate it as generally available once 50 to 100 sites are online, which will likely be by June 2017. Most installations are currently in the US, with plans to expand internationally -- "one of the great things about the cloud SD-WAN is it goes over the top, so once we put that box on the edge and once it comes back to our network we can go over broadband into Asia, Europe, down into South America moving forward," said Stanhope.

As evidenced by Light Reading's news feed recently, there has been an explosion of SD-WAN pure-play partnerships with service providers. Ted Corbett, research director of Managed Network Systems and Services at Gartner Inc. , said these partnerships must focus on differentiating their SD-WAN offers with value-added services, and added, "Global Capacity seeks to accomplish this with their One Marketplace model."

According to Corbett, Gartner forecasts the SD-WAN market to experience a high rate of growth over the next few years. "Enterprise spending on SD-WAN is growing at a CAGR of 76.2% from 2016 through 2020 -- from $129M in 2016 to $1.24B through 2020 … Further, through 2020, as much as 50% of SD-WAN spending will be funded by reductions in MPLS network services spending," he said.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, editor, Upskill U

Kelsey Ziser 4/4/2017 | 10:49:48 AM
Reduction in MPLS Looks like we'll be seeing a significant reduction in MPLS network services spending over the next few years, but I don't think it will be completely replaced by SD-WAN anytime soon. What are your thoughts?
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