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SD-WAN

Adtran takes aim at SMBs with new SD-WAN service

Adtran has added a new service to its SD-WAN arsenal with the Adtran 934 SD-WAN edge platform, which will be generally available within a few weeks. The new cloud-based edge router, built on Intel's x86 architecture, is targeted at small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and distributed enterprises that want to migrate to SD-WAN on an open, virtualized platform.

Chris Thompson, director of Software Products and Solutions for Adtran, says the Adtran 934 SD-WAN edge platform includes SD-WAN software and could eventually be used as a universal customer premises equipment (CPE) device with additional network functions. Customers can continue to use their own security services but Adtran may add security software automatically to the device in the future, for example.

Adtran 934 SD-WAN edge platform
(Image courtesy of Adtran)
(Image courtesy of Adtran)

"We'll be able to leverage the same platform for a number of things," says Thompson. "A lot of our service providers are looking to us for universal CPE... they're looking for a CPE that has more longevity to it. I see us using these x86 devices a lot broader than just our SD-WAN service offerings."

Thompson claims one of the device's differentiators is that traffic types and patterns are automatically configured for specific cloud applications, whereas competitive SD-WAN options on the market require manual configuration of traffic for applications. In addition, Adtran’s SD-WAN service improves cloud application performance and reliability with "active-active WAN links, inbound QoS, single IP failover and a cloud gateway component for control of cloud-based content."

"We have our [SD-WAN] software in our own gateways and cloud, and the companion software runs on the x86 device for automatic classification of traffic types, inbound and outbound QoS... optimizes traffic for cloud applications, and allows service providers to leverage their install base of Adtran routers and gateways with our cloud platform – to allow folks to transition over to SD-WAN," explains Thompson.

Adtran operates its own cloud and gateways to create a SD-WAN network that smaller service providers can connect to; this service offers multiple gateways in the US with redundant connections for improved application performance and failover protection, and supplies more traffic control to and from SaaS applications. "Our offering is very much cloud-centric, "says Thompson." Since we have something you can quickly connect to, even our larger service provider customers can quickly launch this service leveraging our cloud and over time move our software into their own data centers, get their own transport, and re-create the cloud in their own network."

Despite a crowded market of over 30 SD-WAN vendors, Thompson says there's still demand from service providers to grow their managed service offerings in the SD-WAN space.

Many service providers that were early to provide a SD-WAN service to large enterprises "have added a third or fourth vendor to their portfolios so they're clearly still looking for the right solution to target that space…We found that people are very open to hearing about our solution and part of it has to do with the relationships we've made over the years. But also while some solutions they have now may be good for particular markets, [those SD-WAN services] aren't fulfilling their needs from the top of the market all the way down," says Thomspon.

The SD-WAN market is poised for significant growth over the next few years.For instance, "Ovum forecasts that global SD-WAN services revenue will increase at a 21% compound annual growth rate over the next five years while overall enterprise services revenue experiences zero growth over that same time," wrote Heavy Reading's Sterling Perrin in a recent article.

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— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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