Orange Business Services taps Riverbed's SteelConnect software as an SD-WAN VNF on its universal CPE, as part of Easy Go Network.

March 15, 2017

2 Min Read
Orange Adds SD-WAN to Hybrid Net Strategy

Orange Business Services will enter the crowded SD-WAN market later this year by integrating Riverbed Technology's SteelConnect software into its existing Easy Go Network network-as-a-service platform, as an addition to its hybrid network offering. (See Orange Taps Riverbed to Add SD-WAN.)

One goal is to differentiate its software-defined wide-area networking service from over-the-top offerings, which use basic Internet access to offload some corporate traffic and connect remote offices, by making SD-WAN one of the dynamic service offerings that are built into its hybrid WAN platform, says Pierre-Louis Biaggi, vice president of the Connectivity Business Unit for Orange Business Services .

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Some other operators are also offering SD-WANs alongside MPLS-based services and others to give customers a choice of connection that can be dynamically tailored to specific applications. In Orange's case, SD-WAN becomes the latest service offering for its network-as-a-service platform, announced in November 2016. At that time, Orange named Ciena's Blue Planet as its network orchestrator and Juniper Networks Inc.'s Contrail as its SDN controller, for what it calls its Easy Go Network. It also announced Fortinet Inc.'s firewall as an initial virtual network function.

"In a standard implementation of SD-WAN, it is a pure over-the-top implementation, and you lose a lot of existing services, for example, cloud connectivity, which we are providing to our customers," Biaggi tells Light Reading in an interview. Integration of SD-WAN into Orange's hybrid networking services lets customers retain those direct connections to more than 20 different popular cloud providers.

Orange also will enable its enterprise customers to dynamically switch between service types, based on specific applications, using SteelConnect's capabilities for designing, deploying and managing hybrid networks and its zero-touch provisioning, according to the announcement.

Orange Business Services and Riverbed Technology Inc. are working together on creating the VNF software and integrating it into the existing Orange SDN and NFV infrastructure, to be managed by the Ciena Blue Planet orchestration, he adds. The capability will be tested in pilot deployments in the second quarter.

The Riverbed SteelConnect will be delivered as VNFs on that universal CPE gear by the end of the year, Biaggi says.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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