CenturyLink Introduces Managed SD-WAN Service
The service provider starting next quarter will offer the service for customers who are looking to make their networks more agile and affordable.Service provider CenturyLink is unveiling a fully managed software-defined WAN service designed to help customers make their networking environments more agile and scalable, easier to manage and more affordable. The company is adding the SD-WAN service to its portfolio of managed networking offerings, with officials saying the managed service will enable organizations to unify their network management across disparate network types and run their workloads over the best-available transport model. The new service comes as businesses look for ways to mold the networks that run in their branch and remote offices into infrastructures that can handle the changing demands being driven by such trends as cloud computing, data analytics, mobility and video streaming, according to CenturyLink CTO Aamir Hussain. "Without significant increases to their traditional private network budgets, enterprises are challenged to meet these ever-growing demands, improve the end-user experience and ensure security and application performance," Hussain said in a statement. Over the past couple of decades, the WAN has relied on such connectivity protocols as Synchronous Optical Network (SONET), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). However, these transport modes arose at a time when data was relatively static and traffic primarily traveled between the remote office and the central data center. Now, applications and workloads move between the branch office and the cloud, and data can come from a broad array of mobile devices.
SD-WAN promises the ability to run traffic over multiple modes, including expensive MPLS and more affordable, newer alternatives, and to be able to manage it all centrally with such features as zero-touch and traffic prioritization capabilities.