Comcast Launches New SD-WAN for Enterprises

ActiveCore SDN is the first cable-delivered, gigabit-ready platform to enable businesses to manage networks across multiple locations.

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Comcast is well known for its cable television, internet, voice and home security services, but who knew the huge consumer-driven conglomerate would one day be offering software-defined networking for business customers?

It’s true. Comcast Business on Sept. 13 announced the debut of an SD-WAN product that it soon will bundle with its 1 Gb/ps DOCSIS 3.1 enterprise broadband service.  

This is the first service to be delivered on the new Comcast Business ActiveCore SDN platform, which the Philadelphia-based cable provider described as one of the first cable-delivered, gigabit-ready SDN platforms.

ActiveCore features an embedded orchestration capability, allowing it to deliver and manage multiple virtualized network functions (VNF). By combining this inside an open, extensible IT infrastructure, ActiveCore ostensibly can improve application performance, shorter deployment cycles and greater business agility at a lower cost, Comcast said.

Additionally, Comcast said, the platform provides reviewable performance data in a single view for more effective decision making, helping customers identify, troubleshoot and resolve issues across an entire enterprise.

Comcast Business SD-WAN combines secure IP-VPN, application-aware routing and a stateful network firewall. Using Comcast’s broadband solutions, the SD-WAN (wide-area network) service can deliver service over the public internet. By enabling Comcast Business SD-WAN on the ActiveCore platform, users can augment or replace their existing MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) network with an alternative WAN connection, the company said.

Business customers can bundle ActiveCore with Comcast’s DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit broadband service. Comcast’s Business Internet 1 Gbps service is already available in much of the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Central United States and will be available to the entire national Comcast service area by the end of 2017, the company said.

Comcast has been testing the SD-WAN in beta for enterprise and mid-market customers since earlier this year. The company already has signed up several customers, including Jim Ellis Automotive Group in Atlanta, which operates 15 locations across Georgia.

The service is available now. For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...