BT, CA Make Deeper Pushes Into Growing SD-WAN Space

BT partners with Nuage Networks to add to its telco services, while CA will integrate Viptela's SD-WAN platform with its network management software.


Telecommunications company BT and software vendor CA Technologies are expanding the software-defined WAN capabilities within their portfolios.

BT officials announced Nov. 7 that the service provider is partnering with Nuage Networks to grow the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services it can offer customers. The SD-WAN service is part of a larger effort within the company to build out its portfolio of network services that are enabled through such network virtualization technologies like software-defined networking (SDN), network-functions virtualization (NFV) and SD-WAN.

For its part, CA is partnering with Viptela to integrate Viptela's SD-WAN platform with CA's Performance Management and Virtual Network Assurance products to give customers of both vendors more tools for monitoring and managing their SD-WAN environments. CA and Viptela will give attendees at CA World 2016 next week in Las Vegas a look at CA's upcoming SD-WAN performance monitoring platform.

"SD-WAN is an important enabling technology for our customers as they continue to move workloads to the cloud," Ali Siddiqui, general manager for agile operations at CA, said in a statement. "Viptela's high-performance SD-WAN architecture combined with our next-generation, carrier-class network performance management and SDN solutions provide organizations with a comprehensive monitoring solution for managing the WAN connection to the cloud."

SDN and NFV are helping fuel the growing demand for networking software that will enable enterprises and service providers to build more dynamic, responsive, automated and programmable networks that enable them to better respond to the rapidly changing demands from customers for more network speed and capacity.

Enterprise use of the cloud to deliver applications and services is growing, and increasingly mobile workers are demanding better wireless Internet access. The WAN traditionally has relied on such connectivity protocols as Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), which arose at a time when data was relatively static and traffic primarily traveled between the remote office and the central data center. Applications and workloads now also move between the branch office and the cloud, and data can come from a broad array of mobile devices. SD-WAN offers 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.

BT is among a growing number of service providers looking to partners to bring SD-WAN to its growing list of services. The British telco earlier this year announced it was incorporating Cisco Systems' iWAN SD-WAN technology into its service lineup. Others include AT&T, which last month said it is partnering with VeloCloud for SD-WAN, and Verizon, which is working with Cisco and Viptela. Both Earthlink and MetTel turned to VeloCloud for SD-WAN.

BT is now bringing Nuage into the fold, with the initial launch of the Nuage-based SD-WAN service coming in early 2017. Officials said the service will target organizations worldwide through a cloud-based consumption model that also will work as a complement to the service provider's IP and Ethernet VPN offering.

The SD-WAN services in the future also will integrate with what officials called "branch-in-a-box" services in virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) capabilities.

Chet Patel, president of global portfolio and marketing at BT, said in a statement: "We are now leveraging our expertise in SDN and NFV technology and using the breadth and depth of our global network infrastructure to enhance further our portfolio of dynamic network services. … [The partnership with Nuage] is an important stage in a journey that will ultimately give BT customers unparalleled choice, security, resilience, service, and agility in the roll out of high performance networks designed for the age of the cloud."

For software maker CA, the alliance with Viptela will enable it to boost its SD-WAN management capabilities. CA will integrate Viptela's vManage application with is Performance Management and Virtual Network Assurance products. The integration will give customers a single, unified view of both Viptela SD-WAN and other network devices and applications within their infrastructures and a way to detect and address problems across their enterprise networks in real time.

"This partnership allows our joint customers to seamlessly unify network and health status intelligence from their Viptela SD-WAN platform within a centralized CA-based monitoring and management view," Viptela CEO Amir Khan said in a statement. "Together, we are eliminating visibility gaps between traditional network and SD-WAN operational silos to provide administrators with the insights they need to optimize and transform their large hybrid networks."