BT today launched a new software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service aimed at large organisations.
Agile Connect is currently live within the networks of several large global organisations, the company said.
BT is the latest in a number of telcos to launch SD-WAN services in Australia over the last few weeks. Macquarie Telecom launched its own services (through a partnership with VeloCloud) in August, which group executive Luke Clifton called "the most exciting development in the market since the dawn of 3G".
Optus Business launched its Fusion SD-WAN offering (supported by Riverbed’s SteelConnect platform) earlier this month.
BT's offering is built on BT's own technologies those from Nokia's Nuage Networks.
“We invest all our efforts in giving customers choice, security, resilience, service, and agility in the roll out of high performance networks that support their digital transformation, what we call Dynamic Network Services. Today’s announcement is an important stage in the acceleration of that investment," said BT's Maria Grazia Pecorari, president, digital global portfolio and marketing, global services.
"Agile Connect gives BT customers a very robust SD-WAN at the right price, designed with ease of use and customer experience at its heart. It combines the technology of world-class partners and our own expertise in SDN with our global network and cloud services capabilities to bring more control, flexibility, performance and security for our customers.”
Agile Connect includes a BT pre-built controller infrastructure hosted on the internet and on BT's multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network. It also uses BT pre-built MPLS Internet gateways to offer simple cloud-based connectivity between Internet-connected and MPLS-connected sites.
In the future, the service will support virtual network functions, with new services deployed virtually to the Agile Connect device, removing the need to install multiple boxes, the company said.
Enterprises are relying more and more on SD-WAN to streamline connections among enterprise sites, resulting in a market for the technology which is expected to balloon from $225 million in 2015 to US$1.19 billion by the end of this year, according to IDC.
Over the next five years, SD-WAN sales will grow at a 69 per cent compound annual growth rate, hitting US$8.05 billion in 2021, according to IDC’s Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast, 2017–2021.
Davide Iacovitti, from Brennan IT, said SD-WAN was part of a continuing evolution of network architectures.
"The architecture of a typical network has evolved, moving away from MPLS connected hub and spoke VPNs with centralised server infrastructure and centralised internet delivery, to new topologies such as hybrid WAN. This new architecture has been brought upon the enterprise through a change in how applications are being consumed – such as cloud and SaaS – as well as the increased availability and affordability of high bandwidth local break out internet services," he said.
"The end result being that enterprises have a requirement for some applications to stay on their private network while others are better served through local internet breakout. SD-WAN provides one of many strategies to address this changing enterprise network architecture and enables your network to be managed logically at the software layer more easily and efficiently," Iacovitti added.