Comcast Business is accelerating its focus on enterprise and multi-site businesses with the debut on Tuesday of a carrier-grade SD-WAN platform.
The software-defined wide area networking offering, developed with Versa Networks, currently is undergoing beta tests which will last through the summer. Comcast Business predicts a full launch later this year.
The combination of broadband speeds of up to 1Gbit/s and SD-WAN forge a stronger foundation for cloud applications, digital transformation and business services, according to the cable operator.
"Comcast Business is focused on giving distributed enterprises the network controls they need to help them reduce the complexity and cost of their networks, enabling them to focus on innovation. We’re expanding our portfolio of networking solutions with the beta launch of an SD-WAN service that offers an intelligent, gig-powered WAN solution that's simple to manage, Kevin O'Toole, senior vice president of Product Management for Comcast Business, told UBB2020. "We’ve made a concerted effort to create a Software Defined Network (SDN) platform that’s scalable, fully hosted and built to ensure our customers succeed in the fast-paced economy for the long haul."
The solution uses the Versa Cloud IP Platform to deliver a turnkey, secure service and operational efficiencies, Comcast Business said.
Business Internet 1000 is a DOCSIS 3.1-based gigabit Internet service that Comcast plans to offer customers throughout its service regions, in addition to its array of multi-gigabit, fiber-based Ethernet services. The mix of SD-WAN. ultra-broadband and Ethernet network services are designed to appeal to enterprises that need hybrid WAN solutions.
Targeting enterprise and branch offices makes sound business sense, given SD-WAN's strengths. Multi-office locations that generate traffic from various applications increasingly demand hybrid connectivity that incorporates MPLS and Internet access.
Given the ever-increasing surge in data, it's unsurprising SD-WAN is poised for huge growth: Worldwide, these solutions will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 90.2% between 2016 and 2022, estimates Infoholic Research. In dollars, SD-WAN sales are expected to reach $1.25 billion by 2020 versus $130 million in 2016, according to Gartner.
"SD-WAN can enable this hybrid connectivity," wrote Shamus McGillicuddy, senior analyst of Network Management at Enterprise Management Associates. "With this technology, a network architect can design a network that makes forwarding decisions based on application type."
The cable operator, which recently finalized its acquisition of NewWave Communications, sees continued growth from high-speed data and business services powered by fiber-based ultra-broadband, executives told a financial conference this week.
During the first quarter of 2017, cable operators gained about 1 million subscribers in this period, while the top telephone companies lost approximately 45,000 subscribers, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.