AT&T today jumped headfirst into the fast-growing software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) market with a new offering it hopes to bring to market next year based on technology from SD-WAN startup VeloCloud.
SD-WAN is gaining steam thanks to its ability to bring software-defined networking (SDN) controls to the wide area network. SD-WANs allow customers to integrate multiple network connection types and let software intelligently route traffic based on application profiles and available network types. Gartner has estimated that SD-WAN can save customers significant costs compared to traditional WAN architectures too. IDC predicts SD-WAN will be a $6 billion market by 2020.
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AT&T is working with VeloCloud to develop its SD-WAN product. The offering will be integrated with AT&T’s FlexWare virtual network function hardware platform and the AT&T Integrated Cloud. This will make it easier for customers of those services, or its VPN services to roll out the VeloCloud/AT&T SD-WAN.
In addition to the announcement of entering the SD-WAN market, AT&T and IBM made a separate announcement that FlexWare will be offered by IBM. This will allow existing IBM customers to use the FlexWare platform to roll out software defined networking or network function virtualization technologies and host them in IBM’s cloud. With the partnership between the two companies, AT&T will now be able to run additional workloads on AT&T networks in IBM’s cloud.
AT&T did not announcing pricing for its SD-WAN offering, but said it will be available next year.