'Best-kept secret in SD-WAN' publicly rolls out managed service

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A Maryland-based EchoStar subsidiary best known as a provider of network management services announced today that it will offer a managed SD-WAN product as part of its HughesON lineup.

Hughes Network Systems’ new Hughes Managed SD-WAN is aimed at distributed businesses that mostly use broadband communications, simplifying the management of those connections and ensuring that demanding applications like video run smoothly.

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Mike Cook, senior vice president of Hughes’ North American division, said that the time is right for the company’s new offering, thanks to the changing demands on the network.

“With organizations continuing to adopt new cloud-based and rich media applications, networks are facing more traffic and stress than ever before,” he said in a statement.

Hughes isn’t a household name where network management and SD-WAN are concerned, but it probably should be, according to networking analyst and Network World contributor Zeus Kerravala.

“The fact is for years the company has played a role in helping large, distributed enterprises leverage the ubiquity of broadband,” he said via email. “They might be one of the best kept secrets in SD-WAN.”

Hughes’ new offering, Kerravala added, could move the needle most significantly with larger enterprises, where existing dedicated SD-WAN vendors like Virtela and Global Capacity have played best in the middle of the size scale.

There are two key differentiators of the Hughes product – first, it offers a wide array of optimization features that can help cover for uneven broadband network quality. Moreover, Kerravala said, the ability to manage all of a company’s different broadband providers at once eliminates a key pain point for distributed businesses.

“My estimate is that there are over 800 broadband providers in the US alone,” he noted. “Hughes will take on the management of all of these providers for the company so it only has to deal with one.”

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