BT readies a global dynamic WAN

Bandwidth scalability, exit points to cloud services, virtual functions, and use of the Internet to augment MPLS all figure prominently in the company’s global plans

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For us, it’s about our cloud-of-clouds vision.  Besides connecting customer locations to customer data centers, we want to be able to provide our own virtual hosting capabilities in our 22 data centers around the world, we want to link customers to the main providers of data center space (companies like Equinix), to companies offering virtualized hosting, like Azure and AWS, and to Software-as-a-Service providers.  And we want to enable our customers to break in and break out of the Internet wherever they want with secure edge capabilities such as firewalling and value-added services such as acceleration. 

For us it’s about linking this together to enable our customers to have as much flexibility as possible.

How far along are you? 

LANGRIDGE:   It will take us a couple of years.  We’re doing it step by step, so it will be the early part of 2017 that we’ll launch our service with Nokia Nuage, which is going to be called Agile Connect.  That service will evolve and enhance as our own capabilities and the Nokia capabilities evolve and enhance over the coming year.

By the end of the first quarter of 2017 we’re looking to launch our flexible bandwidth offering and our MPLS services.  Things are coming along piece by piece.  By the end of the first quarter we’ll have our first UCSE capability on Cisco routers, an x86 capability, that we can roll out through the existing Cisco router estate.

Basically our roadmap carries on for about the next 18 months as we roll out more of the cloud service nodes and we roll out the OSS that gives us this overlay.  A lot of the links to cloud services we can do today through MPLS.  On our MPLS network you can already switch traffic from your data center to a virtual data center that you’ve taken from us, or a virtual capability or a cage you’ve taken from any Equinix location around the world. 

Okay.  Anything I didn’t think to ask you folks that is important to discuss?

LANGRIDGE:   No.  I don’t think so.  We’ve been through the roadmap and the vision for the network services.  And hopefully we made it clear why we’re linking with Nokia Nuage. It’s very much a leading technology in this space and the key thing for us is the ability to be able to link into our systems and provide a hybrid solution for the customer, not just an alternative Internet-only solution for a small number of branch networks. 

KHANDEKAR:   Likewise, we are extremely excited to be partnered and having been selected for this important transformation of BT services.  BT is, of course, a leading provider, so this is not a small customer trial announcement.  This is the real deal and we’re really excited about working with BT.

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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