CenturyLink Expands SD-WAN Program


By: R. Scott Raynovich

Software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is all the rage, as Futuriom has consistently pointed out. CenturyLink this week announced a major push to expand its SD-WAN program, which will enable enterprises to buy SD-WAN managed services based on a standard hardware device.

The CenturyLink expansion include a geographic expansion to more than 30 countries, including Europe, Asia and Latin America. The program also included simplified pricing and operations including value-added services such as security services. CenturyLink delivers SD-WAN with its technology partner, Versa Networks.

SD-WAN services are gaining popularity because they enable enterprise to leverage Internet broadband to provide business-quality access to cloud applications, while lowering the costs of using legacy connectivity services such as MPLS (multi-protocol label switching). SD-WAN services such as CenturyLink's also come in with built-in network security features. Futuriom has projected the growth of SD-WAN hardware and software tools to grow to $2B by 2020, while the expansion of SD-WAN manage services is expected to grow at a similar rate.

Adam Saenger, VP Networking Solutions for CenturyLink, described the move to SD-WAN as a "major shift" in IT trends.

"This is a big shift because customers are undergoing major digital transformations and they need help," said Saenger in an analyst briefing on the new SD-WAN rollout.

In addition to providing branch-office connectivity with a hardware and software platform provided by Versa, CenturyLink is also offering premium services. The features of the CenturyLinks's premium SD-WAN services include WAN design and installation, 24/7 support, customer premises equipment (CPE), a central management portal, built-in stateful firewall, application routing, analytics, alarm ticking, and self-service configuration and provisioning. Add-on services include items such as Web and URL filtering, intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS), and professional services. Pricing for the standard services starts at $259 per month per site.