Colt Launches Next Phase Of Managed SD-WAN Service


London, UK: October 12, 2016: On-Demand network and communications provider Colt Technology Services today announced the expansion of its managed SD-WAN (Software Defined Wider Area Network) service to 13 countries across Europe. The expansion will reach even more countries in 2017.

Also known as hybrid WAN the expansion will allow business customers to cope with the network requirements of the future digital economy, by combining dedicated data connections with low-cost broadband links in their WAN.

Peter Coppens, Director of Network Portfolio, Colt said: “Putting it simply, the customer wants secure, guaranteed delivery with quality of service for their data network. But they don’t want increasing data capacity requirements to mean more expensive bandwidth circuits. The solution is to use the public internet for those apps which are not latency critical like email or web surfing, while reserving your data networks for the mission critical, high bandwidth applications. Data over the internet is still secured by using IPSec tunnels; and the customer is free to use their existing Internet Service Provider (ISP) if they so wish.”

The Colt offering is delivered as an NFV (Network Function Virtualisation) service with built-in on-demand elasticity and multi-tenancy, combining SD-WAN software with open, scalable general purpose server hardware at the customer’s premises. With a broad set of networking and security VNFs (Virtual Network Functions), Colt claims both agility and economic advantage in the delivery of NFV-based services for the WAN and branch office by accelerating time-to-service while reducing TCO (total cost of ownership) due to centralised management for all sites.

The service expansion will be based on platform elements provided by Versa Networks. Kumar Mehta, CEO and co-founder said: “Versa has worked with Colt for the last 18 months to create new NFV-based WAN services,” “We are excited to continue our joint innovation as Colt launches its cutting edge, software-based, managed SD-WAN service across Europe.”

For customer sites that are “on-net” (directly connected with Colt fibre) bandwidth scales in a very cost-efficient way: off-net this is not the case. The introduction of SD-WAN removes these limitations by enabling a path to public Internet for those apps which are not latency critical like email or web surfing.

Customers can then reserve off net data capacity for more business critical applications. The end result is that a hybrid network is formed where non critical data is offloaded to a secured internet tunnel, freeing up MPLS bandwidth for business critical data, efficiently increasing the total bandwidth to branch sites. Data over the Internet is secured by using IPSec tunnels; and the customer is free to use their existing Internet Service Provider if they so wish.

Colt is leveraging the intelligent SD-WAN platform to enable its customers to dynamically route data traffic to manage both secure and internet routing in real time. This can be configured by Colt or the customer.

Coppens added: “Companies with multiple sites need to interconnect over a WAN. Presently 70 per cent of EU based enterprises outsource the delivery and management of their WAN to a Network Service Provider (NSP).

“The SD-WAN is a new way to architect, deploy and operate the WAN, providing a dramatically simplified way of deploying and managing multi-site connectivity. So much so that it’s forecast that by the end of 2019, 30 per cent of enterprises will use SD-WAN products across sites, up from less than one per cent today.”[1]

[1] http://blogs.gartner.com/andrew-lerner/2015/12/15/predicting-sd-wan-adoption/

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