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BT launches global intelligent WAN as part of its SDN strategy

BT IWAN edit

© BT

  • Integrates Cisco IWAN with BT Connect
  • Uses hybrid environment and managed SD-WAN
  • Aim to make services more dynamic and automated
  • IWAN seen as stepping stone to NFV and SDN

UK telco BT yesterday launched its global Connect Intelligence IWAN managed service solution, which integrates the Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) solution into the BT Connect portfolio of network services. BT says it will enable organisations to automatically route and optimise network traffic and gain visibility of applications performance without spending more on bandwidth.

The new launch uses a hybrid environment and managed Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology to bring new options to reduce the cost of customers’ networks whilst securing the performance of applications. Features and functionality of the first version of Connect Intelligence IWAN include:

  • VPN capabilities across globally dispersed sites and different transport technologies – enabling companies to reduce costs by securely interconnecting remote sites over hybrid network options, such as MPLS VPNs, private and public internet and mobile;
  • Applications routed across the best path in the customer’s hybrid network, based on real-time network performance;
  • Faster performance for applications and the identification of underperforming business processes – including acceleration of web based traffic such as online catalogues shown to customers in retail stores, or access to employee training videos;
  • Enhanced application visibility and analytics, available via centralised reporting, giving customers deep insight into their application and network performance – as well as allowing BT to enhance its monitoring and incident management service to customers.

“BT has been leading the research into emerging virtualisation technologies from the beginning,” said Keith Langridge, VP of network services, BT Global Services. “For years, we have also been adding intelligence to the network services we provide to our customers. NFV and SDN are part of that drive, and aim at making those services more dynamic and automated. They pave the way for a new generation of services that are quicker and easier to set up and change.”

BT sees IWAN as one of the key stepping stones for customers when transitioning to future Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) capabilities, and is also working to provide customers with a comprehensive self-service capability to control their SD-WAN.

“BT Connect Intelligence IWAN leverages the Cisco IWAN solution to bring an important new building block in that virtualisation effort,” added Langridge. “It will help our customers all over the world deal much more effectively with ever increasing bandwidth and traffic optimisation demands, allowing customers to network like never before.”

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s businesses in the UK and in around 20 other countries are set to be some of the first Connect Intelligence IWAN customers. BT offers a fully managed IWAN service which includes comprehensive design, set-up and configuration, including monthly reports from an Application Specialist on how their network and applications are performing, with recommendations on how to improve performance.

“BT can leverage new management features built into Cisco IWAN that blend compelling functions, such as dynamic traffic routing on hybrid VPNs, intelligent path control, agility in layering on virtualized network functions, and cost-savings on Internet bandwidth,” said Joel Stradling, Research Director at Current Analysis.

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