Macquarie Telecom launches SD-WAN service to tap booming market

Macquarie Telecom launches SD-WAN service to tap booming market

"Most exciting development in the market since the dawn of 3G," says CEO Luke Clifton.

Macquarie Telecom has launched a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service – which it claims is the only in Australia to be able to leverage multiple carriers – as it seeks to tap into a booming market expected to grow to US$1 billion by the end of the year.

The telco said it researched 28 providers worldwide before deciding to partner US cloud SD-WAN pioneer VeloCloud to offer the service, which is available from today.

“It’s the most exciting development in the market since the dawn of 3G. Just as businesses are turning to the cloud to support the new application-focused culture, it’s only natural that networks follow,” said Luke Clifton, group executive, Macquarie Telecom.

Clifton added that 80 customers were already using the service.

“We’re not testing the waters here,” he said. “This is ready for market.”

The offering features ‘intelligent dynamic packet routing’ meaning network functions and information can be carried over a mix of links which might include NBN, 4G or microwave links. The software automatically chooses the best pathway to transmit application information and workloads, ensuring the highest speed and lowest latency is always achieved.

If a link goes down, others take over, meaning users rarely experience any downtime or outages, and “no one in the business will even know it has happened” the company said.

Competitors, Macquarie claimed, tended to use path selection, which will try to reinitiate over a dropped link before switching to another.

“It’s like always knowing which lane will get me from A to B the fastest,” said Michael Davies, customer and emerging technologies director, Macquarie Telecom. “If there’s traffic on the road, the SD-WAN can automatically change my lane to that with the least amount of traffic within milliseconds – and I don’t have to do a thing, the system changes the lane for me automatically. That is the level of automation and simplicity available to our SD-WAN customers.”

Businesses get visibility on up to 2,500 applications running across their networks via Macquarie’s Orchestrator platform, and are able to see in real time which apps are using up bandwidth. Mission-critical apps can be assigned a higher priority, for example, a VoIP or video conference call can be put above email, the company said.

Ballooning market

Enterprises are relying more and more on SD-WAN to streamline connections among enterprise sites, resulting in a market for the technology which is expected to balloon from $225 million in 2015 to US$1.19 billion by the end of this year, according to IDC.

Over the next five years, SD-WAN sales will grow at a 69 per cent compound annual growth rate, hitting US$8.05 billion in 2021, according to IDC’s Worldwide SD-WAN Forecast, 2017–2021.

“SD-WAN offers compelling value for its ability to defray MPLS costs, simplify and automate WAN operations, improve application traffic management, and dynamically deliver on the cost and efficiency benefits associated with intelligent path selection,” IDC analysts Rohit Mehra and Brad Casemore write in the report.

Clifton said the launch would help propel Macquarie into this growing market.

“We have a proud history of developing business-grade innovations in the telecoms sector and this is the next stage in the evolution of telecommunications, one that promises to be as profound as virtualisation has been to computing,” Clifton added.

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