Broadband Communities

NOV-DEC 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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BROADBAND APPLICATIONS 6 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 Choosing the Right Approach For SD-WAN Connectivity Business customers are lining up to buy SD-WAN connectivity, so service providers are rushing to sell it. But before launching this service, be sure you're offering what customers are looking for. By Sean Buckley / Broadband Communities T o meet businesses' needs for low-cost, flexible connectivity, many service providers now offer software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) services. SD- WAN fits in with providers' broader initiatives to virtualize network functions. But a service provider's SD-WAN success hinges on being able to satisfy customers' diverse needs – and that rules out using a one-size-fits-all approach. By separating networking hardware from the network control mechanism, SD-WAN simplifies WAN management and operation. For example, an SD-WAN network configuration could replace a business branch office router with virtualization appliances that can control application-level policies and offer a network overlay. e business's internet links can then serve as a dedicated circuit. is reduces the burden on corporate IT departments to configure and maintain the networks that link their sites and simplifies the use of the cloud-based applications that businesses are rapidly adopting. Service providers are scrambling to deploy SD-WAN to open up new revenue streams or protect their existing revenues from enterprise customers. Depending on their history, they are approaching SD-WAN from different angles. Incumbent telcos focus on augmenting current MPLS networks; cable operators and competitive providers may either displace or augment existing services. A regional fiber provider could use its network to offer consistent service levels that are not subject to the varying performance of public internet connections. Although SD-WAN is still in early stages, customer interest in it is growing. Take Windstream Enterprise's customer Dunn-Edwards, for example. e painting retailer found that broadband-based SD-WAN gave it low-cost bandwidth and better network redundancy than copper-based T-1 circuits for work areas in its buildings. To offer SD-WAN services, besides investing in SD-WAN platforms, a service provider must support connectivity options either within or outside its region and must equip the back office to bill customers. Connectivity options include the following: • Broadband: e most widely available, low-cost solutions are cable and DSL broadband, which are shared asymmetrical services. GPON is also used for SD-WAN. • Dedicated Internet Access (DIA): Enabling symmetrical internet access over fiber Ethernet or TDM circuits, DIA is a private, dedicated, premium-priced network service. Customers can purchase DIA with service-level agreements (SLAs) and high speeds. • Wireless: Initially used for backup, 4G LTE wireless has become a primary SD- WAN connection for some businesses. A recent Sapio Research study revealed that business customers in the United States and the

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