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ADTRAN Adds SD-WAN To Its Networking Lineup For Small Businesses, Distributed Companies

ADTRAN is now offering a cloud-based SD-WAN service targeting smaller business customers that will be available through the channel by the end of the year.

Networking and telecom equipment provider ADTRAN is adding another offering to its repertoire: SD-WAN.  

"First-generation SD-WAN solutions have mainly tailored to medium to large enterprises. Our solution is designed for a service provider host or sold as a service by a VAR or MSP, and I think that's the model the market is going to have to get to in order to address the small business side of the market," Chris Thompson, director of product management for ADTRAN, told CRN.  

The Huntsville, Ala.-based provider, which does the majority of its business through its partners, said that its SD-WAN offering will be available in December through its service provider channel -- large and local carriers, select system integrators, and MSP community.  

[Related: The 6 Hottest SD-WAN Vendors To Watch in 2019]  

The new cloud-based ADTRAN SD-WAN platform offers outbound and inbound quality of service (QoS), seamless connectivity and control of cloud applications and voice services, the company said. The offering automatically detects business critical and performance-sensitive traffic without having to manually set up policies as with many first-generation SD-WAN solutions and allows any future cloud applications deployed to be integrated without manual intervention. The offering gives users end-to-end visibility and can measure each connection from any location all along its path to ADTRAN gateways at another location in real-time.  

Customers can either take advantage of existing ADTRAN hardware by adding SD-WAN on top, or for greenfield deployments, customers can put a device at the edge of their networks, Thompson said.  

"This lets us use ADTRAN equipment that is on the customer's premise already by installing a software license on it and connecting it up to the cloud, or, they deploy a new ADTRAN x86 device, it really depends on what the customer's needs are," he said.

The SD-WAN offering includes a cloud gateway that businesses can use to control cloud-based content. It also includes multiple gateways across the continental U.S. and its own redundant backbone between gateways, the company said. The SD-WAN service can control IP addresses, which is important for IP failover for voice calls, for example, Thompson said.  

Unlike some competitive offerings, the new SD-WAN service won't replace firewalls. Many small businesses already have security solutions in place that they trust, so ADTRAN designed its solution to sit in front of the firewall, Thompson said.  

"We made it really easy to integrate with those solutions -- you don't need to poke holes in the firewall to get the SD-WAN service to work," he said.  

ADTRAN's SD-WAN service is quick to install. "In order for SD-WAN to really hit its stride and meet some of the growth predictions the market has for [SD-WAN], we have to be able to rapidly address the small business and distributed enterprise customer," Thompson said. "We can't tell them they need to buy more devices, gateways, and software licenses in order to make the service work. You need to offer an SD-WAN service that a provider can install in a week and charge monthly -- that's the extent of their investment."  

For partners, ADTRAN's SD-WAN service offers a recurring revenue opportunity, Thompson added. "We make it easy for partners by handling the infrastructure for them, while they can focus on reselling the cloud solution."

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