AT&T Joins Forces With VeloCloud, Announces SD-WAN Portfolio

AT&T continues to push hybrid networking as it revealed its software-defined WAN portfolio on Wednesday for business customers.

The AT&T SD-WAN service will let businesses intelligently prioritize and route data across their networks based on the performance requirements of the applications. The offering, which is powered by SD-WAN vendor VeloCloud, will also let businesses better manage their bandwidth, AT&T said.

AT&T's SD-WAN offering will come in two flavors -- a network-based offering and a premises-based solution. The network-based SD-WAN solution will be available in 2017, and the premises-based solution will be available later this year, according to the Dallas-based carrier.

[Related: AT&T FlexWare Makes Mix-and-Match Networking]

Sponsored post

Regarding whether AT&T SD-WAN will be immediately available through the channel, an AT&T spokesperson told CRN: "We are always evaluating distribution opportunities that would include indirect channels."

Vince Bradley, CEO for Malibu, Calif.-based World Telecom Group (WTG), a master agent and AT&T partner, said that WTG is seeing "a ton" of demand for SD-WAN solutions. Carrier SD-WAN solutions also give partners, like VARs, a way to sell connectivity and network-based services and earn recurring revenue, Bradley said.

"My favorite part is that this offering enables VARs who are selling SD-WAN boxes to get into connectivity," he said. "Now, we have a product that these partners can sell both the hardware, and at the same time, they are getting into network services – that's pretty rare."

The SD-WAN space has been historically led by networking vendors that specialized in hardware-based solutions, such as Cisco Systems. But carriers are entering the market to add more value to their basic connectivity offerings.

Atlanta-based EarthLink last week unveiled its SD-WAN service for customers and channel partners. That service, EarthLink SD-WAN Concierge, is also powered by VeloCloud.

Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon announced its SD-WAN platform and managed service in February via a partnership with SD-WAN startup Viptela. Verizon's SD-WAN service, like EarthLink's service, was made immediately available through the channel.

Similar to its competition in the telecom space, AT&T has had its sights firmly set on software-centric networking this year. The carrier on Monday announced that it rebranded and expanded its Network Functions on Demand managed service, now called AT&T FlexWare. FlexWare lets businesses adjust their run multiple virtualized network functions from a single premises-based appliance, saving power, space and capital costs. Like FlexWare, AT&T SD-WAN is part of AT&T's Network on Demand portfolio.

"It's great to see AT&T jumping in now because SD-WAN is really taking off," WTG's Bradley said. "The carriers that aren't in this space yet have got to get in."

AT&T plans on partnering with more SD-WAN vendors down the road to give customers more options, the carrier said.