Level 3 Launches SD-WAN Service For Partners, Business Customers

Telecom provider Level 3 is the latest company to join the sweeping SD-WAN movement by unveiling its own SD-WAN service for partners and business customers.

Level 3 said its SD-WAN service is a vendor-supported offering and it ties in with Level 3’s overall hybrid networking strategy as well as some of its home-grown offerings, including its Adaptive Network Security solutions and its Voice Complete platform. The company didn't name the partner it is using.

The Broomfield, Colo.-based provider said that Level 3's partners can immediately begin selling its SD-WAN service.

[Related: CenturyLink Launches Cisco Meraki Network Management Solution For Partners, Business Customers]

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CRN has learned from a Level 3 partner that asked not to be named that the provider is working with Versa Networks for its new SD-WAN service. That's because Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink, which is in the process of buying Level 3 for $34 billion, is offering its own managed SD-WAN service using technology from Versa Networks.

"[Level 3] is choosing the same platform for obvious reasons, but even if they weren't merging with CenturyLink, what they are offering is still a really robust technology they could walk away with," an executive for the partner organization said. "They wanted to standardize on Versa."

Level 3 SD-WAN lets customers create their own private networks using a mix of various connections – in addition to Level 3's own connectivity services – including DSL, cable, LTE, broadband internet and MPLS, according to the provider.

SD-WAN from Level 3 also gives partners and end customers centralized management and control they can use to direct internet traffic on an application-by-application basis, or by access type, and it allows for the connection of different sites across a variety of backbone connections, Level 3 said.

Additionally, Level 3's SD-WAN service will give customers direct internet connectivity to public clouds and SaaS applications to give local user experience a boost.

CenturyLink is slated to acquire Level 3 by Sept. 30, both companies said. When CenturyLink began offering its SD-WAN service a year ago, the company offered to be a managed services provider for the channel and its customers, bundling connectivity from several providers, premise-based equipment, software licensing, and configuration and monitoring, all accessible from an included analytics portal.