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

Gina Narcisi

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 ]

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.

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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