AT&T’s New Managed Service Is Built On Cisco SD-WAN

AT&T's latest flavor of managed SD-WAN is powered by Cisco's SD-WAN and security technology to help enterprises protect traffic coming in from anywhere, including branch offices or the cloud, according to the carrier behemoth.


Telecom giant AT&T has teamed up with Cisco Systems to offer a new managed SD-WAN service for enterprise customers.

The latest AT&T SD-WAN offering is built on Cisco's flagship secure SD-WAN service powered by Viptela, Cisco told CRN. The new AT&T and Cisco SD-WAN service, revealed on Wednesday, embeds security at the core of the offering to help enterprises protect traffic and gain access to workloads regardless of their location in the branch or in the cloud, AT&T said.

AT&T's managed services portfolio, which now includes Cisco SD-WAN, also includes AT&T's own network-based SD-WAN platform and an offering based on VMware's VeloCloud for SD-WAN services that was introduced in 2016.

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[Related: Coronavirus Is 'The Epitome' Of A Real-Life SD-WAN Use Case]

AT&T's latest flavor of SD-WAN includes integrated Cisco security features such as an application-aware enterprise firewall, intrusion prevention, URL filtering and advanced malware protection, Dallas-based AT&T said. The new service will be available on Cisco’s line of Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) and Aggregated Service Routers (ASRs). The offering can be managed through a single, cloud-based management dashboard -- Cisco’s vManage controller.

AT&T's Cisco-based SD-WAN managed service offers intelligent dynamic routing, optimized cloud connectivity and visibility into applications and performance -- all features that are critical to enterprises that are increasingly relying on hybrid environments with distributed employees and multi-cloud environments, according to the carrier.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees around the globe to work from home. The remote working trend is positively impacting SD-WAN market growth, according to a May 2020 report from Global Market Insights (GMI). The SD-WAN market size exceeded $1 billion in 2019 and GMI predicts the market will exceed $30 billion by 2026.

The top three managed SD-WAN providers are AT&T in first place, followed by Hughes and Verizon, according to a 2019 U.S. Carrier Managed Leaderboard report for SD-WAN Services by Vertical Systems Group, an analysis firm focused on network services data.

For telecom agent partners, having a managed SD-WAN offering that includes security is a great option for these partners that want to sell solutions -- especially from the likes of Cisco -- but may not have their own engineering resources, said one solution provider that partners with both AT&T and Cisco that asked not to be named.

"For [partners] that may be partnering directly with AT&T but not Cisco, being able to sell a solution like this -- it's a great thing," the solution provider said.

AT&T's portfolio of SD-WAN solutions can be combined with AT&T WAN options, including AT&T Virtual Private Network MPLS service, or Dedicated or Shared Internet or LTE, the carrier said.