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Network Connectivity Minute: Unbridle Bandwidth With Software-Defined Networking

Traditional connectivity solutions are not made for modern-day bandwidth consumption. Software-defined networking allows users to maximize bandwidth without the speed limitations of traditional services.

Monthly internet data traffic in the U.S. is expected to nearly double by 2023. Traditional connectivity solutions can’t support the uptick in application consumption.

“Traditional services like MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), they are not application-aware. They do not route traffic based on applications, and therefore, they are also bandwidth-constrained,” says Jody Hagemann, senior director of ActiveCore product management at Comcast Business.

Software-defined networking (SDN) shifts reliance on proprietary hardware to an open and flexible platform to manage applications that are delivered from the cloud.

“It’s made it very easy for our partners to change customers from environments that have had maybe some limitations in the past,” says Joshua Hendrickson, senior manager of ActiveCore product integrations at Comcast Business.

Comcast Business offers virtualized network functions, like SD-WAN, through the ActiveCore SDN platform. It lets customers choose products and services to build a total networking solution, and partners can build on those needs.

“ActiveCore is a great wedge product that not only makes it easy to understand your customers and help them transition and build great networks, but it gives you the ability to go even deeper and provide application consulting,” Hendrickson says.

ActiveCore SDN also offers visibility into customer networks and tracks usage over time with predictive analytics. Plus, partners can overlay ActiveCore on almost any existing customer network.

“SDN and SD-WAN technology is independent of the transport that it rides over,” Hagemann says. “Customers that want to consume Comcast Business SDN products, they do not need to be on the Comcast network.”

And billing and contracts are simplified with flat rates on SD-WAN fees, irrespective of bandwidth. “Our price stays the same whether you’re using 5 Mb, 10 Mb, or 200 Mb or a gigabit,” says Hendrickson. “It’s very easy to budget, especially for the long term.”

You can monitor customer networks by accessing ActiveCore through the online portal, on your mobile device or with voice-enabled assistants.

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