Adva Ensemble SmartWAN platform helps service providers simplify SD-WAN, virtual service deployments


Adva Optical Networking is taking part in the emerging SD-WAN trend by offering a set of software capabilities that it says allows service providers to overcome the limitations associated with appliance-based offerings.

While a number of service providers including AT&T and CenturyLink have been rolling out SD-WAN solution to develop VPNs at more cost-effective price points than operator-managed MPLS VPNs, current solutions put the network management burden on the enterprise’s IT department.

At the same time, there’s a view in the service provider community that SD-WAN solutions could potentially threaten the service provider community’s lucrative VPN revenue base.

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Adva says that Ensemble SmartWAN addresses carrier and enterprises needs by enabling service providers to offer managed SD-WAN solutions in an automated and virtualized manner while retaining the ability to efficiently deploy additional value-added services on top of their base SD-WAN offerings. As a result, enterprises can take advantage of the benefits of these virtualized services at a much lower cost.

By leveraging Ensemble Connector and other elements of the ADVA Ensemble suite to provide the virtual infrastructure for hosting SD-WAN and other best-of-breed virtual network functions (VNFs), Adva ensures enterprises are not locked in to proprietary appliances. Enterprises can take advantage of the benefits of NFV in conjunction with their SD-WAN deployments. Ensemble SmartWAN is supported by a number of key partners, including Silver Peak and Versa Networks.

“We’re going to provide an open and neutral platform that runs not only on fat servers, but also on very thin serviers, which is critical for making the business case work for some of these edge type deployments,” said Prayson Pate, CTO of the Ensemble division for Adva Optical Networking, in an interview with FierceTelecom. “We’ve had a large libarary of VNFs for a long time, including Versa and Silverpeak.”

Driving simplicity is a key part of the new Ensemble SmartWAN platform.

As an open, vendor neutral platform that enhances SD-WAN solutions through its streamlined zero-touch provisioning and management features, Ensemble SmartWAN uses NFV management and orchestration principles to ensure that service providers can integrate virtual SD-WANs into larger service offerings.

Ensemble SmartWAN also supports overlay and underlay networks by interfacing directly with MPLS VPNs without requiring a CE router. What’s more, Ensemble SmartWAN can also provide the MPLS peering and tunnels of the CE router, eliminating the need for the router altogether.

“We also have the option to not only do the standard SD-WAN overlay, but also the underlay because we can interact directly with the provider edge router,” Pate said. “If an operator wanted to deploy a hybrid WAN at a new site where some of the bandwidth was going over a T1 and augment that with broadband access with SmartWAN you could have that functionality in the connector block to get the benefits of connecting to the existing Layer 3 VPN and the tunnels without having to have a carrier Ethernet router.”