AT&T brings SD-WAN service to over 150 countries, territories

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AT&T goes global with its SD-WAN service, giving business customers options to mix and match broadband and MPLS connections at their sites. (Pixabay)

AT&T is going global with its SD-WAN service, making its hybrid offering available in the more than 150 countries and territories it operates in today.

After launching its SD-WAN product last year, AT&T customers in more locations will be able to access this emerging SDN-based service from the network edge.

A key focus of AT&T’s SD-WAN service is on hybrid network architectures. This reflects the fact that several of AT&T’s customers use a variety of access networking methods, including MPLS, for connecting their disparate sites.

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A large global company with thousands of locations that wants a more cost-effective way to connect its employees to the internet could migrate to a hybrid network, for example. In this configuration, a business can migrate half of their locations to AT&T SD-WAN – Network Based and dual broadband, while keeping the other locations on VPN. The company can maintain a single network from AT&T without having to forklift their entire infrastructure and move it to SD-WAN all at once.

AT&T said its SD-WAN – Network Based solution allows businesses to manage a combination of multiple site types and varying reliability, performance and bandwidth needs, while preserving MPLS features. Additionally, the service can integrate with AT&T NetBond for Cloud.

But this is not a one-size-fits-all service.

Businesses can mix and match site types and connect AT&T VPN sites, internet protocol security sites and SD-WAN sites in a single VPN. This enables businesses to deploy the solution at their own pace. Businesses can even deploy it as a virtualized function on a universal CPE, through the AT&T FlexWare platform.

As business customers move to SD-WAN, for some locations, they could use public broadband as part of their solution. Given its deep set of network partners, AT&T can provide domestic and global broadband services for business customers in over 55 countries and manage it as part of their overall SD-WAN solution. 

While AT&T’s SD-WAN service debut was a bit later than others like CenturyLink, the telco has been quietly ramping up its customer base. As of November, AT&T had 100,000 deployments under its belt via a static configuration.

What’s different about the new SD-WAN debut is that it now runs on a dynamic-based architecture that leverages its growing investments in SDN and NFV. In 2017, AT&T raised the bar on its network virtualization efforts, setting a goal to equip 55% of its network with software.

Courtney Munroe, group VP of worldwide telecommunications research at IDC, said “AT&T is taking full advantage of its network virtualization efforts to broaden SD-WAN's appeal to more businesses."

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