BT picks Cisco routers for internet peering upgrade

BT is upgrading its internet peering platform with new routers from Cisco. (Pixabay)

BT has selected long-time technology partner Cisco as a key vendor for an upgrade to its internet peering platform.

BT plans to install Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) 5500 series routers, which include 100 gigabit Ethernet ports for internet peering. BT is revamping its internet peering platform to better connect with other carrier networks and ISPs in order to support customers across cloud deployments.

By using common service models for automation, BT has been working on deep network automation and telemetry for four years, but the router deal beefs up automation and telemetry in the internet peering platform.

“As businesses and consumers adopt more digital and cloud-based services that are hosted anywhere in the world, peering capacity is a key capability of any providers’ infrastructure. BT is focused on network leadership and with Cisco we are extending our telemetry-based automation as part of this deployment” said BT's Neil J. McRae, group chief architect, in a statement.

In addition to telemetry and power cost savings, Cisco's router was designed to scale between data centers and large enterprise, web and service provider WAN and aggregation networks.

BT’s approach to delivering direct connectivity to the cloud providers, coupled with Cisco’s ability to deploy SD-WAN endpoints natively into the cloud provider results in an end-to-end service that fuels the transition to cloud, according to the two companies.

“Nearly every Internet connection in the U.K. touches Cisco. With BT, we are helping to make sure that data gets to where it is supposed to,” said Sumeet Arora, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Service Provider Networking, in a statement. “What and how we connect is changing on a daily basis, so the infrastructure provided has to provide flexibility and scalability, which is why the automation afforded by this deployment is crucial. We’re delighted to be expanding our relationship with BT with this pivotal technology deployment.”

RELATED: BT picks Juniper Networks to help build out its converged network

In June, BT announced it was working with Cisco rival Juniper Networks and other vendors to build out its converged network. The converged network, which BT calls Network Cloud, combines BT's fixed, video, mobile and Wi-Fi services and applications onto one platform. As the name implies, Network Cloud also allows BT to combine its network functions, and then deploy them on a cloud infrastructure that can be shared across BT's U.K. and global footprint.

BT has a long history with Cisco. Last year BT announced the global launch of a new SD-WAN managed service using Cisco technology. Among other capabilities, BT Connect Cisco SD-WAN gives customers a view of data flows across their WAN, allowing them to dynamically optimize the traffic to suit their business needs while also balancing performance and cost.

In 2017, BT rolled out one of its SD-WAN services, which it calls BT Agile Connect, by working with Nokia's Nuage Networks and Cisco. BT has also launched Cisco IWAN and Cisco Meraki SD-WAN offerings.

Late last year, BT launched a new service that provides faster access to Google Cloud Platform through its BT Cloud Connect for Cloud offering.