Global Capacity to conduct SD-WAN pilot in Q4, updates 11 PoPs with 100 GigE capabilities

Ethernet network

Global Capacity is preparing to launch its own managed SD-WAN offering with plans to begin a pilot with its customers in the fourth quarter.

Already providing a number of access platforms, including broadband, fiber, and Ethernet over Copper to support other SD-WAN partners, Global Capacity has the right pieces in place to support its own service.

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Mary Stanhope, VP of marketing for Global Capacity, told FierceTelecom that having these network assets means that it can rapidly roll out SD-WAN managed service when it’s ready.

“We have the network and we have got the service orchestration so it’s a matter of putting the SD-WAN orchestration in our One Marketplace platform,” Stanhope said. “We’ll be announcing a pilot with a partner in the next 30 days.”

While Stanhope could not say who Global Capacity’s partners are, the service provider has been in active discussions with other SD-WAN providers and software vendors.

“We had a lot of chatter and a lot of looks from other providers as well as partners on the SD-WAN software side because while it does some amazing things on providing visibility, you still need an underlying network,” Stanhope said.

As it looks to ramp up its SD-WAN offering, Global Capacity expanded the capacity of its One Marketplace network backbone by deploying Ciena’s 8700 Packetwave platform that will enable it to scale bandwidth capacity along these routes to 100 Gigabit Ethernet.

Global Capacity will install Ciena’s 8700 to connect 11 Points of Presence (PoPs) located in San Jose, Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Ashburn and New York City. The multi-terabit programmable Ethernet-over-DWDM packet switch aggregates and switches large quantities of packet traffic.

By making this Ethernet backbone expansion, Global Capacity said it will be able to meet the growing bandwidth needs for Cloud, Over-the-Top applications and data services, including Ethernet Private Line (EPL), VoIP, SIP, Dedicated Internet Access, SD-WAN, MPLS and VPLS (VPN). 

This expansion also increases the density of Global Capacity’s Ethernet services by enabling GigE service between data centers. The service provider also activated diverse IPv6-capable next-generation MPLS nodes to support Layer 3 VPN and Business Internet Services, including gigabit Ethernet customer access. 

“In addition to expanding the capacity we have, we need to offer more Layer 2 VPN and go up to 10 Gbps and it’s allowing us to do data center-to-data center connectivity,” Stanhope said. “It can complement the access connectivity that we’re doing.”

While SD-WAN is getting a lot of attention as the newest way to link multi-site business customer sites together, the reality is that MPLS is still a dominant technology.

“At those 11 PoPs, we put in IPv6-enabled next-gen, higher capacity MPLS nodes because MPLS is still out there in this SD-WAN world and is part of that hybrid network,” Stanhope said. “We’re seeing a lot of demand for that and at One Marketplace you have to have that full breadth of technology and coverage, so we upgraded those.”  

Global Capacity’s recent upgrade follows what has been a year of ongoing expansion for the company.

Following its acquisition of MegaPath’s wholesale division last January, Global Capacity has been aggressively expanding the reach of its network, and this latest work with Ciena’s platform complements that effort.  

Besides M&A, Global Capacity has been expanding its network reach on two fronts: establishing partnerships with other carriers and expanding the reach of its fiber network. The service provider installed its own fiber rings last year in Dallas and Washington, D.C.